Section 198 CrPC: Prosecution for Offenses Against Marriage – India’s Code of Criminal Procedure

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Section 198 CrPC: Prosecution for Offenses Against Marriage

This section of India’s Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) deals with the prosecution of offenses against marriage. It lays down the specific requirements and procedures for initiating legal proceedings in such cases.

Explanation:

Section 198 CrPC states that no court shall take cognizance of any offense punishable under Chapter XX (Offenses Against Marriage) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) except upon a complaint made by the person aggrieved by the offense.

This means that a person cannot be prosecuted for an offense against marriage unless the person who was directly harmed by the offense files a formal complaint with the court.

The section also provides that the court can take cognizance of an offense against marriage even without a complaint if the offense is of such a nature that it affects public order or morality, or if the offense is committed by a public servant in the discharge of his official duty.

Illustration:

Let’s say a man commits adultery with another woman. His wife, feeling aggrieved by his actions, files a complaint with the police. The police, after conducting an investigation, can then file a charge sheet against the man in court. The court will then take cognizance of the offense and proceed with the trial.

However, if the man’s wife chooses not to file a complaint, the police cannot initiate any action against him, and the court cannot take cognizance of the offense.

Common Questions and Answers:

  • Q: What are some examples of offenses against marriage?
  • A: Some common examples include adultery, bigamy, cruelty by husband or wife, and desertion.
  • Q: Who is considered the ‘person aggrieved’ in a case of offense against marriage?
  • A: The person aggrieved is typically the spouse who has been wronged by the actions of the other spouse.
  • Q: Can the court take cognizance of an offense against marriage without a complaint if the offense involves a minor?
  • A: Yes, if the offense against marriage involves a minor, the court can take cognizance of the offense even without a complaint from the aggrieved person.
Also Read  CrPC Section 259: Court's Power to Convert Summons Cases into Warrant Cases
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