Domestic abuse, divorce, and custody battles are just a few examples of the kinds of things that can come up in a marriage disagreement. The family court system, which is distinct from the criminal court system, is normally responsible for resolving these conflicts. Before a disagreement goes to court, mediation or arbitration may be utilised to settle it. Additionally, there are particular regulations in existence that control marriage and divorce for various religious communities in India, such as the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act.

What are the Types of Criminal Proceedings in Matrimonial Disputes?

In India, a number of different criminal processes can be started in connection with marriage matters. The following are some of the most typical criminal proceedings:

Dowry Harassment

According to Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), this is a crime that takes place when a husband or a member of his family cruelly or harasses a woman in an effort to get her or her family to pay their illegitimate dowry demands.

Domestic Violence

According to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, this is a crime that takes place when a woman is the victim of financial, emotional, verbal, or physical abuse by a family member.


According to Section 497 of the IPC, this is when a man engages in sexual activity with a woman who is the wife and who he knows or has cause to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man.


According to Section 494 of the IPC, this is when a person marries when their spouse from a previous marriage is still alive.

Cruelty by Husband or His Relatives

According to Section 498A of the IPC, this is a crime when a husband or his relatives treat a woman cruelly with the intent to make her commit suicide, seriously hurt her, or put her in danger of losing her life, limb, or health.


A husband or wife who abandons the other spouse without justifiable reasons is guilty of this crime under Section 498 of the IPC.

Criminal proceedings vary depending on the charges or actions taken with the victim. Usually, the court takes only minor steps in an effort to preserve the marriage and consider future possibilities. However if the action of Husband is out of way to pardon than the Court is bound to take the action in purusance of law.

How Different Is Criminal Proceeding In Matrimonial Cases from the Regular Criminal Cases?

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Criminal cases involving marriage disputes differ from ordinary criminal cases in various respects.

The Nature of the Offences

Criminal processes in matrimonial cases frequently entail offences that are unique to the framework of marriage and family ties, such as dowry harassment, domestic abuse, cruelty by the husband or his relatives, and desertion.

The Persons Involved

Unlike other sorts of criminal proceedings, which may involve strangers or parties who are not related to one another, matrimonial legal disputes often involve the husband, wife, and other family members.

The Sort of Evidence Needed

While other forms of criminal processes may rely on evidence such as fingerprints, DNA, or surveillance footage, matrimonial criminal proceedings may employ evidence such as witness statements, medical records, and photographs to show the offence.

The Standard of Proof

Just like in other types of criminal procedures, the standard of proof in matrimonial disputes is beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Penalties

Depending on the nature of the offence and the seriousness of the circumstances, criminal proceedings in matrimonial disputes may result in consequences including imprisonment, fines, and/or community service.

Family Court Involvement

Criminal processes involving matrimonial issues may also entail family court actions, such as divorce or custody actions, which may have an effect on the criminal case’s outcome.

The Impact on the Family

Because they may result in a spouse’s separation, divorce, or even jail, criminal law processes involving matrimonial disputes can significantly affect families a family member, which can cause emotional and financial strain on the family.

Criminal cases involving matrimonial disputes are generally distinct from other types of criminal law in terms of the offences, parties, evidence, standard of proof, sanctions, and the involvement of family court, which can have a substantial influence on the family.

What Are The Remedy Against IS Criminal Proceeding In Matrimonial Issues?

Those who are subject to criminal law proceedings due to marriage disputes have a number of remedies at their disposal:

Legal Representation

Getting knowledgeable and seasoned legal representation from a criminal law attorney is one of the most crucial solutions. A lawyer can represent the client in court and offer direction and counsel regarding the legal procedure.


After being arrested, a person may be entitled to request bail, which entitles them to release from custody while they await trial. With the bail application process, a lawyer can help.

Mediation in Matrimonial Disputes

In some circumstances, mediation, which is a process when a neutral third party assists the parties in reaching an agreement, may be able to help the parties resolve their disagreements. A less combative and more affordable option to judicial procedures is mediation.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the process of resolving conflicts outside of the conventional judicial system. The parties can settle disagreements pertaining to marriage issues through ADR techniques like arbitration and negotiation.

Restraining Order

A restraining order can be issued in cases of domestic violence to forbid the abuser from getting in touch with the victim.


If both parties are willing, it is possible to negotiate a compromise and an out-of-court settlement in which both parties accept specific parameters.


Couples counselling or individual counselling can be used in cases of domestic violence to address the underlying causes and stop further incidents of violence.


In some circumstances, a person may be able to ask the government or the President of India for a pardon, which could lead to a reduction or remission of their sentence.

It’s crucial to remember that the best course of action will rely on the particulars of the case as well as international law. Always seek out legal counsel and representation as soon as you can.

What are the Penalties Under Criminal Proceeding In Matrimonial Dispute?


Those who are convicted of a crime in a marital dispute may be sentenced to time in jail. Depending on the exact violation and the facts of the case, the sentence may be up to three years in prison under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with cruelty committed by a spouse or one of his relatives.


If someone is found guilty, the court may impose a fine as a monetary penalty on them. The exact offence and the facts of the case will determine the fine’s size.

Landmark Judgements ON MATRIMONIAL DISPUTES for Criminal Proceeding

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In India, there have been a number of significant rulings concerning judicial proceedings in marriage disputes. The following are some of the most notable judgements:

Gian Kaur v. State of Punjab (1996)

In this ruling, the Supreme Court of India recognised Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which addresses dowry death, as constitutionally acceptable. According to the court, if a lady died within seven years of her marriage under unusual circumstances, her death would be regarded as a dowry death and would be penalised in accordance with Section 304-B.

Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar (2014)

In its ruling, the Supreme Court of India established rules for the filing and examination of cases under Section 498A of the IPC (Cruelty by husband or his relatives). The court ruled that an arrest should not be made routinely and that the police officer should draught an arrest memo.

Rajesh Sharma v. State of UP (2017)

In this ruling, the Supreme Court highlighted that an estranged wife should not utilise Section 498A of the IPC as a weapon rather than a shield. In accordance with Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Criminal Law), the court also ruled that reports must be forwarded to magistrates in all cases involving arrests made pursuant to Section 498A. (CrPC)

Joseph Shine v. Union of India (2018)

In this ruling, the Supreme Court invalidated Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, which made adultery a crime. According to the court, Section 497 discriminates against women and prohibits punishing a woman for having sex with a married man as it is not an offense.

Rajesh Sharma v. State of UP (2019)

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In this ruling, the Supreme Court of India ruled that Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with cruelty by a husband or his relatives, should not be used as a tool to harass people. A copy of the ruling was also provided to the arrested person’s family and the person being detained.

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Legal measures initiated by the state against a person who is accused of committing a crime in connection with a marriage or other family relationship are referred to as criminal proceedings in matrimonial cases. Charges of dowry harassment, domestic abuse, cruel treatment by the husband or his family, and desertion are some of the kinds of situations that fit this description. The standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt, and the accused has the right to legal counsel. If found guilty, a person may face jail time, financial penalties, and community service. In some circumstances, civil processes, such as divorce or custody disputes, may be connected to or affected by the criminal proceedings.


The views expressed in the blogs are purely the authors’ own, and they are not intended to offend anyone or to be prejudicial toward or against any individual, group of individuals, society, sex, gender, race, creed, nation, or religion, or any other term that is even remotely and closely connected. Legal-Varta is a platform for disseminating knowledge so that everyone can comprehend the legal system better. In order to avoid any misrepresentation and since it is even not advisable to do so, only content that is directly related to the Law and Statute is included in the articles. If any misrepresentation is discovered, however, we are willing to amend it because it is only for everyone’s advantage.

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