SECTION 498 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a married woman

Last Updated: 01 Sep, 2023
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty


Description of IPC Section 498

According to section 498 of Indian penal code, Whoever takes or entices away any woman who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of any other man, from that man, or from any person having the care of her on behalf of that man, with intent that she may have illicit intercourse with any person, or conceals or detains with that intent any such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

IPC 498 in Simple Words

If someone takes or lures away a woman who they know is married to another man, with the intention that she engages in illicit relations with anyone else, or if they hide or detain her with that intention, they can be punished with imprisonment for up to two years, a fine, or both.

Cited by

Offence : Enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman

Punishment : 2 Years and Fine

Cognizance : Non-Cognizable

Bail : Bailable

Triable : Any Magistrate

What is Section 498 of the IPC?

S. 498 of the IPC deals with punishment for persons who engage in the act of enticing or taking away, from her husband, a married woman in order to involve her in unlawful sexual activities.

For example, A & B are husband and wife respectively. If C - a man, entices B (A’s wife) with the intention of engaging in sexual / illicit intercourse with her, then, A - the husband has the legal right to seek protection under Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code. In such a scenario, C will be subjected to legal consequences and be held liable under this provision.

What is the Object and Purpose of Section 498 IPC?

The objective of Section 498 and Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code is to safeguard the husband's marital privacy and protect his rights against any illegal intrusion.

This Section aims to punish individuals who engage in sexual activities outside of marriage. The primary offense involves unlawfully depriving the husband of custody and authority over his wife with the intention of engaging in an intimate relationship with her.

In Alamgiir vs. State of Bihar (1958), the Hon’ble Supreme Court stated that even though the laws stated in Section 498 of the IPC seem inconsistent with the current modern perspectives on women’s status and the mutual rights and obligations/duties of marriage, such matters the Courts cannot be concerned with.

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Essentials of Section 498 IPC; When can a Person be held Guilty under Section 498 IPC?

1. Woman/Wife in question should be married to another person

In order for a person to be held accountable under Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code, it is crucial that the woman who is enticed or taken away by the accused is married to someone else.

For example, if there is a woman named A and a man named C entices A to engage in illicit intercourse, C would only be held liable under this section if A is legally married to another person. As long as the marriage is not voidable/void, any individual who entices or takes away such a married woman would be punished under this Section.

2. Knowledge of the woman’s marriage to another man

As per the landmark judgment of Emperor vs. Jagannnath Gir & Ors. (1937), the phrase, “such women'' as featuring under Section 498 of the IPC, 1860 refers to women whom the accused knows are married to someone else, or has reason to believe so. This requirement relates to the knowledge of the accused person of such a woman's marital status. For example, if a woman named X is married to a man Y and another man named A, who is aware of such a relationship between X and Y knowingly entices and takes away X from Y with the intention to engage in illicit intercourse, A shall be guilty of the offense under Section 498.

3. The accused must have enticed or taken the woman away from her husband.

The phrase "taking away", connotes that there should be some form of influence on the woman, or an act or assistance that worked along with her own intention at the time when the woman took the final step, leading to the separation of such woman from her husband with a specific intention. It does not imply abduction with the use of force. However, such an act must be guided by the specific intention as envisaged under the Section. Moreover, "taking away" is distinct from "enticing". When the accused takes the wife of another man away, the act of taking is complete, regardless of whether she was willing or not. The word "entice" implies the intention of inducing a woman by arousing desires or hopes in her. The offense under Section 498 IPC is not established when the woman declines to go with her husband, and it cannot be proven that the enticement was intended to engage in illicit intercourse. The woman must be enticed in a way that results in her separation from her husband's control. For example, if A and B are married, and B, who is A's wife, is enticed and taken away, thereby separating her from A's control, it would amount to criminal elopement under this provision.

The Bombay High Court observed in the case of Emperor vs. Ramnarayan Baburao Kapor (1936) that when the brother of a married woman who had eloped with the accused filed a complaint under this section, no action was taken by the Court because it was not established that he had the authority to care for her on behalf of her husband. Therefore, the act of taking or enticing must be carried out with the lawful authority of the husband or any person responsible for her well-being.

4. Such taking or enticing must be with the intent of engaging in illicit intercourse.

In order to secure a conviction under Section 498, it must be proven that the woman was enticed or taken away from her husband's residence and detained with the intention of engaging in unlawful intercourse, as stated in the case of Prem Nath Laroiya vs. The State (1972). Merely observing the woman outside the accused's residence is insufficient. The intention of the accused plays a crucial role under this provision. Illicit intercourse refers to any sexual activity with a person she has not married to through the lifespan of her husband. Section 497 defines that a woman cannot be penalised as an abettor in this offence.

Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India

‘Consent’ under Section 498 IPC

In this Section, the term 'enticement' denotes a form of persuasion. To establish someone's culpability under this provision, it must be demonstrated that the enticement of another person's wife was intended to remove her from her husband's control. Thus, while there is an element of consent involved, that consent is influenced. This aspect encompasses four scenarios: taking away, enticing away, concealing, or detaining the woman. In the first three instances, namely taking away, enticing away, and concealing, the woman's consent becomes irrelevant. In order to establish guilt, it must be proven that the accused induced or encouraged the said consent through words or by committing any other act, under the pretense of marrying her.

What is the Punishment under Section 498 IPC?

Punishment entails imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both. Thus, a person held guilty under Section 498 of the IPC can be punished with jail time up to two years and also a fine.

Who can file a Complaint under Section 498 IPC?

A complaint for a violation of Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code can be filed by the husband or, if he is not present, by any individual responsible for the well-being of the woman in question. Section 198(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, clarifies that only the husband is considered directly affected by offenses punishable under Section 497 or Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code. However, in the absence of the husband, any person who cared for the woman on his behalf at the time of the offense may file a complaint with the court's permission. This interpretation was established in the case of BS Puttaswamy Sannaiah v MS Shamla Kumari Puttaswamy (2007).

Both men and women can commit an offense under Section 498. It is crucial to recognize that the involvement of a woman in engaging in criminal sexual activity with any man forms a significant aspect of the offense. Nevertheless, a woman can also be involved in enticing or abducting someone. In such cases, she can be held liable under this provision. The consent of the wife is irrelevant and cannot be used as a defense against charges under this provision. It is important to note that a wife cannot be punished as an abettor.

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How To Defend A False Case Under Section 498a, IPC?

Defending a false case under IPC can be a tough task. Even though it is tough to outmanoeuvre a false case filed under Section 498 IPC, it is not impossible.

Following are the few recourses that the wife and the other man can take to protect themselves in a false Section 498 case.

  1. Prosecution for Defamation: If a man (husband) attempts to malign the image and reputation of his wife and another man, such husband can be prosecuted under Section 500 of IPC for the offence of ‘Defamation’ in a Court of law.

  2. Prosecution for Criminal Conspiracy: If the wife and the other man have reason to believe that the false accusations against the man are a part of a criminal conspiracy hatched by the husband, he can be prosecuted under Section 120B, IPC for the offence of ‘Criminal Conspiracy’ in a Court of law.

  3. Prosecution for False Evidence: Further, as is the position in most fake cases under Section 498, men (husbands) bring in and seek to rely upon false evidence to strengthen their bogus case.

  4. Counter Lawsuit: Further, a counter lawsuit can also be filed under Section 227 of IPC for violation of condition of remission of punishment, under the belief that the case filed under Section 498 by the husband against another man is false and frivolous.

  5. Prosecution for Criminal Intimidation: If a man threatens to harm or injure his wife or the other man, he can be prosecuted under Section 506 of IPC for the offence of ‘Criminal Intimidation’ in a Court of law

  6. Collection of Evidence: If one has been falsely accused in such a case, one should collect evidence and related documents which would prove their side of the case

  7. Prosecution for False FIR: If the husband falsely frames the other man in a false 498 case, he can be prosecuted under Section 182, IPC for the offence of ‘False Information with intent to injure’ in a Court of law

  8. Legal Advice: A good criminal defence lawyer should be approached who will be best equipped to guide you as per your circumstances

Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India

Trial / Court Procedure under Section 498 IPC

As has been stated before, the trial or a criminal court procedure is initiated with the instance of an FIR or a police complaint. The detailed trial procedure has been given below:

  1. FIR (First Information Report) / Police complaint: the first step is a Police Complaint or a First Information Report. This is covered under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. An FIR puts the entire case into motion.

  2. Investigation and Report by Officer: The second step after the FIR, is investigation by the Investigation Officer. After the examination of the facts and circumstances, collection of evidence, and examination of persons and other necessary steps, the officer completes the investigation and prepares the investigation.

  3. Charge-sheet before Magistrate: The police then files the charge sheet before the magistrate. The charge-sheet consists of all the criminal charges against the accused.

  4. Arguments before Court and Framing of Charges: On the fixed date of hearing, the Magistrate hears the parties’ arguments on the charges that have been set and then finally frames the charges.

  5. Plea of guilty: Section 241 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 talks about the plea of guilty, after framing of the charges the accused is given an opportunity to plead guilty, and the responsibility lies with the judge to ensure that the plea of guilt was voluntarily made. The judge may upon its discretion convict the accused.

  6. Evidence by Prosecution: After the framing of the charges and the accused pleading ‘not guilty’, the evidence is first given by the Prosecution, upon whom the burden of proof initially (generally) lies. Both oral and documentary evidence can be produced. The magistrate has the power to issue summons to any person as a witness or order him to produce any document.

  7. Cross Examination of Witnesses by Accused/Counsel: Witnesses of the prosecution when produced before the court are cross examined by the accused or his/her counsel.

  8. Evidence by Accused if any, in defence: If the accused has any evidence, it is presented to the Courts at this stage. He/she is given this opportunity to make his/her case stronger. However, since the burden of proof is on the prosecution i.e. the alleged victim, the accused is not required to present evidence.

  9. Cross Examination of Witness by Prosecution: If witnesses are produced by the defence, they will be cross-examined by the Prosecution.

  10. Conclusion of Evidence: Once the court has been presented with evidence from both sides, the evidence is concluded by the Court/Judge.

  11. Oral / Final Arguments: The final stage, nearing the judgement is the stage of final arguments. Here, both parties take turns (first, the prosecution and then the defence) and make final oral arguments in front of the judge.

  12. Judgement by the Court: Based upon the facts and circumstances of that case, and upon the arguments made and evidence produced, the Court gives its final judgement. The Court gives its reasons in support of the acquittal or conviction of the accused and pronounces its final order.

  13. Acquittal or Conviction: If the accused is held guilty, he/she is convicted and if held ‘not-guilty’, the accused is acquitted in the final judgement.

  14. If Convicted, Hearing on Quantum of Sentence: If the accused is held guilty and convicted, a hearing will take place to decide the quantum or extent of the Sentence or jail time.

  15. Appeal to Higher Courts: An appeal to Higher Courts can be made if the scenario allows it. From Sessions court, an appeal can be made to the High Court and from High Court, to the Supreme Court.

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Is an Offense under Section 498 IPC Bailable or Non-Bailable?

Section 498 can be characterized as follows:

Bailability - An offence can be classified as bailable or non-bailable. In a bailable offence, the accused has the right to obtain bail, while in a non-bailable offence, bail is not granted as a matter of course and is subject to the court's discretion. Section 498 falls under the category of bailable offences.

Cognizability - Offences can be categorized as cognizable or non-cognizable. Cognizable offences empower the police to make an arrest without seeking prior permission from the court and take immediate action. These offences typically involve serious crimes like rape, murder, forgery, etc. On the other hand, non-cognizable offences require the police to obtain court approval before making an arrest. These offences are generally less severe, such as theft. Section 498 is considered non-cognizable.

Furthermore, it should be emphasized that a magistrate, regardless of their classification, can preside over the trial of an offence committed under Section 498. This sets it apart from other marriage-related offences that are specifically tried by the Magistrate of the First Class.

Landmark Judgements under Section 498 IPC

1. Singana Naga Nooka Chakrarao Vs. State of U.P. 2007

The petitioner-accused underwent trial for offenses under sections 497 IPC (adultery) and 498 IPC (criminal elopement) in the current case. The Trial Court found the accused guilty of both offenses and imposed a sentence of six months' simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 500 for the offense under Section 497 IPC, as well as three months' simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 300 for the offense under Section 498 IPC. The Appellate Court upheld the conviction and punishment for the offense under Section 498 IPC while acquitting the accused of the offense under Section 497 IPC.

This case establishes that the crucial aspect to establish in a case under this Section is the intention of the accused, specifically whether the accused intentionally lured the married woman with the aim of engaging in sexual intercourse with her.

2. Alamgit vs. State of Bihar 1958

In the case of Alamgir & another v. State of Bihar [1956], the wife disappeared from her husband's residence and was later discovered at the appellant's brother's house. When the husband approached the appellant and requested the return of his wife, the appellant claimed to have married her and his brother threatened and forced the husband to leave. The appellants were convicted in the trial court and initially sentenced to two months of simple imprisonment. The Session Court upheld the conviction but reduced the sentence to a fine of Rs. 50 each. However, upon further appeal, the High Court sentenced the appellants to six months of rigorous imprisonment under Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The court determined that if a man deliberately takes away another man's wife in a manner that deprives the husband of his control over her, with the intention of engaging in unlawful sexual relations, he would be committing an offense under this section.

Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India

Testimonials for Section 498 IPC

1. "My wife was having an affair with my friend who had enticed her by showing off his monetary status. I had to make sure that he was punished. I approached a lawyer and filed a case under Section 498 IPC. The case is progressing well as I have enough evidence to prove that he enticed and took my wife away that too on false grounds. The lawyer has helped me immensely and I am positive that I will win the case."

-Virendra P. Singh

2. "My ex-husband had filed a case against my colleague under Section 498 IPC, accusing him of taking me away from him and having an illicit affair, which was far from the truth. I was horrified when I got to know of this and we immediately took the help of a lawyer. My husband and his family were the ones torturing me at home as well. We filed a case for defamation and I even filed. Case under Section 498A of IPC. The case was decided in my favour after a long battle. The divorce case is also finalised and we have been separated. My colleague is also free from the false case against him. It is very important to hire a good lawyer to make sure that you are guided in the right direction and I am glad we took immediate help of a good criminal and divorce lawyer."

- Sunita Dhar

Why do you Need a Lawyer in a Section 498 IPC Case?

A case such as the one mentioned under Section 498 of IPC is a complex issue to deal with in a country like India where there is a huge pile of criminal cases pending in the court of law. Criminal procedure in India involves various steps that would require you to deal with the police at numerous stages and would also involve going to court. This is why it is essential to have a criminal lawyer to help you through the procedure and to guide you with the best possible ways to resolve the criminal issue. An experienced lawyer who is an expert in handling criminal cases can help you draft an effective complaint that can hold your case in the court on solid grounds and can also represent you in the court to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

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FAQ's on IPC Section 498

What offence is defined under IPC 498?

IPC 498 Offence: Enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman.

What is the punishment for IPC 498 Case?

The punishment for IPC 498 is 2 Years and Fine.

Is IPC 498 cognizable offence or non-cognizable offence?

IPC 498 is a Non-Cognizable.

How to file/defend your case for IPC 498 offence?

Use LawRato for filing/defending your case under IPC 498 with the help of best criminal lawyers near you.

Is IPC 498 bailable or non-bailable offence?

IPC 498 is a Bailable offence.

In what court can IPC 498 be tried?

IPC 498 is tried in the court of Any Magistrate.

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