Review of Laws and Legislative Measures Affecting Women
by National Commission for Women (NCW)

No. 5: Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 -
(Cognizance of offence of bigamous marriages)

Existing Provision

S. 198 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973

Proposed Amendments by Government

The existing provisions bar the criminal court from taking cognizance of an offence under section 494 or section 495 of the Indian Penal code except on the complaint of the wife or a complain made, on her behalf by the specified relatives of the wife.

The question is whether this restriction should be removed . And if the affected women does not make a complaint whether any women's welfare organization or any legal aid cell or any one else should have the right to make a complaint.

Suggested Amendments by NCW

Restriction on the filing of a complaint u/s 198 (1) should be removed in respect of Ss. 494 and 495 of the IPC. Omitting Clause ( c ) to the proviso to sub-section I 1 ) of S. 198. The amendment may be as follows:

In sub-section ( 1 ) of S. 198, Cr. P.C. ( i ) after the words and figures ' under Chapter XX' the words and figures 'other than sections 494 and 495' shall be inserted.

ii) Clause ( c ) of the proviso shall be omitted.

General Suggestions and Remarks

Normally women (wives) in India do not make any such complaints for a variety of reasons.


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