Police Complaint Against Husband for Mental Harassment

Posted On : January 9, 2023
Police Complaint Against Husband for Mental Harassment
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Marriage is a beautiful relationship, only if you have someone who loves, respects, and cherishes you with all the heart. Such is not the case in many marriages. Sometimes, it is physical violence, use of abusive language, and sexual assault the other times. All of it leads to a mental burden on the victim, thereby resulting in mental harassment. People often ignore mental health which eventually gets so intense that it forces them to commit suicide.

It is better to let the relationship commit suicide than the person suffering from such a relationship. Nobody can remain happy in an abusive relationship. If a husband can treat his wife badly, a police complaint against the husband for mental harassment is not a sin. Laws are made to protect the people. The blog hereby explains aspects related to a mental harassment complaint to the police against a husband by a wife. 


When can I Report Mental Harassment by Husband under Indian Law?

Mental harassment in itself is not regarded as a crime, and hence, not defined under the law. However, certain elements of the same have been included under various legal provisions. Giving someone emotional or mental stress in itself may not be a crime unless it is intense enough to cause some harm. Such harm may be an insult, defamation, serious enough to cause depression, or even force someone towards suicide.

There are laws for married women’s rights that not only protect their physical and financial interests, but their mental health as well. The idea is to provide a wholesome atmosphere to a wife entering a marital relationship. There are provisions below, not all dedicated to a married woman, but mostly targeted against mental harassment.


Provisions under the Indian Penal Code, 1860

Section 294 - Obscene acts in public place

  • If the husband uses obscene language for his wife in public,
  • If the husband forces the wife to do obscene conduct in a public place, etc.

Section 354 IPC - Assault to outrage the modesty of a woman

  • If the husband assaults his wife harming her modesty,
  • If he uses physical force to outrage her modesty, etc.

Section 498A - Cruelty by husband or his relatives

  • If the husband uses abusive language and demands money from the wife or her family,
  • If the husband mentally harasses the wife inciting suicidal thoughts,
  • If the husband demands any property or money from the wife threatening her own life or of her dear ones, etc. 

Section 509 - Word, gesture or act insulting modesty of a woman

  • If the husband uses abusive language to insult his wife,
  • If the husband uses shameful gestures for his wife, etc.


Domestic Violence Act, 2005 also acquires mental/emotional violence among the types of domestic violence against a woman. Complaints under section 12 of the Act can be initiated by the aggrieved woman the protection officer or any near or dear ones on her behalf. It may be noted that proceedings under the DV Act, 2005 are civil in nature. Hence, a woman can seek compensation or monetary relief from her husband, or any such act which directly or indirectly caused mental harassment. Examples could be child custody, residence at matrimonial homes, financial independence, etc. 

It may be noted that these provisions do not only allow legal action against the husband. Since the discord is likely to increase, and there is scope for reconciliation is not there all the time. Hence, mental harassment is also accepted as one of the legal grounds for divorce in India


Where to Complaint Against Mental Harassment?

Usually, in criminal cases, complaints are registered in the area where criminal activity takes place. Hence, if a couple is residing in Delhi where the husband mentally harasses his wife as per one of the provisions of the Indian Penal Code or the Domestic Violence Act, a complaint has to be registered at the nearest police station. One can directly approach the magistrate as well.   


Police Complaint Against Husband for Mental Harassment - Format

  1. Date on which complaint is lodged.
  2. Name and/or designation of the police officer in charge.
  3. Name and address of the police station of the local jurisdiction. 
  4. Subject matter of police complaint letter against the husband.
  5. Start with the reason for the complaint, followed by a detailed series of events. It should depict clearly what happened, who did what, and the impact, if any.
  6. Request for filing a complaint against the husband.
  7. Closing the letter with appreciation remarks.
  8. Your (complainant’s) full name and address.
  9. Contact number which is available all the time.
  10. Duly sign the letter with a date.

Before proceeding with a police complaint letter against the husband, it is also advisable to consult with a criminal lawyer in Kolkata or whichever city the complainant's wife resides in. It helps understand the legal consequences of the steps taken. 


FAQs around Mental Harassment by Husband - Indian Law

Q- Is there any law for mental harassment by a husband? 

A- Yes, mental harassment is constituted by any act which forces a person into depression, hypertension, suicidal thoughts, etc. There may or may not be any events of coercion, physical assault, or sexual assault. Mental harassment may be caused by disrespect, abusive language, ignorance, financial abuse or torture, and so on. A combination of the events may reflect which law applies to mental harassment by the husband. For example, it may be cruelty under section 498A including violence and/ or dowry demand. It could be a case of section 354 IPC as well for outraging the modesty of a woman. Otherwise, the law on domestic violence also recognizes mental harassment. Thus, it depends upon what happens to finalize the law for mental harassment by the husband. 


Q- How do you prove mental harassment? 

A- Proving mental harassment is a bit tricky since it is a behavioral wrong and not a physical assault that leaves injury marks over the body. It hits the soul which is not visible to the naked eye. However, when you have genuinely suffered it, you know the exact series of events on a particular day and throughout the time. Statements of the accused, complainant, and witnesses are the basis for corroboration (verification). If what is claimed in original statements is reversed, or not verified during cross-examination, things are not proved. If the other person through words or circumstances proves the opposite of what was claimed, it will be considered disproved and a malicious attempt as well. In case of divorce proceedings in Kolkata, a divorce lawyer in Kolkata may assist with the ways to prove the same.


Q- What cases can a wife file against her husband?

A- A wife can file the following mental harassment cases against her husband - cruelty under section 498A IPC, obscene language under section 294 IPC, outraged modesty under IPC section 354, section 509 of IPC insulting the modesty of such woman. It can be a case of domestic violence as well under section 12 of the 2005 Act. It may be noted that provisions under the Indian Penal Code, 1860 are criminal in nature and type, while that of DV Act, 2005 is civil in nature.


Q- What is the punishment for mental harassment by the husband?

A- U/S 498A the punishment for mental harassment by the husband shall be imprisonment for a term that may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.


Q- How do I file a case against my husband?

A-  You may approach the Police Station in your locality and lodge an FIR stating the reason behind such FIR or you may contact a lawyer to file a case against your husband.


Q- Can I file an FIR for mental harassment?

A-  Yes, FIR can be filed for mental harassment under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code by the wife against the husband and relatives.


Written By:
Abhimanyu  Shandilya

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