New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Sunday mandated that an FIR cannot be launched against a man or his family members under dowry harassment charges after the divorce. The apex court maintained that prosecution under Section 498 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) will not be sustainable once the couple has been divorced under relevant law, a news channel reported.

A bench comprising of Justices SA Bobde and L Nageswaro Rao said that the IPC section starts with, “Whoever, being your husband or the relative of the husband of a woman..”. Taking this into account, the bench held that if it involves a couple who have already been separated, then this act will not be attracted.

The court was hearing a case involving a couple who had given each other a divorce over four years ago. The lawyer for the former husband also held before the court that prosecution in the case is not justifiable as the couple is no more together and are divorced.

“In view of her own averment that she was divorced four years ago, we are of the view that the prosecution is not sustainable under section 498A of the IPC and Sections 3/4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961,” News18 reported the Supreme Court bench as saying.

Further, all the prosecution charges under the dowry harassment act against the accused were quashed.