India: Mediation Must Happen Before Divorce

Section 498A is a cognisable offence with a punishment of up to three years in jail and a fine and is non-compoundable, which rules out an out-of-court settlement.

But the apex court today said courts can try to strike a compromise between a couple.

In this case, Deepa was married to Srinivas on April 25, 1999, but on the very next day, the couple separated after a quarrel between the elders in the two families. Subsequently, Deepa lodged a complaint under 498A against the husband and in-laws, alleging that the mother-in-law had asked her to sleep with the father-in-law.

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