Whether refusal of marital pleasure by wife can give rise to a grave and sudden provocation?

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The answer to this question has been derived from several leading cases of Supreme Court and High Court where wife for one reason or another entered into conflict with her husband which consequently resulted in her death. The question before court was whether such death of the victim will penalise the accused, her husband under section 302 IPC, or s 304 IPC, or under the exceptions of s 300 IPC. 

In Krishnan Udayan v. State of Kerala 1971, the wife of the accused was taken by her mother from the company of the husband on a flimsy pretext and later a suit for declaration that the marriage was void was filed. The accused stabbed his wife to death. It was held that there was grave and sudden provocation and the accused is liable to be convicted under section 304, Part 1 and not under section 302 IPC.

In Chand Singh v. State of Rajasthan, 1971, the wife inflicted sword injuries on her husband, the accused at night and when he ran inside she chased him with the sword. The accused moved himself behind the pillar, snatched the sword from hand of his wife and inflicted blows on her by sword, she having fallen down the accused inflicted one more blow, on her. It was held that the accused was entitled to the benefit of Exception 1 of section 300 IPC and the offence was culpable homicide and not amounting to murder.  

In Jan Mohammad v. Emperor 1929, a woman was leading a notoriously immoral life which was the common scandal of the village. She had a young lover who was known to the accused, her husband. On the night previous to the murder she disappeared from the bed of her husband. Subsequently protested by the husband led her to make vulgar abuse to the accused, her husband started beating her with a shoe, lost his control, picked up a rough stick which happened to be lying close by and struck the fatal blow to the erring wife which resulted in her death. After murder police had no difficulty in finding him out and producing him before the court. It was held that whole unfortunate affair should be looked at as one prolonged agony on the part of the husband which must have been playing upon his mind and eventually led to the fatal assault, and sudden provocation. Section 300, Exception 1 bringing the case within the purview of Exception 1 of section 300.

Thus, in the aforesaid question, the husband is entitled to the comfort consortion of the wife. That is primary obligation of every wife who has entered into wedlock. But sometimes for reason right or wrong wives refuse the husband their company and consequently marital pleasure. Such refusal on the part of wife can give rise to grave and sudden provocation, meaning the punishment of death on such a cause attract s 300, Exception 1 and the offence was held to be culpable homicide and not amounting to murder.