Navigating Legal Issues in Love Marriages: Beyond Statement Under Section 164

by  Adv. Praneeth GN  




4 mins


Navigating Legal Issues in Love Marriages: Beyond Section 164

Love marriages, while gaining acceptance, can sometimes encounter challenges, especially when faced with disapproval from family members. This blog delves deeper into the legal aspects of love marriages, clarifying the role of Section 164 and offering guidance in navigating potential legal complexities.

Understanding Section 164: Not for Love Marriages Itself

Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) empowers magistrates to record statements or confessions during a criminal investigation. It provides a platform for individuals to make voluntary statements before a judicial authority. However, it’s important to understand that Section 164 doesn’t directly apply to love marriages. Getting married for love is not a crime, and recording statements under this section wouldn’t be the first course of action.

  • Section 164 CrPC: This section deals with recording the statements of witnesses or victims made before a magistrate. These statements are typically more credible as they are made directly to a judicial officer in a neutral setting, free from influence.
  • Section 281 CrPC: This section outlines the procedure for recording the examination of an accused person. It specifies that the magistrate (or presiding judge in a court session) should record the entire examination, including every question put to the accused and every answer given by them.

The connection lies in how the magistrate records the statement under Section 164 CrPC. They essentially follow the same procedure outlined in Section 281 CrPC for recording the examination of an accused. This ensures that the witness or victim’s statement is comprehensive, accurate, and reflects everything they said before the magistrate.

Here’s an analogy: Imagine Section 281 CrPC as a recipe for making a cake (recording the accused’s examination). Section 164 CrPC then borrows this recipe (procedure) to create a delicious pie (recording the witness/victim’s statement). Both require following a specific process for an accurate and complete record.

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What a couple should keep in mind while giving a statement under Section 164 of the CrPC

Understanding the Context:

  • This type of statement is typically recorded when an FIR (First Information Report) or complaint has already been filed against one of you, or perhaps both.

Recording Process:

  • Only a magistrate has the authority to record a statement under Section 164 CrPC. No lawyer or police officer can be present during the recording.
  • The police will usually take you to the magistrate for this purpose.

Right to a Free and Truthful Statement:

  • You have the absolute right to give a free and truthful account of the events to the magistrate. No one can pressure or threaten you.
  • It’s important to be honest and accurate in your statement, as it can be used as evidence in court.

Clarity and Completeness:

  • Take your time and clearly explain your perspective of the situation.
  • Mention all relevant details and timelines to the best of your memory.

Right to Review and Correction:

  • Once you’ve finished your statement, the magistrate will read it back to you for verification.
  • You have the right to ask for corrections or clarifications if anything is inaccurate.


  • The magistrate will ensure the confidentiality of your statement, and it won’t be shared with anyone unauthorized.

Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Legal Guidance: While a lawyer cannot be present during the recording, consulting a lawyer beforehand can be helpful. They can explain the process and answer any questions you may have.
  • Calm Demeanor: It’s understandable to feel nervous, but try to stay calm and composed while giving your statement.
  • Sticking to the Truth: Remember, the truth is your best defence. Don’t try to fabricate or embellish your story.

Case Law: Admissibility of Confessions – Pakala Narayana Swami vs. Emperor (1939)

The landmark case of Pakala Narayana Swami vs. Emperor (1939) established a significant precedent regarding the admissibility of confessions in Indian criminal law. This case centred around the concept of a confession and the distinction between an admission of guilt and mere statements made to the police.

Here’s a breakdown of the key details and their legal implications:

  • The Accused’s Actions: Pakala Narayana Swami, the accused, was apprehended and reportedly confessed his guilt to the police. However, upon being brought before a magistrate, he refused to identify himself and denied any wrongdoing.
  • Confession vs. Statement: The court critically analyzed the nature of the statement made to the police. Although the accused might have initially acknowledged his guilt, his subsequent denial before the magistrate cast doubt on the veracity and voluntariness of the initial statement.
  • Court’s Ruling: The court ruled that the statement given to the police did not constitute a legal confession. A true confession requires a direct and unambiguous admission of guilt by the accused. In this case, the accused’s subsequent denial undermined the credibility of the initial statement, rendering it inadmissible as evidence during the trial.

Impact on Indian Law:

The Pakala Narayana Swami case serves as a crucial reminder that for a statement to be considered a confession and admissible in court, it must be a clear and voluntary acknowledgement of guilt. This case has significantly influenced the interpretation of confessions in Indian criminal law, ensuring a higher threshold for admitting such statements as evidence.

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Scenarios Where Section 164 Might Be Relevant for Love Marriages

While love marriages are legal, situations might arise where recording statements under Section 164 becomes necessary:

  • False Accusations: If someone disapproves of the love marriage and files a false complaint against the couple (e.g., kidnapping, abduction), both partners might need to give statements under Section 164 to clarify the situation and provide evidence of their free will.
  • Threats and Harassment: If the couple faces threats or harassment due to their love marriage, they might need to record statements under Section 164 to provide evidence for seeking legal protection under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). These statements can document the nature and frequency of the threats.
  • Dowry Harassment: In some cases, love marriages can lead to dowry harassment from the wife’s family if there’s a perception that the marriage wasn’t “properly” arranged. Here, the wife can record a statement under Section 164 to document any demands or threats made by her family.

Beyond Section 164: Legal Safeguards for Love Marriages

While Section 164 plays a role in specific situations, several legal measures can protect couples in love marriages:

  • Marriage Registration: Registering your marriage under the Special Marriage Act (1954) or the Hindu Marriage Act (1955) depending on your religion provides legal proof of your union. This can be crucial evidence in case of future disputes.
  • Seeking Legal Advice: A lawyer specializing in family law can help you understand your legal rights and obligations as a couple. They can advise you on the best course of action if you face opposition or threats.
  • Police Protection: If you face immediate threats or harassment, approach the police for protection under relevant sections of the IPC. Documentation from Section 164 statements can strengthen your case.

Additional Considerations for a Secure Love Marriage

  • Open Communication with Families: While facing disapproval, try open communication with your families. Explain your decision and the happiness you’ve found in your partner.
  • Financial Independence: Financial independence from families can reduce the pressure to conform and provide greater security within the marriage.
  • Building a Support System: Surround yourselves with supportive friends and family members who respect your decision.

Stay Ahead of Legal Issues: Secure Your Love Marriage with Registration!


Love marriages are a legal and increasingly common path to marital bliss. While Section 164 might not directly apply to the marriage itself, understanding its role and knowing your legal options can empower you to navigate potential challenges. By registering your marriage, seeking legal advice when needed, and building a strong support system, you can ensure a secure and fulfilling love marriage journey.

Frequently Asked Questions about Legal Considerations for Love Marriages in India

Q1. Is a love marriage legal in India?

Ans1. Absolutely! Love marriages are legal and recognized under the Special Marriage Act (1954) or the Hindu Marriage Act (1955), depending on the couple’s religion.

Q2. Do we need parental consent for a love marriage?

Ans2. While parental consent is preferred traditionally, it’s not mandatory for a legal love marriage under the Special Marriage Act. However, some social challenges might arise if parental approval is absent.

Q3. What document proves a love marriage is legal?

Ans3. Registering your marriage under the relevant act (Special Marriage Act or Hindu Marriage Act) provides an official document as proof of your union. This can be helpful in various situations.

Q4. What if someone disapproves of our love marriage and files a false complaint?

Ans4. In such a scenario (e.g., kidnapping accusation), both partners might need to give statements under Section 164 of the CrPC to clarify the situation and prove your free will.

Q5. We face threats due to our love marriage. What legal recourse do we have?

Ans5. If facing threats or harassment, approach the police for protection under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Statements under Section 164 documenting the nature and frequency of threats can strengthen your case.

Q6. Can a wife facing dowry harassment use Section 164 in a love marriage?

Ans6. Yes. In some cases, love marriages can lead to dowry harassment. The wife can use Section 164 to document any demands or threats made by her family if they disapprove of the marriage.

Q7. What are some benefits of registering our love marriage?

Ans7. Registering your marriage provides legal proof, simplifies inheritance rights, and offers security in case of future disputes or separation.

Q8. Should we consult a lawyer if facing challenges in our love marriage?

Ans8. Consulting a lawyer specializing in family law is highly recommended if you face opposition, threats, or any legal issues related to your love marriage. They can advise you on your rights and the best course of action.

Q9. Besides legal measures, how can we strengthen our love marriage?

Ans9. Open communication with families, financial independence, and building a supportive network of friends and family who respect your decision are crucial for a secure and happy love marriage.

Q10. Where can I find resources for further information on legal rights in love marriages?

Ans10. You can find resources on the National Legal Services Authority of India website (, or consult the relevant Marriage Acts: * Special Marriage Act, 1954: * Hindu Marriage Act, 1955:

Empower Your Relationship: Register Your Love Marriage for Legal Safeguards!

Adv. Praneeth GN

Adv. Praneeth GN


4.8 | 85+ User Reviews

Praneeth GN is a legal consultant who prioritises ethical and professional conduct. He graduated with (B.A. and LL.B) from the K.L.E. Society Law College. With more than 8 years of experience in handling legal cases independently. He has the potential to understand and explain complicated legal words in simple terms to clients.

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