Marriage is one of the most sacred and important relationships between a man and a woman. It also involves the families of both spouses.

It is an accepted fact that the right to privacy in the present situation prevails everywhere. The bond of marriage is not such that needs to prove transparency before any third person.

The conversations, the personal life of a married couple are the examples of privileged communication. Apart from the other categories, it is one category that has got the status of Privileged communication in India. Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 defines the term spousal privilege communication.

The Privileged communication is information they cannot announce or speak out in a court of law as evidence. It is so because of the relationship of the two people involved in the communication.

According to the law and as provided in the section,

Three types of privileged communications:

  1. spousal privilege,
  2. attorney-client privilege and
  3. state privilege.


Here we will focus on the spousal privilege as defined under section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872,

Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act reads as follows-


Communications during the marriage. —

The law shall compel no person to disclose any communication made to him during the marriage. This includes the person to whom they marry. Also, nor shall he may disclose any such communication, unless the person who made it, or his representative in interest, consents, except in suits between married persons, or proceedings in which it prosecutes one married person for any crime committed against the other”.

From the definition, we can easily figure it out that the marital privilege exists because it is necessary to preserve the sanctity and to maintain the bond of full confidence between a husband and a wife.

Besides this, the relationship of marriage is important and somehow its extent places it above the concerns of justice. As per the section, none of the spouse or any other person can admit the conversation between the couple without the consent of each other or even without the free consent of either of the parties.


Section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act is way wide and protects every communication between the spouses not during the time of marriage, but even after the termination of the marriage, as it involves the dignity of a woman and prevents it from being brought to court as evidence.

Although section 122 of the Indian Evidence Act may seem to be very rigid at a first look, unlike the two sides of the same coin, it has exceptions too.

This act will not apply if it accuses the spouse of an offence against the other spouse. Keeping in mind all the pros and cons of all the situations and circumstances the Supreme Court has given guidelines. The Supreme Court has also held that section 122 will apply to every communication made during the life of marriage and the same privilege will continue even after separation or divorce or dissolution of the marital relation.

Besides this, the Court added the situation which will continue only for the communication someone made during the existence of marriage. No conversation made after the divorce will fall under the ambit of section 122 of the Evidence Act.

The section also allows the conduct influenced by the communication. This means, to admit the spouse witnessing the other spouse doing a criminal act as evidence in the courts, they can take i.e. an effect of the communication to the court but not the communication itself.


Therefore, from the above-stated facts,  we can easily figure out the conclusion. It is such that the marital privilege exists because of the relationship of marriage being considered the foundation of society and it is important to protect the intimate relationship of a husband and wife.




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