Misuse of 498A in India

Submitted by asandil on 2/28/2014

It is now a common practice in India that a large number of wives make false complaints against their husbands or his family members to a nearby police station. The victimized Indian families are falsely blackmailed and threatened by the daughters-in-law & her family members. Without sufficient investigation, the husband or his family members or relatives are immediately arrested by the police. Even if the complaint is false, police can put them behind bars on a non-bailable term, until it will be proved that they are innocent. It’s all about false complaint of alimony, domestic violence, dowry law, marriage and divorce.

As per law, the Indian penal Code, 1860 with only one section, Section 498-A by the criminal law, whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

There may be three possible situations in which amendment in Section 498-A can be regulated:-

  1. Being a patriarchal society, it is very necessary to regulate pre- registration counseling, the rate of possibility of compromise is very high at the initial stage only. If it gets legalized, both the parties will be able to share the actual facts and truth can be disclosed.

  2. It will be a good step if Section 498-A of IPC and Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are merged and regulate certain strict law. Existence of two related laws leads to misuse and violation. Here, problem of duplicity of law arises. A provision should also be include that if a case has been found fake after investigation, then severe punishment should be applicable to that woman.

  3. When FIR has been lodged, almost all the family members are involved even when they have no fault. Section 498 of IPC should be divided into two clauses, 498-A should be not be made bailable and include husband and mother-in-law. On the other hand, 498-B should also be made bailable for all other family members.

There are countless instances where the police arrest husband, elderly parents, pregnant sisters-in-law, unmarried sisters, and even 3 years old children without any investigation. In these cases, family of husband also faces a lot of mental harassment and tortured by the corrupt Indian legal system. Sometimes, the case goes on for years. Some accused husbands and other family members also commit suicide during their imprisonment period.