What is IPC-498a ? Why is it misused ?
Download the Supreme Court judgement defining 498a and 304b (dowry death)
Download the whole Indian Penal Code
Download Hindu Marriage Act - 1955
Passed by Indian Parliament in 1983, Indian Penal Code 498A, is a criminal law (not a civil law) which is defined as follows,
the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects
such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for
a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable
to fine. The offence is Cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable.
Please read the
Act 46 of 1983 to understand 498a better.
How are you at risk and why it is dangerous
for the society?
Your wife/daughter-in-law who's demands are not met
can make a written false complaint of dowry harassment to a
nearby police station. The husband, his old parents and relatives
are immediately arrested without sufficient investigation and
put behind bars on a non-bailable terms. Even if the complaint
is false, you shall be presumed
guilty until you prove that you are innocent.
498a can only be invoked by wife/daughter-in-law
or her relative. Most cases where Sec 498A is invoked turn out
to be false (as repeatedly accepted by High Courts and Supreme
Court in India) as they are mere blackmail attempts by the wife
(or her close relatives) when faced with a strained marriage.
In most cases 498a complaint is followed by the demand of huge
amount of money (extortion) to settle the case out of the court.
This section is non-bailable(you
have to appear in court and get bail from the judge), non-compoundable
(complaint can't be withdrawn) and cognizable (register and investigate the complaint, although in practice most of the time arrest happens before investigation). There have been countless
instances where, without any investigation, the police has arrested
elderly parents, unmarried sisters, pregnant sister-in-laws
and even 3 year old children. In these cases unsuspecting family
of husband has to go through a lot of mental torture and harassment
by the corrupt Indian legal system. A typical case goes on for
years (5-7 years is typical) and the conviction rate is about
2% only. Some accused parents, sisters and even husbands have
committed suicide after time in jail.
To know more facts about 498a,
search the Internet for
“misuse of 498a”
“misuse Dowry laws”
”elder abuse India”