Section 498A of IPC deals with the cruelty against married women in india by his husband and his relatives. It was added in 1983 for the protection of married women on the basis of idea that there should be institutionalisation of law and policy to criminalize domestic violence. The section was enacted to deal with the threat of dory deaths, domestic violence etc.
For the purpose of ths section, cruelty means-
1. any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the women to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health( whether mental or physical) of the women or
2. harassment of women where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any lawful demand for any property or valuable security or is in account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.
Essentials of this section
1. the women must be married.
2. she must be subjected or cruelty or harassment and
3. such cruelty or harassment must have been shown either by the husband of the woman or by the relative of her husband.
But some women take the wrong benefit of this section by misusing this acticle by registering wrong complain against the husband or his relatives.
So the Punjab and Haryana high court said that disgruntled wives using section 498A IPC as a weapon to harass relatives of husband. But the court also held that till the new law do not enacted we have to rely on that section. But there will be proper investigation and on basis of evidence the court will reach to any decision.
Supreme court judgements on the misuse of section 498A of IPC
1. in a case, the wife alleged that her marital relationship was not cordial as her husband used to torture her mentally and physically. She left her matrimonial home and started residing with her father but later got to know that her husband has married a lady. The husband was charged under section 498A of IPC but he denied all the allegations And preferred an appeal before the apex court. Then the court held that in this case no domestic violence and cruelty is there. So section 498 can be applied on that.
Petty quarrels would not come under the purview of cruelty.
2. Arnesh kumar v. state of bihar 2014
In this case, court held that the arrest should be preceded by initial investigation by the officer to access the genuineness of the complaint. It it is concluded that the women is prime facie registering fake complain. Then the police can give bail to that person. The manner of the arrest should not be casual and based on a mere allegation made against a person.
3. Bibi parwana khatoon v. state of bihar
The court brought under notice the facts that the appealents in the case did not even reside at the place of mishap. Therefore the court acquitted them and held that the court must guard against false implication of the relatives.
4. Rajesh Sharma and others v. state of UP 2017
In this case, wife of rajesh Sharma registered complain against his husband and his relatives in the case of dowry. But it was found that there was no role of relatives
So in this case, court observed several old cases of misuse of this section and said that prevention of such misuse has been acknowledged.
Provisions given by court
- Family welfare committee
- Bail matters
- Issuance of red corner notice
- Personal appearance
- Personal appearance of all family members and practically outstation members may not be required.
Social action forum for manav adhikar v. union of india 2018
In this case, the petition was filed under article 32 of the constitution seeking uniform system of monitoring and reviewing the cases filed under section 498A of IPC. It was contended that there are no concrete data specifying that the section is being misused. The social purpose behind article 478A is being lost as a result of various qualification and restrictions prescribed by the apex court in case rajesh Sharma case.
So through this case, all the provision were again cancelled which was enacted in rajesh Sharma case.
Suggestions to avoid misuse of this section.
- Time bound trial and investigation
- Relaxation in Bail procedures
- Family counselling centres
- Role of women NGOs
- Penalty for making false accusation
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