|Some people, including a section of legal fraternity, feel the Act is being misused |
VISAKHAPATNAM: Legislations are made to safeguard the interests of certain sections of society. And in tune with that, the Dowry Protection Act was amended in 1983 to give birth to IPC 498a. The idea was to add more teeth to the Act to protect women from physical and psychological violence after marriage. But, of late, a part of society, including a chunk of the legal fraternity, feels that the Act is being misused.
As per the provision under IPC 498a, the police can arrest any person, be it the husband, in-laws or distant relatives, whoever is mentioned in the complaint filed by the married woman, without a warrant. The Act prescribes non-bail-able warrant -- it is non-compoundable and treated as a cognisable offence.
"The 498a had come into force when the concept of dowry had shaped into extortion and suicide and bride-burning cases were rampant. But over the years, it seems to have lost its purpose and is being used as a weapon by many women just to harass their husbands and in-laws by fabricating cases," says D.V. Subba Rao, advocate and former Chairman of Bar Council of India.'A tool for extortion'
An affluent Marwari family, which was made to cough up Rs.30 lakhs recently for settlement, claims that the Act has become a tool for extortion. "The bride's family virtually held us for ransom till we paid the amount. And in certain states like West Bengal and Bihar, there are organised gangs who operate under the guise of social workers to do the settlement. At any point of time, no decent family would like its members to be arrested or sent for remand, and they are taking advantage of that aspect of the Act. There seems to be nexus between pressure groups – the police and the legal fraternity," says a member of the family.
Another lawyer P.A.K. Kishore points out that in a family there is bound to be harmony and disharmony in the husband and wife relationship. "But, unfortunately many women are fabricating cases on trivial issues to get things done.
If you do not take your wife for a movie or to a restaurant, she can simply fabricate a case the next day and get you arrested under the 498a section, and the police will blindly arrest you without an inquiry or investigation, since it is considered to be a cognisable offence. It is more common in the urban set-up than in the rural areas. Everyday the court receives at least one 498a case on an average," he says.
The Act clearly empowers the police to make arrest without investigation or magistrate's order and is non-compoundable, leaving no space for compromise at a later stage.
Justice Malimath committee, in its report, clearly indicated its misuse and recommended that it be made compoundable and non-cognisable.
A few states like Andhra Pradesh have already made it compoundable but it is still non-bailable and cognisable.
However, K. Padma of Mahila Chetana says: "Every legislation is misused in one way or the other.
Recently the SC and ST Atrocities Act was misused against the editor of a newspaper. Legislations are misused with the help of money and muscle power. IPC 498a is a protective Act. And protective laws could prove to be an angel for one and devil for the other. Since ages, it has been a male-dominated society and people are afraid of women empowerment. This Act should not be tampered with," she says. Rise in cases
According to a survey by NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau), while the number of cases under 498a is on the rise, the conviction rate is barely 3 per cent and over 1.17 lakh women were arrested in the last four years under this section.
"The irony is that the Act has been actually introduced to save women from atrocities but more and more women are being harassed," says Mr. Kishore.
Many senior legal professionals favour that the section be made bailable, compoundable and non-cognisable.
Ms. K Padma,
With due respect , we strongly object your statement , that all law misused, hence let allow the misuse of 498A and do not take any action.498A/DV act is not a law like other LAW. This law do the extrotion of money from the Husabnds family the way a terrorist do form the society. This law denies the basic right of a human, let it be men or women.
No LAW in the IPC had been grossely misused like 498A till date and other law realted to so called protection of Women. This are the LAWs which gives the direct moneitery benifit to the women against her only alligations without any evidence, let it be true or false. That is the main resons or motivation to misuse the same and there is no direct punishment.
In case of ST law also, the complintant do not get any free Money after filling the complint. Free money is the main cause of mis use the law like 498A or DV act etc.
Further , can you tell me why the TADA/POTA was changed? When the politician face the problem the law changed, but when common people face the problem , no action?
You would like to suggest only when the people will take the law in hand like burn the buses, block the raod , strike, then only we should take action?
SC never termed any IPC law misuse like Legal Terrorism and ask the goverment to take the necessary action in 498A, still Goverment is silent.
Further , the law is such that , if the complain is true ( it is not like other IPC) , the convection is 100% , as it need only the verbal statement of the compalint , it is the accused have to prove the statements are wrong . In that situaion also more than 90% people proved thier innocence , but they had been arrested without any proper investigations and thier evidence had not been considered at the time of arrest , what you want to say , it is not a gross misuse?
Request to Stop the promotion of Legal Terrorism, as in the whole IPC of India or in the whole wrold there is no where such barbaric act there even in ST law also , where a mens mother/sisters/samll child had been arrested, inspite they are not present or lived with their shreemati 498a.
Your seccond part to calim that it is a men dominated society and people afrid for women empowerement, is like giving the excuse that I cant play the cricket as Sachin Tendulakar or Dohni dominate the Indian team. At preseent there is no restrication for any women to do the hard work and earn her living as per her talent or capability. We do not know what our fathers fathers done and we are not responsible for that and you can't punish us if at all they have done any think worng.
It is not fair to calim that we will demolish all masjid as some muslim king destroyed some temples in past. Your view is only reflect a "male hater attitutude" and belive to earn the free money without any hard work and enoy the lavish lifestyle on others hard work. It is not men male dominated world or never it had been, it is the maximum women prefered to take the role of comfort and avoid the hard working and want to enjoy the hard works frute of men. In addition to that it is the Grils family treat thier daughter or sisters as a Barden , so if at all the Punishment should be given it should be towards the Girls family , not against the Husbands family.The truth is still more than 99% cases , it is the husbands or his family providing the shelter/home/security to the women, not the Girsl family.
There is no work or any place available in India where today women is not allowed to work or dominate with thier excellence. If you know, tell us we will destroy the same, let it be IT/Politics/Ministry or labour field. This country wittness of Women Prime minsiters , it all about her capability and the girls parent's do thier job honestly and do not think that the girls are burden for them.
Still more than 90% hard work job like army, labour, riskwalabal are men.. why women do not demand reservations there?
Avoiding to take the responsibility to be changed in women's mind, if they want the so called gender equality , today women are not abala nari.. they are killing the man, they are throwing the acid, they are killing the child, they are doing smallagings, they are eqalll part to drink, break galss in pub, adultrity.. no where any restrictions for today's women. Let make the law gender eaull , if you fell women do not do the crime .Can you?
You belive the pain of a mother/sisters is less when she loss her son or brother and the same to be termed as social service in this country?
For your ready reference :
Data of Crime Bure 2006 498A and 304B:
Data of Crime Bure 2006 498A and 304B:
No. of Person Arrested under (498A +304B) : 161217
Child/Senior citizen/Women arrested :280/4700/31253
No. Of person Arrested Under 304B : 24562
No. of Person Arrested Only under 498A (living women) : 137180
No. Of person Not Charge sheeted : 31128
No. Of person Charge Sheeted : 125277
No. Of person's Trial Completed : 78292
No. Of person convicted (498A+304B) : 16995
No. Of Person Convicted by 304B : 5144
No. Of person Convicted Under 498A but not 304B : NA?
No. Of person Proved Innocence at Court under 498A : 61297
No. Person's case compunded or withdrawn : 13970
No. Of person Convicted only under 498A without 304B : NA ?
No. Of person Accused under 498A and harresed to Got AB/ArrestStay and Trail not recomended, at least 5 times more 8,05,000 : NA ? ( 8,05,000 )
On an average (3+19.3) = 22.3% people's case (4812+31128) =35,940/- had not been even charge sheeted and proved innocence before trail.
It is a clear example that approx 80% cases people proved their innocence at Court that they had been arrested without any reason/evidence as 498A/304B is non-bailable and do not need any evidence to arrest any TOM/Dick or Marry .
So, it is a clear example that more than 92.3% cases the people had been arrested under 498A without any evidence, where as if the case is true and the verbal statement of the compliment itself find true, the convection is 100%.
Still in this special LAW more than 92.3% People proved their innocence, where as in normal IPC the convection is more than such LAW, then why need this special LAW?
The Answer : To do the Legal Terrorism and earn the money from Husband's Family as a whole sale free license and openly Blackmail and do the extortion of money by Wives family in front of Police/Court/Media and the same is not to be termed as crime.
We wonder Whose life is in More Danger in India : Men or Women?
To understand the reason one must Know: Women "Engineering viewpoint"
Crime Bure data 2005 : Married Men Sucide : 52k vs Married Women Sucide 28K.Still there is no LAW to Protect Men why?
2006 Crime Bure Data : Married Men Sucide:55452 vs. Married Women Sucide:29.869
Will Our LAW Maker change the LAW 304B( dowry death) to 304C( Sowry Death) and 498A ( harrasement to wife) to 498B ( Sowry harrasement by wife)
The Unaswered Questions by those who opposed the change in 498A, with the justifications that all the law misused:
1.How many laws allowing to arrest all the family members. How many laws are non-bailable cognisable and no=compoundable. . because just because they are all named in the complaint.
2)Is there any dumb law under which police can arrest a 3 years or 7years old children or 82 years old women under such non-bailable, cognisable and non-compoundable conditions ?
3) Is there is any other law in which even after misusing is proved beyond doubt still the person is not punished by courts?
4) Is there is any other law which aimed to protect some sections (here women) but in reality harassed lots of people belonging to the same section (above 1 lack women)?
5)Is there any other law which misuse is termed as legal terrorism by the SC?
SC/ST act also misused but what is the percentage of the actual use, and misuse...? do they arrest a 3 years or 7 old children under or 82 years women in that act, if an adult of age 25 to 30 complain on them...?
Justifying 498a by saying " all laws are misused either in oneway or other" is nothing but justifying godhra incident or after that gujarath's riots by saying "murders are happening every where either
in oneway or otheway"
LAW is not ment for Misuse and Misue of LAW and promote the suffering of innocent people , when it si evident clearly by stastics, example, stink operations , justify the same as a right and no actions to be taken is a shamless for the Indian LAW makers and complete violations of Indian constituions.
If all LAW had been misused, what for our LAW makers and judicery are Silent? They should have made a strong LAW and punishment to stop that.
Allowing a loopwhole law and massive misuse is not a justifications to continue any LAW in the same from for any civilized Country, it is possible only in animal society or the country rulled by some idology of Legal Terrorism .
That is the perfect resons of Supreme court of India termed the misuse of 498A : "Unlesh Legal Terrorism" and this itself is sufficent gorund to make the necessary changes in the LAW.