MISUSE OF THE DOWRY LAW IPC 498a
The Supreme Court of India states that, “But by misuse of the provision (IPC 498a – Dowry and Cruelty Law) a new legal terrorism can be unleashed. The provision is intended to be used as a shield and not an assassin’s weapon”.
There has been rapidly increase in the social evil among Indian families particularly the misuse of the Dowry and Cruelty laws which were previously meant to give protection to the harassed women, They were brutally traumatized, however educated urban Indian women has turned the tables upside down. They have sneaked through the loopholes in the current judicial system and are using current dowry laws as means to harass family of the husband which include any family member.
Here the mention cannot be just made about the dowry deaths or physical injury cases which needs no proof or evidence but a single complaint. Estimated 40,000 and an approximate five members of each family of the husband have been implicated in each one of these 498 cases and the number of cases is on the increase.
There is no doubt of the fact that Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code is a non –bail-able offence. This means that once the case has been lodged, it cannot be withdrawn and should continue towards its logic end. However the Supreme Court of India, on the generous grounds gave the signal for giving second chance to the accused under 498A. It was done to secure the genuine settlements that concerns matrimonial disputes.
But in this situation too complications are not less as to fight back against the false case, HC is approached to quash it. But to fight back against exhortation there are many years of running around the trial courts. There is also no penalty for filling such a case and though non compoundable, cases can be withdrawn in the guise of a compromise.
The domestic violence and abuse by family members and spouses the complex behaviors and it is a fact that law has not been able to control the domestic violence cases. The act was introduced in 1983 which was not evaluated since the past twenty years despite the institutionalization of the laws and polices. The need of the hour is to bring in adequate modifications in the act with due respect to research on all the social and political aspects.
The perception of the government towards the complex behaviors and the society should be changed to the betterment of all.