Amend dowry law to stop its misuse, Supreme Court tells government

Times of India reports:

Amend dowry law Sec 498ANEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has plainly told the government to take a relook at the anti-dowry law — Section 498A of Indian Penal Code — saying it has been misused by women to lodge false or exaggerated complaints against husbands and their relatives accusing them of cruel behaviour.

Such is the level of exaggeration of cruel behaviour on the part of husbands and their relatives that “to find out the truth is a Herculean task in a majority of these complaints”, said a bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and K S Radhakrishnan.

Expressing concern at the rise in number of complaints under Section 498A, the Bench said, “We come across a large number of such complaints which are not even bona fide and are filed with oblique motives.”

Advising extreme caution in dealing with such complaints, the bench said courts must take pragmatic realities into consideration while dealing with matrimonial cases.

It was high time that the legislature considered and made suitable changes in the law taking into account public opinion, the apex court said, sending a copy of the judgment to the Union law minister to initiate the process.

“At times, even after conclusion of criminal trial, it is difficult to ascertain the truth,” it said and gave examples of cases where the woman in her complaint had roped in the husband’s relatives, who lived in different cities and rarely visited them, of cruel behaviour towards her.

Such accusations invariably led to the husband and his relatives remaining in jail for a few days, breeding rancour, acrimony and bitterness and ruining all chances of an amicable settlement, said Justice Bhandari, writing the judgment for the bench.

Lock out biased laws - 498A and DV ActThe significance of the court’s directive goes beyond what happens to Section 498A. It marks a conceptual shift, a turn away from the culture where women were seen only as victims who were incapable of levelling false allegations. The conception of women as the silent suffering sort who could do no wrong has influenced the administration of justice in both open and subtle ways. The assumption of women’s innocence is apparent in laws devised to deal with rape and other crimes against women where the presumption of innocence is not available to the accused.

Section 498A and other laws were meant to level the field which has traditionally been tilted in favour of men, and were meant to help women get their due. But with instances of their misuse rising, the apex court has been impelled to draw the government’s attention to revisit the issue.

“It is also a matter of common knowledge that exaggerated versions of incidents are reflected in a large number of complaints. The tendency of over implication is also reflected in a very large number of cases,” he said.

“Criminal trials lead to immense suffering for all concerned. Even ultimate acquittal in the trial may not be able to wipe out the deep scars of ignominy,” the bench said.

48 thoughts on “Amend dowry law to stop its misuse, Supreme Court tells government”

  1. why not make it essential to have lie detection test who launches a complaint under 498 act as woman filing a complaint must not be always speaking truth.

    1. You made a very valid point. If lie test was implemented not even 5% case will be registerd under 498A.

  2. rather if she is found as a liar she should be arrested immediately alongwith her supporters so that misuser of laws should know laws are meant for victims not who victimise others.

  3. Is there a legal protection from a family who are proffetional in using this 498 a for every child they marrary

  4. SORRY , GUY’S BUT NOWADAYS THIS IS PROFESSION TO EARN MONEY FROM HUSBAND RATHER IF HE IS UNEMPLOYED, HE IS REGULAR HARRASED BY POLICE, & JUDICIAL

  5. In india govt make law for animal safety , for women safety but there is no law for husband & their relative safety , finally there is no option in the hand of husband’s, to protect himself, aginst false complaints given by their wife’s, so just like kerla , we all unmarried guy’s decided to stop marriage .

  6. Yes. I do agree with all of you. In this country, they are concerned only about females. Politicians do it for their votes. Media (like Times Now) make a big publicity if there is a harrassment against females and against males. They also do it for their business. This is the need of the hour. There should be some strict laws against females.

  7. law users are such a big misusers of law thats a true fact ,
    when a women goes to women cell , investigation officer guides her to how she make more money from their innocent in-laws , but now there is profession in every women cell ,
    i think that govt has to open a women cell that teach every selfish women /currupt women that how she takes more money from their in-laws

  8. i think govt has to open an institute where they tech , womens that how should they get more money after making a false case against their innocent husband & in-laws that make govt more money in their treasury

  9. “if she is found as a liar she should be arrested immediately along with her supporters”
    As per Nisha you would have to arrest the govt too…. bcoz they are “her supporters”

  10. I find lot of women organisations helping blindly womens without getting into truth and of late lot of men organisations trying to help out men in trouble but I am amased to note there is no organisation in india social religious political who represent both women and men i.e family and try to resolve the outsting issues between them .I n c our t s also no body is interested to solv e the problem .

  11. If misuse of 498 A should not be stopped immediately large number of family those are not in fault will be destroying & as well in future in my opinion misuse of 498 A will take the place of terrorism as whose family will destroy should not sit quitely.

  12. Every law has loop holes in it. Courts are like saddled horses. They dont look only straight and deliver openions based on lawyers arguments and evidence before them. They dont and cant look at the evidence not before them. That is just passing a judgement or remark based on half turht. Also they cant and dont suggest or give direction what should be done simply because they dont have a research wing of their own. For most part they depend upon Police or other investigating agencies who may be inefficient or baised and the lawyers who are not judges and are interested only in making money and at best may try to safehuard their clients interest. therefore in the case pf 498A They shoud have asked the government to sponsore research on the issue and for the time being suggest what should be done if in the name of safeguarding some of those innocent husbands being harassed by wife, will happen to those husbands who are really ill treating their wife?

  13. these politicians and gov-bodies will only speak but not do anything againt 498a act..
    after all the money-suckerz are greedy for FEMINIST-VOTES !!!

  14. govt. should make a law against misuse of sec. 498A to safe husbands & their relatives. Are husbands useless than animals?

  15. THE LAWERS WHO TAKE UP CASES OFTHOSE CLIENTS WHO FILE FALSE CASES TO SIMLY EARN MONEY WILL HAVE TO ANSWER FOR THEIR DEEDS IN THE COURT OF GOD.

  16. Are the sisters and mothers of the ‘husbands’ not females doesn’t the govt. understand that they also cast votes..
    Also what kind of country is India that the elderly are sidelined to appease the young and most of time qualified young women..

  17. The only solution to this problem is ………… Bund maar do madarchodon ki !!!! Jab tak inki gaand me nahi ghusega tab tak aisi auratain laws ka misuse karengi ………

  18. If your in-laws are not understanding the language of love then talk in the language they understand ……………… If they give a shit to your feelings then give a tough fight against them !!!! maro ya maaro ……. thats how we can get independence !!! Change is always guided by a revolution …….

  19. Patriarchal society tried to oppress women in the form of dowry and oppressed it. It made women as viewers in history and never made them as equal. Defense mechanisms created by men are harder so that a women cant escape. Now this assumption itself should be a matter of dispute. The logic of this discussion says that if a system of law is supposed to be misused then it should be abolished/transformed. Then nearly all the laws in this country should be immediately transformed. your suggestions look like for treating a disease substitute the disease with another disease by a medicine.

  20. Women are equally good and evil as men.
    We Indians, especially Hindus, deserve a BIG BLAME for constantly saying,
    ‘WE WORSHIP WOMEN! WE WORSHIP WOMEN!’.
    WHY? Yes, by all means, respect your mother.
    Respect your wife, respect your kids and elders.
    BUT GET RID OF THIS STUPID IDEA OF WORSHIPPING WOMEN.

    Women can commit every single crime a man can.
    Moreover, it is psychologically proven that women don’t entirely understand
    the concept of justice and fairplay in the sense, men practice it.
    This has to do with the evolution of different genders over thousands of years.
    It also has to do with the way boys learn to play games and fights …
    and understand that winning or losing is a one time event.
    It is not worth holding a grudge against the winner or the loser.
    In fact, a friend today can fall out and become a foe.
    Also, an opponent today can become the best friend tomorrow!
    It is not necessarily the mindset that women possess.

    There is great truth to the fickle nature of women.
    So, why then are we crazily singing ‘WE WORSHIP WOMEN! WE WORSHIP WOMEN!’.
    SHE IS OUT TO MAKE LIFE MISERABLE FOR YOU,
    AND YOU STILL WORSHIP HER?
    HOW STUPID OF YOU! BREAK THIS HABIT. AND EDUCATE YOUR FRIENDS ALSO.

  21. I AM VICTIM OF 498A, I HAV STRONG EVIDENCE THAT I HAVE NOT DONE ANY . I SENT NOTICE TO MY WIFE TO JOIN WITH MY FAMILY , AFTER THAT THEY LODGED COMPLAINT AGAINST ME FOR DOWRY HARASMNT . THEY LODGED THE COMPLAINT IN 2004 , NOW IT’S 2011 … NO RESPONSE FROM JUDICIARY…AGAIN THEY LODGED A PETITION TO FAMILY COURT FOR GETTING MORE MONEY FOR MAINTAINANCE , I HAV TWIN CHILD THEY ARE NOT SHOWING …MY FATHER DIED BECAUSE OF HER HARASMNT..NOW FROM THE FMLY COURT ( THAT IS ALSO A WOMEN) THEY ORDERD AN ARREST WARRANT ,WITHOUT CONSIDERING ME OR DISCUSSING ANYTHING WITH ME … IF THIS IS THE WAY OF LAW & ORDER. THEN NO ONE WILL RESPECT AND ALL THE PEOPLE BECOME ” CRIMINAL “, EVEN MY CHILDREN..

    1. Girls use to get vitimized now they make men victim. They Misusing the law. I have seen the girl put dowry and harassment case on her husband and his family. Then the police take him and his family beating badly also the police will put case that the man tried to attack on police during arrest. They can prepare case in minutes. Now after completion of 7 years of marriage cannot put dowry case but still if needed this can be twisted in many ways. I think after the girl make case the arrestment should be done after a week time of notice to her husband till then he should be given one week time for justification of his innocence and also there should be proper inquiry by CBI.

  22. Iam An Govt Employee.a preplanned Falls Case Filed Against Me and still harassing alot even my wife is willing to continue with me my uncle end his brother including my wifes elder sister and their brother wantedly diversing both us

  23. Govt introduces several schemes to develop their economic to magilar association , but now a days the magilar association talk about the harrasment of gents what are the laws can apply for against to the gents . in tamilnadu more false cases filing against the gents in every district .police also suport to the magilars association only, nowadays all magilar asssociation are going wrong way only , immediately to protect the gents from the magilar asssociation.

  24. 498A girls are pure randi’s, they will simply fuck with anyone, no decent girl ever files 498A

  25. There was a complaint against me & my family members on the death day of my mother!!
    We all were just victims, some how managed to make “Samskara.” Afterwords in the court of law my wife & their relatives were forced to say that we did not demand any dowry. Otherwise they would be under trouble. But court said since there is no proof to proove the crime, we all are acquitted. But what about the mental torture, agony we faced till the dispoal? Court should punish them for not proving their case. Is it possible here?

  26. Laws for protection of husbands is must… All of family members of my wife warns to use anti dowry law… wife is narrow minded. fights daily and torture mentally.. what should i do? She warns to suicide. I too tried. Have any idea friends?…

    1. Why commit suicide for an un emotional lady..let her do whats see wants…there is lots to life than marriage..chill out , concentatre on ur work, hobby.

  27. Dear All

    i am too a same person suffering from mental harassment. I got married in 19th Jan 2012 and hardly stayed for 17 days and Suddenly my wife started crying and says she wants to go home for 10 days as she is home sick and was not keeping well. we consulted doctors but everything was normal. But still she forced herself and went home stating , she will return in 10 days time. Latter when she went home she started spreading rumors she was tourcherd and was given medicines that did not suit her, family is bad and husband is mad.so she started asking for divorce and compensation. Latter discovered that she left because she had an affair with a boy since last 4 years.. Today her family knows the truth but still hiding the fact. so what can be done in such a case, as according to me the marriage was done for an attempt to grab money and was a plan of both the boy and my wife ?

  28. I am also being tortured by my In-laws. My wife has decided to not to live with my parents. She is Jammu and is from the political influenced family. She is always thinking of her family – and always criticising my family. It was they who came to us for this marriage and now she is abusing me 24 hrs that I am from a poor master (teacher) family. She even abuses me by saying that “it’s her bad luck that she got such a poor family”. She even abuses my parents and also sisters who even do not have any relation with her since last 6-7 years. And to the top her brother and uncle (chacha) came and beat me at pathankot. But I know when she will complain my whole family will be arrested. Due to this my whole family is forcing me to keep quite.

    1. I would say..never fear on what will happen… rather than dying everyday better die one day….be prepare to face it…

  29. Best part is to ammend a new sec along with the dowry case is if the women is found guilty or found she has mis used the 498 a then she sud be severly punished for the same act …

    Similarly our country legislation says ” equality for All ” so where is the equality ?
    If a hsuband is guilty he has to pay compensation but if a women is found guilty still why should the husband be charged to pay…
    husband of guilty goes to jail why not women if she is guilty ??

    2ndly in many instance we find the wife is guilty or misused the sec 498 a for money which is fraud so why cannot the law give her punishment under sec 420 .. which is case of cheating ..!! and spoling a persons life without reason..!!

    its ovious law cannot restore the past but if the guilty is not punished this will lead to crimes and law and our country legislation is responsible for this.

    some serious ammendments have to b

  30. Hi this is Anjan I was married 5 years ago and the mental torture started from the 2nd month and for every silly thing my in laws threaten me saying they would file a dowry case against me on top of that my bloody bitch wife abuses my mother and my father expired saying that the life of their only son is spoiled.

    Come guys lets fight altogether against this bloody shit system called False dowry harrassment

  31. Dear sir
    Congrats for fighting against gender based laws.
    There are many organisations in different parts of india fighting against all gender based laws.Is there any way to unite all those so that we can pressureise the government to control this type of laws.Why dont you talk initialization to unite all these organisations in different parts of india. Lets move or else it will be too late
    with regards
    akkinapalli

  32. I was diagnosed with Cancer ,wife left me and filed false 498a..If this continues all hospitalized husbands would be awarded with 498a…My wife doesn’t want to take care of me when I was battling for life but she needs money and home I bought before wedding…..

  33. sir,
    I want justice against false cases filed against me by my maternal uncle. Has he in a key post of MRO.
    the Girl whom i married has disease from her child hood(from 10Yr of her age) it was noticed to me after my marriage through the doctor reports(by the past history given by her parents) so i asked y did u did like this and i approched the court for justice because i got no one to talk as my father was expired in 2003 and i am with my aged mother (63 yr)
    and now i am help less i am a govt employee now i am unable to attend my duties properly by these false cases even i got evidence of her health condition just i want help plz

  34. dowary law me change hona compalsery h kyu ki es law ki wajaha se womens
    husband per fack iljaam laggakar . jail me bhajati h or
    divorce system me bhi changing jaruri h.
    divorce ke baad women ko jo men ke terafh se money ke liya court jo order deta h
    wo bhi bandh hona chahiya.
    kyu ke women soti h ke cour to unke taraf h to men kya kar lyega

  35. I AM VICTIM OF 498A, I HAV STRONG EVIDENCE THAT I HAVE NOT DONE ANY . I SENT NOTICE TO MY WIFE TO JOIN WITH MY FAMILY ,THOUGHT THE FAMILE COURT .AFTER THAT THEY LODGED COMPLAINT AGAINST ME FOR ADDL DOWRY HARASMNT . THEY LODGED THE COMPLAINT IN FALAKNUMA POLICE SATATION THER AFTER FALAKNUMA POLICE BOOK THE CASES AGAIN ME AND MY FAMILY MEMBER WITH ANY CHANEG OF CONSENSUS THEY MOST IMPORTANT IS MY WIFE SUPPOERT SHE REVTETIV BY NAME OSMAN PASHA WORMING IN POLICE DEPT SUB INSPECTOR OF POLICE IN HYD CITY
    PLZ SIR HELP ME AND SAVE MY FAMILY OTHER WISE IAM DIE NO OTHER CHANGE EXPECT THIS

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