(Domestic Violence, Dowry Demand, 406/498-A IPC, Dowry Death etc.)

THE PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005 is comprehensive act which provide the rights to aggrieved person/complainant as  rights to reside in the shared household,  Protection Orders or injunctive orders to stop and prevent domestic violence, Residence Orders to prevent a woman’s dispossession, Monetary Relief to reimburse actual expenses incurred due to domestic violence such as medical expenditure and the loss of earning, as well as maintenance, Orders granting temporary custody of children, Compensation orders for mental torture and emotional distress etc.

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Section 498A IPC: Itwas introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman for dowry demand at the hands of her husband and his relatives.

Dowry demand is a big menace in our society but in some of the cases the provisions like 406 / 498-A of I.P.C. have been misused.

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court has stated in one case:

“Now-a-days, exorbitant claims are made about the amount spent on marriage and other ceremonies and on dowry and gifts. In some cases claim is made of spending crores of rupees on dowry without disclosing the source of income and how funds flowed. I consider time has come that courts should insist upon disclosing source of such funds and verification of income from tax returns and police should insist upon the compliance of the Rules under Dowry Prohibition Act and should not entertain any complaint, if the rules have not been complied with. Rule 2 of the Dowry Prohibition(Maintenance of List of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985.”

“Consider where these kinds of allegations are made, the police should simultaneously register a case under Dowry Prohibition Act (in short the ‘Act’) against the parents of the complainant as well, who married their daughter despite demand of dowry. Section 3 of the Act prohibits giving and taking of dowry. If a woman of grown up age and well educated gets married to a person despite dowry demand, she and her family becomes accomplice in the crime under Dowry Prohibition Act.”

 The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in one of its landmark judgment stated  that:

“All the State Governments to instruct its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498-A of the IPC is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the parameters laid down above flowing from Section 41Cr.PC;

There is phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years. The institution of marriage is greatly revered in this country. Section 498-A of the IPC was introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives. The fact that Section 498-A is a cognizable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives. The simplest way to harass is to get the husband and his relatives arrested under this provision. In a quite number of cases, bed-ridden grand-fathers and grand-mothers of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for decades are arrested. “Crime in India 2012 Statistics” published by National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs shows arrest of 1,97,762 persons all over India during the year 2012 for offence under Section 498-A of the IPC, 9.4% more than the year 2011. Nearly a quarter of those arrested under this provision in 2012 were women i.e. 47,951 which depicts that mothers and sisters of the husbands were liberally included in their arrest net. Its share is 6% out of the total persons arrested under the crimes committed under Indian Penal Code. It accounts for 4.5% of total crimes committed under different sections of penal code, more than any other crimes excepting theft and hurt. The rate of charge-sheeting in cases under Section 498AIPC is as high as 93.6%, while the conviction rate is only 15%, which is lowest across all heads. As many as 3,72,706 cases are pending trial of which on current estimate, nearly 3,17,000 are likely to result in acquittal.”

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