I was reading a newspaper (sometime I really do) and surprised to see a news about suicides by husbands due to sec 498 (sec 498 is about case for demanding dowry from wife. In this husband and his family member were declared guilty without any proof and they were put behind the bars without any case first). The newspaper claimed that more than 65,000/- husbands commit suicide every year due to sec 498. This number is huge more than farmer’s suicide which is a hot issue in parliament but still no body is taking care of this.
NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau) published a report in which it is stated that 98% of cases u/s 498 found false. If it is true then to whom government wants to protect when women are misusing this section so abruptly? In every 3 minutes a case is filed u/s 498 and in every 8 minutes a husband is committed suicide.
Sec 498 was introduced to protect women from their in-laws abuses but as Indians work by emotions not by mind, this law gave full authority to women to do anything with their in-laws. According to sec 498 if a woman filed a FIR against her husband and other in-laws (whether they live with them or not) then police will arrest all of them and put them behind bars without a single proof. After this the husband and his family will fight in court for their bail and to prove that they are not guilty. Interesting point that in Indian law system if one part of the case is not coming in the court then there is infinite chances for them and other part will suffer till they come. So in practical when a woman filed a case after arrest of in-laws she doesn’t come to court and case is postponed till then husband and his family will be in jail without any abuse. After a long hearing if it is proved that husband and his family is not guilty then there is no punishment for woman.
These days emotional bounds are getting weaker and people don’t care about each other and temper of every person is high without any sense. People get angry and do the things for which they are sorry when anger comes down. This is a bitter truth so a single fight between husband and wife cause a case u/s 498. When husband is in jail without any cause then there is very little chance of compromise. Result a happy home destroyed. I believe this law is the main reason of broken families these days. Because the result of this case can never be reversed, because a innocent person can’t digest the punishment so husband never able to forget and after this wife is not able to compromise whatever she do after this. In India second marriage is still not popular people don’t believe in this. Once a person is divorced people treat him/her as a guilty.
I am not saying this section must be removed because dowry abuses are also true. I want to say that there must be below modifications in this law:
- Police must not arrest husband or his family without court order. Mere complaint by woman is not the evidence that she is victim.
- Only husband must be the liable and the case should be only in his name. Why his all relatives are part of this case even when they are living in other city?
- If the case found false then that woman must be punished. So that next person must think before filing a false case.
Family is the base of society if families are not longer exists our whole society structure will be destroyed. So law for families must not be so hard that effect of those can’t be reversed. Courts must try to compromise in these cases because many times people are in influence of advocates. But that doesn’t mean that guilty must not be punished, if husband is guilty for demanding dowry then he must be punished but not before he is found guilty. Main motive of Indian law an innocent must not be punished must be followed.