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Misuse Of Section 498A In Today's Era And Its Protection

This Article is regarding Misuse of section 498A in today's era and its Protection covered under the Indian Penal code, 1860. Looking at the present circumstance, it can be estimated to what extent a person can fall and misuse section 498A. The supreme court said allegation on a relative of husband's family on general and omnibus allegation against them is an abuse of judicial proceeding.

Misuse Of Section 498 A in Today's era and its Protection:

As per the report of NCRB (National Crime Record Bureau), 2020. The total number of cases registered under section 498 A were 1,11,549 out of these 5,520 were considered as false by police and 16,151 cases were closed due to mistake of false fact or law, Insufficient Evidence, Mistake or Civil dispute.

In day-to-day life, we have seen that wife has started making false and vague allegations against husband and their family members but our patriarchal society never believes that a man suffers a lot. In a democratic country like India where the law is in favour of women, one can't deny the fact that women suffer the most as compared to men such laws are made for the protection of women.

Taking advantage of section 498 A of IPC, women misuse the law by harassing husband and their family members, especially it causes trouble to an elderly couple who are lying on the bed. In today's modern era, despite being educated are unable to understand 498 A is being used as a weapon against men.

There are following  way to understand the concept are as follow:

Mentally Harassment:
It has been seen that the wife on continues rage, anger, screaming or yelling at the husband in the public place. Always in a mood to fight, criticising every talk.

Blackmail:
It has been found that a woman used to blackmail her husband, such types of cases are emerging a lot. Due to emerging under section 498 A, a huge amount of money is being demanded by the wife. It is carried out for personal gain.

Threatening:
498 A is used as a weapon by the wife against the husband by threatening the husband and his relative or family member caught in this trap, making some demands and if those demands are not met then threaten to file an FIR.

Law abuse:
Misuse a court process and wasting the time of the court by making false allegations against husband and his relative is an abuse of judicial proceedings of the court and it affects society at large, with no valid evidence or proof and files a malicious prosecution lawsuit against husband and his relative. Taking as a legal tool or process has been taken just to misused for ulterior purposes.

Malimath Committee Report, 2013:

As per the  Malimath Committee report, 2013 of the misuse of Section 498 A were taken into consideration on reform of the criminal justice system. The Committee took view "general complaint " of section 498 A to be a part of gross misuse. 

Case Laws:
  1. Vimal Kumar vs State of UP 2021 SCC 83, 28-1-2021
    • The police officer does not directly arrest a person under 498 A, before arresting the person police officer need to satisfy themselves and look after the provision mentioned under section 41 -A of CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code, 1973).
    • The Police officer needs to look at a list provided under section 41 (1)(b)(ii).
    • The police officer shall look at the list and record the reason for arrest when necessary, for producing the accused person before Magistrate for further detention.
    • The Magistrate while order for detention of the accused shall look after the report was given by the police officer, when duly satisfied will record, an order for detention.
    • Notice under section 41-A CrPC would be served to the accused within two weeks from the date of the institution of the suit, which may be the superintendent of police of the district for the reason to be recorded in writing.

  2. Mirza Iqbal @ golu vs State of Uttar Pradesh 14 December 2021.
    • The accused person after solemnization of marriage, a husband with his family member demands a four-wheeler vehicle and cash of Rs 10,00,000/-.
    • The wife fails to fulfil the demand, the husband with their family member used to beat and threatened to kill her.
    • Ten days before the incident took place, all members of the family with common intention were beaten up several times and forced to arrange cash and car.
    In support of the case, the Hon'ble court took the decision based on the case of Mehrotra and Anr. vs State of Uttar Pradesh and Anr. Taking FIR against all family members and casually mentioning their name and showing no connotation regarding their activate participation on such. It was held that taking cognizance against all family members in such cases is an abuse of judicial proceedings of the court.
     
  3. Geeta Mehrotra and Another v/s State of UP and Another on 17 October 2012.
    It was held that the mere FIR does not disclose any material fact which would constitute an offence against the accused and his family. Without showing any mere fact which discloses making any physical and mental torture even a single incident against them. The court quashed the FIR and set the Criminal Proceeding.
     
  4. Indraising M. Raol vs the State of Gujarat 
    It was held that the act of a husband or his relative if a subject woman to cruelty would be punishable but every act termed as cruelty or harassment would not come under the ambit of Section 498 A.  
     

What Does 498 A Say?

Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty:
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of husband of women, subject such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

Explanation - For this section, "cruelty" means:
  1. Any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical ) of the woman;  or
     
  2. Harassment of the woman where such harassment is to coerce her or any person related to her totoo to thee any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.

Save Self Against Section 498 A:
Somewhere there are loopholes in the law, as a result of which the innocent husband and his family have to suffer. There is no need to panic, where there is a dilemma, there is the remedy. Some of the Protection is available against section 498 A IPC, which the wife misuses against the husband and his family member.
  • Apply for Anticipatory Bail:
    If the person feels or fears he may be arrested on false accusation after filing an FIR by the wife under section 498 A, then he can catch a good criminal lawyer, apply to the High Court Or the Court of Session for the direction. Anticipatory bail works like pain medicine. The person can file for anticipatory bail under section 438 CrPC to get protection against section 498 A IPC.
     
  • Quashing of FIR:
    When the false FIR is registered against the husband and his family member under section 498 A, then he has a path to move to the High Court to get quash an FIR under section 482 of CrPC. Based on your evidence having sufficient proof of not being guilty satisfied the court, the Court having inherent power to passes an order or to prevent abuse of the process of law or otherwise secures the end of justice.
     
  • Restitution of Conjugal Right:
    Apply for restitution of conjugal right when the wife withdraws herself from the society or left her matrimonial home and used to live with father's family, then the aggrieved party can file a petition to the district court for restitution of conjugal right as mentioned under section 9 of Hindu Marriage Act.
     
  • Apply for Defamation:
    When a person in the society having a good reputation, living with a good name and fame and wife trying to malign your image, believes that such imputation will harm, feels being insulted in society after filing a fake case by the wife of 498 A of IPC against the husband, then the husband has a right to file a case an of defamation against wife.
     
Reference:
  • https://mensdayout.com/ncrb-report-2020-crimes-against-women-cases-registered-v-s-false-conviction-vs-acquittal/
  • https://indiankanoon.org/doc/118937574/
  • https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2021/02/02/all-hc-police-officers-not-to-automatically-arrest-when-cases-under-s-498-a-ipc-is-registered-court-lays-directions-considering-provisions-of-s-41-a-crpc/
  • https://www.myadvo.in/blog/how-to-prove-a-false-498a-case/
  • https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/misuse-of-section-498a-ipc
  • Criminal Procedure Code 1973
  • Indian penal code 1860


  • Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Anmol Kumar Ghai, A Student of Prestige Institute of Management and Research, Department of Law, Indore.
    Awarded certificate of Excellence
    Authentication No: AR39675535438-31-0322

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