- Every 5 minutes an innocent man is arrested
- Every 20 minutes an innocent woman is arrested
- Every 2.5 hours an innocent elderly person is arrested under IPC SECTION 498A
…without proof or investigation
…upon mere allegations of cruelty or dowry harassment.
YOU could be arrested too,
treated guilty until proven innocent,
forced to endure 7-10 years of false prosecution,
ONLY because you are a husband or relative of a husband, Under IPC SECTION 498A,
mother and sister are not considered women,
elder abuse is considered social service
The spurt in abuse of Indian Penal Code sec 498A and the Domestic Violence Bill makes it imperative for us to examine this draconian law. Though made for the noble purpose of protecting women from dowry harassment, it has morphed into a tool for humiliating and extortion in the hands of unscrupulous daughter-in-laws. The law is so potent because one can be jailed merely on a complain by the daughter-in-law.
The main motives for filing a 498A case are: –
- Money: The greatest of motivators. A 498A can lead to great terms for a fat cash settlement, or help her dad or sibling in their ventures, etc, etc.
- Vengeance: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. She will have her revenge and the husband’s family will collectively bear the brunt of it.
- Guilt: She’s done something wrong, may have committed adultery and got caught in the act. She wants to cover it up with a dowry harassment case to garner sympathy and to provide cover for her guilt. It also puts her in a good position to negotiate a fat settlement and gain custody of kids, if kids are involved. 498A will be filed when paternity is in question.
- She Is Just Not Into You: She just doesn’t like the husband and wants to get out of the marriage. The 498A is a convenient tool to do so.
- She Is A Control Freak: She wants to control the husband in every possible way. She may also want the husband not to support his parents and siblings in any fashion regardless of his ability to do so. She may want you the husband to throw the husband’s parents out of his/their house. Her goal is to gain control of all aspects of the husband’s life, including finances and to break the bonds and responsibilities that tie the husband and his family. Her failure to do so will result in a 498A.
- To Marry The Boyfriend: This is a new trend whereby she will file a 498A just to force the husband into settling the divorce with a chunk of cash and then go on to marry her boyfriend. They will use your cash to set up their “Chota Sa Ghar”, or their “Premiyon Ka Mahal” if the settlement is large enough.
In most cases, the members of her family are the instigators. If her mother was the instigator, then it is possible that the daughter-in-law’s mother is a dominatrix and she thinks that the husband should be under her control, because her mother wears the pants in her house. She will file the 498A in retaliation for her failure to dominate the husband. If her father is the instigator, the motivation is the husband’s money.
The other characteristics of this extortion racket are: –
- It is a law that fosters corruption and enables govt. agencies like the police to violate Fundamental Rights.
- It plays a role in gender based vote bank politics.
- It denies justice to the real victims of dowry harassment.
- It exposes innocent families to the evils of the corrupt Indian criminal justice system.
- This is a law poisoning the lower judiciary by exposing it to corruption.
The other salient features are: –
- Conviction is abysmally low which proves that most of the cases have been falsely filled.
- About 27,000 women are arrested under this law which translates to the fact that one woman is arrested EVERY 23 minutes.
The radical feminist groups and other organizations that advocate such laws do not represent the true voice of the women of India. A close examination of the personal lives of the women who claim to fight for women’s rights show that they are divorced, unmarried or had a close relative with a bitter matrimonial experience. Most of them profit in some form or another, from this misery.
In light of the above, it is high time that this law is immediately amended.