Impact of IPC 498A

The worst part of section 498A is that the police arrests the family members of the boy against whom the complaint is made without making any preliminary investigations as to whether the complaint is at all genuine or not. The innocent people who have never faced police in their life nor ever convicted in a criminal offence are suddenly taken into custody without knowing their offence. Though it is a temporary problem but by the time the people are released on bail by the court, the arrested people have to face atrocities at the hands of the police and the inmates in the police custody or the judicial custody. The young are made to do several untoward things else are harassed. Are we not trying to make the educated class a criminal?

Ultimate result of IPC 498A

The girls are mostly influenced by their parents who are well guided by the lawyers or policemen to file a 498A complaint. As soon as some parents reach a lawyer or a policeman, he would build bridges saying that he can make the in-laws rub their nose at the girl’s feet if the girl files a complaint u/s 498A of IPC. Neither the lawyer nor the policeman would tell the after effect of the complaint. Yes, let me explain what happens.

A girl files a complaint with full confidence that her in-laws family will be arrested and they will rub their noses at her feet. Then if she wants to live in the family, she would dictate her terms for the entire remaining life. If she does not want to live with the family, she will demand huge amount of money as alimony or maintenance and a one time settlement.But, she is not aware that it may be a hard time for the in-laws temporarily for a day or two as long as they are behind the bars. But once they are out on bail, the impact of 498A is “FLAT”. She will no more find a flat surface below her legs and all that she had thought is gone. Now she will have to keep on fighting for years to get a meager amount of alimony if at all allowed by the court. By the time she is allowed the meager amount of alimony or maintenance, she has no other choice to waste her entire life as no one else will be willing to marry her and she will have to spend the entire life all alone. I have seen so many cases where the girl later on (may be after two years or three years) comes to her husband and asks for an apology citing her mistake due to influence of her family members, but by this time, the husband has no interest to give this relationship any chance or he has a fear that if this girl is brought back in the family, she will file some new cases tomorrow.I bet, a family whose members have been arrested once, will never accept the daughter-in-law coming back to their house. The girl has already ruined her life.There are cases where the 498A girls have requested to release them with divorce without giving them any maintenance or alimony and I have seen boys now having a feeling of revenge in mind not giving them a divorce and keeping the girl who spoiled his life, begging for a release.

Now, we need to decide whether we want a mediation of the police and courts to settle domestic-emotional matters or we need to have a social gathering and social thought to resolve the problems. The “Stick” would never ensure the joining of a family, it may break the family though. I am sure, police mediation can never resolve a family problem. Family problems are to be resolved with love, emotions and understanding and not by fear of police.


About Vineet Ruia

Vineet Ruia is president of Bharat Bachao Sangathan , a Kolkata based NGO
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