Saturday, March 19, 2011

SC convicts woman, paramour for killing husband

SC convicts woman, paramour for killing husband

NEW DELHI: Relying on the testimony of a child witness, the Supreme Court has re-imposed life imprisonment on a woman and her paramour for murdering her husband in Madhya Pradesh's Guna district.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan reversed the acquittal order of Madhya Pradesh High Court and restored the life imprisonment on the wife Bhaggo Bai and her paramour Ramesh for strangulating to death the husband Chatra on January 31, 1995.

The apex court, citing a number of its earlier rulings, said the testimony of 8-year-old Rannu Bai, the couple's daughter, can be relied upon on sufficient corroboration as children normally do not have any malice towards others, though courts should be cautious enough to ensure that they were not tutored.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

SC rejects feminist organisation’s plea for quashing "keep" remarks

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition by a women's group seeking withdrawal of the controversial phrase "keep" used by it in a judgement in which it held that a "one night stand" with a man would not entitle a woman to maintenance.

A bench of justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur rejected Mahila Dakshat Samiti's petition on the ground that it had no locus standi(legal right) to question the judgement since it was not a party to the matrimonal dispute in which the judgement was passed.

In the judgement delivered on October 21 last year, the apex court had held "if a man has a 'keep' whom he maintains financially and uses mainly for sexual purpose and or as a servant, it would not in our opinion be a relationship in the nature of marriage."

The country's lone woman Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising and Vinay Bhardwaj, Vice President of the Samiti, expressed dissappointment at the apex court's refusal to withdraw the "derogatory remark."

The bench in a terse order today said "application for permission to file a review petition is rejected. This review petition has been filed on behalf of Mahila Dakshat Samiti seeking review of this court's order dated 21st October, 2010 whereby the appeals were allowed.

"Mahila Dakshat Samiti was not a party before this court or before the High Court or trial court. Having carefully gone through the review petition and connected papers, we see no reason to grant permission to Mahila Dakshat Samiti to file this review petition.
Hence, the application for permission to file review petition is rejected." The apex court in the judgement had ruled that a woman in a live-in relationship is not entitled to maintenance unless she fulfils certain parameters and said merely spending weekends together or a one night stand would not make it a domestic relationship.

It formulated the following parameters for a woman in live-in relationship to seek maintenance.
(1) The couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses, (2) they must be of legal age to marry, (3) they must be otherwise qualified to enter into a legal marriage including being unmarried, (4) they must have voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period of time.
"In our opinion, not all live-in relationships will amount to a relationship in the nature of marriage to get the benefit of the Act of 2005 (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act). To get such benefits, the conditions mentioned by us above must be satisfied and this has to be proved by evidence," the court had said.

The apex court had passed the judgement while setting aside the concurrent orders passed by a matrimonial court and the Madras High Court awarding Rs 500 maintenance to D Patchaiammal who claimed to have married the appellant D Velusamy.
Velusamy had challenged the two courts' order on the ground that he was already married to one Laxmi and Patchiammal was not married to him though he lived with her for some time. Jaising said "the judges have chosen the easy option instead of confronting the issue as would be expected from judges from the Supreme Court."

She said the Samiti was an organisation with an illustrious track record of having worked in the interest of women for the last several decades including formulation of the dowry prohibition act and hence its credibility could never be doubted.
"The issues raised in the review peition do not relate to the parties to the case alone but to women as a class. The issues are use of gender bias language in judgements of the Supreme Court of India.

"It is expected gender-neuter language. The objection was to the word 'keep' and expression used only in relation to women in a highly derogatory context," she said adding the apex court had missed a "historic opportunity to correct a wrong."
Bhardwaj said she was deeply disturbed by the judgement as the apex court since the 1980s had played very progressive roles on women issues.

"As the time goes, the Supreme Court should have taken up positive and progressive views in view of the magnitude of the problems of women. Instead, it has chosen to dismiss the petition," she said.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

MISUSE of ipc 498a dowry harassment laws as Chiranjeevi's daughter Srija files dowry harassment

Chiranjeevi's daughter Srija files dowry harassment case. Yet another case  of misuse of 498a . Evidently Meenakshi Lekhi, a feminist lawyer promotes its abuse and misuse as she views it as OVERUSE OF 498a 
16 march 11
The issues and dispute are different and do not fall in the ambit of 498a but still these allegations are allowed and given color of dowry harassment to get the matter settled at the unlawfull terms of wife by systematic extortion and blackmailing of husband and his relatives who are hapeless remedyless and are victimised on mere false allegations of the wife.
This case clearly depicts how after LOVE MARRIAGE that was done against the girl’s parents wishes is ruined with interference of girl’s parents who ultimately convince,tutor and pressurise their daughters to get divorce from the SON-IN-LAW they were always opposed to.
And it also exemplifies how mindlessly such girls MISUSE AND ABUSE DOWRY HARASSMENT LAWS to get out of a marriage at their own terms.

HYDERABAD: Police adopted a cautious approach in handling the dowry harassment complaint filed by Chiranjeevi's daughter Srija against her husband and in-laws.
Police said that they were in the process of gathering evidence to substantiate the complaint lodged by Srija.
In her written complaint, Srija alleged that her husband Sirish Bharadwaj along with her mother-in-law Suryamangala had been physically and mentally harassing her for the last few months for money to set up business.
According to police, Srija, in her complaint, said that as the harassment continued, she feared that Sirish might force her to sell away properties registered in her name. "Due to suspicion, she re-registered the properties on her family members name," a Central Crime Station (CCS) official said.
The 22-year-old housewife also alleged that she had sent several e-mails and SMSes to her family members and friends about the harassment. "Srija put up with the torture for a long time, but left for her parents' house a few days ago when Sirish physically assaulted her in an inebriated state," an investigating officer said.
On Tuesday, CCS police asked Srija to submit supporting evidence like property papers, email and SMS details.
According to sources, Sirish was in police custody and his parents were also in touch with them. But they would show his arrest after getting substantial evidence from Srija.
Earlier in the day, DCP DD J Satyanarayana told media personnel that cases were registred against Sirish and his mother under Sections 498-A (Subjecting a married woman to cruelty) and 3 & 4 of the Dowry (Prohibition) Act of IPC.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Blatant and flagrant Misuse of 498a dowry harassment laws a stark reality- Anatomical busting of false feminists tactics ! Drilled wide open

Blatant and flagrant Misuse of 498a dowry harassment laws a stark reality- Anatomical busting of false feminists tactics ! Drilled wide open

Shonee kapoor drills into feminists tactics and lies - LokSabha TV 10 March 2011


Is the Apex court legalising DOWRY giving !


A woman and her family members cannot be treated as accused under the Dowry Prohibition Act for giving dowry at the time of marriage, the Supreme Court has said. A bench of Justices HS Bedi and CK Prasad upheld the Delhi High Court verdict that quashed a criminal case against a girl stating a dowry harassment victim was protected under the law and, could not be charged under the Act.

Two separate benches of the Delhi HC had taken divergent views on the issue. While Justice SN Dhingra (since retd) held the woman and her family could be prosecuted for giving dowry, Justice Ajit Bharihoke had said it could not be done.

The latter judgment held that section 7 of the Dowry Prohibition Act provided protection to the person who was a complainant under the law. Section 3 of the Act makes giving, accepting or abetting dowry an offence.

The SC order clarifies the legal position regarding the culpability of an alleged dowry-giver bride. It dismissed the appeal against Justice Bharihoke’s verdict filed by the husband who claimed that the judge could not have delivered it as the law was settled by Justice Dhingra.

The bench, however, dismissed the petition and said, “The girl is a victim and you want her to be prosecuted also. Then 498A (dowry harassment section) would be rendered nugatory.”

Vijary Aggarwal counsel for the woman who faced the case for giving dowry, contended there should be harmonious construction of the Act.

Justice Bharihoke had in October 2010 quashed a metropolitan magistrate’s order that directed registration of a case under the Act against a woman. The case was registered following a complaint made before the court by the husband.


Full text of SC order

Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl) No(s).1339-1340/2011
(From the judgement and order dated 20/10/2010 in WP No.
501/2010 & CRLMA No. 3921/2010 of The HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT N.
SAMEER SAXENA Petitioner(s)
(With appln(s) for exemption from filing c/c of the impugned
Date: 07/03/2011 These Petitions were called on for hearing today.
For Petitioner(s) Mr. Gagan Preet Singh, Adv.
Mr. Karan Bir singh, Adv.
Mr. Rameshwar Prasad Goyal, Adv.
For Respondent(s) Mr. Vijay Aggarwal, Adv.
Mr. Rajnish Kumar singh, Adv.
Mr. Tanmay Mehta, Adv.
Ms. Manjusha Wadhwa, Adv.
UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following

Heard the learned counsel for the parties.
We see no reason to interfere in the Special
Leave Petitions which are, accordingly,





Cases against women

Delhi police issues circular in 2007 asking its officers to register cases under the Dowry Act against women who marry despite dowry demand

Mar 19, 2010: Delhi court orders case against a woman saying she had willfully given dowry

Dec 4, 2008: Noida court orders case against woman.

Don't lose heart after an early divorce – The Insight

Don't lose heart after an early divorce

Divashri Sinha,MUMBAI MIRROR,Mar 7, 2011, 11.51am IST

Life doesn't come to an end if you get divorced in your 30s. Here's how you can pull yourself together

Find yourself at the end of a marriage, single and emotionally-stranded in your late 30s? While at some ages it's easier to bounce back from upheavals, the late 30s and early 40s are not the easiest in these matters. The silver lining, however, is that it's a lifealtering event which, if played well, can lead you to a happier place ultimately. The trick is to put one foot in front of the other and move on to making a full recovery. Marriage counsellor and therapist, Manju Jain debriefs you on things you must get in order, if you find yourself at this difficult crossroad.

Heart first

The death of a relationship, no matter how long its duration, is always intense and difficult. In your 20s and early 30s, it is easier to wrap up an intimate relationship. For a middle-aged adult with multiple responsibilities, this process magnifies manifold.

- Take the time to grieve, heal and restore. However, there will come a time when you'll have to accept facts and just get on with life. If you have children, they will force you to keep your focus in check.

- While it is an immensely overwhelming feeling, terms like "my life is over" or "I've lost everything" are very powerful and have a strong impact on how you feel. Recognise that this isn't factually true and work on it from there.

- Your emotional vulnerability and insecurities need to be addressed. To begin with, get a good listener. Create a support squad of your closest friends and family who won't mind providing you with emotional support, professional guidance and ongoing inspiration. Realise that you're not the first person to go through this.

- Avoid discussing your issues with or in front of your children. They have their own issues to deal with.


In the end, it doesn't matter whose fault it was. Don't fester over revenge and orchestrate devious plans of ruining your ex's life. Negative energy needs to be dispelled even though forgetting and forgiving may sound like a tall order. Concentrate your energy on clearing your mind space. Don't focus on anger, focus on yourself. De-clutter.

- While you may no longer be the one half of a couple any longer, you are still 100 per cent the same person you were. Go back and rediscover yourself. Make a trip, preferably alone. After a long spell of marriage, finding the courage and independence to travel alone will give you the confidence to survive as a singleton.

- Do what you loved to do before you got married. Many people, especially by the time they reach their middle age, have put themselves aside for the sake of their families and given up on things they used to love. If you once loved to dance or paint or ride a motorcycle, do it again.

- Focus on your professional graph to ensure you don't get sucked into a downward depression cycle.

- Get counselling if you need it. Divorce is traumatic so if you find that you are having problems sleeping, are depressed or have feelings of low self-esteem, get help. While these are common things to go through after, they can become a serious matter if they begin to interfere with your life.

Get back in the game

Getting back into the dating game can be rough because you have been out of it for a while. It can feel daunting. The thing with going into long droughts after a divorce is that, the more you prolong getting back in the game, the tougher you are making it for yourself.

- Do things that make you feel beautiful and don't bother trying to compete with younger men and their trimmer behinds. Embrace your beauty and wear your accomplishments proudly.

- Having been through a marriage, you will be very clear about what you are looking for. Don't rush into anything for the fear of being alone. So whether it is a meaningful long relationship or a short term casual association, you will have to make the effort of starting off, even if the first few turn out to be bumpy. Get a group of friends together and slowly start getting yourself out there.

Body beautiful

Over the years, people can let their body image slide and become sloppy. Feeling good is a lot about looking good.

- Hit the gym. Don't try to achieve miracles for your body. But it will keep you physically active and release the healthy feel good endorphins. Get a manicure, pedicure, and a snazzy new wardrobe.

- Don't let age, work, stress and children be the excuse for you to neglect your health. It's common for people going through a divorce to eat too much or too little. Eat a well-balanced diet and get at least 30 minutes of exercise for three to five days a week.

- Wear make up to work, do your hair well. Tone down the scruff and create a positive body image.

Money matters

After all the legalities are done away with, ensure you have a grip on your financial condition and assets. After years of shared bank accounts and joint ownership of assets, this process is particularly painful. But make sure you don't feel cheated of your rightful share.

- Get your household finances in order. If your spouse took care of balancing the cheque book and paying the bills when you were married, now you need to be able to run your own finances successfully.

- Keep a record of when certain bills, such as credit card bills and utility bills, are due, so that you won't be lagging behind in making payments.

- Keep all important finance-related paperwork, such as bank statements and insurance policies together in a drawer, where they can easily be found. Following a divorce, being able to manage your money wisely is pivotal to getting your life in order.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

INDIAN GENDER JUSTICE Madhu kishwar vs renuka chaudhary Indian men better than western

INDIAN GENDER JUSTICE - Madhu kishwar vs renuka chaudhary on CNNIBN @ 08 march 2011

Indian women ( FEMINISM) are themselves responsible for self commodification and disrespect in Indian Society

Indian men are far better than their western counter parts on CNNIBN @ 08 march 2011


Monday, March 7, 2011

Dowry wars: The big issue that has India divided

Dowry wars: The big issue that has India divided

Men say their rights are violated by a law that protects brides.

By Andrew Buncombe

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

An intense lobbying battle is being fought as the Indian government prepares to amend landmark legislation introduced nearly three decades ago to protect women who were being attacked, harassed and even murdered for refusing to pay dowries.

Amid an increasingly vocal campaign by "men's rights" organisations, who claim the law has been misused in order to extort money from husbands, the government has asked its legal advisers to investigate and suggest options for reform.

Women's groups say the legislation is vital to protect countless numbers of brides against violent demands for dowries and must not be watered down. They claim that up to 25,000 Indian women are killed every year because of the inability or refusal of their families to make such payments to the family of grooms.

The payment of dowries was banned in India in 1961 but remains commonplace and may be on the rise. In 1983, Section 498a of the Indian penal code was introduced to offer additional protection to women, by ruling that any husband or member of his family convicted of "cruelty" or violence associated with attempting to force such payments should face up to three years in jail.

The culture war being fought in newspapers and between activists highlights subtle changes in Indian society and an increasing willingness among some women to report domestic abuse. Women's groups say the campaign by men to change the law is nothing more than a backlash from those opposed to female empowerment.

Mithun Kumar is typical of those who say the anti-dowry laws are being misused. The 30-year-old from Bangalore, employed in the IT industry, had an arranged marriage in 2007. He claims he discovered his wife was continuing to keep in touch with a previous boyfriend and wanted to maintain an affair with him. "She said if I didn't go along with it, I would go to jail," he said. Mr Kumar said his wife and her family then filed a case against him with the police, claiming he had demanded a dowry from them. He told the police he was innocent, but was arrested anyway. He is fighting the case in court.

Rajesh Vakharia, a self-employed 42-year-old from Nagpur, claimed his wife and her family made similar allegations five years after their arranged marriage in 1999. "I was held for six days in the police station," he said. "She wanted to extort money from me. I would not pay and fought the case. Eventually I won, but for fours years I was not able to see my son. What is happening in India is very sad. There is no protection for men."

The campaign to scrap Section 498a is being led by groups including the Save the Family Foundation. An official, Niladri Das, claimed men in India were increasingly resentful of "biased" laws. He said that more than 95 per cent of men charged under 498a were later acquitted and that was proof the law was being misused. "A woman can make any accusation she wants," he said. He said claims that 25,000 woman a year were killed was "a lie propagated by feminists in order to get money from international NGOs". He added: "We are not saying there are no cases, but these figures are highly inflated."

The government appears to agree with the men. Law minister M Veerappa Moily recently referred the legislation to the country's law commission, which advises the government on legal reform. The commission's chairman, PV Reddy, a former supreme court judge, said they would soon be publishing a consultative paper. "There is misuse, it's been referred to in court judgments," he said. "There is misuse in regard to any law, not just this one. But this is not an ordinary crime. It's about marital discord. It's a very sensitive issue."

Women's rights campaigners say any dilution of the act would be a big mistake. They argue that women face widespread sexual and physical abuse in India and say that if a law is being misused, then the police and courts need to act more efficiently rather than change it. They also argue that the continued practice of dowry payments in the country, and the attendant preference for male children, has helped contribute to the widespread abortion of female fetuses. The problem is so prevalent that in some parts of India there is a marked gender imbalance. A 2001 census found that in Punjab for every 1,000 boys there were only 793 girls.

Donna Fernandes, a veteran women's rights campaigner from Bangalore, said she knew of no empirical evidence that showed 95 per cent of men charged under Section 498a were acquitted. Furthermore, she insisted, an acquittal did not necessarily amount to a misuse of the law as women may withdraw an allegation because of pressure. She said: "Women are moving ahead. Today they are more economically independent. They don't need marriage. They say 'To hell with it if he can't respect me.'"

Ms Fernandes said her organisation, Vimochana, collected statistics from Bangalore that showed up to 100 married women were being murdered in the city every month, though not all were necessarily related to dowry payments. She added: "If this law is being misused, then why are so many women dying?"

Among those urging the authorities to retain the law is Girender Singh, from Delhi. His 24-year-old daughter Anshu was found dead in January last year, just 45 days after she was married. Mr Singh said Anshu's husband's family had repeatedly made demands for money and while he did not pay a formal dowry, he handed over around £6,000. His daughter's husband was arrested on a charge of murder and the case is before the courts.

Mr Singh declined to talk about Anshu's case but instead forwarded a copy of a letter he had sent to the authorities in which he expressed his "pain and agony" and asked they not dilute the legislation. "In truth, is there any law to save girls and married women in India except 498a?" he wrote. "A little fear of 498a might save the girls and women from heinous crimes which are on a rising trend in our great Indian society."

Massive Procession Cum Dharna by NFHS on 4th June to protest heavy misuse of DV Act « ***Fighting Gender biased laws** ***** *National Family Harmony Society* 498A HelpLine 9880141531



ON 04-06-2011 – BANGALORE

PROCESSION CONCLUDED BY DHARNA on 04-06-2011 by National Family Harmony Society® to protest against heavy misuse of Domestic Violence Act.

About National Family Harmony Society®: “National Family Harmony Society®” NFHS is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore. We have branches in more than 16 states and in abroad too. We have approximately 16000 members all over India. To know more about us please visit / /

Details of the Event

Procession starting at Town Hall @9.30 AM

Procession concluding at Banappa Park @10.15 AM

Dharna at Banappa Park 10.15 AM – 12.00 Noon

We request all members who participate in the procession to maintain discipline.

Kindly reach the start point of the procession on time so that there is good strength for procession.

The procession is a “silent protest” and there will be no slogan shouting.

However at the Dharna we are free to shout slogans.

To protest against the injustice by the Government we plan to tie black ribbon around mouth to symbolic show that MEN facing injustice are not even being allowed to speak out.

The Theme of the protest is Gandhi Ji’s 3 Monkeys!!

Judiciary They are turning a blind eye to the injustice, saying they are law implementers and not law makers.

Legislature- Fearing from women vote bank, Legislature is not speaking out even though they know that Gender biased law’s are heavily misused.

Executive- The executive turn away MEN and do not listen to MEN saying “Do not involve us in this and solve your problem in the court” 

So, the question is where do MEN GO???

If the 3 main pillars of the democracy have shut their doors on the MEN then we have hope only from the fourth pillar of the democracy i.e. Media.

We appeal all our media friends to help us to spread awareness regarding heavy misuse of the gender biased laws and injustice caused to MEN and his families due to this.

Please save the family and thereby save our great Nation to retain India a “Vasudeva Kutumbaham”.

Jai Hind!!

With profound respects,

For further information please contact.

Suresh P                                                                                              Mahesh M

President,                                                                                            General Secretary

9880141531                                                                                                 9731569970


Govt mulls over to make ipc 498a Bailable, Non-cognizable, compoundable. 498a amendments under consideration.The Debate

Govt mulls over to make ipc 498a Bailable, Non-cognizable, compoundable. 498a amendments under consideration.

The Debate on News24 channel on 5th March 2011

Part 1/2




Part 2/2


more details at

Sec-498 A I.P.C. – Its Use And Misuse

To start with first we have to look that what this word marriage means. ‘Marriage is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.’ It is a social institution where husband has the responsibility to take care and maintain his wife. He cannot neglect his duties. But on this great institution a stigma called ‘dowry’ still exists. Women are ill-treated, harassed, killed, divorced for the simple reason that they didn’t brought dowry.
        For safeguarding the interest of woman against the interest of woman against the cruelty they face behind the four walls of their matrimonial home, the Indian Penal Code,1860(herein after referred to as I.P.C.) was amended in 1983 and inserted S.498A which deals with ‘Matrimonial Cruelty’ to a woman.
        Matrimonial Cruelty in India is a cognizable, non bailable and non compoundable offence. It is defined in Chapter XXA of I.P.C. under Sec. 498A as:
Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
Whoever being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects her to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to a fine. 
Explanation – for the purpose of this section, "cruelty" means:
(a) 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 
(b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demands for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.[1]
        The section was enacted to combat the menace of dowry deaths. It was introduced in the code by the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1983 (Act 46 of 1983). By the same Act section 113-A has been added to the Indian Evidence Act to raise presumption regarding abetment of suicide by married woman. The main objective of section 498-A of I.P.C is to protect a woman who is being harassed by her husband or relatives of husband.
Section 113-A of Indian Evidence Act[2], reads as follows:
Sec. 113-A, Presumption as to dowry death- When the question is whether a person has committed the dowry death of a woman and it is shown that soon before her death such woman has been subjected by such person to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, the Court shall presume that such person had caused the dowry death.
Explanation- For the purpose of this section ‘dowry death’ shall have the same meaning as in section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
The object for which section 498A IPC was introduced is amply reflected in the Statement of Objects and Reasons while enacting Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act No. 46 of 1983. As clearly stated therein the increase in number of dowry deaths is a matter of serious concern. The extent of the evil has been commented upon by the Joint Committee of the Houses to examine the work of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. In some of cases, cruelty of the husband and the relatives of the husband which culminate in suicide by or murder of the helpless woman concerned, which constitute only a small fraction involving such cruelty. Therefore, it was proposed to amend IPC, the Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 (in short ‘the Cr.P.C’) and the Evidence Act suitably to deal effectively not only with cases of dowry deaths but also cases of cruelty to married women by the husband, in- law’s and relatives. The avowed object is to combat the menace of dowry death and cruelty[3].
The act of harassment would amount to cruelty for the purpose of this section. Drinking and late coming habits of the husband coupled with beating and demanding dowry have been taken to amount to cruelty within the meaning of this section, but this section has been held not to include a husband who merely drinks as a matter of routine and comes home late[4]. In a case before Supreme Court it was observed that this section has given a new dimension to the concept of cruelty for the purposes of matrimonial remedies and that the type of conduct described here would be relevant for proving cruelty.
Meaning of Cruelty:
It was held in ‘
Kaliyaperumal vs. State of Tamil Nadu[5], that cruelty is a common essential in offences under both the sections 304B and 498A of IPC. The two sections are not mutually inclusive but both are distinct offences and persons acquitted under section 304B for the offence of dowry death can be convicted for an offence under sec.498A of IPC. The meaning of cruelty is given in explanation to section 498A. Section 304B does not contain its meaning but the meaning of cruelty or harassment as given in section 498-A applies in section 304-B as well. Under section 498-A of IPC cruelty by itself amounts to an offence whereas under section 304-B the offence is of dowry death and the death must have occurred during the course of seven years of marriage. But no such period is mentioned in section 498-A.
In the case of ‘Inder Raj Malik vs. Sunita Malik[6]’ , it was held that the word ‘cruelty’ is defined in the explanation which inter alia says that harassment of a woman with a view to coerce her or any related persons to meet any unlawful demand for any property or any valuable security is cruelty.
Kinds of cruelty covered under this section includes following:
(a) Cruelty by vexatious litigation
(b) Cruelty by deprivation and wasteful habits
(c) Cruelty by persistent demand 
(d) Cruelty by extra-marital relations
(e) Harassment for non-dowry demand
(f) Cruelty by non-acceptance of baby girl
(g) Cruelty by false attacks on chastity
(h) Taking away children
The presumption of cruelty within the meaning of section 113-A, Evidence Act,1872 also arose making the husband guilty of abetment of suicide within the meaning of section 306 where the husband had illicit relationship with another woman and used to beat his wife making it a persistent cruelty within the meaning of Explanation (a) of section 498-A.
Constitution Validity of Section 498-A 
In ‘
Inder Raj Malik and others vs. Mrs. Sumita Malik[7], it was contended that this section is ultra vires Article 14 and Article 20 (2) of the Constitution. There is the Dowry Prohibition Act which also deals with similar types of cases; therefore, both statutes together create a situation commonly known as double jeopardy. But Delhi High Court negatives this contention and held that this section does not create situation for double jeopardy. Section 498-A is distinguishable from section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act because in the latter mere demand of dowry is punishable and existence of element of cruelty is not necessary, whereas section 498-A deals with aggravated form of the offence. It punishes such demands of property or valuable security from the wife or her relatives as are coupled with cruelty to her. Hence a person can be prosecuted in respect of both the offences punishable under section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and this section.
This section gives wide discretion to the courts in the matters of interpretation of the words occurring in the laws and also in matters of awarding punishment. This provision is not ultra vires. It does not confer arbitrary powers on courts.
In the leading case of ‘Wazir Chand vs. State of Haryana [8]’, involving the death by burning of a newly married woman, the circumstances did not establish either murder or an abetted suicide and thus in-laws escaped the jaws of section 300 and 306, but they were caught in the web of this newly enacted section for prevention of harassment for dowry. Not to speak of the things they are persistently demanding from the girl’s side, the fact that a large number of articles were taken by her father after her death from her matrimonial abode showed that there was pressure being exerted on-in laws and continued to be exerted till death for more money and articles.
      With the rise in modernisation, education, financial security and the new found independence the radical feminist has made 498A a weapon in her hands. Many a hapless husbands and in laws have become victims of their vengeful daughter-in-laws. Most cases where Sec 498A is invoked turn out to be false (as repeatedly accepted by High Courts and Supreme Court in India) as they are mere blackmail attempts by the wife (or her close relatives) when faced with a strained marriage. In most cases 498A complaint is followed by the demand of huge amount of money (extortion) to settle the case out of the court.
Sec 498A and the Allegation of Misuse:
In the last 20 years of criminal law reform a common argument made against laws relating to violence against women in India has been that women misuse these laws. The police, civil society, politicians and even judges of the High Courts and Supreme Court have offered these arguments of the "misuse' of laws vehemently. The allegation of misuse is made particularly against Sec 498A of the IPC and against the offence of dowry death in Sec 304B. One such view was expressed by former Justice K T Thomas in his article titled 'Women and the Law', which appeared in The Hindu.21 The 2003 Malimath Committee report on reforms in the criminal justice system also notes, significantly, that there is a "general complaint" that Sec 498A of the IPC is subject to gross misuse; it uses this as justification to suggest an amendment to the provision, but provides no data to indicate how frequently the section is being misused. It is important therefore that such "arguments" are responded to, so as to put forth a clearer picture of the present factual status of the effect of several criminal laws enacted to protect women.
Domestic violence and abuse by spouses and family members are complex behaviours and the social organisation of courts, the police and legal cultures systematically tend to devalue domestic violence cases. Sec 498A was introduced in the IPC in 1983 and the reforms of the past 20 years have not been adequately evaluated at all by the government with respect to their deterrence goals, despite the institutionalization of law and policy to criminalise domestic violence. A program of research and development is urgently required to advance the current state of knowledge on the effects of legal sanctions on domestic violence. The narrow or perhaps almost negligible study done by law enforcement agencies about the deterrent effects of legal sanctions for domestic violence stands in high contrast with the extensive efforts of activists, victim advocates and criminal justice practitioners in mobilising law and shaping policy to stop domestic violence. It is important to do these studies to correct the general misconceptions that women are misusing the law by filing false cases against their husbands and in-laws in order to harass them and get them convicted. The perspective of the state and its agencies needs to change from that of protecting the husbands and in-laws against potential "misuse" of the laws of domestic violence to that of implementing their real purpose – to recognise that such violence is a crime and protect women who have the courage to file complaints against their abusers.
Article 15 of Indian Constitution
Article 15 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. However, it allows special provisions for women and children. Article 21A provides for free and compulsory education to all children from the ages of six to 14 years. Article 24 prohibits employment of children below 14 years in mines, factories or any other hazardous employment. The court also took note of Article 14 guaranteeing equality, and Article 21 providing that a person cannot be deprived of life and liberty except according to procedure established by the law. Similarly, Article 23 prohibiting human trafficking and forced labour was also referred to in the court’s judgment.
Moving away from fundamental rights to the directive principles, the court pressed into service provisions relating to the health of women and children. Article 39(f) directs the State to ensure that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity, and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and moral and material abandonment. Article 42 directs the State to make provisions for just and humane conditions of work, and maternity beliefs. Article 45 stipulates that the State shall provide early childhood care and education for all children until the age of six. Article 47 lays down the raising of level of nutrition and standard of living of people, and improvement of public health as a primary duty of the State.
       This section tries to maintain that every married woman needs to be given due respect and treated with care. It reinforces the fact that a woman is not a toy to be played with, to be thrown away at one’s whims and fancies and treated as inferior to any other. It inherently asks for husbands to treat their wives well and not misbehave or demand unjustly which in a way sends forth a message that a woman is a commodity for sale.
What section 498A IPC tries to do is prevent and punish the above act and re-assert a woman’s
right to live a peaceful and happy life.

Use of Section 498 A by Indian Courts:

 Indian Courts had been using this provision to safeguard the women from facing the cruelty faced by them at their matrimonial home.
9 out of 10 of the cases are always related to dowry, wherein the woman is continuously threatened for want of more money and property which if remains unfulfilled , the married woman is tortured, threatened, abused- both physically and verbally and harassed. Like in the case of Ram Kishan Jain&Ors v State of Madhya Pradesh[9]due to insufficiency of dowry demands the woman was administered calmpose tablets and thereafter she even cut the arteries of both her hands. Sometimes, dowry may not be the cause but the woman for several reasons like her complexion or family status is tortured to death.
In the case of Surajmal Banthia & Anr. v. State of West Bengal[10], the deceased was ill-treated and tortured for several days and even not given food several times. Her father- in-law also misbehaved with her quite often. This is the treatment that several young brides face when they move out of their parents’ home and into the house of her in-laws’. It is the duty of the court to prevent any of these abusers from escaping. The increasing rate of bride burning for want of more dowry and brutal torture of young wives, together with a clear escape of the abuser is a clear indication that the court has not taken any strong measures for the implementation of S. 498A IPC properly.
As stated earlier many a times this victim turns into the abuser and is clearly not wronged but
instead wrongs the husband and his family for no fault of theirs. Several cases show that the married woman takes advantage of the section and sends the respondents to jail under the ambit of this section.
Many women rights’ groups justify the abuse of this section as being a common feature with all
other laws and that also the ratio of false cases to that of true ones as being very low. But this still does not change the truth that there is slowly a rise in the abuse of S.498A IPC.
In many judgments, the court has not considered mental cruelty caused to the woman but has
concentrated only on any sign of physical cruelty. If evidence does not show that the woman was
physically harassed, then the court does not look into the case. What the court does is call the
woman hyper- sensitive[11] or of low tolerance level and having an unstable mind[12].
Also S.498A IPC does not only deal with dowry deaths but also any willful conduct on part of the husband which causes harm to the wife’s ‘ life, limb or health (whether mental or physical).’To prove that cruelty was caused under Explanation a) of S.498A IPC it is not important to show or put forth that the woman was beaten up- abusing her verbally, denying her conjugal rights or even not speaking to her properly[13] would fall into the ambit of mental cruelty.
Showing any mercy to abusers or giving them the ‘benefit of doubt’ when some proof to torture at their hands is present is completely wrong. Like in the case of Ashok Batra & Ors v State[14]even though letters of the deceased stating that harassment had taken place was present, not treating them as strong evidence and giving the appellants a benefit of doubt without ordering for a further investigation into the matter is wrong.
The judges have in several instances made a very narrow interpretation of this section, considering it to be only cruelty in relation to unlawful demands or dowry demands. In a particular case, the court went to the extent of stating that ‘merely because her in-laws or husband were to chastise the woman for improper or immoral conduct, it does not necessarily amount to cruelty.[15]’ This act of chastising the woman clearly amounts to mental cruelty, something that the court apparently failed to notice. Here, considering the woman to be a hyper- sensitive woman not used to usual wear and tear of social life is completely erroneous.
In the case of Bomma Ilaiah v State of AP[16]the husband of the complainant tortured the woman
physically by forcing his wife to have sexual intercourse with him. He inserted his fingers and a stick in her vagina, causing severe pains and bleeding but the court found the husband of this
Woman guilty only under S. 325 IPC and not S, 498A IPC. Why? Her life both physically and
Mentally was at risk. Didn’t the court notice this?
The court has in another case not punished the guilty under S.498A IPC even though medical
Reports clearly showed that the death was homicidal by throttling. This was simply because
According to the court, even though there were dowry demands in the past, the court felt that
Proximity of the death to be caused due to such a demand was unlikely[17]. Who decides this
Proximity? The cause and its effect on the woman’s health or life may be profound and even cause her mental unrest at a later stage.
While on the on hand, women’s emancipation is the need of the hour and prevention of ever
increasing dowry deaths and harassment needs to be stopped, it is also clearly noticed that women today are still tortured and often the court, being the ultimate savior also does not come to the rescue to protect these women.

Misuse of Section 498 A in Modern World:

 A violation of this section, its goals and its aims is on the rise with the woman
frivolously making false allegations against their husbands with the purpose of getting rid of them or simply hurting the family.
The abuse of this section is rapidly increasing and the women often well- educated know that this
section is both cognizable and non-bailable and impromptu works on the complaint of the woman and placing the man behind bars.
Like in the case of Savitri Devi v Ramesh Chand & Ors[18], the court held clearly that there was a
misuse and exploitation of the provisions to such an extent that it was hitting at the foundation of
marriage itself and proved to be not so good for health of society at large. The court believed that
authorities and lawmakers had to review the situation and legal provisions to prevent such from
taking place.
This section was made keeping in mind protection of the married woman from unscrupulous
husbands but is clearly misused by few women and again this is strictly condemned in Saritha v R. Ramachandran[19]where the court did notice that the reverse trend and asked the law Commissionand Parliament to make the offence a non-cognizable and bailable one. It is been a duty of the courtto condemn wrongdoings and protect the victim but what happens when the victim turns into theabuser? What remedy does the husband have here?
On this ground, the woman gets to divorce her husband and re-marry or even gain money in the
form of compensation.
Many women rights’ groups go against the idea of making the offence a non-cognizable and
bailable one thinking that this gives the accused a chance to escape conviction. But what this would do is that it would give a fair chance to the man and above all help meet the ends of justice. Justice must protect the weaker and ensure that the wronged is given a chance to claim back his/her due.
When women accuse their husbands under S.498A IPC by making the offence non-bailable and
cognizable , if the man is innocent he does not get a chance quickly to get justice and ‘justice
delayed is justice denied’. Therefore, the lawmakers must suggest some way of making this section non-biased to any individual such that the guilty is punished and the person wronged is given justice.
The position of the women in India is still bad. They still need rights to alleviate themselves in
society but many a times fail to notice others’ rights as long as their rights are ensured. The
educated woman of today must agree with the mantra of equality and demand the same but the
trend is slowly getting reversed. Women are taking due advantage of the fact that they are referred to as the ‘weaker sex’ and on the foundation of rights ensured to them are violating others’ rights.

Recent Judgements:

Indian Courts in their recent judgements have looked into the matter of misuse of Sec.-498A I.P.C. As this Section provides that when an F.I.R. is lodged all the family members of the husband can be roped in.In their judicial observations and remarks, the courts have expressed deep anguish over this law. Here are some recent judicial observations.

1990 Punjab and Haryana High court observed in Jasbir Kaur vs. State of Haryana[20], case as:

“It is known that an estranged wife will go to any extent to rope in as many relatives of the husband as possible in a desperate effort to salvage whatever remains of an estranged marriage.”

In Kanaraj vs. State of Punjab[21], the apex court observed as:
“for the fault of the husband the in-laws or other relatives cannot in all cases be held to be involved. The acts attributed to such persons have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt and they cannot be held responsible by mere conjectures and implications. The tendency to rope in relatives of the husband as accused has to be curbed”

Karnataka High Court, in the case of State Vs. Srikanth[22], observed as:
“Roping in of the whole of the family including brothers and sisters-in-law has to be depreciated unless there is a specific material against these persons, it is down right on the part of the police to include the whole of the family as accused”

Supreme Court, InMohd. Hoshan vs. State of A.P.[23] case, observed as:

“Whether one spouse has been guilt of cruelty to the other is essentially a question of fact. The impact of complaints, accusation or taunts on a person amounting to cruelty depends on various factors like the sensitivity of the victim concerned, the social background, the environment, education etc. Further, mental cruelty varies from person to person depending on the intensity of the sensitivity, degree of courage and endurance to withstand such cruelty. Each case has to be decided on its own facts whether mental cruelty is made out”
Supreme Court, in a relatively recent case, Sushil Kumar Sharma vs. Union of India and others[24], observed as:

“The object of the provision is prevention of the dowry menace. But as has been rightly contented by the petitioner that many instances have come to light where the complaints are not bonafide and have been filed with oblique motive. In such cases acquittal of the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignominy suffered during and prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage adds to the misery. The question, therefore, is what remedial measures can be taken to prevent abuse of the well-intentioned provision. Merely because the provision is constitutional and intra vires, does not give a licence to unscrupulous persons to wreck personal vendetta or unleash harassment. It may, therefore, become necessary for the legislature to find out ways how the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with. Till then the Courts have to take care of the situation within the existing frame work.  
But by misuse of the provision a new legal terrorism can be unleashed. The provision is intended to be used a shield and not an assassin’s weapon. If cry of “wolf” is made too often as a prank assistance and protection may not be available when the actual “wolf” appears. There is no question of investigating agency and Courts casually dealing with the allegations. They cannot follow any straitjacket formula in the matters relating to dowry tortures, deaths and cruelty. It cannot be lost sight of that ultimate objective of every legal system is to arrive at truth, punish the guilty and protect the innocent. There is no scope for any pre-conceived notion or view. It is strenuously argued by the petitioner that the investigating agencies and the courts start with the presumptions that the accused persons are guilty and that the complainant is speaking the truth. This is too wide available and generalized statement. Certain statutory presumptions are drawn which again are rebuttable. It is to be noted that the role of the investigating agencies and the courts is that of watch dog and not of a bloodhound. It should be their effort to see that an innocent person is not made to suffer on account of unfounded, baseless and malicious allegations. It is equally undisputable that in many cases no direct evidence is available and the courts have to act on circumstantial evidence. While dealing with such cases, the law laid down relating to circumstantial evidence has to be kept in view.”
The Court and Legislature have to make changes if the laws of matrimonial cruelty are to be of any deterrence.    Looking into the recent observations and the increase in the misuse of this Section, there should be certain amendments which should be brought up in this law:
1. Role of Women NGOs: These organizations should investigate complaint properly without any bias towards the woman keeping in mind that the law is being misused largely to harass more women in husband’s family. They should not encourage any woman to file a criminal case against her in-laws for trivial matters. Foreign Women Organizations should also take responsibility of not allowing false complaint to be registered against NRI’s just to harass and extort huge amount of money from them. These organizations should also conduct survey/research on the misuse of the act and should educate people about its consequences. If these organizations are found to be assisting in filing false complaints, then they should be made liable for prosecution in the country where they are functioning.

 2. Family Counselling Centres: Numerous cases of men being harassed by wife or/and in-laws have come to light from different parts of the country. As of now there is no organization, which can really help these harassed men and his family members, to listen their side of the story and put their point of view in front of the government. Need of the hour is to create family counseling centers across the country to help those aggrieved families.

 3. Time bound Investigation and Trial: A speedy trial of 498(a) cases will not only ensure justice for the innocents that have been implicated in false charges, it will also lead to prompt redressal of the grievances of real dowry victims .The reduction in false cases will also reduce the burden on judiciary and expedite the processing of real cases.

4. Definition of Mental Cruelty: Mental cruelty has been vaguely defined in the act, which leaves scope of misuse. This should be clearly elaborated to remove loopholes in the law. There should be provision for men also to file a case for mental cruelty by his wife.

 5. Investigation by Civil authorities: The investigation into these offences be carried out by civil authorities and only after his/her finding as to the commission of the offence, cognizance should be taken. The government should create awareness among officers about its misuse.

 6. Bailable: The main reason of 498a being misused to harass innocent is its non-bailable nature. This section should be made bailable to prevent innocent old parents, pregnant sisters, and school going children from languishing in custody for weeks without any fault of them.

 7. Compoundable: Once FIR has been registered it becomes impossible to withdraw the case even if wife realizes that she has done a blunder and wants to come back to her matrimonial home. To save institution of marriage this should be made compoundable. Moreover, in the scenario where the couple decides to end the marriage by mutual divorce, continuation of criminal proceedings hamper their life.

 8. Arrest Warrants: Arrest warrant should be issued only against the main accused and only after cognizance has been taken. Husband family members should not be arrested.

 9. Penalty for making false accusation: Whenever any court comes to the conclusion that the allegations made regarding commission of offence under section 498a IPC are unfound, stringent action should be taken against persons making the allegations. This would discourage persons from coming to courts with unclean hands and ulterior motives. Criminal charges should be brought against all authorities that are collaborating with falsely accusing women and their parental families.

 10. Court Proceedings: Physical appearance of the accused on hearing should be waved or kept low to avoid hassles in appearing to the court, especially for NRIs. The court should not ask to surrender passport of the husband and his family which could cost job of the husband and his family members.

 11. Registration of Marriage and Gifts Exchanged: The registration of marriages should be made compulsory along with the requirement that the couple make a joint declaration regarding the gifts exchanged during marriage.

 12. Punish Dowry Givers: If the complainant admits giving dowry in the complaint, the courts should take cognizance of the same and initiate proceedings against them under the relevant sections of the Dowry Prohibition Act

 13. Penalize corrupt Investigation Officers: If it is apparent to the court that a fair investigation has not been conducted by the investigation officer, and that the husbandand his family have been charge-sheeted without proper verification of the complaint, the investigation officer should be penalized for gross negligence of duty.

 14. NRI Issues : Unless they are proven to be guilty after the due judicial process, NRIs should be a given a fair chance to justice by assuring them of the following -a) Permission to return to country of employment b) No impoundment/revocation of passport and no Interpol Red Corner Notices. c) No unnecessary arrests d) Expeditious investigation and trial

15. Gender Neutral: Everyone should have equal rights and responsibilities, irrespective of gender. In the current social context, there should be similar laws to protect harassed husband and his family members from an unscrupulous wife.[25]
This Section only provides for the remedy to woman only and these days it is being used as a ‘brahamastra’ by the woman. It is a highly debatable issue these days, if this problem is not solved by legislation it may become a bane for the society. People’s trust over the judiciary will come to an end. So it’s high time that this Section be amended and some changes like mentioned above should be brought up in this law.

[1]The Indian penal Code, Ratanlal and Dhirajlal, 30th edition reprint 2008,pg. 917
[2]  The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 ,Ratanlal &dhirajlal, 21st edition reprint 2009,pg. 560
[3]  Sushil Kumar Sharma vs. Union of India;JT 2005(6) SC266
[4]  Jagdish Chander vs. State of Haryana,1988 Cr. LJ 1048 (P&H)
[5]2004 (9) SCC 157; 2004 SCC(Cr) 1417; 2003 AIR(SC) 3828
[6]1986 (2) Crimes 435; 1986 (92) CRLJ 1510; 1986 RLR 220
[8]1989 SCC(Cr) 105; 1989 (1) SCC 244; 1989 AIR(SC) 378; 1989 (1) Crimes 173; 1989 (95) CRLJ 809
[9]II (2000) DMC 628
[10]II (2003) DMC 546 (DB)
[11]State of Maharshtra v Jaiprakash Krishna Mangaonkar & Ors II(2003) DMC 384
[12]Annapurnabai @Bhoori v State of MP I (2000)DMC 699
[13]Ramesh Dalaji Godad v State of Gujarat II (2004) DMC 124
[14]I (2003) DMC 287
[15]U.Subba Rao & Ors v State of Karnataka II (2003) DMC 102; Umesh Kumar Shah &Ors v State of Bihar
I (2004) DMC 260
[16]II (2003) DMC 461
[17]Ravinder Bhagwan Todkar & Ors v State of Maharashtra & Ors I (2004) DMC 791 (DB)
[18]II (2003) DMC 328
[19]I (2003) DMC 37 (DB)
[20](1990)2 Rec Cri R 243
[21]2000 CriLJ 2993
[22]2002 CriLJ 3605
[23]2002 CriLJ 4124
[24]JT 2005(6) 266
[25]  After looking to the report of following suggestions have been made Justice Malimath Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System, Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, 2003  <>chapter 16.

Also at
Following widespread complaints of the anti-dowry law being misused to lodge false cases, the government has decided to review the stringent provisions of the legislation. The Law Commission of India, which advises the government on legal issues, is considering grounds to recommend amendments to section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with physical and mental cruelty by husbands and their relatives against wives over dowry. Currently this section allows the police to arrest the accused named in a complaint without a warrant and even before investigation. Besides, there is no provision for a compromise between the two parties.

"We've referred the matter to the Law Commission for its opinion since a very large number of complaints have been received against this section," law minister M Veerappa Moily told HT.
He said the Supreme Court had last year asked the government twice to take a re-look at the 28-year-old anti-dowry law following a spurt in its misuse, resulting in old people, pregnant women and even children being booked on false complaints.
Independent studies have put the conviction rate in cases registered under this section at less than 5%, indicating that most of the cases are false.
The Law Commission is examining three aspects - whether it is feasible to categorise the offence as bailable, to allow the complainant to withdraw a complaint in case of a compromise with the court's permission, and if the police should retain the power to make arrests on their own.
"We are examining how to give a human touch to this section, which has a very high potential for misuse. Our concentration is to make the offence bailable, non-cognisable and compoundable," said commission member justice (retd) Shiv Kumar Sharma.
A compoundable offence permits withdrawal of a complaint if both sides patch up.
On August 13 last year, the Supreme Court had stated, "Such is the level of exaggeration of cruel behaviour on the part of husbands and their relatives that to find the truth is a Herculean task in a majority of these complaints."
The top court's observation had come in response to a petition filed by a resident of Surat, Preeti Gupta, who had been named in a dowry complaint by her sister-in-law Manisha Poddar in Jharkhand, after Poddar's marriage with Gupta's brother soured.