Introduction

Police have booked a man from Mohali for continuously harnessing and causing physical torched on her in demand for dowry.

Dowry Complaint against Husband
Dowry Harassment Complaint

Facts of the case

  • A case of dowry harassment has been filed by the complainant in the kharar city police station
  • As per the complainant the marriage was solemnized on May 3 2009
  • Started noticing behaviour change after marriage in demand for dowry
  • The complainant was a victim of domestic violence and was physically and mentally injured by the accused
  • Case was filed in women’s cell of Mohali for investigation
  • Facts have registered under section 406 and 498A of Indian penal code.

How to proceed

The dowry system is one of the most evil practises, which is still practised in India to a huge extent. The worst thing about this practise is that, it is prevalent more among the educated and rich than among the uneducated ones. Though most of them know that dowry is totally banned, and is a crime, still people accept it as a social norm and follow it. Many times in fear of a risk to prestige, many parents and family of the brides agree to give away dowry which usually turn into a never ending demand from the groom’s side. The dowry has been banned, and there are several provisions regarding the punishments for the harassment for dowry demands:

Steps for 498A

Complaint at a CAW cell/ mahila

Reconciliation process at CAW cell

FIR:

Bail/ anticipatory bail/ stay on arrest

Police investigation

Charge sheet

Framing of charges

Prosecution evidence

Defence evidence

Accused are examined

Arguments

Order

Section 498A was inserted in the statute with the laudable object of punishing cruelty at the hands of husband or his relatives against a wife particularly when such cruelty had potential to result in suicide or murder of women.

Case proceedings

In every district one or more Family Welfare Committees be constituted by the District Legal Services Authorities preferably comprising 3 members

Every complaint under Section 498A received by the police or the Magistrate be referred to and looked into by such committee.

Till report of the committee is received, no arrest should normally be effected.

Complaints under Section 498A and other connected offences may be investigated only by a designated Investigating Officer of the area. Such designations may be made within one month from today. Such designated officer may be required to undergo train.

Conclusion :

A recent judgment in a dowry harassment case, the Supreme Court had observed that there was a need to reduce the growing instances of “abuse” of the said provision as innocent family members, including senior citizens, were often harassed under Section 498A.

To keep a check on false cases, the apex court had directed constitution of a Family Welfare Committee in every district and barred any arrest till the committee submitted its report.

498a can only be invoked by wife/daughter-in-law or her relative. 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. This section is non-bail able(you have to appear in court and get bail from the judge), non-compoundable (complaint can’t be withdrawn) and cognizable (register and investigate the complaint, although in practice most of the time arrest happens before investigation). There have been countless instances where, without any investigation, the police has arrested elderly parents, unmarried sisters, pregnant sister-in-laws and even 3 year old children. In these cases unsuspecting family of husband has to go through a lot of mental torture and harassment by the corrupt Indian legal system. A typical case goes on for years (5-7 years is typical) and the conviction rate is about 2% only. Some accused parents, sisters and even husbands have committed suicide after time in jail.

This post is written by our guest writer Sumitra Nair , a pass out from Pune University.

For any subject specific info or legal advice, please dial 7888-356908 for LegalSeva.

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