We would recommend the following :
1. To convert section 498A into a bailable one.
2. To convert section 498A into a non – cognizable one.
3. A circular should be immediately issued to all the Police Stations in the country with specific directions not to arrest any person u/s 498A and 406 without thorough investigations and attempts of counseling where the wife is alive. If any arrest is made, it should be officially signed and authorized by a SP or DC rank and the police should be made to justify the arrest with prima facie evidence.
4. The learned court could carefully consider whether the allegations of the bride are indeed genuine at least against the in-laws or other relatives of the husband when it directs investigation under section 156(3) of CrPC for an offence under section 498A.
5. The Learned court could carefully take into account whether custodial detention is at all needed for the in-laws and other relatives.
6. Arrest should be made only after getting orders from the Magistrate after primary investigation and producing facts and evidences before the Magistrate
7. Arrest should not be made before trial in cases where the wife is alive.
8. Sections 120B, 177, 182, 211, 199, 200, 209, 499 and 500 of IPC should be extensively used against false complainants.
9. If a wife files 498A, the husband should be allowed immediate divorce.
10. At the stage of counseling before 498A, the parents and/or relatives of the wife should be strictly prohibited to interfere in the family matter of the daughter. If the in-laws are blamed, after investigation, the in-laws should be separated from the son of the family. The husband and wife should be asked to stay separately.
11. Counseling if any should be brought out of the ambit of police or government officials and be handed over to different NGO’s working in this field hence making sure that it is a real counseling and not a threatening process.
12. To replace the word “husband” or “wife” with the word “spouse in all related laws, so as to ensure equality in law for men and women.
13. Make provisions for a man to file complaint when a wife and in-laws harass him and commit cruelty. Create sections 498B and 304C in IPC to protect men and women in his family when the perpetrators of crime are daughters-in-law and their family.
14. Make provision for penalty on a false complaint by amending IPC 498A. Lodging a complaint u/s 498A IPC has become a tool of manipulation, legal blackmail and legal terrorism in the hands of certain unscrupulous people.
15. Speedy and fair trial in all marital disputes.
16. Make registration of marriages compulsory. Gifts at time of marriage must be listed and photographed.
17. Make extensive use of section 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prevention Act.
18. Strict conviction of either the complainant or the defendant.
19. No negotiations be allowed at the cost of money/property/gift whatsoever and the faulty should be severely punished.
20. For any negotiation or exchange of amounts made, both the parties should be made liable for prosecution on recommendation of a third party.
21. Ensure fair and unbiased investigation & trial of Dowry related complaints, which is totally in favor of daughter-in-law and disregards the trauma caused to mothers and sisters due to a false complaint. Judiciary and enforcement agencies must recognize the possibility of wives and daughter-in-law maltreating the husband and old in-laws or other vulnerable members of the husband’s family.
22. Distant relatives not routinely living with the couple should not be allowed to be named in the complaint and excluded routinely.
23. Fathers should not be routinely deprived of child custody by assuming mother is the best for the child. Child should not be made to choose between parents and joint custody be preferred.
24. No Passport surrender and unnecessary travel restrictions should be imposed at the time of bail. Passports should not be impounded and restrictions of going abroad where wife is alive should be lifted with a condition that the husband should appear in the court as and when summoned.
25. Elder abuse in the name of IPC 498A should be absolutely stopped.
26. Government employees should not face compulsory suspension in case arrested due to a false complaint.
27. Legislation involving domestic issues should be enacted keeping in view the preservation of institution of marriage and not based on gender bias.
28. 82% of the individual income tax collected in the country is paid by men. Spending is all done for women only. Animals in the country have a welfare ministry. Now is a need for opening of a Men’s welfare ministry.
29. Unlike the Crime Against Women Cells, Crime Against Men Cells are also becoming need of the hour.