Translated Version :-
Approximately 4500 crores are lost every year due to arrests in dowry harassment cases. Most of the filed cases turn out false later. If false cases are prevented than this loss can also be prevented. This has come out due to a research report by Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF). This report has been prepared on the request of the Law Commission of Karnataka and is a result of extensive research. A copy of the report has also been sent to the Law
Commission of India and the Ministry of Law and Justice.
Chairman of Law Commission of Karnataka Justice V S Malimath asked for the views of Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), a men’s rights organization fighting for Gender Equality, on IPC Section 498A (dowry harassment law) and as such a detailed report containing necessary changes in Section 498A was sought for. If a married woman is being harassed for dowry by her husband or his relatives then as per Section 498A they can be imprisoned for three years. Even far-off relatives (like sister’s husband) who might even be staying far away can be implicated in such a case. It is cognizable offense. Hence, accused can be arrested without an arrest warrant and being bailable only a court can grant a bail. Since long it is being complained that this law is being misused. Even the courts have made such statements for long.
SIFF’s report recommends making Section 498A bailable and non-cognizable. Foundation member and part of research team, Virag told NBT that they have handpicked some curious and famous cases to show how the misuse happens. The report contains comments from high judiciary, eminent lawyers, women’s rights activists, Girija Vyas – Chairperson of National Commission for Women and other experts. It has also been explained how false cases adversely affect professional and personal lives of people. Even innocent people are forced to spend time behind bars owing to its non-bailable nature and implications of that are to be found not only on the individual but also on the society. It leads to an annual loss of 4500 crores.
As per SIFF, since the police is not trained in family counseling, any matter that goes to them gets converted into a dowry harassment case. If the same cases were handled by some counseling expert than false cases could have been prevented to a large extent. As per figures 94% of cases are false and people arrested in such cases have been found innocent later.
The Shackles of the law:
• Section 498A has provisions of punishment for dowry harassment.
• Often complaints of it being misused are coming to forth.
• Recommendations to make this law bailable and non-cognizable.
• On request by the Law Commission, an NGO analyzes the law.