That the notorious Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), popularly known as the “Dowry Harassment Law”, is unconstitutional is undoubtedly true and as the Indian Government is taking its own sweet time to recognize the gravity of this fact, we are getting fed by more and more such news that just tend to confirm the tenacity of the above statement.
Recently Kannada film actor Darshan was charged under Section 498A by his wife. And, then a couple of days later what we hear is, his wife and her cousin are charged under Section 498A by Darshan’s sister – who had apparently married into his brother’s in-laws’ family.
Firstly, let’s look at Darshan’s case. The allegation on him is that he was having some extra-marital affairs with some of his co-stars and when she confronted this to him, he beat her. Without going into the truthfulness of her allegations, it can be safely said that these allegations do not constitute Section 498A offense. But still he was charged under Section 498A – only to facilitate his arrest.
And then comes the off-spinner! Darshan’s sister who had been married off into his wife, Vijayalakshmi’s family, files a Section 498A case against Vijayalakshmi and her cousin, who is Darshan’s sister’s husband and she alleges that had been “tortured and harassed” for dowry since 2002.
That being said, about the facts of the case, let us see some interesting points in the whole development.
- The sole witness of Vijayalakshmi’s allegations against Darshan – his driver turns futile as the car, in which the alleged offense is said to have taken place, is a sound proof car, a modified Toyota Innova and hence it is not possible for him to see or hear anything, which not only leaves Vijayalakshmi as the sole witness of her “abuse” but also raises doubts on the genuineness of the allegations as she said the driver is a witness and later it turns out the driver was completely isolated from the incident.
- It is also not clear whether the injuries are self-inflicted or was Darshan provoked to such an extent that he lost his cool? Notwithstanding the violence, it must be noted that if Darshan was provoked then Vijayalakshmi had a grudge against him and was looking for opportunity to implicate him, given the fact that we live in a misandrous society that does not provide even an iota of emotional space to men.
- Even if we assume there was a physical fight between the couple and she got injured in it, at best it forms a case of Section 323 and Section 325 – hurt or grievous hurt. And yet, Section 498A was included as one of the charges.
- Darshan’s sister claimed she was being harassed since 2002 but “did not get a chance to lodge a complaint” and thus she has filed now, after her own brother is charged under Section 498A.
- These turnouts simply point to the fact that Section 498A is a completely unnecessary piece of legislation which just being used either as “Weapon of Arrest on Demand” or as a “Get Back Weapon”. Either way, it defeats the purpose of a law.
- These developments also seriously challenge the feminist claims that “Women never lie” and it this premise on which the 15 odd anti-male laws are resting.
This “back-to-back 498A cases” has been a deep setback for feminism in Karnataka as it has now come to open that Section 498A is nothing but a mockery, a dark humor at it, of the law and order system and the criminal justice system in India.
And this “back-to-back 498A” also exposes the legal system of India and how pathetic the Indian police force is.
The Indian police treat any complaint between a husband and wife as a Section 498A complaint and convert it into a dowry harassment case, irrespective of the real matter at hand. Such misled cases get added to the statistics and are used as social weapons of denying basic human rights to men in other social arenas. If, the police can act so carelessly in a high-profile like Darshan’s, one can only imagine the plight of those men who are ordinary citizens and it should be no wonder that in the last decade, more than One Million innocent men have been arrested under Section 498A as per statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau, a unit of the Union Home Ministry.
Due to such cognitive blocking of the society, contributed by amplified reporting by the misandrist media, men who face abuse in marriages are at the receiving end. Abused men, when they approach the police with their complaints against their nagging wives and harassing in-laws, most often, land up being framed up under Section 498A as accused.
A man, who is being tortured by his wife, fights a case foisted against him under a section that is unconstitutional and is subjected to legal procedures inhuman and undemocratic and there is no one to listen to his woes. It is, again, these same cases that get reported as “Woman harassed for dowry, man arrested” types and this leads to further plugging of the communication channel for men in the society leading to married men being the highest in committing suicides year after year – what with every 9 minutes a married man committing suicide – as every year 58000+ husbands commit suicide, as per statistics from the National Crime Record Bureau.
And yet, our society is busy arresting men whose wives complain against them. And the easiest tool for the same is the notorious Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code – a tool for Arrest on Demand. And still, the Indian Government is reluctant to sound even a semblance of what we call as a willingness to bring in the required changes to Section 498A.
The 498A case by Darshan’s sister is as illegal, as are the charges under Section under 498A against Darshan. Merely, because it’s the sister of a husband already accused under Section 498A, happens to file a 498A case, does not make it any better. It only re-iterates the claims made by Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs), about Section 498A being an unconstitutional law and that it is nothing but a “Weapon to execute Arrest on Demand in Family Politics”.
Section 498A is nothing more than a legal joke now. And by, admitting the above two cases, is the Indian Government trying to tell us – “Let us get legally funny”!