Home > Other news > Misuse forces a review of dowry law

Misuse forces a review of dowry law

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 sec

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tion 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. https://i1.wp.com/www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/280211/28_02_11_Metro01c.jpg

“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.

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  1. July 13, 2014 at 7:31 am

    The ugly truth really nowadays are that wives and their relatives use laws, which were made for protection of women, as their weapon to spread legal terrorism, to extort meaningless amount of money as ransom for avoiding arrest by filing false dowry cases against them, you can see the history if a newly wedded wife complaints, she would claim husband is an impotent, after passing some months or years the allegation becomes dowry harassment, domestic violence is so freely put in all cases as you say a vegetable vendor to put some coriander with some green chillies for free in the vegetables bought by you,my wife accused me of dowry harassment and domestic violence charges, whereas i hadn’t even touched her without keeping in mind about her consent and comfortability, reason of her differences between us is her mother that’s why i was washing my clothes with my own hands on her directions, they were demanding divorce, permanent custody of our son child, thirty lacks of rupees as ransom, and reason for all this was just that i had not attended a marriage function of her mama’s daughter, she left 7 days earlier saying if you will not come to attend it i will head for divorce and the only way for her family to get their wishes fulfilled was to file a false complaint, i was neither eager nor able to fulfill their demands as a result i was arrested on 4th of June and got bail on the 6th June after they got all my household items all furniture which i bought 4-5 years earlier before my marriage, they left nothing even salt, pepper, spices, my undergarments, my clothes, soaps, detergent, they robbed everything they could, and are showing themselves as a very reputed persons in HIND CINEMA premises of kaithal, Haryana but reality sights among them who faces it, kisi ne kaha hai ” aap mare bina swarg kisne dekha ” .at least there should be a fair investigation with proofs before arresting to defame a husband which is his right of humanity, and justice should be done looking it genderlessly.

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