Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Dowry law being misused by women

The Times of India Says:
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has agreed with a petitioner that Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, which seeks to protect women from being harassed for dowry, was being misused through frivolous cases filed by women to trouble their in-laws.

The court, however, upheld the constitutional validity of the Section, with a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and H K Sema dismissing a petition challenging the validity of Section 498A. The judges though added a word of caution, saying, "Merely because the provision is constitutional, it does not give a licence to unscrupulous persons to wreck personal vendetta or unleash harassment."

The judges called upon the legislature to refine the Section and "find out ways how frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with".

Petitioner Sushil Kumar Sharma had sought quashing of Section 498A challenging its constitutional validity. In the event that the court found the Section valid under the Constitution, Sharma had sought guidelines so that innocent persons are not victimised through false accusations.

Section 498A of IPC, which defines the offence of matrimonial cruelty, was brought in through an amendment in 1983. An offence under the Section is non-bailable, non-compoundable and cognisable on a complaint made to the police officer by the victim or by designated relatives.

Cruelty is defined in the Section as any conduct that is likely to drive a woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury. Though the object of the provision was to prevent the menace of dowry, the Bench agreed with the petitioner that in many instances, the complaints are not bonafide and have been filed with oblique motive.

"In such cases, acquittal of the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignominy suffered during and prior to trial. Sometimes, adverse media coverage adds to the misery,"Justice Pasayat, writing for the Bench, observed in the 11-page judgment pronounced recently.


Blogger Bharati said...

more citations are here
All of htese citation except the pepsi one is after year 2003

11:32 PM  
Blogger musafir said...

On November 15th you e-mailed a link to
Misuse of Dowry Laws http://harassed-husbands.blogspot.com/
in response to my post about Bride Burning based on a report that appeared in The Washington Post. There are always two sides to an issue. But are there cases of husbands being
physically tortured to death by wives or in-laws ? If so, I'd like to know.

8:59 AM  

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