There are many people in India who do not know what 498a is until they are booked under this act. Many families do not know what needs to done when their estranged Bahu register a 498a case against them. This blog is an effort by us to educate people about 498a and to discuss remedies when you face this in your life. We would also be trying to uncover girls and families who use this law to extort money from husband and in-laws. Now let us talk about this law in brief.
498a Case Meaning in Simple Words
People who do not have any idea about this law, 498a law was made to fight domestic violence and protect them from dowry harassments from in laws and their family members. In early 80s dowry deaths were on a rise and it had become a huge problem for law makers. Dowry death is death of a wife, woman, committed by in-laws, husband when she and her family was not able to fulfil their coercive demand for money, property, articles. This had become a big headache which made many changes in dowry prohibition act, Indian evidence act. The biggest and most important amendment was brought by introduction of section 498a in Indian penal code. As per law 498a is as below,
498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation-For the purpose of this section, “cruelty” means-
(a) Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health whether mental or physical of the woman; or
(b) Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her meet such demand.
Section 498a is a criminal offence which is cognizable, non- bailable and non compoundable offence. If we do analysis of this law then it deals with many types of cruelty which forces a married girl to commit suicide. Any act which can cause grave injury to her life, limb or health of a married girl. Harassment which forces girl or her relatives to give her property. It was made to provide security to a married woman and to safeguard her from harassment.
This is about definition of 498a but do you really think this law is being used in the way it was meant to be used by harassed women. The answer is a BIG NO as many rather than shield this law is being used as a weapon by disgruntled wives. In our next few posts we would talk about other 498a articles, faqs, remedies and case copies.