Total eye wash – Bailable Dowry harassment law

Months back Activist Petition against misuse of section 498A was totaly ignored by panel and as a eye wash now they are planing to make dowry law Bailable.

The Union law department has launched an exercise to tone down the law on Domestic violence (DVA), including cases of dowry harassment(Section 498A). Effectively, dowry harassment may soon become a bailable offence.

To protect social fibre of family life and check alleged misuse of the law, the department is contemplating changes in Section 498-A of the IPC that defines the offense of matrimonial cruelty.

Section 498-A was inserted into the IPC by an amendment in 1983. Offenders, including husband or any other family member, are liable for imprisonment as well as a fine and the offence is non-bailable, non-compoundable and cognizable on a complaint made to the police officer by the victim (wife) or by designated relatives.

The law department is now exploring viability of changing the law to make the offense, including dowry harassment, as a bailable and compoundable. ”Relevant data and opinion are being sought from states to evaluate the misuse of the law and possibilities of changing it,” says Justice (rtd) Shiv Kumar Sharma, member of the National Law Commission.

The panel will hold meetings with police departments across states to collect statistics regarding ”misuse” of the law and also about genuine cases of dowry harassment and other forms of matrimonial cruelty.

“After husband’s arrest, possibility of reconciliation becomes difficult, so the idea is to strike a balance,” said Sharma. But, he said the panel was equally concerned about genuine cases and data regarding the same was also being collected.

As there were reports of misuse everywhere, Activists demanded punishment for misusers of this section, but ministry will make it only bailable so it will still misused to harass innocent men as before. Government wanted to show actvists they made changes to the law. but in reality whatever changes made were totally useless.

Thousands of Actvists sent petitions/letters and request to Sri Rakesh Naithani,Joint Director, Rajya Sabha Secretariat, to amend said section and asked to add clause “punishment for misuser” but later when some memebers of NCW/WCD met him and adviced not to make any changes coz everyone knows its bread and butter for women organisations, if law punish misusers they cannt make any money out of husband and his family, so thousands of letters of activists went to dust bin no doubt.

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