Shoaib Malik was in news for few days, not because of he is a cricketer or planning to marry Sania Mirza an Indian Sports Star, but because even he is a Pakistani National still he was charged under Indian Penal code 498A. With one word of his so called 1st wife, his passport was impounded and police took him into custody. Even Under TADA / POTA Police will not arrest anyone without investigation and seize Passport of Foreign National, so it’s more powerful than all those criminals cases ?
What is IPC-498a ?
ACCORDING TO Section 498A IPC is
Cognizable – The accused can be arrested and jailed without warrant or investigation
Non-Bailable – The accused must appear in the court to request bail
Non-Compoundable – The complaint cannot be withdrawn by the petitioner
When an FIR (First Information Report) under IPC section 498A (anti-dowry law) is registered by a woman, the accused – the husband and his old parents, brothers, sisters, relatives – are arrested and jailed without investigation. The Supreme Court of India has ruled several times that arrest should be an exception, and not compulsory.
Why there is no penalty for disobeying the Supreme Court’s orders ?
Is it not mental cruelty to subject a person to arrest without investigation or reasonable cause ?
Police are subjected to gender sensitization training wherein they are forced to take women’s complaint and arrest the accused even when they find the case to be fabricated. And in case the police do not react on a woman’s false complaint, the women groups are given unnecessary powers to take legal action against the officer-in-charge of the police station.
The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 (Amended in 1984 and 1986) (India)
Dowry violence occurs when husbands and their families subject women to physical and mental abuse if womens payment in lieu of marriage (dowry) is considered to be insufficient.
IPC – 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 purposes 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 to meet such demand.
The Indian Dowry Prohibition Act I961 (amended in 1984 and 1986) prohibits “any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly by one party to a marriage to the other at or before or at any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage”. The giver of dowry can be punished with 5 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 15,000. Those demanding dowry are punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years with a fine of Rs. 1,00,000. It seems ironic that giver of the dowry who is ‘forced’ to give the dowry faces a greater punishment whereas the perpetrator of the crime doesn’t. but funny thing is none of the Dowry giver ever charged in the history of Indian Judiciary other than few rupees of expenses.
The Indian Marriage and Divorce Act was amended in 1984 stating that gifts of excessive value given at the time of marriage, are considered to be unlawful dowry. In addition, complainants are allowed to have third parties such as their parents or welfare and womens organizations to file a complaint and initiate legal action.
The accused, on a woman’s one complaint, are considered guilty until proven innocent, and the burden is on the accused to prove their innocence in the courts. It is even more torturous that old ailing parents too are arrested prior to investigation. Is this not violation of Human Rights of Indian citizen?
Section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code makes it mandatory for police to book husband and his parents and other relatives/friends whoever being named on the complaint by wife or her close relatives and jail them. There is no penalty (even a fine) for filing a false case.
There are several cases, without investigation initially, police arrest elderly parents, unmarried sisters, pregnant, sisters. Many parents and sisters have committed suicide after spending some 5 to 15 days in jail.
Media reported Shoaib Malik reportedly paid 1 Million dollar to Siddiqui Family (1st wife) and case was dropped without any charges
This is not only one case, only because he is famous cricketer and going to marry Sania Mirza, he was in news; same thing happened to Tamil Actor Prashant, he was also charged with same notorious 498A IPC and after getting money girl side withdraw said case. Indian Judiciary call it out of court settlement.
Even USA state Dept. already issued warning to its citizens at : http://travel.state.gov/travel/india.html at “DOWRY/VISA DEMANDS” section about travelling to India for marriage, clearly to avoid 498A.
“DOWRY/VISA DEMANDS: A number of U.S. citizen men who have come to India to marry Indian nationals have been arrested and charged with crimes related to dowry extraction. Many of the charges stern from the U.S. citizen’s inability to provide an
immigrant visa for his prospective spouse to travel immediately to the United States. The courts sometimes order the U.S.citizen to pay large sums of money to his spouse in exchange for the dismissal of charges. The courts normally confiscate the American’s passport, and he must remain in India until the case has been settled. There are also cases of U.S. citizen women whose families force them against their will into marriages to Indian nationals.”
We have thousands such cases were men and his family charged with this section and girl side get money / Divorce / maintenance then they withdraw case.
Why do people misuse IPC 498a ?
Legal Extortion – When marriage is on the brink of Divorce, she finds no better weapon to harass her husband and in-law than 498A. Women will blackmail her husband and in-laws and coerce them to fulfill her demands or else she will file a false complaint against them. The husband knows that the law indiscriminately favors the woman and so he agrees to her selfish demands. In Shoaib Malik and Prashant case, after they paid money there was no case or complaint at all. Under Sharia law Shoaib can marry 4 women, so his so called 1st wife will not get money, but this 498A helped her to get money and Divorce within 3 Days. No other Law in the world will give such a speedy relief of anyone.
Pre/extra marital Affairs – She marries to satisfy her parents without disclosing her past. When the husband finds out about her pre marital affairs, she files a false dowry case to blackmail him.
Domination – Wife wants the husband to abandon his parents and siblings, so that she can have total control over his
finances and social behavior, including his life-style.
Custody – Deny the father and his family access to their child(ren).
Fraudulent Marriages – Many times girl’s family will not disclose actual facts of their daughter, at the time of marriage.
Such facts, if known by the groom, the marriage would have never taken place. And when the husband stands his ground, the girl and her family begins their legal extortion.
In-Laws – When modern women are unable to adjust with her in-laws, when they find it difficult to dominate her husband and make him dance on her tunes, she goes for filing a false dowry case.
Todays Modern women very well know, there is no punishment for filling false case, she can withdraw at will Law will not question her for misusing for her gain. Even she can swear in court with tears and Indian Judiciary will beleive in her.
Everyone knows there are loopholes in 498A, and media reports, Judges warn and Politician admit openly.
Still there are no Amendments to this Section
An offence has been committed by the accused upon the sole testimony of the woman alleging abuse. Given that lying in court has never been taken seriously enough to invoke punishment, laws which presume guilt even before the trial has begun are prone to great misuse.
98% misuse is “okay” says Minister Renuka choudhary [ Source : http://www.ibnlive.com/news/ill-empower-women-chowdhury/26051-3-0.html ]
Supreme court of India already shown their concern and asked to Stop the “Legal Terrorism ” in the form of misuse of 498a and the necessary changes to be made by Parliament , but it seems our LAW makers prefers to sleep in silence [Source :
Despite the recommendations of the Supreme Court of India and Justice Malimath Committee that the legislative arm should modify the laws such that the innocent are protected. The suggested amendment in the 498A law has been largely ignored.
Innocent men and old parents are visiting women cell for help, but they are neglected. Unchecked, this social evil is threatening the foundation of the Indian Family system.
We have proofs that it’s a bargain tool to make money, minister admits its 98% misuse and even Supreme court called it Legal Terrorism, still as per recent report women organizations demanding again to make this law more stringent and Renuka Choudhary rightly said, its time for men to suffer.
For : MyNation Foundation