In probably a first case in India, a woman who made a false dowry harassment complaint has been issued NBW (non-bailable warrant) by JMFC, Mangalore for filing a false case under IPC 498a. The news doesn’t mention 498a but dowry harassment case is just another name for IPC 498a case.
The police summoned Dr Rao and his parents and held a detailed enquiry by questioning the relatives and neighbours. It was revealed that there was no dowry at all in the marriage and all the marriage expenses were borne by the husband. Allegations of cruelty, beating etc were found to be false. Police concluded that it was a false complaint and hence closed the case.
Dr. N.R.Rao, senior physician of Manipal and his family was deeply hurt on account of this false complaint and approached the JMFC Court praying the court to take action against his daughter in law and her parents for filing false complaint of dowry and harassment. After enquiry, JMFC Court found that there are prima facie materials showing that Dr Ranjeetha and her parents lodged a false complaint of dowry, harassment etc to the police and abused the anti-dowry laws and thereby committed perjury and defamation. The JMFC Court upheld the arguments of complainant’s advocate and ordered to register criminal case (as per C.C.No.1214/14) against the trio. The charges carry maximum of two years prison sentence.
The prosecution against the woman has been started which is a first. So due credit goes to the judge who has done something different from other judges who may have handled lakhs of such cases before this case BUT those judges never thought of applying applicable section of law against false accusers.
Over 1 lakh 498a cases are filed in India every year. About 93% result in acquittal. Why don’t we see more prosecutions of false accusers as in this case? What happened in this case that was so different? Actually, many things:
- The police INVESTIGATED the case on its merits and found allegations to have no basis. Police then filed a B-report to the court.
- Not only the police said case has no merit, they actually mentioned the case to be false. That requires some honesty and courage from our supposedly male dominated police whose specialty lies in proceeding to arrest husband and his relatives including the family dog when an IPC 498a complaint is filed. Due to recent 2 Jul 2014 SC judgment on strict injunction on police to follow CrPC 41 and 41a, these arrests might reduce.
- The falsely accused family, specifically father in law decided to file a private complaint to the magistrate. Usually the husband’s family have no desire to pursue any action against the their ‘bahu’ or daughter in law. Usual strategy is how to get rid of the whole problem and find another suitable bride for the son; which usually results in similar problem in second marriage too. But that’s material for another post…
Kudos to Dr Rao for taking stand against criminal bahu. Hoping for maximum 2 year punishment for her, after all, don’t we want equality to be applied in law to both men and women? If feminism demands equality, they should welcome punishment to false accuser women rather than demanding to be treated innocent and like children when caught in their own web of lies. But it probably never was about equality, it started from self-loathing of few women about women’s role in family and society, and then their goal to make women more like men; and over time it morphed into man-hating and irresponsibility.