Right on the heels of news about WCD (Women and Child Development) Ministry proposing amendments to DV Act (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act) to protect mothers-in-law too, there is fresh news of amending the law which is the mother of bail/DV/divorce industry in India – the notorious IPC 498a, popularly known as dowry harassment law.
NEW DELHI: Keeping in view the rising number of complaints regarding the misuse of anti-dowry law, Centre is mulling to introduce penal provisions in the act that will ensure punishment or penalty to those who make false charges.
The Union ministry of women and child development is also contemplating giving more teeth to the Dowry Prohibition Act by strengthening the existing provisions and widening the definition of ‘dowry’.
“Recently, a rise in the incidents of misuse of the anti-dowry law has come to the notice of the ministry. In some cases, women falsely implicate their husbands and in-laws for various other reasons.
“If the allegations turn out to be false, the case gets closed. So there are discussions going on about changing some provisions under which the misuse of the act may invite punishment or penalty,” an official in the ministry said.
Punishing a woman for law misuse and filing malicious and false cases? Ooooohhhhh! Is this a dream?, but conversely will be a nightmare for the DV industry ‘experts’! According to the feminazi experts of the world, there are 2 sacrosanct principles which are always invoked whenever a false woman complainant is proposed to be prosecuted:
1. These cases are not really false cases. It’s just that they could not be proven true for lack of evidence, bad prosecution, inefficient police, slow judiciary, whatever else on earth but any blame on the woman herself!
2. Even if it is a false case, we should not discourage because otherwise genuine victims will be afraid to file cases. World over, this excuse is used to justify false rape complaints. In India, it is said that many women are unaware of the actual law and that’s why these cases get filed. So we need to create more awareness (and in the meantime, 65000 married men committing suicide every year may be a small price to pay)
The rest of the proposed amendments are to do with feel-good changes which I believe will get thrown into the dustbin of laws which are drafted and passed, but never get used for any good of society; the same way there has been no real use or convictions in Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
According to ministry officials, the amendments may include widening the definition of ‘dowry’ by changing the words ‘in connection with marriage’ to ‘given before the marriage, at the time of marriage and at any time after the marriage’.
Notifying the list of gifts exchanged during the wedding may also be made a mandatory and failure to do so could invite heavy penalties including a three-year jail term not only to the bride and the groom but also to their parents.
One can keep fine-tuning the definition of what exactly is dowry and what it is not, but if the DP Act of 1961 could not be of any use all these years in reducing or eliminating dowry, how will merely amending definition of dowry do any good?
About the proposed amendment of up to 3 years jail term for list of gifts, well there are many laws like CrPC 340 for perjury which also have jail terms up to 3 years, and others like destruction of evidence and so on in IPC with higher jail terms; but when do we actually hear someone getting actually jailed under these provisions? These laws are made to fool the public into a sense of complacence that things will get better, but in reality both accused and complainant can get to run around in courts for years without any justice in sight.
So I think only the clause which says punish for false complaint MAY have some effect and the other clauses are just there to make it look like a worthwhile amendment being put in place. It is always possible however, that the System may find some ways and loopholes in any amended law to let the bail/DV/divorce industry’s wheels spinning forward. After all, after 498a circulars were issued in many states not to arrest without investigation, what happened really? They changed tactics to keep pressurizing the husbands in CAW cells for months on end and keep harping on the list of items given in dowry. In the end, did it reduce the the number of anticipatory bails and regular bails, the number of false cases filed? Nope I think.