After a recent Supreme Court judgment to prevent arbitrary arrests under IPC 498a, the home ministry has sent a letter to all states and union territories informing and advising them about the same judgment. The letter dated Jul 10, 2014 is given below. It has to be send to State Secretary as well as DGP (Director General of Police) of each state. In due course of time, the knowledge about this SC judgment and about following CrPC 41 and 41a guidelines on powers and procedure to be followed by police before arrests will percolate to each police station. Use this circular to make the local police aware if they aren’t already (don’t assume they are). PDF copy is here, and the same 2 pages are given in the post below.
Will this circular ensure that I don’t need to worry about arrest in 498a? No. The judgment doesn’t say that there be no arrests in IPC 498a (or for offences with less than 7 years punishment), but it only says that there will be consequences for both police and trial court magistrate if they don’t follow scrupulously the guidelines for arrest as given in CrPC 41 and 41a. But with good awareness and fight back by citizens, the arrests should come down a lot since if the conviction rate is only 6-7% in IPC 498a, there obviously is a huge abuse of arrest powers happening till now with average 2 people being arrested per IPC 498a case.
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Should I still apply for anticipatory bail? Up to you. Everyone wants to be safe, and anyway if you approach an advocate, you can’t expect an unbiased answer since he/she earns by applying bail, so there is a conflict of interest.