It’s a short news: but the way the news starts off shows how much hopes and aspirations people of India these days have from PM Narendra Modi. I mean the news starts off with “Narendra Modi government…” and not “Central government …”. Anyway… the end result will be the same, it’s just giving hopium to masses.
New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government is examining ways to stem misuse of anti-dowry laws. The home ministry is planning to tweak the controversial Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code to prevent its blatant misuse. A new section is likely to be inserted to make offences under it compoundable with the court’s permission, which will allow an accused to escape jail by paying a fine.
The MHA has received feedback from state governments in favour of changes, and it is likely to circulate a draft bill soon for inter-ministerial consultation. At present, under Section 498A IPC, dowry offences are cognisable, non-bailable and non-compoundable, where the petitioner cannot withdraw a case. It has no provision for out-of-court settlements.
After consulting states, the MHA plans to make offences compoundable, sources said. The permission of the court will be a safeguard against attempts where a wife may be coerced into a compromise with her husband and in-laws. The move to tweak the tough provisions of Section 498A first began in 2012 when the Law Commission advised that the offence be made compoundable. “It has taken the MHA two years to get the views of the states, a majority of which are in favour of changes,” a top official said.
The SC in July had criticised misuse of the law, and directed to instruct that the police not make automatic arrests under it.
- The home ministry is planning to tweak the controversial Section 498A IPC to prevent its blatant misuse.
- Under this Section, dowry offences are cognisable, non-bailable and non-compoundable, where the petitioner cannot withdraw.
The SC judgment on following CrPC 41 guidelines for arrest in 498a and 7 year punishment offences is covered here.
Let’s see the much touted benefits given by “law misuse folks” in favour of 498a being bailable and compoundable:
- Fear of arbitrary and automatic arrest will disappear because accused can apply for bail since it’s a bailable offence.
- Some men believe that wife is filing cases under pressure from parents and that is undeniable fact in 99.9999% of cases. So they think there is some chance she can re-discover what a catch her husband is, and withdraw the 498a case and live happily ever after.
About point 1, that is a correct conclusion.
About point 2, this is a dream which will always remain a dream. For the reality is that if a wife even so much as calls up the police station or talks verbally to some NGO or files a complaint to CAW cell, or files a maintenance case, that marriage will break and it’s just a matter of time. The law of mother’s-wish-over-husband rules in feminist families and mostly the 498a cases are filed by daughters brought up in feminist and matriarchal kind of families. So whether IPC 498a is made compoundable or not is not going to make an iota of difference to how the self-loathing folks want to run their lives. They couldn’t care less how the word compoundable is spelled… the important thing for them is husband should be under their thumbs.
And what are the benefits if any of 498a staying the way it is, i.e., non-compoundable and non-bailable.
1. Wife can’t file 498a and then ask to come back. I mean they can and several of them do, but it makes a clean break and creates clear picture in minds of everyone of what kind of threat such women pose to a sane and peace loving person. Else the parents and relatives of husband will always keep putting pressure on him to adjust, compromise, bring wife back, and what else.
2. Like above, the only benefit of non-bailable can be that the fear of nuke option that is 498a creates some clarity in your folks that the line is crossed and there is no going back now. Else husbands will be kept hanging like Trishanku in the middle. Be charged with a crime and yet try to be a loving husband at the same time! What kind of nonsense is that?