Consider the following, drawn from the 2013 data of the National Crime Records Bureau: Of the 968,728 undertrials under IPC 498A, 17,542 (only 1.8%) persons were convicted. Who returns the life lost in litigation to the remaining 98.2%? Of the 222,091 arrested under IPC 498A, only 7.9% were convicted. Will the life of the 92.1% falsely arrested remain the same?
Husband suicides (64,098) are more than twice that of wife suicides (29,491) over the last 20 years. Family issues, and not financial troubles, were the major reason.
In a recent judgment, the apex court in Arnesh Kumar vs State of Bihar emphasised following the Procedure of CrPC 41A since Section IPC 498A is being used as a weapon by disgruntled wives.
The court based its judgment on the NCRB data and reiterated the need for action against police officers not adhering to the CrPC 41A procedure.
Even now such arrests happen without investigations or due procedure. Women’s organisations are contesting the court judgment in the court of public opinion.
In 2011, the Rajya Sabha’s Committee on Petitions in its 140th Report on Amendments in IPC 498A observed that in case the gross misuse continues, IPC 498A should be made bailable and also that the misuse clause should be in the Section itself. –
Misuse clauses can be put in 498a or other sections, however the reality is that clauses to punish false complaints, false evidence, lying on oath (perjury under CrPC 340), wrongful prosecution by police already exist in IPC etc BUT they are never utilized in the sense that magistrates or police do not use them as a matter of routine. Maybe because judges love to see a queue of 50-90 cases in cause list everyday! Why punish any false complainant because maybe then only 30 cases will show up in the cause list!
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