Note: the primary intention of this website is not to inform on how to get divorce from cruel wife, so people who are visiting with that intention can read my book or any other book on cruelty on husbands. And maybe stop asking the MRAs about how to get divorce based on cruelty/desertion etc, because most of them have no expertise on those topics anyway.
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If a woman’s complaint accusing her husband and in-laws of cruelty under the dreaded Section 498A of Indian Penal Code turns out to be false, then the man is entitled to divorce, the Supreme Court has ruled.
First of all, this may probably be first such judgment from Supreme Court, but there are multiple such judgments from High Courts and lower courts. Recognition of false 498a as cruelty on husband is not a new phenomenon.
Usually such a judgment leads to much sharing on Facebook, and on various online forums, and email groups by 498a ‘victims’ who tend to think of this as a positive step.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The keywords to be seen in such judgments is “false case”. Most acquittals in 498a will happen without the words “false case” or “malafide intention” etc. in the judgment. The judgment will simply say “lack of evidence” or “prosecution could not prove the charges”.
Most acquittal judgments on 498a will not proclaim it to be a false case, so for such acquittals one cannot file for divorce on grounds of cruelty, nor can one file any defamation suit.
If we look at the details of judgment itself as reported in news, it is clear that all the courts from trial court till SC took the view that the 498a case was filed with intention to harass.
After the wife left her matrimonial home on June 30, 1995, the husband filed a divorce suit on July 14, 1995 on the ground of cruelty as well as irretrievable breakdown of marriage. The wife retaliated by filing a criminal complaint against her husband and seven of his family members under various provisions of IPC and Dowry Prohibition Act. The husband and his family members were arrested and jailed.
On the woman’s statement to police on the complaint lodged by her against her husband and his relatives, an apex court bench of justices Vikramjit Sen and PC Pant said, “This is clearly indicative of the fact that the criminal complaint was a contrived afterthought. We affirm the view of the HC that the criminal complaint was ‘ill advised’.”
The judgments about this case came based on statement to police by the woman. We don’t know the details of statement made to police was but probably it was something like: “My husband has filed a divorce case on me, so I want to teach him a lesson …” or some such thing. Of course our police will accept such statements as enough to register a 498a FIR, but such a case won’t stand in the courts. This case was very old with FIR filed in 1995, and we can expect today’s feminist wives to be much more careful and using suggestions and help from advocates in drafting of FIR itself. Which is not to say they will win in the end, but it is not easy to get a judgment proclaiming it to be false case in the courts. As things stand, the System always wants to protect the woman (white knighthood) and generally it will be tried to get the husband to settle maybe at lower lump sum amount rather than get a woman’s case deemed as false.