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How to Prove a False 498A Dowry Case?

April 09, 2024 हिंदी में पढ़ें


If you are a victim of a false 498A case being filed against you, you can immediately seek legal support through a wide network of criminal lawyers at LawRato. With their expert guidance, you will know how you can prove a false 498A dowry case.


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Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 , (IPC) is massively being misused by several women for their benefit leading to frivolous lawsuits and a lot of inconvenience to innocent husbands. The misuse of the 498A Section of IPC has increased to the point where the Supreme Court of India stated that 498A is being used as a tool for ‘legal terrorism’.   

At some point in time, undeniably, women are quite more victimised as compared to men in society and are subject to cruelty and harassment post their marriage by their husbands or their parents. However, on the other hand, men are the victims when the case of false accusations comes into the picture.

When the guiding principle under the rules of procedure which says, “Let a hundred guilty be acquitted, but not one innocent should be convicted” is brought into consideration we all might come to the conclusion that no one must be falsely accused or convicted, whatever the case may be. If you have been charged through the violation of IPC section 498a, you can talk to an expert criminal defence lawyer using LawRato. Just fill in your details and we ensure to connect with the best-matched defence lawyer within minutes for your case. We at Lawrato go all-out to provide you with the best legal support to defend your rights. 

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What is Section 498A IPC?

Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 deals with the violence a woman is subjected to post her marriage by her husband or her in-laws or by any relative of her husband. This section was introduced in the year 1983 to protect a married woman from harassment that is dowry-related or from cruelty by her husband or a relative of her husband. Section 498A empowers a married woman to lodge a case against her husband or his parents in case of any mental, physical or psychological activity that counts as harassment or cruelty. It is one of the most controversial sections of the IPC. 

However, 498A IPC stands as one of the most controversial sections. This section was made and brought into practice for the protection of women from domestic violence but some women are falsely accusing their in-laws and are filing false cases against them for obtaining undue benefit. Over the past couple of years, there have been several false cases filed under section 498A and several innocent people have been entangled in inane legal proceedings that have led to a waste of time, resources, and efforts for many people.

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What does Cruelty mean?

Cruelty in its wider sense means:

  1. Any willful conduct or behaviour which is of such nature that it compels a married woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury to herself or poses a danger to her life, limb, or health (either physical or mental) or

  2. Harassment of the married woman when it is done with the intention of wrongfully forcing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demands for say, any property or any other valuable security, etc.

There are various kinds of cruelty included in this section. They are:

  1. Cruelty by persistent demand

  2. Cruelty by extra-marital relations

  3. Cruelty by non-acceptance of a baby girl

  4. Cruelty by vexatious litigation

  5. Harassment for non-dowry demand

  6. Cruelty by false attacks on chastity

  7. Taking away children

  8. Cruelty by deprivation and wasteful habits


What is the punishment under Section 498A?

If the husband of a married woman or any of his relatives is accused of subjecting a married woman to cruelty or any physical, mental, or psychological act that amounts to harassment, must be sentenced to a term in prison which may extend to 3 years and shall also be liable to fine.


What are the rights guaranteed under Section 498A?

If any woman has been harassed on demand of dowry or threatened for the same before, after, or during the marriage, her husband and his relatives can be subjected to punishment under section 498A.

Section 498A empowers women with a right to file a complaint against their husband or his family members under this section of the IPC in a case where she is being subject to cruelty or any sort of physical, mental, or psychological maltreatment which counts as or amounts to harassment.

Since the offence committed under this section is cognisable i.e. the arrest of the accused may take place without an arrest warrant and non-bailable i.e. the accused is not entitled to be released on bail as a matter of right, it guarantees immediate custody of the accused.


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What is the need for Section 498A?

Indian Courts have been using section 498A to safeguard married women from marital cruelty and harassment. There are several uses of this law such as:

  1. Most of the cases registered under this section are usually related to dowry. So, there is a dire need for laws like these to protect women from matrimonial cruelty.

  2. In many cases, women are also mentally harassed and there are no laws to make good the loss caused to them because of the mental torture by their husbands or their relatives. Acts like these help women to get justice and protect them from such kinds of odds.

  3. Women are continuously forced, tortured, threatened, and abused for unlawful demands by their husbands and their relatives. This section remains a self-defence weapon with them against such offences committed against them.

  4. The punishment granted to the accused under this section always has a deterrent action and discourages every other person who might, at any point in the future, commit any such offence against his wife.

    You can explore LawRato's criminal law guides to learn more about Popular IPC sections including the 498A IPC guide .

 


What is the evidence required to prove a dowry case under 498A?

Dowry cases are considered a crime against women and fall under various sections of the Indian Penal Code like Section 498A, 304B and the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. To prove a dowry case under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, the following types of evidence can be considered:

  1. Testimonial evidence: Statements from the complainant or the victim, witnesses, and accused persons can be used as evidence. These statements must be recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and should be supported by other evidence. Statements made by the victim, her family members, or other witnesses who have directly witnessed the demand or acceptance of dowry can be used as direct evidence.

  2. Documentary evidence: Documentary evidence such as dowry demands, threats, and harassment can be used to support the allegations. This evidence can include letters, phone messages, emails, bank statements, and other relevant documents that contain information related to the demand or acceptance of dowry can be used.

  3. Medical evidence: Medical evidence can be used to support allegations of physical violence or injury. This evidence can include medical reports, photographs, and expert opinions.

  4. Circumstantial evidence: Circumstantial evidence such as the behaviour of the accused, the timing of the incidents, and the pattern of conduct can be used to support the allegations. Evidence that suggests that the accused demanded or accepted dowry, such as sudden and unexplained changes in the financial status of the accused, can be used as circumstantial evidence.

It is important to note that the burden of proof lies on the prosecution, and the evidence must be convincing enough to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, it is essential to collect and present strong and reliable evidence to prove a dowry case.


What is the misuse of Section 498A or filing of a false 498A case?

Section 498A was brought into force by the lawmakers to protect the interest of married women and also to protect them from cruelty in their matrimonial home. In simpler words, it was given the shape of law to protect women from domestic violence. But the current facts and figures suggest that it is also widely being misused by the women for their benefit and hence causing a nuisance to innocent husbands and or in-laws. That is the reason why this section remains the most fiercely debated section of the IPC.

The Supreme Court of India has given a second name to Section 498A which is “Legal Terrorism”. In most cases of misuse, it was acknowledged that the misuse of the very law was done by urban and educated women for their selfish needs. Also, in most of the cases filed under this section, the husband along with his relatives is prosecuted.

Although 498A IPC is cognisable, the Supreme Court of India recently directed the police authorities to not automatically arrest the husband but before doing so shall satisfy themselves as per the parameters laid under section 41 CrPC. In the latest SC guidelines related to 498A IPC, SC stated that in the absence of specific allegations of dowry demand, the husband’s relatives shall not be forced to undergo trial. These latest Supreme Court judgements on 498A IPC gave relief to the husband and the husband’s relatives against the false allegations made in violation of 498A IPC.

A violation of Section 498A and its goals are on the rise because of women frivolously making false accusations against their husbands and their relatives for absolutely trivial reasons like getting rid of them or simply causing harm or hurting the family. The abuse of this section is steadily taking place like wildfire in the forest and the women misusing it most often know that this section is cognisable and non-bailable and works in a completely hassle-free manner on the complaint of the woman to place the men behind bars. Many women misuse the provisions of this section to get a divorce from their husbands and remarry or even gain monetary compensation after divorce. Since the offence committed under section 498A is cognisable and non-bailable, it is a tough challenge for the wrongly accused men to protect themselves against the false accusations imposed on them by women. And in this way, women are taking the wrong advantage of the fact that they are referred to as the ‘weaker sex’ when compared to the men in society and on the foundation of the rights ensured to them violate others’ rights.

If you are a man wrongly accused under 498A IPC, it is recommended to immediately seek legal support. You can find and hire experienced criminal lawyers using LawRato’s ‘find a lawyer’ service. You can also ask any legal question you are stuck with through LawRato’s ‘ ask a free question ’ option which is a FREE service. You can be assured to expect expert advice to your question within 48 working hours. We will notify you of further updates through SMS and mail.


Under what provisions can a counter case be filed against a false 498A allegation?

There are many things that a falsely accused man can do to protect himself from the fabricated allegations against him under section 498A. A countersuit can be filed in such cases of false accusation under various sections of the IPC. The same has been described in the below-mentioned points:

  1. A counter lawsuit can be filed by the man under Section 500 (Defamation) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 for defamation. A case under this section can be filed in case a woman tries to malign the image of her husband and his parents by falsely accusing them under this section and dragging them to court or jail.

  2. A case under Section 120B (Criminal Conspiracy) of the IPC can be filed by the man for criminal conspiracy. In the case where the man finds that his wife is criminally conspiring against him or his family members, he can straight away file a counter case against her for the same under this section.

  3. Section 191 (Giving false evidence) of the IPC comes into play when the man can start to smell something fishy and comes to know that the evidence which is being used against him is false. In such a case a man can allege that he's being wrongfully framed in the case.

  4. Under the belief that the case filed under section 498A filed by the woman against her husband or his relatives is false, a counter lawsuit can be filed under Section 227 (violation of condition of remission of punishment) of the IPC.

  5. In case the woman threatens to injure or harm her husband or his relatives, a counter-complaint under Section 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC can be filed in a court of law.

    For more provisions under which counter case against false 498A IPC case can be filed, you can check out the & lsquo free legal advice ' on LawRato. Under this free legal advice, you can find the legal answers for an array of legal issues answered by top-rated lawyers. For domestic violence-related legal advice you can find legal advice for most common DV and dowry queries at LawRato.

 


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What is the procedure and evidence required to prove a false 498A case?

The laws are always made to safeguard the rights of the citizens of the country and create a sense of discipline in the society but the people misuse them for obtaining undue benefits and hence cause nuisance and become a problem for innocent people.

The procedure for protecting oneself from a fabricated case under section 498A is:

  1. Collection of all the evidence and related documents: First of all, the person falsely accused must try to catch hold of all the corroborative evidence and documents related to the case. The accused must start compiling as much evidence as he can, such as: - Any conversation over the phone between the wife and the husband or his relatives, or any call recordings of the conversation or text messages. - Any proof that the wife has left her husband's home at her own will.

  2. Get legal advice: The aggrieved party, after having made all the possible efforts from his/her end, must seek legal advice from a criminal defence lawyer in the matter and do as the attorney guides him to do.It is recommended to hire a defence lawyer near your city as they are knowledgeable of the local DV laws and rules.

  3. Filing of Restitution of Conjugal Rights Case: A Defamation case against the false 498A case can be filed: The falsely accused man can file a defamation case under section 500 of the IPC against the woman for maligning his and his relatives' image by filing a false 498A case against them.

  4. A case for Restitution of Conjugal Rights can be filed: In the case where the wife has walked out of her husband's house and is living in her parental house, a case against her for restitution of conjugal rights can be filed by the husband under section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 . Taking this step would add positively to the husband's legal case.

  5. File an FIR against the wife alleging her falsely framing the man in a 498A case: An FIR can be filed against the wife alleging her falsely framing the man in a 498A case or blackmailing him and his relatives or simply causing them harm and hurting them.


Recent High Court judgment on a false 498a case

Here is a ruling that went in favour of the accused as it was proven to be a false case.  

A recent ruling by the Calcutta High Court held that if a wife makes false allegations against her husband and the family members of her husband under section 498A of the IPC, then it would be amount to constituting an element of the offence of cruelty, which under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA) is also a ground for dissolving a marriage. The division bench emphasised in their ruling the significance of false allegations being made by a wife against her husband and his family. IPC Section 498A deals with cruelty towards a married woman.  The term cruelty also included harassment for extracting dowry. It was further held by the court that the act of lodging a false criminal case under section 498A, followed by all the accused being acquitted, needs to be given due consideration in case of considering the husband’s appeal for divorce on merit.


How can a lawyer help in proving a false dowry harassment case?

Being charged with a crime such as the one mentioned under Section 498A is a serious issue. A person facing criminal charges risks severe penalties and consequences, such as jail time, having a criminal record, and loss of relationships and future job prospects, among other things. While some legal matters can be handled alone, a criminal case as serious as that of Section 498A warrants the legal advice of a qualified criminal lawyer who can protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case. Owing to his experience in such cases, a criminal lawyer is an expert in dealing with the complexities involved in cases of mental cruelty and this is why having a criminal lawyer by your side to guide you with a case like this always adds up to your potential in dealing with the case. You can also ask a lawyer online a free legal question using LawRato's Ask a Free Question service.At LawRato we strive to provide the best legal representation our clients deserve. Find and hire experienced criminal lawyers in the legal field with just a few clicks through LawRato, India's leading legal destination for your every legal need.

To know more about section 498a IPC, you can read though LawRato’s legal guide.



These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.


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Comments by Users


Adward
My wife is singer, and she told me one time if we have not permission to sing a song in marriage than i will sucide . I have no proof she tell me what to do?

Reply by LawRato
Since your question is specific and requires more information in order to guide you better, it is advised that you click on the link below and send in your detailed query for Free Legal Advice. 

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Alternatively, you can consult a lawyer who will guide you after understanding the facts of your case better. You can hire a lawyer by clicking on the link below. 

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Abhinav
Hi madam, can a wife impose sec 498A after 11 years of marriage? Any guidelines around the tenure of marriage?

Reply by LawRato
Yes, a wife can impose Section 498A even after many years of marriage in India. There is no limitation on the number of years of marriage for filing a Section 498A case. However, the limitation period for filing a case under Section 498A is 3 years from the date of the last alleged incident of cruelty. This means that the wife can file a case under Section 498A even after 11 years of marriage, as long as the alleged cruelty took place within the last 3 years.

Harsha
Medam where did i give counter complent aganist 498a . I have a proper evedince to prove she given a false complent

Reply by LawRato
If you have been falsely accused or wrongly implicated in a complaint filed under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), you may want to consider filing a counter complaint or counter charge against the person who made the original complaint. In order to file a counter complaint, you must first hire a lawyer. It is advisable to consult with a lawyer who has experience in dealing with cases involving Section 498A of the IPC. Your lawyer can advise you on the best course of action and help you prepare your counter complaint.

Shanker
My wife filed a case against me in the court . And m living in australia and citizen of india So if i travel to india will they stop me there or i can come back without trouble

Reply by LawRato
Since your question is very specific and requires more information in order to guide you better, it is advised that you click on the link below and send in your query for Free Legal Advice. 

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Sandeep
I had filled an diverse case in court . She had 498 A case . I came out of rented house . Can I fill deformation case against her

Reply by LawRato
Since your question is very specific and requires more information in order to guide you better, it is advised that you click on the link below and send in your query for Free Legal Advice. 

Free Legal Advice by Expert Lawyers

Amit Patel
My wife and brother in law filed a false 498 case on me in the month of April .Now what should i do.

Reply by LawRato
The first thing to do is to engage a criminal defence lawyer with expertise in this field of law. A lawyer can best safeguard your interests and prove your case before the court of law. Next you must put all efforts in collecting all evidence which can help prove your innocence to aid the lawyer defending your case. In addition, you can also file a counter lawsuit against the wife for defamation, criminal conspiracy, giving false evidence and/or criminal intimidation etc. under provisions of the Indian Penal Code. 

Sagar Chaudhry
Hello, my wife filed false 498a case against me and my family and the FIR is lodged and the case in the hand of IO what to do please help

Reply by LawRato
A false 498A case can have serious consequences, both for you and your family. It is important to take action immediately to protect yourself. The first thing you should do is consult with a lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand the law and your rights. They can also advise you on how to proceed and represent you in court. You can hire a criminal lawyer by clicking on the link - Top Criminal Lawyers in India.

Apart from this, you must begin gathering evidence that testifies your good character. You can also file a counter complaint for defamation etc. You should also file for anticipatory bail before you are arrested. A lawyer will guide you through all the steps stated here. 

Aadil
Hlw Sir/ma'am My sister in law are false case of dowry system and harass to my brother and whole family then what should I do please help me and suggest 🙏

Reply by LawRato
In case you, or someone you know, is being falsely accused under Section 498A, you can either file a case of defamation against them, or file a FIR alleging that the accusations made by them under 498A are false. You can read this for further guidance. It is also important to engage the services of a good criminal lawyer who is better equipped with the knowledge and expertise to handle such matters.

Pragya sahu
Hi ma'am, Brother and sister-in-law imposed false allegation on us (me, my mother and my sister of dahej act) to obtain a whole property of my father. What should we do. Please suggest

Gulla narsimulu
Sir dvc mc case lo petitioner responded court ku attend kakuntr eddari advaket court ku rakunte case nadusthunda or kottesthara sir

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