Jharkhand High Court Highlights Misuse of Section 498A IPC by Disgruntled Wives


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Published on: November 08, 2023 at 11:50 IST

The Jharkhand High Court recently expressed concern over the misuse of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which is designed to address cruelty against women by their in-laws, stating that it is being wielded as a weapon rather than a protective shield by disgruntled wives.

Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi made these observations, pointing out that such cases are often filed hastily in the heat of the moment over trivial issues without proper consideration.

Section 498A of the IPC was introduced with the laudable objective of combating cruelty inflicted by husbands or their relatives.

However, the Court noted a significant rise in matrimonial disputes in recent years and suggested that, in many instances, the provision is being misused by wives. Instead of serving as a shield, it is used as a weapon against their in-laws.

The Court highlighted that minor marital disagreements frequently escalate into serious accusations, leading to the false implication of elder family members by wives.

It was the contention of the petitioners, who were the in-laws of the complainant in this case, that the torture allegations against them were false since they were traveling at the time of the alleged incident.

The Court took note of the fact that the petitioners resided in Hyderabad, while the alleged incident occurred in Dhanbad. Furthermore, it was revealed that the petitioners were traveling on a train on the day of the supposed incident, raising suspicions about the veracity of the complaint.

The Court also pointed out that the petitioners’ roles in the case were not clearly defined, and the allegations against them were vague and general in nature.

Expressing disappointment with the filing of baseless cases under Section 498A of the IPC, the Court dismissed the entire criminal proceedings, including the order of cognizance against the petitioners.

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