498 A is a dreaded draconian law. It is more misused than used. Once one honorable Chief Justice of India termed this law as,”LEGAL TERRORISM.” This law appears to be pro women but the travesty of the fact is that it works against women also. During its misuse the false case under this section is filed against all women of the family including old ailing ladies. According to one survey highest number of women have been arrested under this section. Although now the honourable supreme court has ordered not to arrest the accused persons automatically, yet it is very much necessary to know tips to avoid its misuse since none knows who will become its victim.
Generally small differences in the family culminate in filing false cases under 498 A. Therefore it is very much essential that marriages are made in the families of same background. It has been seen that if someone marries with the girl of richer or more well to do family. The bride refuses to adjust with the groom’s family members. There is a pressure on the groom to break away from his family members. If the groom refuses to comply, the resulting tension sometimes culminates in false 498 A case. In one such case the bride committed suicide and the hapless groom’s family had to face criminal trial under section 302 B.
Recently I interacted with two families which became victims of 498 A misuse. Both of them told that their very close relatives were involved in the marriage. So they did not make proper and discreet enquiries about the bride and her family. In one case the bride was mentally challenged, the groom’s family tried to adjust but could not succeed. In another case the the bride used to lose temper frequently. Her husband took her with him at Delhi where he was doing job. But she could not adjust there also. She left the groom’s house and after some months filed false case under 498 A. The Police came and arrested groom’s mother, father, brother and brother’s wife. The ladies were released after sometime and rest were sent to jail. All this could have been avoided if there were proper and discreet enquiries about the would be life partners and their families. So even if some close relatives are involved in marriage negotiations, never forget to make proper and discreet enquiries yourself, since it is you who will have to face the music.
If you are suspecting misuse of 498 A, tell your parents to legally disown you by advocate’s help. You may also contact other sites such as 498a.co.in and www.498 A. org etc., for guidance.