New Delhi, July 28: The practice of Dowry still prevails in the silent nooks and crannies of the Indian society gets a new direction. It has been seen many times that the woman herself frames her in-laws deliberately and to put an end to such a practice, the Supreme Court has asked to immediately release husband and family members in the dowry harassment case.
A bench comprising Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit cracked down on false dowry harassment cases and said there was a growing tendency to abuse Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. To check this, the court ordered the formation ‘family welfare committees’ in every district that would look into all complaints. An arrest without the proper safeguards would be equivalent to brushing aside the human rights of the accused, the bench said. The court said it wants to see for six months how the arrangement worked and sought a report from the National Legal Services Authority by March 31, 2018, about the need for any change in its directions. The next hearing on the matter has been scheduled for April next year.
498a is an Indian law in which a husband and his family are summarily arrested without any investigation when a complaint is lodged by the wife or any of her relative claiming that the husband or his relatives treated her cruelly. Once the complaint is lodged the husband and his family are presumed guilty and it is up to them to prove that they are innocent in a court of law. It does not cost anything to file a 498A, and there is no penalty(or even a fine) for filing a false dowry complaint which has contributed to a fast rise in the number of such cases in courts today.