SC orders for magistrate’s approval for arrests under anti dowry law


10879303_sExpressing its concern over the misuse of Section 498A of IPC, the Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained the police from automatically making any arrest under the dubious anti-dowry law. The court observed that disgruntled wives were increasingly using the anti dowry law against their in-laws and husbands.

The court further asked the state governments to instruct police not to go on an arresting spree – the moment such a case is being registered.

The attitude of arresting and then continuing with the rest of the procedure was termed as “despicable” by the court and ordered it to be curbed. Moreover, the police would be required to give valid proof and reasons to a magistrate before taking such an action.

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The Protection of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005

Arrests under anti dowry law

Expressing apprehensions over rampant misuse of Section 498A of IPC, a bench of justices consisting Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice Pinaki Chadra Ghose, said that the law was introduced to combat harassment of women by their husbands and in laws. “The fact that it is a cognizable and non bail able offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives”, the bench observed.

The court also added that nearly a quarter of those arrested under the Act were women and most of them were mothers and sisters of the husbands.

The 498-A was added to the Indian Penal Code in 1983 and provides for a maximum imprisonment of three years and a fine. On the other hand, the maximum sentence under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is two years and a fine.

The court further observed that as an arrest under the Act curbs freedom, brings humiliation and casts scars forever, such an action should not  be immediately taken only because it is a non bail able and cognizable offence.

The court also ordered the magistrates to put on record that the reasons given by the police justified detention, failing which would lead to departmental action and even contempt of court.

The apex court order came in the wake of a petition filed by man from Bihar, seeking anticipatory bail in a similar case filed by his wife.


  1. Thanks to the Apex Court of the country for giving a minimum protection to the mass of deprived husbands and the in-laws who have been the victims of this provision of law, due to misuse of the same by the so called ultra modern, highly educated urban women of our society. Thanks a lot to Honourable Justices for been able to put light on the present scenario prevailing in the society.

  2. This again shows the frustration of patriarchal society.Any attempts of curving police to perform their tasks will lead to disaster to society which has already created by our great judiciary system who promote natural death of criminal with neverending trials with dates which comes even after a year.Police and govt should not vitiate with such type of shortsighted judgements

  3. SC direction dowry law is a wellcome step, as most of the time Act is used to harass the in-laws and husbands by wives and their relatives.

  4. I am a police officer and i welcome this observation by the apex court. In most of the cases having the section 498(A) once the case is registered the complainant mostly the agrevied lady straight go to the state women commission or try to put pressure of arrest of accused persons by other means. once arrest is completed they become complacent. then they try for compromise. it shows that they want to humiliate the in-law members.

  5. Is there any law which protects Man?
    Because women are taking undue advantage of law.
    Some shameless women are making profit by lodging fake cases against man. In such cases most of the men are sufferer. Most of the time men accepts fake charges under pressure of police.

    Legal panel should revise this section 498 to be beneficial to both men and women.

    Total system to be improved with new process.
    Imprisonment should not be their in non cruelty cases.

  6. Section 498A is totally biased, unconstitutional and discriminatory provision. It is simply as well as factually a tool of EXHORTATION under the guise of legality rather protection against so-called dowry or cruelty. By continuing such provisions and misusing its provision for unlawful arrest of father-in-law, mother-in-laws, sister, sister-in-laws of husband, even the Apex Court of this esteem Country ought to consider whether same is a party to it as abetement of offence having given sanction. Though offence U/s 498A is non-compoundable but once exhomoney is exhorted by wife/her Advocate/Police, subsequently they move for compromise and withdrawal of complaint. I suggest all those who are victim of such misuse of provision, not to settle, face boldly arrest, get bail and go for trial for years. Tragedy or comedy of our legislature is that no such deterrent provision is imbibed against misuse of 498A, if Complaint after trial turn out to be false.

  7. The ugly truth really nowadays are that wives and their relatives use laws, which were made for protection of women, as their weapon to spread legal terrorism, to extort meaningless amount of money as ransom for avoiding arrest by filing false dowry cases against them, you can see the history if a newly wedded wife complaints, she would claim husband is an impotent, after passing some months or years the allegation becomes dowry harassment, domestic violence is so freely put in all cases as you say a vegetable vendor to put some coriander with some green chillies for free in the vegetables bought by you,my wife accused me of dowry harassment and domestic violence charges, whereas i hadn’t even touched her without keeping in mind about her consent and comfortability, reason of her differences between us is her mother that’s why i was washing my clothes with my own hands on her directions, they were demanding divorce, permanent custody of our son child, thirty lacks of rupees as ransom, and reason for all this was just that i had not attended a marriage function of her mama’s daughter, she left 7 days earlier saying if you will not come to attend it i will head for divorce and the only way for her family to get their wishes fulfilled was to file a false complaint, i was neither eager nor able to fulfill their demands as a result i was arrested on 4th of June and got bail on the 6th June after they got all my household items all furniture which i bought 4-5 years earlier before my marriage, they left nothing even salt, pepper, spices, my undergarments, my clothes, soaps, detergent, they robbed everything they could, and are showing themselves as a very reputed persons in HIND CINEMA premises of kaithal, Haryana but reality sights among them who faces it, kisi ne kaha hai ” aap mare bina swarg kisne dekha ” .at least there should be a fair investigation with proofs before arresting to defame a husband which is his right of humanity, and justice should be done looking it genderlessly.

  8. Order is against women. This will cause increase in women harrasement , more death and lastly decrease in zender ratio. Women should be ready for more tourture and lastly desertion of sasural.

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