How to Protect Yourself Against a False 498A complaint?
What is Section 498a?
According to the Indian Penal Code’s section 498a, ‘Husband or relative of the husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty, shall be subject to imprisonment for a term of 3 years and shall also be liable for fine.’ This section was included in the year 1983 to protect married woman from harassment which is related to dowry or from cruelty by her husband or the relative of her husband. The matrimonial cruelty includes all types physical harassment, mental torture to name a few. So, such laws safeguard the married women from continuous force, torture, abuse or threats for unlawful demands by their husbands or his family members. It is a cognizable, non-compoundable offence and non-bailable offence.
Misuse of section 498A
As per Section 498A of IPC, “whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.”
Under the provisions of Section 498A, the accused can be arrested immediately by the police without conducting any preliminary investigation. A wife can file a criminal complaint against the husband and his family on the basis of cruelty done by them.
Are Women Really Misusing Section 498A?
Section 498A was brought into force to give a shape of law to protect married women from domestic violence and ensure to protect their interest. In any case, the current raw numbers recommend that it is additionally broadly being abused by the women for their advantage and consequently causing a nuisance to the innocents. The Supreme Court of India has given a subsequent name to Section 498A which is “Legal Terrorism”. As a rule of abuse, it was recognized that the abuse of the very law was finished by metropolitan and educated women for their self-centered necessities. Likewise, in the greater part of the cases documented under this section, the spouse alongside his family members is prosecuted. An infringement of Section 498A and its objectives are on the ascent due to the women pointlessly making fraudulent accusations against their spouses and his family members for totally unimportant reasons like disposing of them or just causing mischief or harming the family. The maltreatment of this part is consistently occurring out of control and the women abusing it frequently realize that this segment is cognizable and non-bailable and works in a totally bother-free way on the objection of the wife to put the husband or his family members behind the bars. Numerous women abuse the arrangements of this part to get separation from their spouses and remarry or even increase financial remuneration after separation.
How to protect yourself?
A man who is falsely accused under section 498a can file countersuit under various sections of various laws. It depends on the facts, for instance:
- A counter suit can file by a man for defamation under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. Such a case be filed if a woman tries to malign the image of her husband or his family members by falsely accusing them.
- In case a man finds that his wife is criminally conspiring against him or his family members then he can file a case under section 120B of the Indian Penal Code for criminal conspiracy.
- In case a man comes to know that the evidence which is being used against him is false, he can allege that he is being wrongfully framed under section 191 of the Indian Penal Code.
- If a man believes that a false case under section 498a has been filed by his wife against him or his family members, he can file counter lawsuit under section 227 of the Indian Penal Code for violation of condition of remission of punishment.
- In case a wife threatens to harm her husband or his family members, a counter complaint under section 506 of the Indian penal code can be filed.
Procedure for seeking protection against section 498a:
Given Indian laws are loaded with unidentified escape clauses the legitimate recourses for anybody in the event that a life partner’s rationale of abusing the law is known and even shows enrolling a false case under section 498A for individual benefit.
- Get all Evidence and Documents: First and chief in refuting an allegation is would require assembling all confirming proof underscoring satisfactorily the 498A case subtleties. One should begin examining and aggregating however much proof as could be expected, including:
- Any conversation between the husband’s relative and the wife or any type of correspondence including SMS, messages, letters, call accounts, etc. between the wife or her family members.
- Any proof whatsoever that the spouse left her own volition
- Any verification whatsoever that dowry wasn’t requested before or post-wedding
- Anticipatory Bail: If the husband figures his wife may under Section 498A document a FIR, he may have a criminal protection legal advisor get an expectant bail forestalling the husband’s just as his relative’s arrest. Anticipatory bail is like a prudent bail averting arrest. Any of the spouses can petition for anticipatory bail under section 438 of Crpc.
- Quash 498A FIR: Any of the spouses can get the bogus 498A FIR voided by appealing to the High Court under section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. When a FIR has been recorded the Courts are generally hesitant to void a FIR or engage in Police interaction, nonetheless, if there is sufficient proof, the court can void the phony 498A FIR that the spouse may have documented.
- File a FIR charging the spouse for bogus 498 A complaint: The husband may file a FIR against his better half also for extorting or documenting a phony 498A body of evidence against the husband. The Indian police essentially don’t support such FIR; the lone exemption being if the case is invulnerable even the Police licenses/permits such FIR. A decent Criminal Anticipatory bail Lawyer should draft the spouse’s protest so that even the police would be constrained to acknowledge it. In the event that the police won’t register the spouse’s FIR, the husband may embroil the official account for that police headquarters.
- File a case for Conjugal Rights Restitution: If the spouse has left her matrimonial home and had returned to live in her parental home, the husband could be documenting a case for Restitution of Conjugal Rights for example compensation of intimate rights against the spouse u/s 9 of Hindu Marriage Act. The husband would have the advantage and can give orders and may make reference to the agreements that she’ll be following so the two mates can live as married couples once again.
- File a criticism body of evidence against a bogus 498A case: A spouse can record a slander argument also against the wife for censuring the husband’s picture by documenting a phony 498A body of evidence against the husband.
While the 498A case is sought after, the timescale of the case would rely generally upon the verification submitted or documented with the court and the effectiveness of the spouse’s legal counselor addressing the husband’s case in the official courtroom.
If you are someone who has been wrongfully accused under section 498a, do not worry we have got you covered. Contact the best family lawyers in Mumbai for assistance in your case.