What is Indian Penal Code Section 498A (Anti Dowry Law):
This law states that :
“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. The offence is Cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable.
The law has been passed keeping in mind the Safety of women and her rights. I do admit that women, who have been victim of domestic abuse, have seen the light of hope and started a new life afresh with this law.
Sad part is, This law is being misused by some women to either settle scores or extort monetary benefits. I did not initially believe it, quite naturally, it was hard to digest the fact that any sane woman would do that.
Few years back, One of my closest family friend (Let’s name him Ishan – identity conceal for confidential reason) was wrongly accused under Section 498A. I dismissed it thinking it must be a mistake, and just like everyone, thought my friend must be at fault. However, when I met his family, I was welcomed with a brutal truth of his matrimony. ‘The marriage was pre-planned extortion scheme’. The Wife, along with her parents and sibling, went ahead and produced forged documents and false claim of confiscation of gold and domestic abuse.
No prize to guess, My friend and his family had been arrested, defamed, ostracized and locked up in jail for days until anticipatory bail was submitted to release them with huge sum of alimony to be paid to the girl.
I recall a day when Ishaan and his family were away from town (post their release), his wife – along with some hooligans – stormed into his apartment and created nuisance for the people around. Next day, me – along with my mom – rushed to their place only to witness the cruelty his wife displayed. Not even once did she display any shame or remorse about her act.
What’s worse is that, The high officials were convinced it’s a malicious trick of the girl and her family. Notwithstanding the evidence, It was the boy who suffered.
This is not the first case I tell you. Some of my friend’s family have had to face the draconian law of 498A costing one of the parent’s life. Many have ended up committing suicide as they could no longer fight the charges leveled against them and the numbers are also increasing to my dismay.
How I wish, media and feminist focussed more on advocating gender-neutral laws. Like I always say, News Channels are concerned on how to encash on TRPs, rather than showing the real stories plaguing our system.
I am not against women, Why Should I?
I am a firm believer for Gender Equality, neither tilting towards men nor women.
I am aware about our country’s mindset, Their affinity towards hating misogyny. The accounts I hear and read about crimes against women is bothering no end. Sadly it still exist, We all as a force are fighting for it. I am not trying to generalize women at any sense, They deserve to be treated with dignity and be given equal rights but not at the cost of sacrificing the opposite gender. How can we conveniently assume that ‘he’ is always wrong and ‘she’ is always ‘right’
If misogyny is a curse, so is misandry
Women, who feel entitled to misuse the laws for their personal agenda and consume their ego, doesn’t have a slightest idea of how much harm and atrocity they are inflicting. What bothers me is Such forged cases has only done more harm to our Indian community, that beholds institution of Marriage as scared. The addition of Prenuptial agreement turned matrimony into a commercial business (Ironically, it’s a safe bet in today’s time)
No men are ready to tie knot, their perception on relationship have been shattered and can no longer trust. Biggest setback of Section 498A misuse is the women, who are truly victimized, are never believed and the wife of the falsely accused husband faces the heat to the extreme level.
I never see feminist advocating for gender neutral Section 498A, they claim men are also part of feminism ideology. If it’s true, why are they silent to the suffering of men inflicted women. Isn’t this a hypocrisy? They jump with joy when a woman dissolute her undesirable marriage and brush it as empowerment but when a guy does the same, he is slapped with Dowry and domestic violence law with a simple verbal complaint, not even sparing the guy’s family who are not even remotely involved.
There is one solution : Reappeal the law and make it Gender neutralized. Crime has no gender and it would appalling to watch an innocent getting punished for a crime he never committed. And punishing 100 men for 1 women is not a good proposition.
When such cases are registered, Cops need to ensure to pay more attention to evidences and be cautious to the details. Conduct Interrogations without judging anyone as victim or perpetrator before the trial.
Women are feeling unsafe for crime against them, so does men for facing false allegations.
To all women, If you ever witness such scenarios in front of your eyes or learn that one of your closest friends, siblings are about to register a fake complaint against husband and in-laws who aren’t culpable of any crime. STOP THEM !! Don’t participate … You have a brother and friend whom you love the most and you never know if he ever gets into such web of allegation.