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SECTION 498A - Neeraj Pal

Updated: Nov 22, 2021


In the year 1983, the very need for the law was acknowledged and depending upon this Section 498-A was introduced to safeguard married women from being subjected to cruelty from husband or their relatives. According to the National crime report, approx 8,200 incidences of dowry deaths were reported and about 1 lakh incidences of cruelty by husband or their relatives. It'll take too long to cure the malady of crime against ladies in India and therefore the insertion of Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1860, and the Protection of women from domestic violence Act, 2005, is a trial towards safeguarding and protecting the ladies from the violence of all kinds.

It is one of the foremost anti-dowry laws in India. The insertion of Section 498A IPC could be a penal provision beside allied provisions within the Code of Civil Procedure and are therefore designed on imparting part of deterrence. However, instances of false, exaggerated allegations and implication of many relatives of the husband and his family are running in an exceedingly rampant manner resulting in a widespread acknowledgement of those beneficiary laws as a method to precise revenge by disgruntled wives.


Section 498-A: a husband or a relative of a husband who abuses and does cruelty against a woman will be sentenced to a maximum of three years of imprisonment.

For the purposes of this section, "cruelty" means:

(a) any intentional behaviour that may cause a woman to commit suicide or cause serious injury or endanger her life, limbs or health (mental or physical);

(b) persecute women, if such persecution is to force her or someone connected with her to seek illegal claims for valuable property or mortgage, or if she or someone connected with her is not far from relatives, 4 out of 5 cases are related to dowry, domestic violence or abuse of women.

Among the various stigmas in Indian society, the dowry still occupies a place in the top ten. The physical and mental torture of women in order to satisfy illegal claims. The Indian Government passed the 1983 Criminal Law (Second Amendment) on December 26, 1983, amending the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860 and adding Chapter XX-A on Abuse of Power New section 498(A).

Section 498A of the IPC is the main amendment to India’s 1860 Criminal Law, which was introduced in 1983 to protect women’s rights and empower women. The term "cruel" in the Indian Criminal Law broadly includes persecution that causes physical or mental harm to a woman's body or health, as well as forcing her relatives to implement illegal requirements for valuable property or safety. The pursuit of dowry falls within the scope of the last part of this section, and the circumstances that cause women to commit suicide are also one of the "cruel" elements. According to Section 498A, the husband or relatives of the husband who abuses a woman will be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years and a fine. Section 498A is a recognized criminal offence, not aggravated and not released on bail.


Insertion of Section 498A became executed with the concept of curtailing cruelty in opposition to married girls through their husband and in-legal guidelines and next amendments had been additionally made withinside the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1972 via way of means of the equal modification to efficaciously cope with instances of dowry deaths and cruelty to married girls via way of means of the husband and their relatives.

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, is a linchpin to curtail the immoral and offensive practices in opposition to girls. The complainant can follow for the reliefs beneath phase 18-22 and the period in-between reliefs may be received via way of the appellant beneath Section 21 of the Domestic Violence Act,2005.

The simple necessities to draw Section 498A are:

1. The lady needs to be married;

2. She needs to be subjected to cruelty or harassment; and

3. Such cruelty or harassment needs to be inflicted both via way of means of the husband of the lady or via the way of means of the relative of her husband.

A naked perusal of this phase highlights that the word ‘cruelty’ covers the prevalence of the subsequent act (s):

1. Any willful behaviour that is of this type of nature, as it is in all likelihood, to pressure the lady to commit suicide or to reason grave damage or a chance to life, limb or

2. Health (whether or not intellectual or physical) of the lady; or

3. Harassment of the lady in which such harassment is to coerce her to fulfil any illegal call for any assets or treasured protection or is attributable to failure via way of means of her or any character associated with her to fulfil such call for.


Offences are isolated into cognizable and non-cognizable.

1.Cognizable offence- Are those where the police can capture with no warrant as per the First Schedule or under some other law for the time being in power. The cases revealed under 498A are cognizable if data identified with the commission of the offence is given to the official.

2 Non-Compoundable Offence – The offences enrolled under 498A are non-compoundable. Non-compoundable offences are those where the protest can't be removed e.g., assault, settlement demise, murder, and so forth.

3Non-Bailable Offence – There are two sorts of offences, bailable and non-bailable. 498A is non-bailable. Non-bailable offences are not kidding offences where bail is an advantage and just the courts can allow it. The cases under 498A are non-bailable and bail can be conceded under the attentiveness of the officer.


Section 113A: Presumption as to abetment of self-destruction by a wedded lady — When the inquiry is whether the commission of self-destruction by a lady had been abetted by her better half or any relative of her better half and it is shown that she had ended it all inside a time from the date of her marriage and that her better half or such relative of her significant other had exposed her to brutality, the court may assume, having respect to the wide range of various conditions of the case, that such self-destruction had been abetted by her significant other or by such relative.

Section 113B: Arrangements in the event of the assumption of endowment passing through ruthless physical and mental torment to the lady. The appropriateness of this part stays for a very long time. So it applies to the situations where the spouse ends it all or her demise occurs inside the 7 years of the marriage.

Section 306 of IPC likewise assumes a critical part in the 498A issue. The individual who abets an individual to submit the self-destruction will be condemned to the detainment of one or the other depiction for a term which may stretch up to 10 years or maybe fined.


The grumbling under Section 498-A might be recorded by the ladies abused of offence or by any individual identified with her by blood, marriage or appropriation. What’s if when there is no such family member, then any community worker as might be informed by the State Government for this benefit.

An objection under Section 498-A — Period of Limitation under CrPc

According to Section 468 CrPC, a protest claiming commission of an offence under Section 498-A can be documented within 3 years of the supposed occurrence. Notwithstanding, Section 473 CrPC empowers the Court to take awareness of an offence after the time of restriction on the off chance that it is fulfilled with the essential in light of a legitimate concern for equity.

The substance of the offence in Section 498-A is savagery. It is a proceeding with offence and on each event on which the lady was exposed to remorselessness, she would have another beginning stage of limit. {Arun Vyas v. Anita Vyas, (1999) 4 SCC 690.}


Without a police report, no court can take cognizance of an offence under Section 498-A besides realities which show such offence or upon a grievance made by the person oppressed by the offence or by her dad, mother, sibling, sister or by her dad's or mom's sibling or sister. The Court can take cognizance when a complaint is made by an individual with her by blood, marriage or choice with Court's consent.


The Indian government and jurisprudence keep it up whenever any men whose reputation is defamed with false accusations can choose some legal measures for recovery and seek protection against Section 498A IPC.

• The husband can file a case of defamation under Section 500 of the Indian Panel Code.

• The husband can file a case for recovery of damage.

• Section 182 of IPC is one of the prevalently used measures against false cases. The person will be held liable for misleading the judiciary with false information.

Every one of the sentenced ones will be exposed to detainment for a term that may reach out to 3 years or will be obligated to a fine under Section 498A discipline. There are sure different arrangements too that are interrelated with this under the IPC section.


Numerous occurrences have become known where the objections are not genuine and have been recorded with slanted intention. In some cases, unfriendly media inclusion adds to the hopelessness. By abuse of the arrangement, another illegal intimidation can be released. The arrangement is proposed to be utilized as a safeguard and not as a professional killer's weapon. Nonetheless, a remote chance of maltreatment of a lawful arrangement doesn't discredit it. Section 498-A is protected. (Sushil Kumar Sharma v. Association of India, (2005) 6 SCC 281. )

Housing bogus case under Section 498A of IPC is Cruelty and Ground for Divorce stated by the court in Mrs Christine Lazarus Menezes v. Mr Lazarus Peter, the Appellant spouse requested against Family Court's organization whereby the Family Court had conceded Respondent's petition for the disintegration of the marriage. The Bombay High Court excused the allure and wouldn't meddle with the Family Court's organization in permitting the Petition for separation of the spouse on the ground of 'remorselessness'.

The Court noted for the situation that during the assessment, the spouse had conceded in her sworn statement that she had filled up an FIR with the Kherwadi Police Station, Mumbai, against her better half under section 498-A and 406 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The Appellant spouse complaint to bring back her significant one to their wedding home. Taking into account the previously mentioned, the Court noticed that if the Criminal Complaint recorded by the litigant spouse against her significant other was bogus and was documented distinctly to bring back his better half and ensuing to which he was captured and was in prison for around 7 days, it would comprise an unmistakable instance of cold-bloodedness by the wife against her significant other.


Considering the previously mentioned, the Apex Court gave the accompanying bearings:

Establishment of Family Welfare Committees-Constitution of at least one Family Welfare Committees in each District by the District Legal Services Authority. The Committees might be established out of para lawful volunteers/social specialists/resigned people/spouses of working officials/different residents who might be discovered appropriate and willing. The Committee will investigate each protest recorded in the District under Section 498A. From that point, the Committee will interface with concerned gatherings and the report will be presented by the Committee to the Legal Services Authority within one month from the date of receipt of the objection.

• The court had stated that till the Committee report is submitted no arrest can be brought up. The report would be considered by the Investigating Officer or the Magistrate. The Court likewise expressed that in situations where a settlement has been reached, it will be available to the District and Sessions Judge or some other senior Judicial Officer to discard the procedures including shutting off the criminal case if question principally identifies with wedding dissension;

• The Court has additionally coordinated that assuming a bail application is recorded for the situation, the equivalent will be endeavoured to be settled around the same time. The Court additionally explained that recuperation of questioned settlement things may not without any help from else be a ground for refusal of bail if support or different privileges of spouse/minor youngsters can, in any case, be ensured.

Complaint under Section 498A against people usually dwelling out of India–In this unique circumstance, the Court has coordinated that in such cases seizing of visas or issuance of Red Corner Notice ought not to be compulsorily clung to.

Other headings- Personal appearance of all relatives and especially outstation individuals may not be needed and the preliminary court should allow exclusion from the individual appearance or grant appearance by video conferencing without unfavourably influencing the progress of the preliminary.

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