In this judgment the Supreme Court decries the emerging tendency of civil disputes to be converted into criminal disputes to settle scores. This is precisely what 498A is all about. I quote:
“While on this issue, it is necessary to take notice of a growing tendency in business circles to convert purely civil disputes into criminal cases. This is obviously on account of a prevalent impression that civil law remedies are time consuming and do not adequately protect the interests of lenders/creditors. Such a tendency is seen in several family disputes also, leading to irretrievable break down of marriages/families. There is also an impression that if a person could somehow be entangled in a criminal prosecution, there is a likelihood of imminent settlement. Any effort to settle civil disputes and claims, which do not involve any criminal offence, by applying pressure though criminal prosecution should be deprecated and discouraged.
-Supreme Court, Indian Oil Corporation Vs NEPC India Ltd., & Ors., 20/07/2006″
Here is the judgment. The paragraph is highlighted in yellow: