This judgment of Justice Dhingra led to the standing order from Delhi Police Commissioner YS Dadwal, prohibiting the arrests in 498A cases without the permission of the DCP (Jun/21/2008).
You can read about this here: Delhi Police Commissioner: No 498A Arrests W/O Permission Of DCP
Publication: Times Of India Delhi;
Date:Nov 2, 2007;
HC: Wife can’t use failed marriage to harass in-laws
Abhinav Garg | TNN
New Delhi: Dismayed by the increasing misuse of anti-dowry laws, the Delhi high court has observed that failed marriages are ‘‘not a crime’’ and berated the tendency by women to see souring of matrimony as valid ground to get even with the husband and in-laws or to extract money.
‘‘A failed marriage is not a crime. However, provisions of section 498-A (cruelty by in-laws or husband) are being used to convert failed marriages into a crime and people are using this as a tool to extract as much monetary benefit as possible,’’ Justice S N Dhingra said on Thursday while acquitting the husband, in laws and ‘jethani’ of a woman who had alleged that they poured kerosene on her and set her on fire due to her inability to get dowry or secure an employment for her husband.
‘‘It must be acknowledged that marriages do fail and there is a mismatch not only in an arranged union but even in love marriages, which is discovered during the continuation of married life,’’ the judge remarked as it turned out that the harassment charge was slapped by the wife because she was unhappy with her husband’s unemployment and a life of penury.
- ” It is her own case that a container of 05 litres of kerosene oil was poured on her. 05 litres of kerosene oil is an enormous quantity of oil and if this quantity is poured on a person and fire is lit, he/she will immediately turn into a fire ball. Presuming that the complainant had extinguished the fire immediately by pouring a bucket full of water on herself and by tearing her clothes, in that case the unburnt kerosene oil would remain on clothes and she would have been profusely smelling of kerosene oil. Not only her clothes but her entire body would have been drenched with kerosene oil and her clothes would have been drenched with kerosene oil and water. It is not her case that when she was removed to hospital her clothes were changed or she was washed off and bathed, rather her allegations are that she was continuously beaten for two hours before having been removed to the hospital and she kept lying there for two hours in kerosene oil and water. It cannot be believed that on seeing a patient in such a condition, doctor would have closed his eyes and would not record the condition in the MLC. “
- “Her husband was not a criminal neither it is alleged that he had any criminal background. A poor man who was starving for his survival and had to work as a labour from morning till evening for livelihood, could not have given threats to kill his own son and father-in-law. This story of threat seems to have been developed later on by the complainant in consultation with father. “
- “The Courts must be very cautious during trials of such offences. In all these cases in the name of investigation, except recording statement of complainant and her few relatives nothing is done by police. The police does not verify any circumstantial evidence nor collect any other evidence about the claims made by the complainant. No evidence about giving of dowry or resources of the complainant’s family claiming spending of huge amounts is collected by the police. This all is resulting into gross misuse of the provisions of law.”
- “From the entire documents and the testimony of the witnesses I come to the conclusion that it is an unfortunate case where the complainant by making false statement implicated the entire family in offenses of under Section 307 and 498 A IPC. The Trial Court was not cautious enough to even look to admitted documents on record before convicting the family on mere statement of an estranged wife. Trial Courts should guard themselves from being swayed by emotions. They should consider entire circumstances and should carefully analyze the entire evidence. Poverty should not be allowed to become a crime. Neither failed marriage be permitted to be a crime.”
Here is the judgment: Delhi HC: Wife Can’t Use Failed Marriage To Harass In-Laws