Here is a great judgement from Justice Swaroop Reddy Of the AP HC. He basically acknowledges the abuse of 498A going on in the country and in the state.
Here are some excerpts:
- 8. Before parting with the petition, I feel it desirable to observe that there is rampant misuse of S.498-A IPC. False complaints are given against kith-and-kin of the husband, including the married sisters and their husbands;unmarried sisters and brothers and married brothers and their wives. There are instances where even young children, aged below ten years, were also implicated in the offences of this nature. My experience, while sitting in matrimonial Bench revealed that several families are ruined; marriages have been irretrievably broken down and chances of reconciliation of spouses have been spoiled on account of unnecessary complaints and the consequent arrest and remand of the husbands and their kith-and-kin. To discourage this unhealthy practice, it is desirable that anticipatory bail is granted very liberally in all cases of S.498-A IPC, particularly when the petitioner/accused is not the husband of the complainant and when the allegations are not very specific and prima facie do not inspire confidence.
- 9. Section 498-A IPC is incorporated by the Legislature basically in the interest of women and to safe guard them from harassment. But, it has become somewhat counter productive. In several cases, women are harassed, arrested and humiliated on the complaints given under section 498-A IPC. The truth or otherwise of the allegations is subject to proof. For giving complaint absolutely no authentic and prima facie material like medical evidence is required, but on such complaints, in several cases, number of women are being arrested. In cases of arrest of married young women, they might face problems from their husbands and in-laws; in case unmarried women are arrested their marriage prospects would be badly affected and if government servants are arrested their service prospects are affected. In the present case, only one woman is the alleged victim; but at least four women might have to go to jail even before trial, effecting their reputation, subjecting them to rude treatment at Police Station etc.
- 10.Only in cases where, strong and authentic evidence like letters written by the accused-husband to the spouses or their parents etc., are available and where there is sufferance of serious injuries or death of the victim only, perhaps, it is desirable to refuse anticipatory bail, that, too, for the accused-husband. Another important aspect is in this type of cases; there is no chance of witnesses turning hostile or being influenced by the accused, as the witnesses would invariably be the kith-and-kin of the alleged victim like herself and her parents etc.These aspects have to be kept in view, while dealing with the cases of anticipatory bail/bail in cases of offences involving section 498-A IPC.
Here is the judgment: AP HC Acknowledges The Abuse Of 498A