Law Students from across the country have written a letter to the Ministry of Law and Justice to amend Section 498A OF IPC.

The Law students requested to amend the Section 498A of IPC which leaves a husband helpless and threatened.

It is indeed a misfortune that the law which was enacted to protest the interest of a particular group of people is now itself is being used by the same group of people to blame the other group. In ancient times, women were considered polite, vulnerable and weak as compared to the men and only they can be the subject to cruelty by their husbands, relatives, in-laws but now the whole concept has changed.

Women are seen using this law to satisfy their personal hatred towards their husband and his family members. They are making false charges against their husbands as a ground for divorce. Huge backlogs of cases in courts and numerous petitions under section 498A of the Indian Penal Code gives us the proof. [Source: Lawyers Club India]

According to the Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 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.

“Cruelty” here means:

  • any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman.
  • harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.

The Law students from all over India, wrote a letter to the Ministry of Law and Justice requesting them to revisit the provisions of Section 498A of the IPC, 1860. The letter questions the remedy available with the husband to seek if he is facing cruelty or is being threatened by his wife. The law does not mention any kind of remedy available to a husband which leaves him helpless.

The letter provided the explanation to why Section 498A, IPC was introduced and how it was the need of the hour, keeping in mind the dowry death cases that were at the peak in India. However, the letter draws a contrast on the basis of the past two decades.

As the time changed, the suicide rate of women decreased by 2 percent whereas the suicide cases of men increased by 48 percent due to pressure and threats given by their wives. There is a 61 percent rise in the deaths of husbands.

The letters requested the Ministry of Law to look up on the helplessness of the husbands who don’t wish to divorce their wives but at the same time wants to put an end to the cruelty that they are facing.

According to the letter, the provision enacted to protect the married woman is now being “used as a sword to fulfil their vendetta by filing false charges against their husbands and their relatives.”

The Law students requested the Ministry of Law and Justice to take the suo-moto cognisance of the issue and make suitable amendments in Section 498A.

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