What to do if a False Domestic Violence and Dowry case is registered against you
If a false complaint is registered against you by your wife, you have two options – either to defend your case and wait for the judgement or to file a counter case against your wife and prove her wrong. Both are detailed below.
You can defend yourself and your family from being sent to jail because of the false complaint. You have following options to defend your family and yourself-
Collect as many pieces of evidence as possible
Record all conversations (voice, chat, email, letters, etc.) with those threatening and keep the originals in a safe place. It is advised not to produce the original evidence before anyone.
Collect evidence to prove that you have neither demanded dowry nor have taken it anytime.
Collect evidence to prove that she moved out of the bond of marriage for no valid reason.
This evidence will be fruitful in the time of getting anticipatory bail or notice bail from the court.
Safeguard your Family
There are hundred of cases where the whole family is put behind the bars just because of one false complaint. Section 498A has a very wide jurisdiction under which the women can complain against anyone in the family. Even the mother and the father of the husband are not immune. In such a situation the husband can do the following to safeguard his parents and other family members –
Once the FIR is lodged, the man can apply for anticipatory bail or notice bail so as to ensure that the innocent family members are not going behind bars without any just cause.
How the case turns out would totally depend on which state the case is lodged. Different states have different mechanisms to deal with the problems of false cases.
What I suggest in such circumstances
If the police reject to file your complaint you can write a complaint letter and send the same to the SP/commissioner as the case may be and get a “receiving copy” of the complaint.
If the police refuse to give you a receiving copy, you can send the complaint to the police station by registered post. The acknowledgement of which must be kept safe with you.
Police have a higher chance of acting on your complaints after this.
One of the common mistakes the victims of a false 498A complaint do is to try to manage the whole matter on their own and not involve any legal expert in the issue. This often leads to damaging their own case. So, it’s always better to engage a legal expert such as a lawyer to advise you on the matter and if possible do the leg work as well.
File RCR (Restitution of Conjugal Rights)
If your wife has left your place after all the blackmailing and threatening, you can file RCR (Restitution of Conjugal Rights) mentioning the conditions that she should agree on before she starts living with you again.
Do not enter into a Settlement with your wife
If you have to compromise, do it without paying any money. By paying her money you will indirectly accept the blackmailing and guilt. Your act will encourage fraudulent women to do more blackmailing.
Despite all this, if you decide to pay and compromise then do not pay all the money till High court or Supreme court have given the final order of compounding the IPC 498A and all offence including the divorce decree. This is where your lawyer’s role in negotiations will be critical. You should get the settlement conditions agreed by both parties in writing (in the same agreement) including her and her family members. Also get them to file A court statement under IPC-156 that they will not challenge this order in higher courts and that they will take back all the cases filed against you and all your relatives in all the courts. They should get the final instalment of money after all cases and proceedings are withdrawn and closed.
Raise the issue of false complaint
Start writing letters to the media, human rights organizations, etc, telling them about the misuse of Section 498A. Use social media platform for reaching the mass. This will not give you legal relief but bring the attention of the society toward the misuses of the law.