Now the things under section 498A has been drastically changed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. Better get issue a legal notice and file a case either for Restitution of Conjugal rights by your son or for divorce by your son as a defense. It will be shield for you in future.
No arrest in dowry cases till charges are verified, says Supreme Court
…..family welfare committee
NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over disgruntled wives misusing the anti-dowry law against their husbands and in-laws, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed that no arrest or coercive action should be taken on such complaints without ascertaining the veracity of allegations.
Acknowledging a growing trend among women involved in marital discord to abuse Section 498A of IPC to rope in their husbands' relatives — including parents, minor children, siblings and grandparents — in criminal cases, a bench of Justices A K Goel and UU Lalit said it was high time such frivolous cases which violated the human rights of innocent was checked.
This is a shift from the dominant judicial conception of women as victims who would silently suffer injustice rather than bring disrepute to their family by taking domestic conflict outside the four walls of the home. Going by the popular portrait, it is only the worst victim of abuse among women who approach the court for redress.
On Thursday, the court broke away from the reigning perception to rule that in dowry cases, the account of the alleged victim need not be taken at face value.
Undercutting the innocence law enforcement agencies had so far assigned to complainants in dowry harassment cases, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed all states to set up family welfare committee (FWC) in each district and tasked them with testing the veracity of every complaint.
"It is a matter of serious concern that large number of cases continue to be filed under Section 498A alleging harassment of married women...
Many such complaints are not bona fide. At the time of filing of the complaint, implications and consequences are not visualised. At times, such complaints lead to uncalled for harassment not only to the accused but also to the complainant. Uncalled for arrest may ruin the chances of settlement," the bench said.
"We are conscious of the object for which the provision was brought into the statute. At the same time, violation of human rights of innocent cannot be brushed aside," it added.
More FAQs for your personal guidance.
Q. Can my wife or her family file a false 498a (dowry) case against me? What are the indications that a wife or her family can file 498a?
A. There are some indicators which are listed at: http://www.geocities.com/gorky_maksim/pages/assessrisk.htm
Q. Neither I nor any of my relatives demanded or have taken any dowry. Can she still file 498a?
A. Yes. Any Indian wife and her relative can file 498a on her husband, his parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, wives of brothers, and other relatives. 498a (dowry harassment case) leads to arrest without any verification or investigation.
Q. I have given a huge amount, say Rs. 5 lacs, to my wife or her parents by cheque. Can she still file 498a?
A. Yes. No investigation is done before 498a is filed and arrest warrants are issued without investigation.
Q. My parents never stayed with us. Can she still file 498a against them?
Q. My wife or her family is threatening to file 498a and they are very abusive. What should I do?
A. Safeguard yourself, your parents and your relatives.
1) Be very polite in all circumstances. Record all conversations (voice, chat, email, letters, etc.) with those threatening and keep the originals in a safe place. Never produce the originals before anyone, not even before your lawyer. You can buy Olympus W-10 voice recorder, which costs about Rs.4500. You can also buy a telephone recorder.
2) Write a complaint to your nearest police station, detailing about blackmailing, her false allegations and her unscrupulous behavior. And request in your complaint to make her stop the threats and abuses immediately.
3) File RCR (Restitution of Conjugal Rights). Remember to include conditions that she should agree on before she starts living with you again.
4) Collect evidence to prove that you have neither demanded dowry or have taken it anytime.
5) Collect evidence to prove that she moved out of the bond of marriage for no apparent reason.
6) If she does not already know, make sure that she does not come to know that any of your family members is an NRI.
7) Don't remain home during weekends and holidays. Have proofs of where you were. For instance, if you were in a mall, have a credit card transaction in that mall and keep the copy of that transaction.
Q. I think that I should go for divorce instead. Is it a good idea?
A. Don't make the mistake of filing for divorce. You will land up in a lot of legal problems. Apply for divorce only after you get RCR in your favor or after you get an ex parte decree on your RCR or mental cruelty is as extreme as mentioned in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/qrydisp.asp?tfnm=28609
Q. I'm very worried about my parents. What should I do to protect them?
A. Disown them legally: ask your family members to give legal notice by way of affidavit in two newspapers. Ask them to produce the newspapers before the Circle Inspector and Investigating Officer before and when they come to arrest them. If your family members are still arrested, produce the newspapers at the time of applying for anticipatory/ regular bail.
Show up a smiling face to them. Your happy face will provide them the strength.
Q. My wife or her family are demanding money, joint property, joint account, separate accommodation, jewels, etc. and threaten, directly or indirectly, that they will file 498a if their demands are not met. What should I do?
A. Don't meet their unreasonable demands. It usually doesn't help. It will rob you of your hard-earned money that you need to spend on lawyers later. If you lose it now, you will not have anything to fight your case later in court and you'll become almost a bonded labor.
If you still need to pay them money, pay it as an explicit loan and only by cheque so that you have a record of the transaction.