• 498a legal advice

Given the widespread menace, abuse and exploitation of 498a, below is a quick brief of my case. I would appreciate vital input in terms of what further course of action and options, if any. Thank you.

1.  My wife and I lived together for 18 months in USA  (2011-2012)

2.  Our marriage took place and was solemnized in India (Amritsar) in March 2011, one month after which she came to America to live with me.

3.  I have not been to Indian since.

4.  We lived by ourselves (Parents live in India)

5.  One fine day (18 months from date of marriage) her father showed up in America wanting to take his daughter/my wife, to India on the pretext that her mother was seriously ill.

6.  It came as a surprise but I let her go.

7.  I soon found out that my wife was being held against her wishes. Her father in an email to a family friend confesses to holding his daughter/my wife against her wishes, and fearing arrest for the same. (I have a copy of the email)

8. I also found out that her father was making attempts to find out my income and assets 1 week prior to taking her back to India. (I have documentary proof to support the same)

9. The motive was now clear - Money!

10.  Her father then began demanding huge sums of money from my parents in India to settle the issue threatening of a police complaint otherwise.

11.  He filed a police complaint.

12.  The complaint was enquired into by 4 different officers over a period of 9 months but no offence was established, hence no action taken.

13.  My parents came to America to visit me.

14.  My father in law pulled connections, applied pressure and got FIR registered in February 2014

15.  My parents applied for anticipatory bail and were granted bail by the Honorable Punjab and  Haryana High Court.

16.  My parents further applied for re-enquiry of FIR and were declared innocent by the police.

17.  We have returned all of their dowry articles/istridhan etc. including shagan money. However our jewellery is still with them.

18.  My wife has now filed for divorce and domestic violence seeking maintenance.

19.  Mediation has not worked. 

20.  The judge has also called for my wife in the maintenance case to hear her version but she won't appear

21.  Her lawyer keeps insisting on fixing a maintenance amount, since she has no income.

21.  We disproved her 'no income' claim by producing 5 lacs worth of FDR's in her name.

22.  We therefore moved an application U/s 340

23.  Since my parents have been declared innocent they have filed lawsuits of civil and criminal defamation against my entire in-law family, along with injunction of our jewellery. 

Key questions that come to my mind,

1.  I have not visited India since 2011 but an FIR was lodged against me in 2014 for an offence that is alleged to have occurred outside of India. This is factually implausible so how can it be legally possible??

2.  I have enough proof to substantiate a happily married life between my wife and I for the 18 months that we were together (Letters, emails, etc.)

3.  In light of the above facts, is there anything more we can do?
Asked 3 years ago in Family Law from United States
Religion: Hindu
the only section that is widely being misused by women in India against men is filing false cases U/s 498A, this observation was also made by the Apex court very recently, it has directed all police stations at the first instance to thoroughly verify the complainant's before registering FIR U/s 498A.
This apart your options against this FIR filed by your wife are,
1) You can apply to the High Court seeking quashing of the FIR on various grounds including on the ground that it is wholly misconceived and false (all evidences of you living in harmony since the time of marriage can be produced as evidence to substantiate this)
2) Send her a legal notice through an advocate for RCR demanding that your wife come back and live with you,
3) advice your advocate to obtain an Warrant from the Judge hearing the case on Domestic Violence and maintenance filed by your wife for the compulsory appearance of your wife to answer the false claims, if this does not work, approach the Hon'ble High Court seeking cancellation of this case without undue delay.
Kiran N. Murthy
Advocate, Bangalore
1010 Answers
91 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

no need to worry, wait till the case start after submitting the chargesheet.

when the matter will take up for argument on charge then argue the matter and try to get discharge from the court or file a quashing petition based on the jurisdiction of the court too.
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
4875 Answers
225 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

1) the allegations made in FIR have to be perused to advice 

2) once  an FIR is registered police are bound to conduct investigations 

3) you can in your statement recorded before the local police rely upon all evidence in your possession to disprove the allegations made in FIR 

4) you have to contest the cases filed by your wife on merits .

5)it appears that prospects of saving your marriage are remote . you   can also file for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty . 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
46678 Answers
2762 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. Where did the cause of action arose as per the FIR? In other words, where did the offence on her was allegedly committed by you and your parents as mentioned in the FIR? Was it in India or USA? If it was allegedly committed in USA then Indian Police has no jurisdiction to lodge FIR for the said offence/crime. USA police will have jurisdiction on the matter. So, the said FIR will fall flat before the Court,

2. If that is so, then how come your wife, being an adult, is not fleeing from the clutches of her father and lodging police complaint? This portion of your query is shredded with mistry. You need to further open up in this regard, 

3. Establish contact with your wife to know what does she want now? If she does not want to continue relationship with you, negotiate with her for converting her divorce suit to mutual consent divorce,

4. If she does not agree, then contest the divorce suit filed by her fittingly.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
18749 Answers
452 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You will have to first get bail for you  if an FIR pending against you.
what bout he FIR filed already, did th police filed the charge sheet.why don't you consider the option of filing a quash petition in the high court if the allegation were found wrong.
If you do not want to continue with her  there is no point in fighting the divorce.
regarding the maintenance the court will order maintenance if your wife is not working.
It is advisable to end the dispute by amicably settling  it.

Thresiamma G. Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1515 Answers
139 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1) The fact is that the Kendall possibility will be determined only during the trial of the case and if you succeed in establishing the factual and legal impossibility you will be acquitted of the charges. However it is advisable to take anticipatory bail to avoid possible detention on arrest.
2) As you have proof if a happy domesticity file for Restitution of conjugal rights asking your wife to come back and resume the marriage.

3) All that you need to do is to file for RCR now.

S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
2263 Answers
110 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

This is another common menace that is going on in our country just for greed of money or fanatic ego.
Well in your case since the matter remains quashed in respect of the allegations against your parents, you may, with the help of  a skilled lawyer can file for quashing the FIR pending against you on the grounds that you never visited India since 2011 though the events are alleged to have taken place much after that.The email of your father in law demanding money and posed threats to your family may be an additional evidence to support your pleadings to quash the pending case. 
In domestic violence maintenance case or separate maintenance case, do not give in to the pressure tactics adopted by the greedy lawyer of the other side, his intention is to take sizeable percentage out of the maintenance amount so ordered by court hence he is insisting on it even if she kept away from the case or court. 
Knowing her true color now, you may decide to give away divorce to her as desired by her but without any alimony. There is no reason to pay her alimony if she has voluntarily abandoned her matrimonial home without any valid reason or ground.  This may be argued before the court to repudiate her claim.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
36851 Answers
403 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. It is possible that your wife may have acquiesced to the legal action initiated by her father under duress from him. Her absence in the maintenance case lends credence to this suspicion. If you found an email where her father confessed to have kept your wife against her will you ought to have immediately moved the HC for her release, this is a legal proceeding you can initiate even now. It does not appeal to my legal mind that after living happily for 18 months your wife will out of her free consent, sans any behavioral precursor, leave you to initiate legal proceedings against you.

2. The FIR against you has no legs to stand on in the court. You should apply for quashing of the case.

3. The defamation cases filed against you can be contested in the court by you and your family by entering defence.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
23097 Answers
639 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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