Section 498A in the Arnesh Kumar Case

Finally the courts have started to realize that there is tremendous misuse of IPC Section 498A. First it was the Savitri Devi case in 2003, wherein the judge had held that there was growing tendency among wives to come out with inflated and exaggerated allegations roping in each and every relation of the husband. The case had redefined ‘cruelty’ as well. The judge in the case had then opined that if the husband happens to be of higher status or of vulnerable standing, he becomes an easy prey for better bargaining and blackmailing. Continuing the excellent delivery of justice, the recent judgment by Justice CK Prasad in the Arnesh Kumar case has further exposed the grave misuse of Section 498A by scheming women.

Justice CK Prasad in this case reiterated that there is phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years and at the bottom of it is Section 498A of the IPC which was though introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives has been misused to great extent.

Police officers must not arrest the accused unnecessarily

The Arnesh Kumar case is a landmark decision as it is going to provide great respite for those who are framed by the scheming wives as in this case Justice CK Prasad held that police officers do need not arrest accused unnecessarily and magistrate do not authorize detention casually and mechanically.

Justice CK Prasad issued several directions for the government agencies and asked all the State Governments to instruct its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498A of the IPC is registered. However, he allowed arrest if some set parameters laid down are followed and arrest is necessary under Section 41, Cr.PC.

The justice also instructed that all police officers must be provided with a check list containing specified sub- clauses under Section 41(1)(b)(ii) which they will have to follow when they feel the arrest is necessary and that check list must be produced before the Magistrate for further detention.

The judgment further reads that the Magistrate while authorizing detention of the accused shall peruse the report furnished by the police officer in terms aforesaid and only after recording its satisfaction, the Magistrate will authorize detention.

This judgment has made Section 498A, a cognizable and non-bailable offence, bailable as cops can arrest the accused only when they have followed the guidelines/checklist.