14 March 2012

Arrest My Husband

‘Arrest my husband’ – a shocking demand, isn’t it? What if it wasn’t a figment of my imagination but the truth? What if that is what, a once (deceptively) dutiful wife, wants? What if now, with revenge on her mind, she goes all out to ‘prove’ to the powers that be, that her husband & his parents, siblings/friends are all fiends & deserve a jail term, no less? What if such demands are increasing by the day? What if the law, the police, the twisted judicial system are all favoring her? Sounds out of a movie? It is not. This is what has happened in the life of a very close one in my husband’s family.

These cases are referred to as 498A meaning all dowry harassment related cases. I was not even aware of it until it hit SO close to home. And then we were all in shock! 3 years into the marriage, the woman turns around & slaps a 498 against her husband & family. Caught unawares, & still not believing what just happened, they are at first in denial until their son is roughed up by the police & they are asked to file for anticipatory bail. And this is happening by the dozen everyday (at least here in Bangalore).

Also read The Week – March 2012 Issue, page 43, the Nisha Sharma case – the girl who misused the 498 to stall her arranged marriage as she was already secretly married to her boyfriend!! And Bikram’s post here.

The 498 allows a wife to write a complaint of dowry harassment. The accused mentioned in the complaint can be immediately arrested without sufficient investigation (!!!) & put behind bars on a non-bail able terms. Even if the complaint is false (which is repeatedly accepted by High Courts & Supreme Court), you shall be presumed guilty until you prove that you’re innocent. !!! It is understood by all that this is a blackmail attempt by the woman when the marriage has failed. Most 498a cases end with a big demand for money to settle the case out of the court. (This has already happened in our case. They have thrown an obscene figure on our face.) As one lawyer states, “The moment she files a 498A against you, the balance of power shifts decisively in her favor. She is no longer a “weak” woman, an “Abala Nari”, but an avenging angel who has various corrupt branches of the government working on her side.” Many legal experts accept that it is an extortion racket.

The most important thing that all women must remember is what Madhu Kishwar, women’s rights activist says, “False 498A cases hurt the woman in the long run. She will be treated like radioactive material. Re-marriage would be a distant dream. Marriage of her siblings too would be in jeopardy. Who would want to marry off their girl into a house where a woman has terrorized her husband’s family? If it is filed at the instigation of close relatives, once the relatives get what they want, they will abandon the woman. The beneficiaries are the lawyers only.”

The sad part is if these false cases keep rising at the rate at which they already are, then that day won’t be too far away when even genuine complaints would be looked at with great suspicion & they may not get the full advantage of a law that was drafted to protect their interests & give them legal relief. Maybe that day has already come.

(The 498 Case Survival Kit:

http://ipc498a.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/a-guide-to-surviving-ipc-498a-apr-2008ci.pdf)


182 comments:

  1. I am not so shocked by the turn of scenario Sujatha!! Despite all the wives harassing husbands hungama, if you go to see the latest edition of India Today which sites so crystal clear that India is fast pacing in crimes of passion. More than political vendetta the new worry is about Indian homes that are getting wrecked not only in 3 years but hardly within a year of marriage.And men /women are so complacent if marriages don't go "their way" -some indulge in immoral acts while some resort to killing the partner. It is really shocking but our country is facing major family crisis today! And you are right -"Maybe that day has already come".I don't know what we are heading to.

    And thanks for the info about 498 Sujatha!:) I never knew about it until I read your post!

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    1. yeah, some crazy times these are! and if this hadn't happened in my own family, i too would never know about 498 - such a scary number now
      but thing is, even if i knew, or if someone instigated me, i would not use it
      once the love is gone b/w husband & wife, what use is the money that the court may give you?

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  2. Yes there is a lot of misuse of 498A..mostly it is an innocent boy & his relatives who have to suffer & the use of this law kills all chances of rapprochment.Good post Sujatha.

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    1. yes, the person from my family still had hopes that they would get back together but after he was arrested, and spent a day in jail and saw her smirking when he was taken away, he was crushed. it does kill all chances of reconciling the differences. he is very much ready for divorce now

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  3. Absolutely Sujatha! You hit the nail on the head when you say that it will hit women in the long run. I am also seeing increasing abuse of 498 to blackmail, threaten and prosecute innocent men. It is also used as a weapon by the family of the girl to harass the boy and the in laws. Do you remember last year there was a case of a suicide of a techie who in his suicide note explained how his innocent heart patient father and him were victimized by his wife belonging to UP. He was arrested as she complained under 498 of dowry harassment. It is shocking how this is on the rise. I wonder why none of the women are speaking up against this atrocity. Kudos that you took up this issue through this post.

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    1. you know Rachna that case of the techie - now it feels so real - i mean after actually seeing it with my own eyes how it affects families, i am understanding the gravity of this

      i can understand if it an actual case of torture but if not, if things have spoilt between the married couple, if i was in that situation i would prefer to walk away quietly than all this mud-slinging legal battles. she is losing more than him if we see properly

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  4. i was shocked after reading the blog title. yeah, It happens a lot nowadays. A similar incident happened in my neighbourhood too. Who is to be blamed?? Sadly the increasing, secret behind-the-camera affairs is killing our culture too :( :(

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    1. you are right Uma - it seems that when the woman has an affair and is afraid of being caught, but wants to escape from the marriage, this 498 is a good choice - she gets divorce plus good amount of money!!!! can you believe it? it's so gross

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    2. yeah, its disgusting :( :( but we cant help it :( Atleast we're good :P :P

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  5. Yes, I have heard of similar cases too, too many in fact; the system needs to get the 'presumption of innocence' back with fast trials...good post Sujatha, highlighting a growing menace.

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    1. Sir i was completely unaware of this deadly number '498' until it happened right in our own family & now i just feel so sad for all the poor victims

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  6. WOW! Was really intrigued by the title of your post. Thank you for enlightening us with this serious issue, Sujatha. The only concern I have is, the real victims of dowry harassment might be treated the same way as the other women who use the section 498 to blackmail the innocent. But we all know there are many genuine cases of dowry harassment everyday, so people's perception towards these genuine victims shouldn't change just because of the few rouge ones. A very thought provoking post, as always. :)

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    1. correct Akshay - if we senseless, stupid, mean, brainless women continue to misuse this provision then we are hurting ourselves more. because of 10 bad women even if one 1 genuine case goes unnoticed its really bad. for the greed of some crazy women, so many women who are actually suffering are also getting affected

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  7. You have articulated at length about the misuse of this particular law, would like to add - unfortunately the ones abusing the intended 'protection' of the law seem to be sensible and well educated women.

    With no intention of fueling an argument, I wonder what the feminists have to say in this regard?

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    1. in our case, the girl is not educated but the one who is "tutoring" her is pretty aware of all these legal things and "guiding" her - she even brought in the Mahila Ayog into the picture and through them openly asked for money otherwise....will proceed further dhamki !

      as for the feminist, i am not one. no idea :(
      i just feel, if the relationship has soured, better to just move on. these legal hassles makes one even more bitter and scheming and so much negativity. i swear i wouldn't have resorted to it (i am educated)

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    2. The problem only gets bad when people let someone else remote control their lives and worse if the remote falls into the hands of someone devious.

      Unfortunately we live in a world which seems to be bent on serving of a skewed sense of retribution rather than moving on as you've put it.

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    3. well guys i don't agree to it completely.Tell me what if your own sister is tortured by the husband's family just for dowry??? What if she had been physically or mentally abused by her husband or his family?? When she would tell you about this would you still suggest her to just move on???
      Its easy to comment when it's not the case with you or someone close to you.....

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    4. in this case there was NO demand for dowry or any form of emotional or physical torture at all

      if there was, then yes, i am with you Himanshu and agree completely to what you said

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    5. Dear All,

      After reading this blog. I would like to discuss my case. My sister got married in Dec-2010(love marriage)against wishes of family. However, we did her marriage with all celebretions. During the course (before & after marriage) her husband was trying hard to do some business and was not settled, therefore, my sister was asked to support family by continuing her job. She kept supporting the family for two years. During this time she realized that Her mother in law never trusted his son and kept all properties and jewelary(given to my sister during marriage) with her married daughter. They sold their own flat and got that amount fixed in bank and shifted to rented accomodation. They continued to ask money from my sister (salary to run household expenses). During last six months my sister refused to give her salary to her mother in law, then she was scolded and mother in law started speaking ill about my family, due to this my sister has to leave home and come to leave with us. Now we are going for mutual divorce and asking them to return whatever money we gave to them (at time of ring ceremony, after marriage and salary), however, boy family is not agreeing to it.
      I request you to suggest, what to do. The boy is still dependent on his mother.

      Regards

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  8. This is one of the most prevalent abuses of law today. Along with my 80-year-old academician parents, I too have been at the receiving end of this abuse. The links you have provided to the 498A survival kit further can connect one to the Save Indian Families community, one of the few support systems for victims of this abuse. The rage and the loss of trust that follows such an incident may also require professional or spiritual counsel and healing. The criminal justice system of our land manages to live up to the name "criminal" justice, and it is often best to avoid the process and seek an out of court settlement, even if it means a higher cost and denied rights.

    I have a question, Sujatha, and I have been asking this everywhere. If a man walks into a police station and confesses to a murder, he is arrested, I presume. Here is a situation where lakhs of cases are being registered and chargesheeted by the police which all follow a similar template (you can ask your lawyer to show you the standard 498A complaint, it makes for fun reading, a blogger's delight if there ever was one). This template typically start with the premise that 'x' amount of dowry was paid at the time of marriage and then after some time demands were made for another amount of additional dowry, along with physical, verbal, emotional abuse and threats to harm the complainant. If these lakhs of people are walking into police stations and confessing to have paid dowry, which is a punishable offense, why are they not arrested first.

    My personal story has caused me to write this much, but I know the rage and frustration that follows such an incident, and I believe that the only way out is through compassion, forgiveness, and letting go of the past. None of these come easy, and one tends to relapse back into the hurt and vindictiveness, but none of them are of any use in a world already saturated with hate, greed and selfishness. May all victims of this crime find peace and closure.

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    1. i can understand your feelings Subhorup because i see a victim in our own family and i see what they are going through and thank you for writing your heart out here and sharing the experience. at least let people be aware of this. i had no idea whatsoever about all this til it happened in our backyard

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  9. On the contrary, there are lot of women who, being abused extensively, do not use this article to punish inhuman husbands.
    I would be happy if women use it wisely & have courage to say "arrest my husband".
    Very well said Sujatha.

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    1. true. very true. sadly they are not aware of how the law can come to their rescue or maybe they don't have the means/resources to approach a lawyer/file a case etc
      right, hope such women have the courage to come forward

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  10. I remember struggling to memorize the IPCs in my forensic classes. It's a deadly weapon that can be used for good and bad depending how one uses/interprets it. That's true with any legal documents and even holy books.
    Ultimately it is the job of law enforcement and governing bodies that ensures that no innocent gets punished. I feel it's the problem with the local body that they fail to differentiate between the true and false cases. In one word inefficiency.

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    1. Why is it that we don't have a law to protect abuse against males? According to IPC, it's only the males who are capable of committing crimes like rape, gender harassment, tease etc against the opposite sex. Strange rite?

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    2. agree with that - the inefficiency of the local bodies
      in our case, they knew it was a false allegation but i guess they had their 'cut' in it or something - they behaved very badly

      and about the law to protect male abuse, hmmmm....i know...though such numbers are comparatively lower then that of the crimes against women, i know now that even one case is a pity because i see the victims in our family suffering

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  11. This happened in my friend's family. Her cousin was married to a girl who was projected as a graduate(she was not even 10th pass) and she was decked up to hide marks on her face. Added to it she began to create misunderstandings and pressurised her husband to move out from family. On his denial she charged him and his family with dowry harassment!
    It is the sad state of our country where those who really need the law to be on their side, have no idea what powers they have and those who know the laws, misuse it!

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    1. ayoo this person from our family too forced him to move out, they moved out too but even then couldn't resolve their fights and within 4 months they went back to their respective parents house and 2 months later she filed the case!

      true, those who need it sadly have no idea of the provisions in the law

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  12. You always get shocking titles for your posts which compel people to come immediately to read! This one also is interesting!

    I agree with Madhu Kishwar. This trend will definitely hurt women in the long run. Nobody will go near women like them. That way even the genuine cases will be looked upon with doubt/contempt.

    Well written article, Sujatha!

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    1. yes, the pity is that the genuine cases will not be given due attention if some losers go on misusing the law this way. its really sad. some women are really suffering so much but have no voice and some are trying to get some easy money by such complaints

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  13. Even one of my friend's family has suffered from it.

    You are right, if people misuse this weapon, no one will trust the genuine cases.

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    1. ya - the real cases will actually suffer
      like that childhood story of "wolf came, wolf came" which our parents taught us to tell us that never to lie

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  14. Corrupt people will always find ways to misuse laws (even good ones). Ultimately, the laws are only as good as the people who enforce and the people who use these laws.

    Although such cases have come to light today, there are still a lot of dowry related cases in a big part of the country, and those women probably need this protection.

    I agree that arrest/police harassment without investigation/proof is a bit high handed and unfair for the accused. But, even in cases where the complaint was genuine...will the lady have any proof? I mean.. .it's really tricky. There is no easy way for the police to determine which complaints are genuine and which are false...

    The law in its current form is definitely ripe for misuse and is being misused...but what's the solution for providing help/support to women who need it, as well as making sure that it is not used as an extortion/blackmailing tool.

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    1. i really have no idea about the solution part of it from the legal angle. all i know is at least the police should do an investigation and not just barge in one morning without any intimation/notice/warning whatsoever and just drag the person away without as much as even 10 minutes of interrogation or whatsoever

      and the other thing is i as a woman must understand that there is nothing above self-respect. relationships fail. it happens. but choosing to part without this dirt being thrown is important. i mean, in our case, she will get the money but how long it will last her? that too when it got by such dirty means

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    2. yes they need to do proper investigation and if they find out that the woman is falsely accusing the man and his family- they need to in turn throw the woman and family in jail! Does this sound harsh??? But I think something has to be done to scare people from making such groundless claims- also, their false claims hurt the TRUE victims when they need to make a REAL claim.

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    3. True... I totally agree with both you. However, if the policeman is corrupt (As a majority of them are...nowadays. I am sure we have all experienced or heard about it first hand, whether it was while completing our police verification for getting a passport or an FIR for a stolen mobile phone/SIM), then maybe even having a law stating that "an investigation is imperative before arresting the accused" will not be enough. They will just find ways and means to make a quick buck at the cost of the torment inflicted on the poor husband (or worse... his family members).

      Must say.. your post is really good.

      Although, I must confess that it (along with Bikram's post, Cybernag's post and the guide to survival) has me a bit scared and freaked out about the prospect of marriage. Never thought that I would have to look for / worry about
      such traits in a prospective bride :-D.

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    4. @Anjuli:

      yeah something has to be done to scare them off. as of now, they are emboldened by the law which works in their favor and there is nothing to fear for them

      @Sri: ouch! don't be scared! you will get a nice and good-hearted woman as your wife. god bless! :)

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  15. The title was quite captivating (as always). But yeah.. I didn't know too much about this and that it is becoming more prevalent in India. I knew that marriages are increasingly turning sour these days. You brought out the problems that would arise (social and personal) out of this misuse very well. Makes me sad. I so wish and hope that there is no dowry in the first place so that there is neither dowry harassment nor the harassment of the law against it. Very deep and thought provoking post as usual.

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    1. true, marriages are failing. things are really going crazy.
      the sad thing is people are failing themselves. i mean, if a man & woman don't love & cant live together - it happens but throwing your spouse into jail just because you have a law you can easily misuse - that's pathetic. i would just walk away from it all - as far as i could & never look back.

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  16. Yes Sujatha. These kind of false cases are on the Rise. I was shocked, thinking how low can a woman stoop down this way. It's some people like these woman, who make life difficult for the rest of us!

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    1. yeah

      she (this relative of ours) stooped really low - the kind of things she wrote in the complaint was bizarre
      ok husband & wife had big problems, we all have but to send him to jail & laugh & celebrate it and now asking for big amount is cheap i feel

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  17. Oh dear...scares me to think if there is any true love left in the world?

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    1. well....very little of it i guess...so the ones who have it must hold on to it with all their might, its the only precious thing left in the world

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  18. I too read the article and the blog post you have mentioned and was genuinely shocked. Fortunately or unfortunately our legal system is tilted towards the fairer sex. In a society as male chauvinistic as ours,it may be necessary to an extent. But as they say,there are exceptions to every rule.And as you have rightly mentioned,filing false complaints can hurt women in the longer run.

    P.S. back on ur blog after a looong time. I thot I had subscribed but apparently not but rectifying the error now :)

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    1. yes in a male-dominated society like ours the cases of crimes against women is more but that in no way means men don't suffer at all because of misuse of law. their weakness is even f they suffer they never express. i mean, which man will go & tell others that his wife left him or put him in jail or did this & that. they tend to hide these things out of humiliation/ego/shame whatever. and some women take advantage of that. that is not fair i feel

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  19. well you read what happened to me .. so yeah the law is being used for benefit .. I dont know what to say .. said enough on there .. hope things change for good

    Bikram's

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    1. i understand. and i too hope things change for good

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  20. I have heard so many cases and I don't know why law give this much importance to dowry cases. Dowry deaths were common once but now this law is misused. Why we don't have such laws for rapist?

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    1. correct. rape is a far greater menace and yet.....

      and in this case toh there was no dowry as such. the girl's side arranged the wedding as is the custom down here in south and now that the marriage has failed, they want 10 times the wedding cost! what a recovery scheme this 498 is!!!

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  21. oh my- I was on the edge of my seat reading this- because this is such a REAL and SAD issue. Taking REAL abuses and turning them around for our own benefit or to 'get more money' or whatever. It does hurt the REAL victims- who suffer the REAL abuses. There has to be some form of protection against false claims- but I have even seen here with wife/husband cases- the moment the wife says "abuse"- no matter what proof is shown otherwise- because of the many abuse cases- the wife gets what she wants.

    Unfortunately I'm not sure how this can be thwarted? IT is like the innocent and guilty get lumped together. I do hope there will be some sort of rectifying law that can honor the real cases but IF a false case is found- they will be actually penalized so that other women will never try it again! So difficult because so many times it is a 'he said/she said' situation.

    I'm just shaking my head!!

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    1. right - the moment the woman says abuse its The End for the man. i too wish there was some check on this, some mechanism to hold it in before it spirals out of control
      because if the real woman suffers because of such blatant misuse, then it would be a gross injustice

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  22. Thatz what exactly happening and you are right about the fact that because of all these fake charges genuine cases started to be looked with suspicion..
    This is the best example of how a good law can be bent and misused.

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    1. true, what was made to help women is now used as a weapon and by the time a real abuse victim would need it who knows they might revoke it. who suffers ultimately? we women ! :(

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  23. i was shocked by the title but was remembered by the post of what i read some years back. i just only want to say that its true that all the systems are there to protect the wrong doers but as its happening everywhere the system is being used according to once needs. i dont know what is happening to this modern world where love and peace of life are left out mostly in text form only. good post.

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    1. yes, she (the lady from our family) wants money now. that too very big amount. the marriage has broken - that is not worrying her at all. love and peace is not what they want :(

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  24. It all starts with one word - DOWRY. Why is this nonsensical practice still prevalent? Second, society keeps watching as to who does what. Once a bad name is fixed, it's very difficult to get out of it. So, instead of going for short term gains both women and men need to look at their longer term interest and act mature.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. actually in this case, they didn't give any dowry as such. they did arrange the wedding and now they want reimbursement of wedding expenses - 10 times the amount!

      anyways, i feel bad that one marriage has failed and instead of feeling any sadness for that, they are busy scheming & plotting a legal suit

      i would be depressed for months/years if something like that happened to me

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  25. I have not read this.....you are scaring me....(wink);-)

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  26. Girls making such false claims are making it tough for others who face real trouble. In such a situation, next time when a girl files a compliant, we are surely gonna scoff at her.

    How much ever outcries happen in the name of dowry, it is gonna stay here. Period.

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    1. :(( yeah i guess so...it is going to stay here....

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  27. I read you post and then Bikram's. I am just shell shocked. What the hell is the world coming too. Really, we talk about women empowerment and stuff like that, but people just riduclously misuse such laws. Looking at all this, sometimes I just wish we all would be robots, live something, do something and then die.

    The 498 has lost it's meaning, and the more unfortunate women can never use this in the samw way as before. Thanks for bringing this to our notice Sujatha.

    And now concerned, how is your family going to tackle this trouble now?

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    1. well, they are relying totally on their lawyer. final step is divorce and then the money will be paid. but the case hearing is yet to start so just taking one day & blow at a time

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  28. It is really sad and really bad to know that the law formed to protect the dignity of the women and now being used to harrash men and people are playing with this law very smartly.Wish I could give order to shoot that kind of people who wants to do business by misusing this law. My bhabhi brother was kidnapped by girl side and they forcibly married their daughter to him and he denied to accept their daughter, they did nothing but filed a dowry harrasment case on them so being from the simple family at last they had to accept their daughter...Its really a time to change this law where the scope to fight with girlside should be equal....Superb and wisely written post...

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    1. oh shit! what happened with your bhabhi's brother is awful too. and very strange to hear such a thing

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  29. There are genuine dowry harassment cases. MOST of them do not come out and fight. They wont even know that there is a law which protects them. Sadly, those who know misuse them.
    It is equivalent to rape if you ask me. Good topic. Loved the title. Eye-catching :)

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  30. Sad and alarming ! There are some websites like http://www.498a.org/ and http://www.mynation.net/ that are extensively developed to provide assistance pertaining to the information on misuse of Sec. 498A IPC.

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    1. oh thanks for those links Kavita. alarming - yes

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  31. Sujatha, a very valid concern but these things are bound to happen a fast evolving society in India. We have multiple India in terms of social milieu, cosmopolitan to small cities and villages and thus we see the extremes! I do not think it as such a big issue as so much change is happening around and we will see a lot of negatives with positive sides:)

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    1. hmmm...but when we see someone from our own family go to jail and spend a day there - it feels awful

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  32. The law was enacted to provide relief, remedy and succor to the hapless victims of dowry related crimes, sometimes culminating in killing of a bride ,wife or a daughter-in-law , and such incidents showed a rising graph. . Everyone wishes that the wrongdoers are brought to book. Unfortunately, the section 498A of the IPC is being made use of to settle scores otherwise , by impleading and implicating even innocent people , who have to go through the grind tp prove their innocence, sometiomes without success. There should be some deterrent punishment , in case such complaints are found false or malafide.

    A thought provoking post !

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    1. yes, it is a settling score tactic by this relative of ours - the marriage has failed for which both are guilty and instead of just divorcing and going their separate ways, she chose to file this case to get more money

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  33. Any law is a two edged sword...a knife can be used to kill a person or cutting vegetables. We cannot blame the medium, need to see who is using the medium. Just hope and pray that we do not misuse it or at the receiving end. My father in law says instead of celebrating marriages we should now celebrate 1st year after seeing so many breaks up!

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    1. yeah they were married for just 3 years. every year was a major achievement and finally this award - a jail visit !

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  34. Great write up sujatha.. Its really a thought provoking post. Thanks to our law makers who has done something for women's suffering from such cases in our country..

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    1. well in this case it's the man and his family suffering because she slapped a false case and is demanding money

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  35. this indeed is disturbing.women have so many weapon up their sleeve.my god!

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    1. they do! beware! the hunter can easily be the hunted :D

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  36. My closest friend was is a victim to this...the poor guy is so timid he couldn't hurt a fly, and there's a 50 page complaint against him!! His wife has made a demand for an obscene amount of money....and like u rightly said,it's the lawyers who are making hay!!

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    1. is it? ohh :(

      yeah even this female has written some really stupid stories in her complaint - things like "i am not allowed to make/drink coffee" kind of shit!!

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  37. Shocking!Partly its because we all somehow expect women will not fall prey to such emotions,unlike men, not realising that all human beings are subject to the emotions like malice,greed,cruelty etc

    Is this the same pdf.Not sure,might come in handy
    http://www.498a.org/faq.htm

    Please tell me it was an arranged marriage!Just trying to retain my faith in true love

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    1. it was very much an arranged marriage! horoscope matching and what not!

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  38. I agree with you Sujatha. It is highly misused and that needs to be curbed. I will not repeat what you and the others have already said about this. What I would like to bring forth, though, is, in a way the other side of the coin. Being a law student presently studying this very provision, I must say that the other side too has to be understood. Name me one law which is not misused? It still makes law necessary. Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code was made the way it is for a reason. We have to understand that these are crimes which mostly happen within the four walls of a household. Thus, evidence becomes a huge issue. In any case, the husband's family will always give evidence in favour of him and themselves, while the wive's family will always favour the wife. Whom to believe and how to prove it with any sort of evidence becomes a huge issue. Also, proving dowry to be dowry is very difficult in itself. For that reason, the onus of proof is shifted on the accused. Also there is instant arrest to prevent the accused from having means of escape (not just physical escape). Think of this, a man is informed there are charges of cruelty and dowry on him, and he is not arrested... he by some means (blackmail, threat etc) forces the wife to withdraw the complaint.... now what?
    I understand the plight of the men who are unnecessarily accused... but two things, one, if they are not wrong... they should be able to prove so in court (it's not that dramatically hard) and two, this provision was made for the security of women.....
    as for the men, they can always later decide to hold the women liable in court for false charges.

    Having said all this ( I know it's a lot)... i pray for the best for your husband's relative....

    @Arumugam - It is more so in love marriages as the expectations from the men is very high, and if not met, it is the latest tool for vengeance that women have.

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    1. oh thank you so much Janhvi - you clarified so many things regarding this issue which i am sure most of us are not aware
      thanks for taking the time for the detailed response. appreciate it

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  39. such instances o misuse of law by women seem to be on the rise...i ahd read bikrams post too..its sad how people misuse law which is meant for their protection..really sad

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    1. A powerful weapon that should not be misused by the fair sex. What else to say????

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    2. Alka

      yeah :(
      if it hadn't happened in our family,i would have never known !

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  40. yea....it is so sad that pple r misusing laws for money
    especially women on their husband :D :|omg
    nd dowry thing is hell :|

    Not only 498 there many laws,which r used for their favour,
    nd no doubt genuine complaints wont b heard by the law untill or unless their hands are filled witm money !

    Nyc post,had some info form u er post :P

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  41. Shocking. I truly hope women realize the tragic phase they are putting themselves in, by behaving in such disturbing and unethical ways. And I hope it comes to an end fast so that women who are truly in need of the law are not pushed aside because of cheats like these

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    1. ya true.
      we couldn't believe that she would do something like this. guess other victims are also paralyzed initially when faced with a situation like this

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  42. Its such a sad thing that the law made to prevent oppression on a person is resulting in exploitation of other! Such a menace.With such cases growing i am scared that things will reach a stage where everyone will be crying false wolf! How do you find out who is in need to be saved?

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  43. You are such a good writer. I have been following ur blog for quite some time and I like your way of thinking. Keep going :)

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    1. oh thanks :)

      this is the first time you have written 3 sentences in your comment. usually one word or max 1 small sentence is your style :))

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    2. to save your precious time ;)

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  44. I sometimes feel that the women who need to make use of this law, tolerate such things quietly whereas the ones who just wanna make use of it, manipulate this law in a bad way.

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    1. true, many women just silently die a 100 deaths everyday while some of us really sick ones use it like this :(

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  45. That is such a Catch 22 situation. These women don't realise how they're hurting other women who're really being harrassed.

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    1. ya that is the sad part. i mean, there are women who have seen hell on earth thanks to really bad spouses/in-laws

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  46. SO its true! WOMEN rule the world now. Oh how harmful they can be! even more than the men themselves! This was one enlightening Post Sujatha! 489A. I shall remember this one. :)

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    1. You are surely going to confuse your lawyer :)

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    2. damn right Akila - i guess there really is no messing with some of us :( a woman scorned is far deadlier

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  47. Most of the women who file cases under 498A are tutored to do so either by lawyers or women organisations.Law was framed to protect women from domestic violence but unfortunately it was grossly misused as soon as it came in force.

    After having noted many false cases,SC passed a judgement where in after registration of complaint,a officer of level ACP would investigate validity of complaint and if needed would go for penal action.Earlier police used to arrest all accused in complaint,produce them in court and later investigate.

    A law on lines of 498A is indeed needed to protect women from domestic violence.It is job of law making body to ensure that no innocent is harassed and no guilty remains unpunished

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    1. wow you have summarized it really well.
      yeah guess the law is needed as it is in the present form. and the onus lies on the implementation by the local bodies

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    2. Some classic true incidents of misuse of 498A

      a)A woman caught cheating by her mother in law promptly filed a case of dowry harassement under 498A..Her husband and in laws {both aged above 65) put behind bars...They were acquitted after three years of trial

      b)Young newly wed girl was caught stealing money from her in laws house..Not only she refused to handover stolen money but also threatened to file a dowry harassement case..Her in laws bought peace by getting rid of her after paying huge compensation for divorce

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  48. Sujatha, there is a beautiful Chinese saying,

    "Not only can water float a boat, it can sink it too!"

    Ride the water a boat must. But it should know where to draw the line.

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  49. Its sad but true that citizens do frame charges against innocent ones taking undue advantage of the IPC sections. Well written!

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    1. thank you Shilpi. yes, that is what we realized when we dug deeper into this issue. there are many such false charges being slapped against the husband's family. we weren't aware at all earlier

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  50. Sujatha - I just tweeted your post!! This is brilliant a must read for everyone !! Cheers

    Brilliant

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    1. thank you Sangeeta.

      everyone must know this. when it happened in our family, we were taken unawares and completely shocked

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  51. Though I havent heard of any such cases in my close circles, but this post surely opens my eyes, will forward this to my frndz quickly

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    1. even i didn't know anything about it until it happened in our family. the more the people are aware,the better it is

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  52. Nvr heard of tis.. but will have to look into... thanks for the informative post!!!!!

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    1. many of us didn't know about this section. awareness always helps

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  53. It is sad that ppl misuse laws to further their own selfish ends.... As you've rightly said, the rise in such false cases will unfortunately lead to even genuine ones being neglected. What a pity.

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  54. its a terrifying world for a man!

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  55. Hey... I rarely peep into blogs that are not related to finance. Had a quick glance. i must say, you have the art of writing.

    I bet i will visit this site again. :)

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  56. Bangalore lawyers are much in news these days:=)

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  57. Unfortunate but true. Such rackets are on the rise at an alarming rate these days.

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  58. Too bad,even the par of avenging can be understood but financial motives part is too disgusting.I mean where the world is going.

    With such cases in rise,I think the cops and judiciary system should look into the case with open mind than to look at the women as a victim by default.

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    1. yea i too can understand the need for revenge but dragging to court & then jail that too on a false charge just for a few lakhs more is disgusting

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  59. }:-D
    I am gettnig all sorts of evil thoughts, after reading this... Imagine, I am not married yet :P
    No but seriously, anythign of this sort will help judiciary retain the respect it has.
    If one false complaint were to go in favour of a cruel woman, then it would be a bad state!
    This reminds me of Aitraaz movie, though totally out of context!

    But this is a very intriguing post, not many would have thought/written of!
    I don't know, how did I miss this one, this is on your blog, since a while! !:D

    Sorry for the late comment, but glad I read this!

    Keep it up!

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    1. gosh! i hope i didn't give any wrong ideas to all the pretty young things reading this post!!!!!!! be good girl :DD

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  60. such a shameful use of law...it is a sad state when someone plays the woman card and the law takes action even without proper investigation...This is the reason I am always against gender biased laws & systems..why can we just not have common human laws...

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    1. ya gender biased laws are so easily manipulated for gains

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  61. these laws are just in paper most of the times. those who really need help are kept in the dark. they are unaware. there are so many dowry cases and females who tend to give in lack support!

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    1. It's actually a very vast and deep matter, and there seems no end to it.

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  62. Reminds me of the story of Boy Who Cried Wolf...But, the sad thing is sometimes the law fails to reach the genuine cases of dowry harrassment where the family does not want to get entangled in legal battles and negative publicity.

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    1. I agree at times genuine cases do not reach the court cause the guy & his family use bribery for their rescue...I have seen a case wherein even after being guilty the guy had bribed the police & involved a senior official to get the 498a case dismissed and when that didnt happen they tried as hard as possible to get him bail before he could get arrested...

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    2. Anonymous,

      true and it is very sad

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  63. Jaish,

    yes, a case of crying wolf no doubt

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  64. I was scared to read this post Sujatha after reading the title "Arrest my husband"!! :P And after 7 long days, I gathered up the strength to read it!! And I must say I am relieved (this is on behalf of all the husbands out there)..

    Jokes aside.. You have raised a very important issue!! The way I see it, it seems like a double-edged sword! On one hand, women finally have a right to stand up and demand justice.. On the other hand, it can easily be misused. The thing thats shocking is the fact that "one shall be presumed guilty until proven innocent"..

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    1. aah! the busy race man is here finally :P

      yeah it is a double-edged sword no doubt. we women must understand that we stand to lose a lot more in the long run than what we gain in terms of money. pity most of us blinded

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  65. Two sides to each coin. This is really sad, taking undue advantage. Sigh.

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    1. all for a couple of lakhs that will melt away before we finish counting it

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  66. Really sad that some one would misuse and take advantage of this.

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    1. ya and sadder still is the fate of those who are actually in need of it but suffer silently

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  67. well, there are genuine cases too.....but misuse...well, thats sad!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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    1. definitely. am sure there are countless number of genuine cases
      the misuse is sickening though

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  68. that's the problem with human selfishness...every good thing will be misused...and it is so hard to stop it....

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  69. Phew! It is quite disturbing indeed to know how the law is tweaked to serve some selfish purposes.

    Great article as always. I wonder how I missed updates on your posts. Looks like I hadn't done the confirmation properly..

    Nice article Sujatha, I hope the case reaches some justice and they see through the falsity of the case..

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    1. i hope so too. and also that we women realize the folly of what we are doing to our own kind in the long run. there's just no point in this kind of vengeance

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  70. It is sad to see a legislation that was designed to empower a woman being so blatantly misused. I agree with you on the point that false cases are harmful to the woman in the long run....
    One needs to be real careful when dealing with scheming lawyers and some corrupt parts of our enforcement system....

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    1. yeah the scheming and planning and plotting that goes on is just sickening. i would just walk away from an abusive relationship instead of all this dirty mud-slinging for looting money

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  71. Hello! You have an award awaiting on my blog :-)

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  72. Human selfishness and conceitedness on the forefront again..it's so sad!

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  73. well... its definitely going to hurt the cause of women rights and will only increase the cases of girl not being married her whole life... as you say, after a couple of false cases, the genuine cases will be looked upon as suspicious and the girl would be stained for the rest of her life.... sad...

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    1. yeah she is hurting herself in the long run in exchange for some quick money now

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  74. Absolutely.. i am so against gender biased laws.. that too 'without investigation'... had written something similar sometime back...http://sunitakurup.blogspot.in/search/label/Women

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    1. i think i remember reading that post. let me check

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  75. Thought provoking post.
    Nicely written

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  76. What you may do for my cunning in laws ?
    Dear Readers
    I am Ahsan Raza Rizvi,S/O Yaqoob Rizvi R/O Hamid Park City Station Lucknow.I have also been sufferer of 498.I got married around 1992 with Alema Zaidi D/O Mr.Abbas Haider Zaidi R/O 450/80/1 Muftiganj Lucknow.After few months of my marriage, Alema refused to live with me due to my low income and not of own house.Lateron she left my company.The parents of Alema pressurized me to give divorce to her , that i denied. Her father A.H.Zaidi as a consequence registered the fake case under 498 of dowry against me and my parents .As a result my whole family was jailed and we suffered alot.Now we are shifted from Lucknow to some other city.
    This is my appeal that the complaints of the 498 cases of dowry must have to be reviewed throughly before registering the case against anybody so that the respected families like us should not suffer from the bad inlaws.Carbon nanostructures for solar energy conversion schemes

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    1. true. far too many cases like these i guess

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  77. And here I am, facing a false case lodged by Punjab and Haryana high court justice, his supreme court advocate son and another high court advocate grandson. Ganda hai par dhandha hai ye!?

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  78. Hi Sujatha, my name is Abhijit and I am from kolkata.First of all kudos to you for writing on such an important topic.It takes guts to write the truth about women misusing matrimonial laws,specially being a woman yourself,I have not come across many like you,hats off to you lady,great job. I am aware of these laws and their misuse as well,unfortunately the law which was designed to safeguard women is getting diluted in the process,in future people will not take the case of a real victim seriously,thanks to women(some/most of them).Well, I am a bachelor,and let me tell you that I have developed a mental block against getting married in india(or indian girls)..........don't get me wrong,I do not intend to offend any indian women,I know that there are many good women in india with whom I can get married and lead a happy life,but tell me why should I take a chance ? the stakes are quite high sujatha..........moreover if I settle down with some foreigner,and if she happens to be unscrupulous and marriage breaks down,atleast I can be assured of a fair trial in the court unlike in india.....right ? and let me tell you that there are plenty of eligible indian bachelors thinking on these lines. The stupid lawmakers along with some dumb women rights activists,lawyers,judges,cops,govt have totally destroyed the social fabric of the country.So, in the present scenario,it is better to get married to a lady from another country,there is nothing more for us to lose.Although I must admit that when a relationship or marriage breaks down,the man and the woman are equally responsible for the damage,and in extreme cases a thorough investigation is needed to find out the real culprit and then give stringent punishment. But alas,our system is so corrupted to the core,that this will never happen,as you saw in your own case.............Please brace yourself for more misuse of laws happening once the new Justice Verma's recommendations are passed on as laws,each and every household will have one rape case.Personally I appreciate the new recommendations,but whats the point in having hundred laws when there are no implementations ? I am sure the real culprits will roam scot free and the innocent men will languish in jail due to some false complaint. Sorry for the long post though.

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  79. Dont say sorry for the long post. The issue is such that there is always so much to say on it especially when someone has seen it from close quarters. So i appreciate you responding thus. thank you for expressing yourself so freely

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  80. Yes Arrest my husband and I pray that he does get maximum punishment for what he and his family has done to me and my innocent daughters.

    I really don’t understand what anyone can achieve from putting false case for Dowry and DV. I can only say that there is so much mental stress and tension while fighting for justice for oneself and innocent kids

    I don’t want to give details of my case, but only want to say, what should a women do when she faces Dowry Demand and DV. No respect or her voice is not heard in the husband family. She is left alone in hospital with a major c-section operation because she gave birth to girls. Does anyone understand what pain a women faces.

    When she request her husband she wants to stay with him happily, but instead the husband and his family states we had enough of you and now want divorce. Your educated so you manage your kids and your life on your own. All we need is a divorce and often husband parents support him.

    Than the women who has already faced cruelty bcoz of dowry demand and giving birth to female child is left in difficult situation, how should she live and take care of kids at same time, also take up job and moreover fights for her and kids rights. Often I don’t feel like living, but when I see my girls, I have to live for them.

    The society, people around this women also blames her for everything. Some sympathy that maybe if she gave birth now to a boy will be better, others comments to her parents that it is trend in India to give Dowry to Boy’s Family. By standing against it your daughter and you are not respecting this.

    I ask you all, why should a women bring or give Dowry in Marriage. Why is she questioned when delivers to girl child. Why is thrown out when she wants to give her opinion.

    What should be the punishment for such people ???
    Fighting for honest cases is even tougher, than man easily getting escaped from the proceedings of 498a and DV act.

    Some of you man who harsh feelings for women complaining for 498a and DV …

    These things were not so common earlier – our parents use to have happy marriage life, but in today’s life when both the girls and boys are educated, their less respects in relationship, because of ego, more greed about money and not willing to spend time together with family.

    Sorry for long message or if I hurt anyone’s feeling with my messages.

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  81. Great post. 498a has actually lost its meaning because 90%cases filed in the courts of India are false and mostly filed by married woman within 2-3years of marriage. If such cases are on rise how will women who file genuine case will get it's due relief. Cause to get ur residential right and fight for 5-6years a woman will eventually breakdown because post marriage she has already suffered. And by fighting a case for 5-6years she will be further shattered and depressed running behind the court and fighting with the Men in the Man's world. It isn't a easy task and especially for women who are not well educated and don't have a alternate financial support. Life isn't easy for every girl.

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    1. I agree with you Neha. The ones who file genuine cases are the biggest sufferers

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