- Strong patriarchal norms in Indian society dictate that women’s social status in society is low from the time of birth. It is common to abort female fetuses and kill newborn females in order to ensure only male children are born. Furthermore, the life expectancy of Indian women is lower than that of Indian men, as is their access to education (and thus a lower level of literacy), healthcare, and job opportunities.
- As a result, many people believe that a woman is the property of her father and then her husband. The traditional dowry system, in which a bride’s family is required to give her husband’s family money, property, or gifts as part of the wedding, is an example of this. As a result, it should come as no surprise that Indian women experience a disproportionate amount of domestic abuse. A crime is committed against a woman every three minutes in India, and 37% of married women have experienced domestic violence at some point in their marriage, according to Indian government statistics. Eighty-seven percent of men surveyed in 2001 admitted to committing domestic violence acts that year, according to the findings of that study. Domestic violence perpetrators’ male partners and their female relatives are the most common victims of false allegations because of Section 498A and the PWDVA. The PWDVA includes “insults” and “ridicule” under the definition of “verbal and emotional abuse,” but does not define these terms. The law’s critics argue that such broad definitions encourage women to file reports of domestic violence under the PWDVA even when there is none. Because only women (not men) can file claims under the PWDVA and Section 498A, these opponents have claimed that these laws violate the man’s right to equality. They are now seen as an oppressed group of people who are victims of domestic violence laws due to this conservative advocacy. These victimized imitation claims, however, have not been supported by any evidence and are most likely the product of exaggerated hearsay or rumor. Despite this, the PWDVA has gained notoriety in Indian society as a tool to victimize other women, particularly the mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law of female complainants, despite its stated goal of protecting women from domestic violence. As a result of rampant police corruption, cases against wealthy or powerful suspects are not properly investigated or recorded, and other suspects avoid prosecution by paying bribes to avoid prosecution or civil penalties. Domestic violence laws are also used by the Indian police to extort money from men who are innocent. The police have reportedly threatened to arrest many men and their relatives if they do not pay large bribes due to Section 498A’s presumption of guilt. “Unscrupulous persons” could use this provision to “wreak personal vendetta or unleash harassment,” the Indian Supreme Court has warned. There are deep-seated cultural norms and institutional flaws that make the PWDVA and Section 498A ineffective or even counterproductive. Indian domestic violence laws have not been able to protect women as the Indian government had hoped because of these negative effects.
Stand Of Judiciary On False Complaints
Section 498A abuse is well-known to the judiciary. The Supreme Court described it as a form of legal terrorism. The judiciary, on the other hand, is powerless in the face of enormous pressure from feminist organizations. Amendments to Section 498A are awaiting consideration in the Rajya Sabha, where a bill has been introduced.
Former Chief Justices of the Karnataka and Kerala high courts, headed a committee in the year 2008 that produced a comprehensive report on criminal law reform. Bail and compound ability should be added to 498A, according to this committee. Feminist groups and their Amnesty International contacts threatened agitation after hearing the committee’s recommendation. Analyzing the perception of their misuse necessitates an understanding of the context and content of the two domestic violence laws. Section 498A, India’s first anti-domestic-violence law, was passed into law in 1983. It defined ‘cruelty’ as the ill-treatment of a married woman by her husband or family members. Harassment of married women in connection with dowry demands constitutes “cruelty,” according to the dictionary definition. Even if the abuse is unrelated to dowry, it is included if it is likely to cause the woman’s suicide or a “grave injury or danger” to her physical or mental health. The offence defined by the provision is (a) cognizable and (b) non-bailable in terms of procedure. Arrest can be made without a magistrate’s warrant under Section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 [hereinafter “CrPC”]. However, bail can only be granted by the courts.
- The Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) expanded the definition of “domestic violence.” The DV Act expanded the definition of domestic violence to include any conduct that results in physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, or economic abuse, recognizing the multifaceted nature of domestic violence. Section 498A’s standard of ‘grave’ danger or injury has also been excluded from the DV. It extends beyond marriage to include relationships based on consanguinity, adoption, and so forth. Unlike Section 498A, which only offers criminal remedies, the DV Act offers civil remedies like protective orders and injunctions against the respondent (s). Additionally, the appointment of Protection Officers to assist women in accessing the legal system is envisaged as part of the State’s protective measures. As a result, provisions dealing with domestic violence in India have been gradually broadened in scope. Concerns have been raised among some sections about the misuse of these provisions by women in order to harass innocent husbands and their family members. Despite the lack of hard evidence to support these claims, public opinion has shifted and even judges at various levels have voiced their concerns. Judges have voiced their displeasure with provisions such as Section 498A. It has been argued that the provision exemplifies the large number of frivolous complaints that have been filed in cases such as Lalita Kumari v. Government of Uttar Pradesh. The widespread abuse of Section 498A has been the subject of several other court decisions. It has been referred to as “a weapon… by disgruntled wives,” used in a “cruel, ruthless, and totally revengeful manner,” and “hitting at the foundations of marriage,” among other things. “Wolves masquerading in human flesh” have been used to describe the women accused of abusing the provision, and they must be “dealt with by iron hand.” Legal perceptions of rampant abuse have also been expressed in cases like Loha v. The District Educational Officer, which dealt with the DV Act. When wives use the Act to “terrorize” their husbands and their families and distant relatives in order to “vent their personal vendetta” and claim the property belonging to their husbands and their spouses’ spouses, courts have expressed concern. There is a Supreme Court of India [hereinafter “the Supreme Court”] ruling on Section 498A that says the threat of misuse is not enough to invalidate it. When it comes to arrests, the perception of rampant abuse has had an impact on decisions about how to implement the policy. This is a result of the Supreme Court ruling in Arnesh Kumar V. State of Bihar, in which it set forth guidelines for arrests in the case of cognizable offenses that could result in a sentence of fewer than seven years. Section 498A was a focus of the guidelines, and only the abuse of this provision was examined in the judgment, even though the guidelines applied to other offences as well. “Matrimonial disputes/family disputes'” were also considered by the Court as suitable for a “preliminary inquiry” into complaints made by police. The purpose of these investigations is to find out if the information contained in the First Information Report points to the commission of a criminal offence that merits criminal punishment. That the police can screen Section 498A complaints to see if an offence has been committed has been made possible thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision.
- In Rajesh Sharma v. the State of UP [hereinafter “Rajesh Sharma”], the Supreme Court concluded the saga of procedural dilutions by issuing expansive guidelines for the investigation and prosecution of Section 498A complaints that do not involve physical injuries or death. Also included unique measures such as the formation of a “Family Welfare Committee” to examine every complaint before it went through the usual criminal process. Researchers slammed the court’s drastic relaxation of procedural rules in this case. The Supreme Court later overruled some of these measures, including the one mentioned, because they were such significant departures from the CrPC. Rajesh Sharma, on the other hand, was overruled because he acted disproportionately because of the inconsistency of his ruling with the CrPC, not because he overestimated the extent of misuse. In fact, some of the guidelines laid down in Rajesh Sharma were upheld for being “protective in nature” and are still part of the criminal procedure for Section 498A cases. The accused husband’s family is exempt from having to appear in person in court, as is the rule that in Section 498A cases, no Red Corner Notices should be issued to non-resident Indians. As previously stated, the trial courts had the ability to make these kinds of decisions based solely on the facts of the case. As a result, the judicial dilution of the procedure to be followed in the implementation of Section 498A has been greatly influenced by the perception of widespread abuse. In addition, judges may be less inclined to accept the prosecution’s or petitioner’s case due to this widespread concern, which could have influenced their decisions on the merits of Section 498A and DV Act cases. As evidenced by the Loha v. District Educational Officer decision, where a “bare reading” of the petitioner’s affidavit was sufficient to infer that she misused the DV Act against her father-in-law without examining any other relevant evidence. Section 498A arrests have been put on hold because of the repeated assertions of this concern in court decisions, which has led the police to rationalize their inaction. Aside from the police, even the federal government is buying into this narrative, and has instructed them to only file Section 498A complaints in the very last resort, after exhausting all other avenues of reconciliation such as counselling and mediation. “Some cases” of misuse have been cited as a reason for this direction. As a result, it is necessary to examine the basis and sturdiness of this judicial view.
Legal Provisions And Its Misuse
Women who have been victims of domestic violence in India frequently turn to Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code for legal redress. Section 498A allows a female petitioner to file a complaint along with an application for disability benefits under the PWDVA. In both the PWDVA and Section 498A, injury and harassment are measured using the same criteria. Additionally, Section 498A explicitly identifies “cruelty” as an offence when it results in a woman’s mental health is seriously damaged. Section 498A, on the other hand, has been challenged in a number of cases because of its potential for abuse. This section’s constitutional validity was challenged in Sushil Kumar Sharma v. Union of India because it is frequently misused, according to the husband of the woman who had brought suit against him under Section 498A. The Supreme Court rejected this claim, stating that the mere possibility of misuse does not make a provision inviolable. As a result, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of this provision, even though the petitioner could not prove that it had been misused in practice.
According to Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, the right to equality was violated in the case of Inder Raj v. Sunita, which was heard by the Delhi High Court. According to the petition, Section 498A gives police arbitrary powers and the definition of “cruelty” is unconstitutionally vague. Because “cruelty” is defined in the law, the Court ruled that its interpretation would be consistent with the law. A majority of the law would be invalidated as ultra vires, the majority of the Court stated, if giving courts broad discretion in interpreting laws is itself granting arbitrary powers. For example, the Court noted that it could impose a sentence of up to ten years in prison for the same offence at its discretion. They came to the conclusion that Article 14 is not violated because Indian law clearly establishes that this discretion is not arbitrary. An Indian High Court ruled in favor of Krishan Lal v. Union of India that Article 14 of the Constitution mandates that equal treatment be accorded to all persons in the same situation. However, the government can use reasonable classifications to differentiate between people. Accordingly, the Court found it reasonable to charge a husband and his relatives for alleged domestic violence, especially when the alleged abuse occurred in the marital residence, where it is more difficult to gather evidence. Accordingly, Section 498A of the Indian Constitution was not found to be unconstitutional.
What To Do If Someone Registers A False Complaint Against You?
Domestic violence can be defined as any form of violence that causes harm to a person physically, mentally, sexually, or emotionally. Domestic violence refers to violence or harm done to a person within the household, and violence refers to harming a person’s life and property, even resulting in death, in the context of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a violation of the fundamental human rights that are guaranteed to every Indian citizen. Numerous nations have considered this violence a danger to their citizens. Sadly, only women in India have been granted protection from domestic violence in India, as the country concurs with the global trend. In the absence of any legal protections against domestic violence directed at men, many women fabricate allegations of male abuse in order to exact revenge or harass the perpetrator.
If you’re being accused of domestic violence, how do you fight back? Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code allows women to file a complaint against their husbands if they are subjected to violence or misbehavior. Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code allows a woman to file a dowry and violence case against her husband, his parents, and his relatives, and if proven guilty, they can be sentenced to three years in prison or both.
There are two options open to you if your wife files a false case against you: either defend yourself and await the court’s decision or file a counter case against your wife. Both are explicable in greater detail. By filing or getting an anticipatory bail, or any other such thing that depends on the current situation, you can protect yourself and your family in the event that you are accused of a crime. In addition, one should gather as much evidence as possible, such as phone records, emails, photos, messages, statements from neighbors, and many more. These documents will aid in the process of anticipatory bail or when the court issues a bail notice.
When a husband and his family are accused of a crime, the first thing to do is to file for bail or anticipatory bail, so that the family’s safety can be protected. False cases are dealt with in various ways by different states. It’s not uncommon for complaints about domestic violence to be first referred to the Mahila Thana in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan, where efforts to reach a settlement are made between the two parties, and if that fails, an FIR is filed. You get a one-month grace period in states like Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal to file an FIR but in Bihar, the situation is very difficult because people are arrested on the spot and anticipatory bail is extremely difficult to obtain. Whenever a false case is brought forward, the husband is required to go to their local police station and file a complaint of blackmail and false allegations. Due to the fact that the officer filing the FIR tends to make quite a few scenes, you should consult with an experienced criminal lawyer before proceeding.
If the wife has left her husband’s home without good cause and the husband sets conditions for her return before she returns, one can file a complaint under the Restitution of Conjugal Rights RCR. As a next step, raise the issue of a fabricated case in letters to the media and human rights organizations, for example. In order to do this, you can use social media to spread the word about the bogus case to your friends, family, and neighbors. Another option is to file a counter-claim, but this requires a lawyer who is well-versed in this particular area of law. Counterclaims can be filed in a variety of ways.
Because the wife’s intentions are to commit a crime against you and you alone, the husband may use Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code to prosecute her under the Indian Penal Code 1860 for criminal conspiracy. There is a provision in the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) that allows a husband to file a counter case if he believes that the police are assisting his wife in preparing a false case by framing an incorrect document with the intent to cause harm. There is a provision in the Indian Penal Code 1860 (IPC) (Section 191) that allows for the filing of a case by the husband if he believes or suspects that his wife or anyone else is presenting false evidence or documents against him. According to Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, which deals with defamation, a man can take the person to court and seek punishment or compensation if his reputation is defamed by any means. This system is wreaking havoc on both society and the natural world. It is a crime and a violation of the law to impose false allegations. There has been a lot of violence and death as a result of this system. Domestic violence is committed within the confines of a family’s living space. It’s an issue that’s sweeping the country. Although it can happen to anyone, the majority of the time it is perpetrated on children or adult women in abusive relationships.
Domestic violence is an area where we see that women are oppressed by male members of society and no action is taken, so the phrase Law as Male is appropriate. While it is true that today’s generation of law is male-centric, women are using Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code to their advantage by filing false cases and allegations against their husbands in order to satisfy their own selfish needs and desires. As a way of retaliation, they often file false charges against their husband and his family.
According to the earlier statement that a person’s reputation is the most valuable asset he or she can possess, these false cases registered by females to fulfill their selfish desires can or rather destroy the reputation of the man, which takes years to build and can be destroyed in a matter of seconds by such attempts, as stated earlier. As many as 66,000 men are killed each year due to bogus lawsuits being filed, according to an estimated survey, with many cases still pending.
Nisha Sharma’s case in 2003 was a landmark decision and an example of a judgment on false domestic violence cases. When Nisha Sharma accused her future husband-to-be Munish Dalal of requiring dowry in 2003, the ball was set in motion. Nisha Sharma was portrayed by the media as a role model for young women because of the widespread media coverage of the case. The court acquitted all of the accused and discovered that she had fabricated the dowry charges in order to get out of her engagement. Section 498A of the IPC can be misused in this particular case.
Men have also provided testimony to the investigation into false violence accusations and the abuse of women-protective laws in India, even though women undoubtedly bear the brunt of the abuse. There is a minimum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines for a false domestic violence case.
- Despite the surge in the number of fake domestic violence cases in India, it is imperative to understand the intent of the following suggestions and implement it on a national level to confront and tackle this societal issue. As a first step, it is critical that the government gather accurate data on how current domestic violence laws are being misused. False complaints, police inaction, and extortion by both the police and the complainants should all be included in this data collection. Because victims of domestic violence often do not report their experiences, trained professionals, including female survivors of domestic violence, should be tasked with gathering this data. For one thing, it will allow the government to craft better domestic violence laws, but it may also deflate the momentum that conservative groups have built against current legislation. In this case, groups that continue to portray male respondents and female in-laws as the real “victims” in this context would find their credibility strained if improved data collection shows that the actual incidence of false complaints is low. If police and judges fail to properly investigate or adjudicate domestic violence claims or accept bribes to influence the outcome of a case or investigation, the government should take action to hold them accountable with disciplinary sanctions. A high level of corruption in the criminal justice system will make it difficult to enforce these sanctions, but the threat of public censure should encourage officials to better enforce domestic violence laws. The Indian state should adopt “public policies and institutional programs aimed at restructuring the stereotypes of domestic violence victims” and “promote the eradication of discriminatory socio-cultural patterns that impede women” from equal protection under the law, according to our interpretation of Lenahan. Law enforcement officials and the general public, especially children, must be educated in order to prevent future tragedies like this. We cannot eradicate domestic violence in India until the Indian public recognizes that it is a serious threat to women’s (and human) rights (and that laws meant to stop it are not being enforced).
Top 13 Interesting Facts
Domestic violence is a pattern of controlling behaviors that one partner uses to get power over the other. Including physical violence or threat of physical violence to get control, emotional or mental abuse, and sexual abuse.
85% of domestic violence victims are women.
1/4 of women worldwide will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Women between the ages of 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence is most likely to take place between 6 PM and 6 AM.
The costs of domestic violence amount to more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.
As many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.
Boys who witness domestic violence are 2 times as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
In 60% to 80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
According to a National Family and Health Survey in 2005, the total lifetime prevalence of domestic violence was 33.5%, and 8.5% for sexual violence among women aged 15–49.
The 2012 National Crime Records Bureau report of India states a reported crime rate of 46 per 100,000, rape rate of 2 per 100,000, the dowry homicide rate of 0.7 per 100,000, and the rate of domestic cruelty by husband or his relatives as 5.9 per 100,000.
India ranks 148 out of 170 countries in the ‘Women, Peace And Security Index 2021. The index was topped by Norway being the safest place for women on earth and Afghanistan being the least safe.
In India, 30 percent of women have experienced domestic violence at least once from when they were aged 15, and around 4 percent of ever-pregnant women have experienced spousal violence during pregnancy.