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The Forgotten Gender


The analysis is based on reported incidents

Many incidents do not reach the police or judiciary

Newspapers and National Crimes Record Bureaus data are

considered as credible sources

Study is based on multiple sources

The most abused law

IPC 498A

498Ais anIndian Lawin which ahusbandand hisfamilyare

summarilyarrestedwithout any investigation when acomplaintis
lodged by thewifeor any of her relative claiming that the husband
or his relatives treated her cruelly
Once the complaint is lodged the husband and his family are
presumedguiltyand it is up to them to prove that they are innocent
in acourtof law
imprisonment for a term of up to three years and also liable to

It does not cost anything to file a 498A, and there is

nopenalty(or even afine) for filing a false dowry complaint

Few more instances

Nisha Sharma dowry case

Accused her prospective groom, Munish Dalal, of demanding


got much coverage from Indian and international media

portrayed as a youth icon and a role model for other women

Another Side of the story

Navneet Rai, a classmate of Sharma, came forward claiming to be
having a relationship with her for 5 years and having married her
secretly before her marriage with Munish Dalal

Outcomes of the incident

On 29 February 2012, adistrict courtacquitted Dalal and his family due

to lack of evidence supporting the charges

Dalals mother, a school teacher due for retirement on 31 May 2003,

lost her job and was denied her retirement benefits

Dalals 68 year old widowed and his 75 year old aunt had to travel to
court, which was 75km away, about 320 times during the course of the
trial. Nisha's family attended only 10 times, in 10 years

A twist in a tale
Nisha Sharma's sister-in-law, Manisha Sharma, filed a complain against her
and Gyaneshwar Sharma. Manisha's father, Vijay Sharma, claimed that
they had demandeddowry

2-month old baby youngest to get

anticipatory bail

Accused by Shakila Khan in a dowry harassment case and for a criminal breach
of trust against Zoya's father and her divorced spouse Shamsuddin Khan

Demanding dowry of Rs one lakh and torturing her

Shakila named the entire family, including Zoya, her biological mother
(Shamsuddin's second wife), a neighbour and four relatives



498A IPC)

IPC 498A
Arrested since
Old age

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

7593 8134 8954 9404

Legal Terrorism
Supreme court of India termed misuse of 498A as "legal terrorism
Justice Excerpts:
"I am compelled to observe that provision in the recent years has
become consummate embodiment of gross human rights violation,
extortion and corruption and even the Apex Court of our country
had acknowledged this abuse and termed it as legal terrorism"


Why supreme court calls 498A as

"Legal Terrorism"?

Non-bailable warrant, does not require proof before arrest

Those who were not part of the 'day-to-day' family life could be
named and arrested on one complaint, which can also include
pregnant women and children

Accused is presumed guilty until proven innocent

It is non-compoundable which means that the complaint cant be

taken back that hinders any scope of reconciliation between the

Most of the false cases are filed because the husband refuses to
throw his parents out of the house at the wifes demands

Why supreme court calls 498A as

"Legal Terrorism"?

Husbands job is at risk when he is accused under 498A who

could even be the only breadwinner of the family

The health of the old parents dangerously deteriorates after they

are arrested in a 498A case

Some even commit suicide for not able to withstand the

depression and frustration of been falsely accused

Most often the lawyers tend to take the family for a ride to
extract as much money as possible

Some women marries an NRI and slaps a 498A case only to

extort large sum of money

Every nine minutes a married man commits suicide in India due to alleged misuse
of section 498A

Changes suggested to the system

Gender neutral law person to be punished and not the gender

National Commission for men

Strong misuse clause under all Crime against women

Jail Term for false cases

Thank you