SC modifies its order on dowry harassment cases

Question- Section “498A” of Indian Penal Code deals with-
(a) Husband or relatives of husbands subjecting a woman to cruelty.
(b) Breach of contract of service during journey.
(c) Breach of contract to attend on and supply wants of helpless persons.
(d) None of the above.
Answer- (a)
Related facts-

  • By considering the misuse of section 498A, the Supreme Court provided for setting up of a committee to deal with dowry harassment complaints by protecting the provision of pre-arrest.
  • The apex court, while modifying the verdict given by its two-judge bench, said that there is no scope for courts for constitutionally filling up gaps in penal law.
  • While reserving its verdict the bench said that, on one hand, there should be gender justice for women as dowery has a chilling effect on marriage, and on the other hand, there is right to life and personal liberty of the man.
  • Erasing role of NALSA (National Legal Services Authority) and NGOs, the apex court said courts are there to protect harassed husbands and their relatives, who are not remotely connected to matrimonial cruelty, by granting them anticipatory bail.
    About section 498A-
  • Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code deals with husband or relatives of husbands subjecting a woman to cruelty.
  • Punishment under the section is imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
  • Cruelty means-
    (1) Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman.
    (2) Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to force her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.


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