The violence that affects any person physically, mentally, sexually and emotionally maybe termed as domestic violence. If we break the word domestic violence into two parts then domestic means violence or harm that is done to a person within the premises of the households and violence means doing harm to a person’s life and property even caused death too sometimes. Domestic violence is a violation to basic human rights which is given to each and every single person who is the citizen of the country, India. Many countries all over the world have found this violence as a life’s threat. India too agrees with this and has provided protection from this violence but sadly only for women. Domestic violence against men is nil as there is no provision for this in regard to men and due to this many women file false case against a man with the motive of taking revenge or harassing them.
Dowry may be defined as the gifts, money or parental property which is given during the marriage from bride’s side. Well dowry system maybe termed as a social evil as it has caused crimes and tortures mostly for the females. It is one of the most common things in India which is commonly termed as Dahej and the groom’s side thinks it’s a prestigious thing to take from bride’s parents and family. Well, it’s not because a father gives away his daughter whom he’s loves the most, more than his own life. It takes a lot of courage and strength to give away their daughter who is more precious than any other thing in the world for the bride’s family but in India this system of dowry is very common and acts as a sign of pride for the groom’s family.
Now how one over comes or defends one’s self from false case on dowry or domestic violence? Section 498A of IPC and dowry act gives women the right to file case against their husband if any violence or misbehaviour is being done to them. According to section 498A of IPC a women can file case against dowry and violence and immediately the husband, his parents and relatives can be arrested without any investigation on non bailable terms and if proven guilty then they can be put behind the bars for three years or fine or both in many cases.
If a false case is registered by a wife on her husband than two things can be done, namely, at first to defend yourself and wait for the judgement from the court or to file a counter case on your wife. Both can be further explained. If you are ready for defence (husband), then at first you require to safeguard yourself and family from being arrested on false allegations by filing or getting an anticipatory bail or any other such thing that totally depends on the situation at that time. Further one need to collect as many proves as possible to protect themselves for example call records, mails, photographs, messages, statements of neighbours and localities and many such things. Collecting evidence on not taking dowry and that the wife has moved out from the bond of marriage without any valid reason. The evidence will help during anticipatory bail or on getting notice of bail from the court.
There are hundreds of cases in which the husband along with his family is put behind the bars in such cases, henceforth at first instances one needs to safeguard the family by filing for bail or anticipatory bail, once the FIR is lodged. Different states have different mechanisms to deal with the problem of false case. For instance, in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan the complain would be at first referred to Mahila Thana where attempts are made for settlements between the couple and if it does not reaches the state of settlement then FIR is lodged. In states like Uttranchal or Uttar Pradesh, the FIR is registered but you get one month time for settlement but in Bihar the situation is very difficult as people are arrested on the spot immediately and getting of anticipatory bail is quite difficult. When the false case is filed the husband too must file a complaint of blackmailing, false allegations in their nearest police station. Since the police officer generally create a lot of scenes on filing of the FIR from the husband’s side one must consult a good criminal lawyer for this.
One can even file a complaint on the grounds of Restitution of Conjugal Rights RCR, if the wife has left the husband’s place without any valid reasons and before she comes back the husband can lay down various conditions too for peaceful living.
Next move in order to defend one can do is to raise the issue of false case by writing letters to media, human rights organization, etc. This can be done by using social media platforms and informing friends and relatives and locals about the false case.
Now, another step that can be taken is the offensive step by filing of a counter case but for this one needs a lawyer who has well knowledge in this particular field. There are various sections under which one can file a counter case.
Section 120B of Indian Penal Code 1860, talks about punishment for criminal conspiracy, where if there is a false case registered then the husband can file a case against his wife under this section as her intentions are to crime against you. Section 167 of Indian Penal Code 1860, talks about public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury, where if the husband thinks that the police is helping his wife for preparing the false case, then the husband can file a counter case under this section too. Section 191 of Indian Penal Code 1860 talks in respect of giving false evidence, where if the husband feels or suspects that his wife or any other person is presenting false evidence or false document against him then he can file a case too under this section. Section 500 of Indian Penal Code 1860 states defamation, where if the reputation of the man which is his biggest asset is defamed by any mean than he can drag the person to the court and ask for punishment or remuneration.
Not only in India but in other countries such as Europe, South Africa and such countries the system of dowry is followed as it seems to be symbol of pride and prestige for the groom’s family to showcase the amount or quantity of dowry their daughter in law has brought along with her. Dowry is complete injustice with women and does not give women equal right in the society. Because of dowry men will always be superior to women. This system creates a mess in the society and to the environment. Under the Dowry Prohibition Act, taking or giving dowry is a crime and is illegal. This dowry system has turned the tables of marriage into business deal and it’s a curse to the society. Dowry system has even resulted in cancellation of many marriages where the groom’s demand is not been fulfilled by the bride’s family. This system has resulted in martial and domestic violence including deaths too. Domestic violence is committed within the premises of domestic circle. It is a problem sweeping the nation. This violence can affect anyone but is generally done with children and adult women in abusive relationship.
Dowry system and domestic violence are namely too place where we see that women are suppressed by the male members of the society, and no necessary steps are taken therefore it would not be wrong to use the phrase Law As Male by looking in the above matter. But putting aside the statement that law is male oriented in today’s generation specifically the women uses section 498A of IPC for their benefits of filing false case and allegation on their husbands to fulfil their selfish needs and desires. They tend to register false case against their husband and his family in order to take revenge.
Well, as stated earlier that the reputation is the most important asset a person can have, therefore by these false case registered by the women to fulfil their selfish deed can or rather destroys the reputation of the man and it takes years to build reputation and by such attempts this can be destroyed in few seconds itself. In an estimated survey around 66,000 men dies every year due to these filing of false case out of which most of the cases are still pending and many are withdrawn back too.
A landmark judgement and example of this false dowry and domestic violence case is the case of Nisha Sharma in the year 2003. It began in 2003 when Nisha Sharma accused her prospective groom, Munish Dalal of demanding dowry. The case got much covered by media and portrayed Nisha Sharma as the youth icon and role model for other women. The case ended in 2012 when the court acquitted all accused and found out that she had fabricated the dowry charges to wriggle out of the wedding. This particular case shows that how the section 498A of IPC can be misused.
While women undoubtedly bear the burn of the abuse, men have also come forward with submissions to the inquiry of false dowry accusations and the misuse of anti-dowry laws in India. A false dowry and domestic violence case carries a punishment of minimum five years in prison and even penalty or both.
These false cases destroy the life and future of the person against whom it is registered, the society too does not looks towards them with the same respect as before the case. A lot of time, energy and money all are spent and nothing can be done to repay these as there can be no instrument to measure loss of someone’s goodwill, reputation. This needs to be stop as law is made in order to maintain peace and harmony in the society but due to such misuse of laws there arises more problems and things turns out be worst and the situation out of control.
If a person is registered under a false case of dowry and or domestic violence then he can simply file a counter case on his wife with all the required and relevant evidences he has with him or can gather as soon as possible. It will not be easy as the police too do not files such kinds of cases but where there is a will, there is a way. One should never go for settlement after this false case being registered as all it will show is that maybe the husband is at false and that is why he agreed for settlement and will weaken his case and will also affect his reputation. After the filing of the counter case, one must ensure the safety of their family first and their security. After the security measures taken the next step would be to make this false case registered to be disclosed in the media, social media platforms, friends, and other locals too.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time one fall, your time is limited do not lose it. One needs to remain courageous even if all these things happen and continue to fight with full strength and courage because no matter how much strong false stays in the end it is the truth that wins in the end. Where on one side we see crime against women is increasing day by day at a rapid speed on the other hand these false cases proves that crime against men too are increasing and the nation needs to takes some important steps in order to control these situations for better and peaceful living of each and every single human being in the society, in the nation and in the world all together.
<www.wikipedia of domestic violence in India.com>
Accessed on 24th May 2021
Lexis Nexis’s Textbook on Indian Penal Code by K D Gaur- 7th Edition January 2020.
Submitted By, Afifa Shamim, intern batch may.