Miscarriage of Justice by Battered Dowry Laws

  • Ishita Srivastava
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  • Ishita Srivastava

    Student at O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India

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On agreement to anonymity, a District court judge in Delhi said that the ratio of false reported to true unreported dowry cases is two is to five i.e., majority of female victims refrain from reporting dowry related harassment and crimes in India. These are the two sides of a coin and are co-existing in the Indian society. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 along with Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 provide against abuse by husband and his relatives in form of dowry related harassment, death and cruelty. It is seen that conviction rate in 2015 was merely 34.7%, while rest of the cases are pending, mediated, withdrawn or result in acquittal. Reasons for withdrawal and mediation include the social stigma attached, subjection to reputational harm and familial pressure. However, at times, this mediation, withdrawal and acquittal is interpreted otherwise and mistook for attempted misuse of anti-dowry laws by the victims. Nevertheless, misuse of these laws by victims is also observed wherein women complain against their husbands with false allegations arising out of ulterior motives. Herein, Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 read with Section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 is seen to be used as a weapon rather than a protective shield by the women against their husbands and his relatives. Per these provisions, dowry related cruelty is a cognizable and non-bailable offence, whereby the accused can be arrested without warrant. This paper shall focus on analysing the efficiency of social welfare laws in protecting women’s rights considering the socio-economic set up of Indian patriarchal households. This shall be done through analysis of case laws and viewpoints of different stakeholders involved.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 4, Page 1450 - 1459

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.115564

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