Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 – A Stage towards Social Justice​?​

Muskan Bansal
NMIMS School of Law, Mumbai, India.

Volume III, Issue VI, 2020

Marriage is one of the primary instruments utilized in extension of family yet having said that the foundation of civil marriage has experienced significant changes over the recent couple of decades. That being said, this foundation brings in the upsetting and unbearable issue of cruelty faced by married woman in her in-law’s house by husband or his relatives. Looking back, India was swamped with the media reports and readings regarding the cold-blooded matter of cruelty by husband and his relatives against married woman for various selfish reasons, the most important being the non-fulfilment of the demands of dowry. For this purpose, to defend the interest of a women by protecting them from the odds of such ill-behavior faced under the roof of their matrimonial home, Section 498A was inserted in the Indian Penal Code by the Criminal Law (Second Amendment Act, 1983). This paper attempts to highlight the importance of section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and lays down a legal as well as judicial analysis of the topic, certain important definitions, situations and cases, that plays and essential role in the understanding of section 498A. Along the same lines, unfortunately contentions have been held against the misuse of this law for various suspicious reasons. Therefore, this paper also deals with the claimed misuse of section 498A of the Indian Penal Code and the reality beyond these allegations.

Keywords: Cruelty, Dowry, Marriage, Section 498A.