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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

An Innocent gets arrested every 5 minutes, under IPC section 498a

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……..But the one most commonly used is Section 498A that protects women against domestic violence and dowry, under which the police can make an immediate arrest, without any investigation.

And here are the startling statistics:

A 2003 study by the Delhi based Centre for Social Research found that nearly 98% cases under 498A that protects women against domestic violence and dowry were false.

In National Crime Records Bureau data, 80% cases under 498A were found to be without merit after trial.

The data, also shows under 498A an innocent person is arrested every five minutes. (Source: Centre for Social Research Study, 2003)

According to National Crime Records Bureau 2005, 80 per cent cases under 498A found without merit after trial. Under 498A, an innocent person is arrested every five minutes

In Hyderabad, Lalitha Reddy breaks down, talking about the night, she spent in jail.
A few days after marriage, her son and daughter-in-law moved to the US. Seven months later Lalitha and her husband were arrested. The couple's daughter-in-law had filed a complaint, alleging she was tortured for a sum of 20 lakhs.

''She should have told us before that she has filed a case, that she doesn't want to live with my son. If she wants to leave, we won't stop her,'' said Lalitha Reddy, mother-in-law.

PR Gokul, a Mumbai businessman claims he is another victim. ''She always wanted her say, and I was expected to follow that without any questions. At a later stage, I felt she and her parents had an eye on my money,'' he said.

The breaking point was that after our baby was born she was staying with my parents in Kerala. Her family walked into my home and took her and the baby away. It was a power struggle and they saw the law as an avenue to take me under their control,'' he added.

Families like these now have come under an umbrella group called Save India Family to fight what they claim is the misuse of anti dowry laws.

''Anyone can put up an allegation. It's very difficult to prove if they have taken or given dowry. People dont speak up about this except when a case is filed under 498A,'' said Mohan Pillai, matrimonial lawyer.