Misuse of section 498-A IPC

Misuse of section 498-A IPC

Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) is a crucial legal provision designed to protect married women from cruelty by their husbands or relatives. This section was introduced in 1983 as an amendment to the IPC and addresses the widespread problem of domestic violence and dowry crime in India.

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A one-judge bench presided over by Vivek Rusia,* J. noted the abuse of Section 498-A and examined the jurisdiction, venue, and merits of the case before dismissing the FIR and associated proceedings because there was insufficient evidence and jurisdictional problems in a case involving cruelty and offenses related to dowries.

Brief facts

In the present case, the applicants wed respondent 2 at Indore on June 22, 2017. Respondent 2 filed a first information report (FIR) and alleged that after her marriage, she was abused by her husband, petitioner 1, and parents. and others and demanded money as a dowry. Although the crimes allegedly did not take place in Indore, the FIR continued to be filed there. Respondent 2 and her parents hailed from Navi, Mumbai while the petitioners resided in Gurgaon.

The allegations included a demand of Rs. 10 lakhs and a car and charges of cruelty. Accused 2 also alleged that her husband Kartik Mathur had left for Australia citing dissatisfaction over unfulfilled dowry demands.

For registering an FIR on the complaint filed by respondent 2, the present applications have been filed by the applicants under Section 482 of the CRPC. According to the complaint, Sections 498-A, 323, and 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) are alleged to have been violated.

Moot Point 

Should respondent 2’s FIR, which makes accusations of cruelty, dowry demands, and violations of IPC sections 498-A, 323, and 34, be quashed?


The petitioners argued that the allegations in the FIR related to activities that took place in Gurgaon and not in Indore and that they were permanent residents of Gurgaon. Concerns have been raised about possible misuse of Section 498-A and delay in lodging an FIR.

The responders argued that in order to evaluate the claims at this time, comprehensive proof was needed. Additionally, it was argued that the Court shouldn’t become involved too soon.

Court’s Observation and Decision

The Court observed that the parties had relocated to Australia and that the husband’s parents were being subjected to intimidation as a result of the judicial actions in India. The petitioner 1’s parents are being subjected to criminal or matrimonial litigation in India, the court declared, turning this case into “a case of reverse cruelty” against them. The parties are foreign nationals living in India. The Court noted that there isn’t any explicit claim that the spouse was asked for a dowry or anything similar when he left India for Australia. The Court noted that excessive harassment is frequently created by the abuse of Section 498-A of the IPC.

Misuse of section 498-A IPC
Misuse of section 498-A IPC

According to the Court, “…in order to do complete justice and prevent misuse of the legal process, the High Court should exercise the power conferred under section 482 of the Cr.P.C. to protect the relatives of the husband in matrimonial dispute where there is apparent misuse of Section 498-A of the Penal Code, 1860.”

The Court determined that the FIR was filed with the goal of harassing the accused, taking into account the charges and the delay in submitting the report. The Court further pointed out that the FIR was filed in the wrong place because the accusations were made in relation to conduct that occurred outside of Indore.

 The FIR and the ensuing proceedings were annulled by the Court upon the acceptance of the petitions.

Author: Purnima kankrayne, 2nd year; Allahabad university 

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