India has been a male dominant country since ages. Women were not treated equally. Men were given the upper hand in everything be it political, social, or economical. The laws of that also were not so as to help in the upliftment of women. But the time changed and so did the society. The society became sensitive towards the need for development and progress. The need for the upliftment of women, was felt equally as they formed half of the population. As, the society progressed many laws and norms were enforced as to the benefit of the female population.
The Domestic violence Act, prevention of cruelty, Rape laws , laws relating to Dowry Death and many more such laws were created just to improve the condition of women. But today the women who need it are not aware of their rights and privileges and those who are capable enough to fight any adversity use it as weapon for their personal benefits. This misuse of the laws by the capable and affluent women is a kind of legal terrorism.
Recently the Law Commission was once again tasked with the job of reviewing 498a , and once again recommending if this needed to be changed. It is no hidden secret that IPC 498a is a weapon of human rights abuse of husband and his family/relatives. Judiciary including Supreme Court has given instances of its gross misuse and directives to government and law ministry for prevention of IPC 498a misuse and amendments. Some police circulars have been issued in various states to prevent arbitrary arrests under 498a, but they are often not followed by police. The suggestion to law ministry for amending 498a has also been pending for 2 years.
The loopholes in the laws are such that there is no way out for the innocent men and their families. They are dragged into this for demand of money or anything as simple as that. The law specifies severe punishments for these offenses and thus the trap becomes more firm. This is done in the majority of cases of 498-A and are coupled with some more offences such as domestic violence, demands of dowry etc, which adds to the effect. Thus men become the victim and women the perpetrator. The scenario is just the opposite in the rural or illiterate part of the country where cruelty, domestic violence, dowry demands still remain one of the most under reported crimes.
The law commission needs to suggest certain amendments into such laws , so as to cover both the contrasting needs of the society and thus bring an more full proof law not only for the women but for the men as well!