December 13, 2023
symbolizing justice and order

“Domestic violence” refers to any type of abuse or violence, including physical, mental, and sexual assault which takes place in a household, like a marriage or cohabit relationship. Another term for domestic violence that is frequently used is “intimate partner violence.”

This phenomenon is more prevalent in India than it is in other countries due to the country’s cultural norms of joint families, male dominance, and dowries. Consequently, these factors raise the possibility that women will experience domestic violence. Women are frequently abused by both the husband and his family when dowry is expected but is not given, or when the amount given is insufficient.

Section 498A of IPC: About

Anyone who, as a husband or family member, abuses a woman will face up to three years in prison as well as a fine.


For the purposes of this provision, cruelty under section 498a is defined as:

  • Any deliberate behavior that poses a serious risk to a woman’s life, limb, or health (either physically or mentally); or
  • Harassment of women who are being harassed with the intention of forcing them, or anybody connected to them, to comply with an illegal demand for valuable property or security, or who are being harassed because they are not able to comply with the demand.

Section 498A of IPC: Essentialities

A few essentialities must be fulfilled in order for this Section to be applicable. Among them are the following:

  • The women need to be married in order for Section 498-A to apply. In order to protect women from their husbands and/or in-laws’ harsh and unruly behavior, Section 498A has been included to the Act.
  • In order for Section 498A to be applicable, married women had to have experienced abuse or harassment. This context encompasses a broad spectrum of cruelties, including financial, psychological, emotional, physical, and mental cruelties.
  • For Section 498A to be applicable, a married woman must have experienced cruelty or harassment from her husband or her husband’s family for whatever reason.
  • A further crucial component of Section 498A is that any action taken against a wife or daughter-in-law for whatever reason must be deliberate and willful.

Section 498A punishment

  • When someone is found guilty of violating Section 498A of the IPC, they face up to three years in prison as well as a fine.

Is Section 498A IPC bailable or not?

  • When a woman or her family members file a complaint, the Police are required by law to file a First Information Report (FIR) against the individuals engaged in the offence under 498A IPC since the offense is cognizable, non-compoundable, and non-bailable. Since the 498a IPC offense is cognizable and not subject to bail, the police have the authority to detain the defendant.

What is the evidence required to prove 498a of IPC?

The following list includes the kinds of evidence that can effectively build a compelling prosecution case and contribute to the accused’s conviction. Despite the fact that these categories overlap, they still require separate consideration due to the various standards for court admission.

  • Oral statements given in court under oath facilitate the cross-examination of parties and witnesses and reduce the fabrication of evidence. Section 59 of the Indian Evidence Act permits the use of oral statements, a sort of oral evidence, to establish material components of a crime.
  • Direct evidence is any kind of evidence that indicates directly the commission of a crime. It could be spoken or recorded. One piece of tangible evidence might be a wife’s diary, which details the ongoing harassment she endures and ultimately leads to her suicide.
  • To prove a crime, indirect evidence needs to be supported by other pieces of evidence. A wife taking her own life, for instance, is oblique proof of maltreatment. It must be demonstrated that she experienced physical or psychological abuse at the hands of her spouse or his family members, and that this suffering motivated her to take her own life.
  • Medical evidence is used to support cruelty allegations under Section 498A. They may be documentaries or spoken word. Therefore, medical papers pertaining to the wife seeking professional care for physical or psychological injuries all fall under this category.
  • Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act permits the court to call an expert witness in cases involving, but not limited to, science. Doctors and other medical professionals may therefore be asked to testify orally in court. This type of evidence will be included in the oral medical evidence, and it will strengthen the prosecution’s case when it is corroborated by eyewitness testimony of cruel conduct.
  • Courts may admit electronic evidence that demonstrate cruelty, per Section 65B of the Evidence Act. An electronic type of direct proof could be a video clip of a woman’s spouse abusing her, for instance.

Section 498A ipc case laws

  • In the case of Savitri Devi v Ramesh Chand & Ors, without equivocation, the Court declared that the regulations were being abused and manipulated to the point wherein they were endangering the institution of marriage, which was ultimately detrimental to society at large.

The Court concluded that in order to make sure that anything similar wouldn’t happen again, officials and lawmakers needed to look into the circumstances and the applicable laws.

  • In the Kahkashan Kausar v State of Bihar case, the Indian Supreme Court decided that in the dearth of specific claims of dowry demands, the husband’s relatives cannot be forced to stand trial. The court stressed that putting someone through a criminal trial, which can ultimately lead to an acquittal, might have long-lasting detrimental effects and therefore be discouraged.

The Supreme Court recognized in its recent ruling on Section 498A that the criminal trial procedure itself has the potential to inflict serious injury and have a long-lasting effect on the accused. The court emphasized the necessity of taking into account the possible repercussions of unfounded or false accusations and acknowledged the significance of striking a balance between the accused’s rights and the victims’ protection.

Disgruntled wives tend to use Section 498a ipc as a sword rather than a shield. As a result, everyone needs to understand the significance of the section and how to use it for the intended purpose. Hence, it must be wielded as a shield instead of something to wield.

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