SC To Revisit The Judgment By Two Judge Bench On Abuse Of Section 498A IPC [Read The Order And Petition]
Less than three months after a Supreme Court bench has laid down guidelines saying no arrest of husband and his family members till the charges are verified in the dowry harassment complaints under section 498 (A) of IPC, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) led Bench today decided to revisit the two Judge Bench Judgment.
Referring to the July 28 Judgment in Rajesh Sharma Vs State of Uttar Pradesh case, CJI Dipak Misra said
“we are not in agreement with the judgment passed in the case. We can’t write law. We can only interpret the law.”
The bench appointed Senior Advocate V Shekhar as Amicus to assist the court while issuing notice to the Centre and sought its reply.
The Bench was hearing PIL filed by an NGO Nyayadhar in which a prayer was made for a direction to include two women members in the three member family welfare committee as suggested in the Rjesh Sharma judgment.
The Bench, however, said although the prayer is different on this petition but the court is not in agreement with the guidelines issued by a bench while dealing with the dowry harassment cases.
In July a bench of justices A K Goel and U U Lalit had expressed concern over disgruntled wives misusing the anti-dowry law against their husbands and in-laws.
“It is a matter of serious concern that large number of cases continue to be filed under Section 498A alleging harassment of married women. To remedy the situation, we are of the view that involvement of civil society in the aid of administration of justice can be one of the steps, apart from the investigating officers and the concerned trial courts being sensitized. It is also necessary to facilitate closure of proceedings where a genuine settlement has been reached instead of parties being required to move High Court only for that purpose”. It said.
It had directed that no arrest or coercive action should be taken on such complaints without ascertaining the veracity of allegations.
It had also directed all states to set up family welfare committee (FWC) in each district and empowered them toll into the veracity of every complaint.
Read the Order Here
Read the Petition Here