Section-498A: Cruelty By Husband Or Relatives Of Husband

Arnesh kumar………………..(Appellant)


State of Bihar & ANR………………………..(Respondents)

Case Citation-(2014) 8 SCC 273

In the Supreme Court of India

Hon’ble Judges-Chandramauli kr. Prasad & Pinaki Chandra Bose

Criminal Appeal no-1277 of 2014

Special Leave Petition (CRL.) No. 9127 of 2013


1.Whether the police should arrest the person in case of 498.A, IPC which is a non bailable & cognizable offence at the first instance?

2.Can a person avail anticipatory bail when accused under the section 498.A, IPC?

Arguments from Respondents & Appellant

Arguments from Respondents

1.1-As sec-498.A[1] of IPC is a non-bailable & cognizable offence so it clearly says that  a person to be arrested[2] under the section at the first instance as the appellant asked for dowry and also threatened to marry another woman & for domestic violence

1.2-If the bail is granted then there is huge chance  that the person may :

i)threatens the witness

ii)tampers the evidence

1.3-They should be punished more for demanding dowry which is illegal[3] under sec-4 of the act[4] and also for domestic violence as they have driven out the woman from their matrimonial house which the woman is legally supposed to stay after marriage.

Arguments from Appellant

2.1-As per the Law Commission Report[5]under sec-41 clause(b) Crpc its been mentioned that a police before arrest for cognizable  and non bailable offence has to make reasonable believe that the complaint,information against the person is true by nature and there are sufficient reasonable ground for such  arrest.

2.2-Here the appellant under sec-438,Crpc request the honorable court for anticipatory bail as for his safeguard as here the charges against him are false in nature and more over there is no evidence found against him.

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2.3-Under sec 498.A, the police should find the reasonable ground for arrest at the first instance as per the guidelines mentioned in Law commission report.As the Appellant belong to a respected family  moreover arrest create humiliation in the society & there were also no evidence found against the appellant .so he should be acquitted.

Ratio Decidendi

1.Hon’ble Justice Chandramouli said that sec-498.A IPC was laid down in order to protect woman from the cruelty of her husband & his relatives. But from statistics report it was found that in the present society the husband are getting more harassed because of false allegation by wife which also leads to disturbances of either families.

2.No police can automatically arrest under a case filed under sec-498.A IPC without properly satisfying itself about the necessary for arrest as per the parameter laid down under sec-41[6] CrPC.

Critical Analysis

Sec-498.A, IPC has been one of the most significant criminal law reforms protecting women’s right but these are not enough .Domestic violence against women which is an offence, the police still not comply with the law & also do not take necessary strict action which would be effective enough.

For an effective working of sec-498.A, IPC the arrest procedure & Social service network has been looked into in order to give proper support to the victim as needed, we all should also enhance awareness & try to save/protect the women who are facing this heinous domestic violence. Simply making the rules & regulation but not implementing in an effective way will not solve the problem. The Government should also encourage the NGO’s, protection officer, counsellor & social worker to look after these tortured unprotected women.

Moreover if we look on other side of this it has dark aspect for men as from the recent report it’s been found that these days the husband & his family are getting more harassed due to false allegation of wife which leads to disturbances of family the Law enforcer should be strict and careful while dealing in these matters.

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The recently approved bill[7]contain some remedies such as ex party injunction without filing for divorce or maintenance, protection orders, non-molestation order & non-contract order which in some way help the women.


The court by order dated 31st October 2013 granted provisional bail to the appellant on certain condition[8].

Further the court gave direction to all the state government to instruct the police officer not to automatically arrest when a case under sec-498.A of IPC is registered but to satisfy themselves about the parameter laid down from sec-41, CrPC & further added the police officer to be provided with check list containing sub clause under sec-41(i),(b)(ii) of CrPC.

[1]Indian Penal Code,1860.

[2]State of Karnataka v. Moorthy [2002 CrLJ 1683 (Kant)] (India).

[3]Shankar Prasad v. State [1991 CrLJ 639 (Cal)] (India).

[4]Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

[5]Law Commission Report, 152nd& 154th ,1994.

[6]Code of Criminal Procedure , 1973.

[7]Protection of women against violence bill, 2015.

[8]Code of Criminal Procedure, sec-438.

By Jus Dicere Team