Constitutional Validity of Section 498A IPC

Misuse of Section 498A IPC, Constitutional Validity of 498A IPC

The Constitutional Validity of Section 498A IPC has been upheld by Supreme Court of India. The Supreme Court of India in  Sushil Kumar Sharma v. Union of India and others held that :

“Provision of S. 498A of Penal Code is not unconstitutional and ultra vires. Mere possibility of abuse of a provision of law does not per se invalidate a legislation. Hence plea that S. 498A has no legal or constitutional foundation is not tenable. The object of the provisions is prevention of the dowry menace. But many instances have come to light where the complaints are not bona fide and have been filed with oblique motive. In such cases acquittal of the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignominy suffered during and prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage adds to the misery. The question, therefore, is what remedial measures can be taken to prevent abuse of the well-intentioned provision. Merely because the provision is constitutional and intra vires, does not give a licence to unscrupulous persons to wreck personal vendetta or unleash harassment. It may, therefore, become necessary for the legislature to find out ways how the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with. Till then the Courts have to take care of the situation within the existing frame-work.”

 In B.S. Joshi and others v. State of Haryana and another, the Court observed:

(2005) 6 SCC 281 : AIR 2005 SC 3100 (2003) 4 SCC 675 : AIR 2003 SC 1386 “There is no doubt that the object of introducing Chapter XX-A containing Section 498A in the Indian Penal Code was to prevent the torture to a woman by her husband or by relatives of her husband. Section 498A was added with a view to punishing a husband and his relatives who harass or torture the wife to coerce her or her relatives to satisfy unlawful demands of dowry. The hyper-technical view would be counter productive and would act against interests of women and against the object for which this provision was added. There is eveiy likelihood that non- exercise of inherent power to quash the proceedings to meet the ends of justice would prevent women from settling earlier. That is not the object of Chapter XXA of Indian Penal Code.”

 In Brij Lal v. Prem Chand and another3, the supreme court of india ruled thus:- “It would not be out of place for us to refer here to the addition of Sections 113-A and 113-B to the Indian Evidence Act and Sections 498-A and 304-B to the Indian Penal Code by subsequent amendments. Section 113-A Evidence Act and 498-A Indian Penal Code have been introduced in the respective enactments by the Criminal Law (Second amendment) Act, 1983 (Act 46 of 1983) and Section 113-B of the Evidence Act and 304-B Indian Penal Code have been introduced by Act No. 43 of 1986

Constitutional Validity of Section 498A IPC