Marriages are ruined by false cruelty cases, says Supreme Court

A bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and A K Sikri of the Apex court while dismissing a woman’s petition who had appealed against a trial court’s decision said false complaints under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) against innocent in-laws alleging cruelty and harassment at matrimonial homes were increasingly making the husbands adamant not to take back their wives.

The bench further observed that, “for no fault, the in-laws, especially old parents of the husband, are taken to jail the moment a false complaint is filed against them by a woman under Section 498A. By roping in in-laws without a reason and for settling a score with the husband, the false and exaggerated 498A complaints are causing havoc to marriages.”

While dismissing petition filed by the woman, who had appealed against a trial court’s decision not to permit her lead evidence against the two brothers of her husband, the bench said, “There is an increasing hardening of stand among husbands, whose parents had been arrested in false 498A cases, not to take back the wife. They say they are willing to give her all the property, they will take care of the children’s education and marriage but will not take her back.”

Bench further added, “They take a plea before the court that they may have committed a mistake but for that punishing their old parents on a false complaint was not condonable. The false complaints under Section 498A are ruining marriages.” Court further advised the woman who filed the complaint under Section 498A of Indian penal Code that, “When you file complaints under Section 498A, be circumspect and truthful. Do not drag old parents if they had no role in causing any harassment to you. You unnecessarily involve old people in your complaint; and you end up ruining the marriage.”

Apex court in its recent judgment ruled that even a single false dowry complaint against the husband and in-laws was sufficient ground for courts to grant decree of divorce to annul the marriage.