I was talking to the mother of a close friend, who was looking for a “bahu”(bride) for his son and she said that nowadays it is better to disown the sons after marriage. Going by the disowning notices  in the newspapers, I was not totally surprised, but I insisted that she elaborate. She said that she had seen one of her friends being implicated in fasle dowry cases (498a)  and heard of several others. The trend was rapidly increasing in urban India, where the daughter in laws put false cases if the husband and his family doesnt dance to her tune. I asked her if she was prepared to live away from her only child in her old age. With her voice breaking she said “beta ! is kanoon ki wajah se main apne pote potiyon ke saath jee bhar ke khel bhi nahi paungi. Agar kuch ulta seedha ho gaya to is umar mein court kachari ke chakkar kaun lagaega” (Due to this law, I wont be able to play with my grandsons/granddaughters to my hearts content. If something bad happens (ie if they are implicated in a false case) I cant afford to run around the courts with my age.)

So, here was a well educated family with good values and the only practical solution that they had was to break the family. Such is the terror of this law. The sad part is that there is no provision by which the innocent can safegaurd themselves. The daughter in law can implicate any member of the family at any time, regardless of the length of the marriage. Some have done it within a day of marriage, some have done it after 16 years of marriage and some have even done it after divorce.

The anti-dowry law has transformed marriage, which was supposed to be a happy occasion into one where the husband and his family fear being incarcerated if the wife decides to file a false complaint against them for any frivolous reason. The law compels the police officer to take action and if an innocent person is jailed, it only breeds hatred and disgust in him/her for the injustice meted out. After a person has been falsely accused, he/she would not be very willing to live with the person who put false charges with them. Then its a fight to the end. You will be surprised at how many people I have come across who refused to take back their wives after they filed a false 498a. And I have come across many many instances, where the wives deeply regret using the provisions of this law, but the family is too paranoid to accept them. As so aptly described in GodFather – “You get only once chance to prove your loyalty”. These are the cases where the marriage would have worked out BUT for this law. However, there are numerous instances, where the wive used this law to get back with her lover and more often to extract as much money from the husband as they could. The innocent husbands, who were otherwise productive members of the society, after being falsely implicated by this law, get traumatized and scarred for life.

So, to avoid the consequences of being hit by this torpedo the old parents decide to live separately much to the glee of the daugher in law. However, the children and grandchildren miss out on the experience and wisdom of the older generation and the aged parents suffer because there is no one to take care of them. The indian culture places a lot of respect and trust in the elders and this law is chewing away at the basic foundation of the society. Strong family values will start to erode and soon our culture and heritage will be lost as the generations start moving away from each other.



  1. Hiren Says:

    When the motives are wrong, any law can be subverted but that does not imply that the law itself should not be there because there may be just causes as well.
    Editor – It is rather convenient to say that any law can be subverted and can be misused. However, it begs the question, why not make the laws so that it prevents misuse as far as possible. All that needs to be done to prevent the misuse of this law is to amend it so that anybody who files a frivolous and false complaint is punished as stringently as the law punishes the accused. Today, during cross examination, the females openly admit in the court that they filed a false case. Instead of punishing the females, the courts advise the husband to settle out of court, which generally means paying an obscene amount of money to the wife. Punish the misusers as strictly as you would punish the guilty. The false cases will disappear in a jiffy. But what motivation does the govt. have to do this ? The whole system – the police, the lawyers, the girls family and even the judiciary makes money from this racket. The only sufferrer is the innocent husband and his family who are jailed for no crime of theirs and are made to pay huge amounts as “settlement”.


    […] Original post by savemarriages and software by Elliott Back 7:51 am […]

  3. Nandakumar Says:

    Am harassed under 498A section, falsely implicated under this Dowry case, kindly assist me, save me and my family, else we have to see the extremes of it, probably i think this the end of my life here. as my family is suffering the humiliation alongwith me, i think it is unbearable, just imagine lined up in court with criminals and murderers, oh my god my blood boils just at the thought of it, i don’t know how am i going to face it, i just finished 2 hearings in the court, but still a long way to go….i lived with this girl only for 2 days, she wanted to come separately and stay with her parents and take care of her industry, i said no to it, we were separated for 2 years, now they have lodged dowry case, against me and my old parents…is there someone to assist this poor guy ?

  4. Anna Says:

    Why eveyone says that nowadays men are effecting alot because of that laws, I think eveyone should should think before posting comments like this, I feel this laws are there because some in-laws who treat their bahu as slave, I am one of the victim, As i say in abroad also i wnet through that phase, My husband just throwed me out of the saying i do have family memeber who can take care of me within 6 months, He also applied for divorce, I made request to court to dismiss for divorce and I made so many attempts for reconcilation, After some many he got concieved and now he is saying his parents think i am not the right match, Simply they came from india and they are staying with their daughter in boston, They didn’t even felt responsible for giving answer to me.

    I think there should be more laws which can help women

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