Lucknow: In a bid check the misuse of the Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) that came into force against accused in dowry cases and to save women from domestic violence, the Uttar Pradesh government has urged the Centre to amend this Section to make it a bailable offence.

Citing misuse of 498-A (Husband or Relative of Husband of a women subjecting her to cruelty) by unscrupulous women to extort money and to harass husband’s entire family, the state government has written a letter to the Central government seeking amendment.

Under 498 A, whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

The matter was brought into light by Allahabad High Court during the hearing of a petition filed by Sanjeev Kumar. The High Court directed the state government to put forth its views on the misuse of 498-A.

Acting on the directives, state administration took review of dowry deaths and domestic violence in the state. It was found that from 2007-2010, more than 5500 cases of dowry deaths and 20,000 cases of domestic violence were registered.

In majority of the cases, kin of the victim filed an FIR against the husband and his family under 498-A of IPC as of which elderly, pregnant women and even juveniles were declared guilty. It was also found that in many cases allegations imposed by the victim and her family was totally wrong as there was no proof of any kind of physical assault. However, the husband and his family had to be put behind the bars in compliance with the rule.

JPN/Bureau