[Mukesh Bansal v State of UP].
The bench of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi, Allahabad High Court observed on Monday and issued directions to safeguard or prevent the misuse of section 498A of the Indian Penal Code,1860.
WHAT IS SECTION 498A?
Section 498A is Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
The bench ordered that after the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) under the provision, no arrest or action should be taken against the accused for two months, and during this period the issue would have to be referred to a Family Welfare Committee (FWC).
When the court found out about the FIR which was written in a very inappropriate way; the women was unable to produce any documentary evidence to validate the allegations. the court decided to ignore the graphic and distressful allegations made by the wife on receiving legal advice. Therefore, the revision petitions by the in-laws were allowed.
Considering the above, the court issued the following directions:
1. No arrest after lodging FIR without considering ‘cooling period’.
2. Cases transferred to FWC in which sec 498A with no injury and where the imprisonment is less than 10 years.
3. Every district shall have at least one or more FWC.
4. The member of the FWC shall never be called as a witness.
5. the FWC Committee shall summon the contesting parties along with their four senior elderly persons to have personal interaction and would try to settle down the issue.
6. the Investigating Officer (IO) shall continue to have a peripheral investigation into the matter namely preparing a medical report, injury report, the statements of witnesses.
7. Legal Services Aid Committee shall impart such basic training as may be considered necessary to the members of Family Welfare Committee from time to time(not more than one (26) week).
Written by AKHILA NAIR @alihka.rian