The misuse of draconian Section 498-A law had been citied by Former President of India, Pratibha Patil, while she was in office (2007-2012).
In December 2008, Patil has cautioned against the misuse of pro-women laws such as IPC Section 498-A which deals with dowry harassment. She had openly sought better implementation, to create a gender-just society.
Quoting from The Telegraph’s report, she then said,
Instances exist whereby protective legal provisions for the benefit of women have been subjected to distortion and misuse to wreak petty vengeance and to settle scores.
Some surveys have concluded that 6 to 10 per cent of dowry complaints are false and were registered primarily to settle scores. It is unfortunate if laws meant to protect women get abused as instruments of oppression.
Concluding her speech at the National Conference of Lady Lawyers and Lady Teachers on Justice for Women at Yavatmal in Maharashtra, Patil had then expressed,
Laws made to prevent women from harassment should not become instruments of oppression.
I call upon the legal fraternity to ensure that provisions designed to prevent exploitation and suppression of women are “fairly invoked” and “honestly implemented”.
Did You Know? – Pratibha Patil’s Nephew Charged Under Section 498-A
Pratibha Patil’s nephew Rahul Patil married Prachi Singh in 2007. Later after two years into the marriage, Prachi filed a complaint under Section 498-A IPC against her husband and in-laws alleging dowry harassment and cruelty.
Later, as per a report in 2010, Rahul came forward to settle all matrimonial disputes with his wife Prachi. Justice B Sreenivase Gowda then advised the couple to settle the dispute amicably, to which Rahul agreed.
The Karnataka High Court had directed the couple to present themselves before the court to settle the dispute, post mediation.
Before going to mediation centre, Prachi had refused to accept the settlement. She then told reporters,
The President Pratibha Patil had fixed our marriage. In her presence we got married. But now, she is not responding though I approached her many times. I have suffered a lot, my husband and in-laws ill-treated me and I want justice.
Rahul on other hand was keen to settle the matter as directed by court.
In the year 2014, the couple approached Supreme Court and filed for mutual consent divorce. The Supreme Court allowed dissolution of the marriage while expressing,
In view of the amicable settlement arrived at among the parties, the said proceedings are treated to have been filed under Section 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and by exercising our power under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, we declare the marriage to be dissolved in view of the fact that sufficient efforts made for settlement had failed for last more than six years.
Read Supreme Court Order Here: Prachi Singh Patil Vs Rahul G Patil
2008 | This Is What President Pratibha Patil Had Expressed On Misuse Of Section #498A IPC
▪️Did You Know? – Pratibha Patil's Nephew Was Charged Under Section 498-A
— Voice For Men India (@voiceformenind) June 10, 2022
Madhur Bhandarkar Explains Misuse of Section 498A
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