The increasing number of dowry deaths is a matter of

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2007:68). The increasing number of dowry deaths is a matter of serious concern. The extent of the evil has been commented upon by the joint committee of houses to examine the working of dowry prohibition act 1961, cases of cruelty by the husband and relatives of the husband which culminate in suicide or murder of th e helpless women concerned constitute only a small fraction of cases involving such cruelty. It‟s therefore proposed to amend the Indian penal code, the code of criminal procedure and the Indian evidence act to deal effectively not with cases of dowry deaths but also cases of cruelty to married women by their in-laws.The offence shall be cognizable if the information relating to the commission of an offence is given to the officer in charge of a police station by the victim or by relative of the victim The Indian Evidence act 1872 is being amended to provide that where a woman has committed suicide within a period of 7 years from the date of her marriage and it‟s shown that her husband or any relative of their husband had subjected her to cruelty the court may presume that such suicide had been abetted by her husband or any relative of her husband (Sharma 2007:69-70). Salient features of 498A: This is a criminal law that deals with issues that mostly takes place within closed walls. It deals with cruelty by husband or relatives of husband towards the wife. Cruelty or harassment is considered as a willful conduct with a view to meet unlawful demand. This offence is cognizable, non-bail able, non-compoundable and triable by judicial magistrate of first class. I t‟s specified as non-compoundable. However only the high court can give permission for compounding the case in exceptional situation (Shirwadkar 2006:138). Cruelty under the matrimonial law: Cruelty began as a sort of crime against grounds for dissolution of marriage i.e. cruelty is a ground for separation under the Hindu marriage act 1955 (Sharma 2007:73).In Ashwini Kumar Sehgal vs. Swatantar Sehgal the court observed cruelty in such cases has to be of the type
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Saira Salim, IJSRM Volume 05 Issue 10 October 2017 [] Page 7256 which would satisfy the conscious of the court to believe that the relation between the parties had meliorated to such an extent due to the conduct of one of the spouses that it has become impossible for them to live together without mental agony, torture or distress. It further said that cruelty as a ground for divorce under section 13 (1) of Hindu marriage act, is a conduct of such type that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent. Under the Hindu law, intention or motive is not an essential element of cruelty. The act or conduct constituting cruelty need not be always direct it may be in indirect form as well.
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  • Fall '19
  • HARASSMENT, Saira Salim

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