Section 498A of IPC is a protection for women against cruelty committed against them through their husbands and relatives of husbands for demand for property or valuable security. Women have misused this Section to settle their scores with their in-laws. We have already discussed in our previous article what is Section 498A of IPC, how to get anticipatory bail, and how to fight against a false 498A case.
In this article, we will discuss what are the evidence required to prove Section 498A of IPC, what is section 498A and how police investigate 498A, and how you prove 498A is false.
What is Section 498A IPC?
Section 498A of the IPC deals with crimes against a married woman who is subject to cruelty or harassment by her husband or his relatives. The cruelty should be of such a nature that it pressurizes a person to commit suicide or cause any injury to themselves. The woman is subjected to cruelty to meet property or valuable security demands.
Any person who commits a crime under Section 498A, then such person will be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 3 years, and with a fine.
What evidence is required to prove Section 498A IPC?
Section 498A of IPC has been misused by women, therefore it is essential to have strong evidence to prove your case. Following are the pieces of evidence required to prove Section 498A IPC:
Direct Evidence –
Direct Evidence means any evidence that directly proves the commission of a crime. For instance, a suicide note written by the wife that states that she was mentally and physically abused by her in-laws or husband is considered direct evidence.
Indirect Evidence –
Indirect Evidence is evidence that needs to be corroborated by other pieces of evidence to prove a crime. For instance, if a wife commits suicide, indirect evidence helps in establishing whether she was suffering from physical or mental trauma by her husband or his relatives.
Oral Statement –
Statement given orally before the Court based on which witnesses and the parties involved are examined and also helps in reducing the fabrication or tempering of evidence. Under Section 59 of the Indian Evidence Act, of 1872, an oral statement is considered oral evidence which can be used to prove the material facts of a crime (other than electronic records or contents of the documents). Furthermore, Section 60 of the Indian Evidence Act, mandates that the oral evidence must be directly related to what the witnesses see, hear or perceive a crime. For instance, neighbours who hear a wife being abused and tortured by the husband continuously for many years can give oral statements in court.
Expert Witness –
The Court can seek expert opinion in certain matters related to medicine or science as per Section 45 of the Indian Evidence Act. These experts include medical professionals such as doctors, psychiatrists, etc. can be called to give their opinion as oral evidence in court.
Medical Evidence –
Medical evidence can be oral or documentary. Evidence such as a medical report stating the conditions of a wife who sustained injury either physical or mental due to her husband or his relative’s act is called medical evidence. It is a significant type of evidence that help establish a case against the husband. It is a kind of indirect evidence that the prosecution has to prove to establish a connection between the injuries and the conduct of the husband or his relative.
Electronic Evidence –
Section 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, states that electronic records proving cruelty are admissible in a court of law. Electronic evidence is a kind of direct evidence. For instance, a video recording of a wife being beaten or tortured by her husband is electronic evidence.
How do police investigate 498A?
The police investigation is a very crucial part of establishing a case against an accused. Police investigate the crime by collecting bills and statement of witnesses.
How do you prove the 498A case is false?
Section 498A was created to safeguard women against atrocities and cruelty inflicted on them by their husband or their relatives. However, in past few years, many false 498A cases have been registered and this law has been misused by women.
To prove the case filed under Section 498A is false you should follow the given procedure:
- Collect all the pieces of evidence to prove the case is false;
- Consult a lawyer to get legal advice;
- Get an Anticipatory bail;
- Get the 498A FIR quashed;
- File a defamation case
- File a case for restitution of Conjugal Rights;
- File an FIR against the wife for making false allegations.
Reshma Rakesh Kadam Vs Rakesh Vijay Kadam, 2013
In this case, the wife alleged that her husband had an extramarital affair and was subjected to mental cruelty by him. However, there was no evidence to prove her allegations. On the other hand, the husband alleged that the wife refused to have any physical relationship with him and harassed, quarrelled, and threatened the husband to commit suicide. The husband had produced enough evidence to prove his allegations.
Therefore, the Court held that the evidence produced by the husband clearly shows that he was subjected to cruelty by his wife. And the wife had failed to give evidence or challenge the allegations made by the husband. Hence, the husband was entitled to have a decree of divorce on the ground of cruelty.
The wife who has been subject to cruelty by her husband or his relatives to meet their demand for valuable security or property, then such woman can file a complaint under Section 498A of the IPC. Section 498A of IPC has been introduced to protect the woman against cruelty or harassment by her husband or in-laws. Therefore, it is very important to have solid evidence to prove the Section 498A case. The evidence required to prove Section 498A IPC can be direct or indirect evidence, expert witness, oral statement, medical evidence, or electronic evidence.