SC to Revisit Order Barring Immediate Arrests in Dowry Cases

The apex court said that the order “went against women’s rights”.

2 min read
Image used for representational purpose.

The Supreme Court after ruling out mandatory arrests following complaints of dowry harassment is set to revisit its order. The court said that the order “went against women’s rights”.

A bench, comprising Justice AK Goel and UU Lalit, had on 27 July recommended setting up of family welfare committees which will review complaints of dowry harassment. The panel will inspect the case and submit a report to the local magistrate after which the decision to make arrests will be taken.

A petition was filed by a Maharashtra-based NGO, Nyayadhar in the SC that wanted inclusion of two woman members in the family welfare committee and one member who has done MA in Social Works.

It also suggested recording of facts at the time of counselling and said the committee should also consider the economic status of the parties.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it is not in agreement with the earlier verdict, which had actually diluted the severity of section 498A (subjecting married woman to cruelty) of IPC by constituting a buffer of family welfare committees in every district to verify the allegations against husband or the relative of husband of a woman.

The judgment had laid certain guidelines for arrest under section 498A of IPC which appears to be an exercise under the domain of the legislature. We are not in agreement with the view taken as it is liable to affect the rights of women.
SC Bench

The bench, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, issued notice and sought the Centre's response by 29 October.

(With inputs from PTI)

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