Advocate Seema Dhavale

1. What is 498A?
Section 498A was inserted into the Indian Penal Code in 1983 via an amendment. It reads:
498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.
Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
Explanation-For the purpose of this section, "cruelty" means-
A. Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
B. Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her meet such demand.
C. This section is non-bailable,non-compoundable (i.e. it cannot be privately resolved between the parties concerned) and cognizable.
Prosecution for a non-compoundable offense can only be quashed by a High Court of India under its powers under section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code of India. Usually, cases under 498A are quashed by mutual agreement when the husband and wife reconcile with each other, or agree to divorce by mutual consent. After registration of an FIR for a cognizable, non-bailable offense, the police in India can arrest any and all of the accused named in the complaint.

2. What is the duration of submission of charge sheet under 498a. If the charge sheet is not subimmted during this period what should I do?
Under 498A, the charge sheet must be submitted by the police within the duration of two months after filling FIR. If it has taken longer, Ask the Investigating Officer to issue a certificate that the 498a complaint is false or go for quash on FIR. Also file an RTI. you can download 498a Quash judgements from this site.

3. How long does a 498a case run? What is the conviction rate in 498A?
It generally runs for 2 to 3 years. Survey done by various NGO's found that around 92-94% of cases are found to be false and filed by wife only for certain motive. Convistion rate is only 2% or even less.

4. How to File 498a Discharge in trial court?
498a Discharge application can be filed before framing of charges under Section 239 of CrPC. Or under Section 245 of CrPC at any stage of the proceedings. The following judgements citation will be very useful for Discharge under 239 CrPC.
1. State of Karnataka v. L. Muniswamy AIR 1977 SC 1489
2. State of Maharashtra and Ors. v. Som Nath Thapa and Ors. AIR 1996 SC 1744
3. Omwati and Anr Vs. State AIR 2001 SC 1507
4. Kanti Bhadra Shah and Anr. Vs. State of W.B. AIR 2000 SC 522
5. Stree Atyachar Virodhi Parishad Vs. Dilip N. Chartia 1989 (1) SCC 715
6. State of Bihar vs. Ramesh singh AIR 1977 SC 2018
7. Supdt. S. Remembrancer of legal affairs W.B. Vs. Anil Kumar Bhunja- AIR 1989 SC 52
8. Satish Mehra Vs. Delhi Admn. (1996)9 SCC 766
9. State of M.P. v. Mohanlal Soni AIR 2000 SC 2583
You can prepare Discharge application on the basis of  only all the documents accused received with chargesheet ; and Any document which police have in their possession [may be submitted by accused at the time of bail application at court or made some application to police attaching some documents] but not submitted with chargesheet to make case of accused weak and case of complainant/prosecution strong.
Download 498a Discharge Citation from here.
Download 498a Discharge form from here.
Download arguments for 498a Dischage from here.

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