tear up your ticket even if you lose…” and it’s not just you who would have to
live with the lost lottery but your entire family may have to suffer at the
hands of a system so grossly skewed in favour of
Marriages may fall apart for a lot of reasons, temperamental issues, compatibility
problems, but does that make you an offender in the eyes of law? Yes it does,
your estranged wife in order to have her way in arm-twisting you may implicate
you and your family in end number of false cases, 498A being the
498A penalizes cruelty for dowry, almost always comes alongwith S.406 Allegations
which basically penalize the criminal breach of trust, when your wife’s articles
are entrusted to you and you fail to return them back –misappropriate them or
convert them to own use – you are criminally liable !. By aid of S.34 of the
Indian Penal Code – your family/relatives can be held liable for the same if
they share the common intention with you.
Now if you think that you have a wife who can potentially do this for money or the
kicks that her ego gets out of the same or pure vengeance then you are my friend
in a vulnerable situation, but there is a silver lining to this, there are legal
strategies that may help minimize, if not completely rule out, the damage or
mischief that may occur to you.
Being a Supreme Court Advocate and a Mens Rights Activist I speak from experience, the following things may(if done correctly) help in a lot of cases
1. Insist on a dowry-less marriage - Preparing of list of articles received at the
time of marriage, countersigned by both the families, would help rule out
exaggerated claims later !
2. Digging the well before the fire starts; when trouble starts at home you apprise
all concerned of the problems that you are facing, not for the purposes of any
action but information;
If you see things going awry in near future, then it would be good idea to seperate
from parents to a rented house with sufficient public notices;
3. As per the prevailing law atleast here in Delhi, if your wife approaches a
Police Station with her complaint, she is to be forwarded CAW CELL instituted to
try and reconcile and investigate and act as buffers so that penal actions are
not inititated right away. Once the matter goes to CAW Cell –apply for an
anticipatory bail , you are sure to get notice bail atleast – this would help in
two ways :-
a) Give you greater confidence, level playing field in the CAW Cell
b) Prevent any hasty arrest on failure of conciliation;
All in all nothing to lose in this and in this step 1. Would help a great
4. Seek a copy of complaint via RTI ASAP, since they deny at the first instance
you’d have to appeal therefrom which may take some time. There are CIC Decisions
that would help you here.
5. In the event of an FIR being registered apply for AB again, and quashing of FIR
(not always depends on the kind of allegations leveled)
6. Filing Restitution of Conjugal Rights (case that you want her back) may help in
some cases, but not in all. Sometimes it helps in defending maintenance cases,
and showing your bona fides.
7. Keep a check on your wife’s finances. Would come handy defending maintenance
8. Prosecution (S.340 CrpC) for perjury in cases of false & exaggerated claims
in maintenance petitions.
9. Tax Evasion Petitions once you get the List of Istridhan may also help put
10. Dowry Prohibition Act – penalizes giving of dowry so in case there is a clear
admission of DOWRY (not Istridhan) then in that case your in laws are also
liable to be prosecuted. Think on these lines !
11. With a marital property law on the anvil, don't buy property in your name, much
less jointly with spouse.
The above may go a great deal helping you defend correctly, my advise would be to
stand your ground, don’t give in to their extortionate tactics, once you’d get
an AB the worst would already be over and after that the judicial system with
it’s endemic delays won’t treat your wife differently, sooner or later she would
realize that frivolous litigation doesn’t pay !
The Author is a Supreme Court Advocate and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org