There is misconception even among some lawyers here that Section 498A is an anti-dowry provision.
Under Section 498A IPC instant arrest and humiliation of not only the husband but also his female relatives is the threat much more than any eventual conviction
Even the parlimentary committee set up for review of 498A has almost given full support to the Section.One member who gave a dissenting note was more vociferous in supporting the provision. One women's organisation has deposed that only 10% of the complaints have been proven to be false. This is a half-truth because in India most cases end inconclusive either due to benefit of doubt or out of court settlements.
Happily only yesterday the Supreme Court has come out against the police for actions under 498A
A bench of Justices C K Prasad and P C Ghose have described 498A arrests a humiliating experience apart from curtailing the freedom. It is also significant that the bench said "police have not shed their colonial hangover despite six decades of independence and were still considered as a tool of harassment, oppression, and surely not a friend of public".
The above indictment should have a salutory effect on the police.
The court has directed the state governments to instruct police "not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498A of IPC is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the 9 point parameters (check list) provided under Section 41 of criminal procedure code".