Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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Die Hard (business)     07 July 2016

Does 498a denotes only dowry?

I think 498a is not only specific to "Dowry". The law doesn't restrict it to just dowry, it says any type of cruelty (Learned lawyers please correct me if i am wrong). In my case, in the chargesheet they filed charges under 498a, 417 and 406. They cooked up a story saying that I'm impotent during my first marriage which i purposefully concealed and my wife compelled my ex to say that i'm impotent during first marriage itself thereby commited fraud and produced chat transcripttt with ex-wife as evidence (police used just that and filed Section 417) and the story adds that i slapped and behaved violent to her in an attempt to prevent her from telling others that i'm impotent (498a). So, here the cruelty (498a) is connected to fraud (417). 

In my chargesheet, nowhere it says "dowry" demand etc,. but still they included violent behavior as type of cruelty and included section 498a.

If 417 is proved false, does that automatically negate 498a? Can learned lawyers confirm?


 7 Replies

Vibha   07 July 2016

  1. IPC 498A covers extreme cruelty to wife. Dowry harassment is not necessary to prove 498A. Violent behavior, taunts, impotence all put together can constitute such cruelty. 
  2. IPC 417 rests purely on the ingredient of deception. If you were well aware of impotence yet you willfully decieved her into marriage by witholding such information then 417 would be proven.
  3. The deception charge has no nexus with the cruelty charge. If prosecution fails to prove 417 it will not negate the ingredients of 498A. 
1 Like

Die Hard (business)     07 July 2016

Thanks for your reply. The FIR doesn't have impotency allegations (and it has dowry demand), in the mean time (1 year between FIR and chargesheet and IO changed), wife contacted ex and came up with this brand new "Impotence story" - Police believed it since the IO is new and filed chargesheet based on Impotency and related cruelty because of impotency. 406 was also added since FIR only had 498a and 417 (in fir, 417 was based on a generic allegation with no mention about impotency or anything)

my lawyer says:

"Impotency allegation has been introduced to deviate the case and investigation proceedings since the contents from original complaint, FIR doesn't match Chargesheet. 

Once we prove that with related document evidence and prove potency through medical test, 417 will not stand. Since in chargesheet she portrayed all these cruelty happened due to impotency only, 498a will not stand. Prosecution need to strongly provide proof for cruelty which they don't have since such an act never happened. Oral statements from their family witnesses will fall into hear-say" 

Is my lawyer right? 


Vibha   07 July 2016

  1. Your lawyer seems to have advised you well.
  2. Accused gets benefit for improved allegations that are not mentioned in FIR and lack strong corroboration.
  3. If you can prove with medical test that impotency allegation is false then 417 charge falls apart.
  4. Allegations for 498A are usually within four walls without any eyewitness. If no medical evidence is available then case rests solely on testimony of complainant. False stories fall apart very easily in the hands of able lawyer conducting cross examination.
1 Like

Vibha   07 July 2016

498A cruelty also needs to be wilfull. If prosecution story claims that all cruelty was motivated by impotency. Disproving impotency will negate mens rea which is essential to establish 498a.

P. Venu (Advocate)     07 July 2016

Perhaps we could have givn some suggestions had you posted the simple facts.

Augustine Chatterjee,New Delhi (Advocate & Solicitor at Law)     08 July 2016

The nature of the charges to be included depend totally on the specific allegations meted out against the accused in the entire chargesheet.

However 417 is an extremelt strange addition to this chargesheet. Let us not forget that 417 is an offence falling within the category of offences pertaining to property.

The intention of the legislature would never have been to put it into motion in a case where the same would be applicable to a matrimonial issue. Use this as part of your defence whilst arguing on charge. The remaining aspects need to be dealt with as per what is mentioend in the chargesheet.


Vibha   08 July 2016

Courts have ruled in the past that a matrimonial alliance is form of valuable security and sections like 420 are applicable where such alliance is secured via fraud. In my opinion countering 417 on the basis of legislative intent may not hold water. Nevertheless I agree that it is a strange/unusual section to include with 498a.

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