The statute says that
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 wilful 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 to meet such demand.
How the 498a is dangerous for the society, please follow this link
Each year more than 1,50,000 families are hit by this draconian law, 98% of them are falsely accused of thesame. Though there are many support groups working for men in various cities of India, still there are many Myths surrounding that; one often listens people stating that 498a can not be filed after Seven Years of marriage; Or there is an Arnesh Kumar Judgment which has stopped arrests in 498a cases and so on. This article 498a Myth-Buster tries to dispel this and many other Myths surrounding 498a. An advisory from MHA to combat the menace of immediate and arbitrary arrests has been issued.
We also run WhatsApp support groups for men fighting false 498a, for which you can send a WhatsApp message with “Subscribe” to 9811850498.
Approved by Indian Parliament in year 1983, Indian Penal Code 498a, is a criminal law (not a civil law).Your wife/daughter-in-law whose demands are not met can make a written false complaint of dowry harassment to a nearby police station.
There has been a massive change in the scenario since the time Arnesh Kumar judgment has been pronounced by Honorable Supreme Court Of India. There has been an advisory issued by Ministry of Home Affairs
Over time various High Courts has come up with guidelines to arrest the menace of misuse of 498a. The most recent being from MHA following Arnesh Kumar Jugdment by Supreme Court of India. Please find the same here.
Knowledge is power, Most men facing 498a are at sea how to fight the same. I have collected some landmark judgment which can be useful for fighters at various stages of 498a including Bail, discharge, quashing and getting acquittal.