What to Do If Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence and Dowry Case
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What to Do If Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence and Dowry Case

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Domestic violence is a grave issue that affects individuals in various ways, including physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. It is a violation of basic human rights and is recognized as a serious threat to a person's overall development by many countries worldwide. India has also identified domestic violence as a crime and provides relief and protection from it, primarily for women. However, there have been cases where women have misused their rights by making false complaints against their husbands with the motive of harassing them. This article will guide you through the steps you can take if falsely accused of a domestic violence and dowry case.

Understanding the Misuse of Section 498A and Dowry Act

In India, women often use Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Dowry Act to file false complaints against their husbands. Section 498A is a provision that allows for the booking of a husband, his parents, and relatives for subjecting a woman to cruelty to meet their unlawful demands for dowry. Unfortunately, the accused is presumed guilty until proven innocent in court, even if the complaint is false. The maximum punishment for being found guilty is imprisonment for three years.

The misuse of Section 498A has been acknowledged by the judiciary, with the Supreme Court even referring to it as "legal terrorism." However, the pressure from feminist groups has made it difficult for the judiciary to take necessary actions. There is a pending bill in the Rajya Sabha for the amendment of Section 498A, but it is yet to be passed.

Defensive Measures

If a false complaint is registered against you, there are defensive measures you can take to protect yourself and your family. It is crucial to collect as much evidence as possible to prove your innocence. This can include recording conversations, preserving emails or letters, and gathering any other evidence that disproves the allegations made against you. It is advised to keep the originals of these pieces of evidence in a safe place and not produce them before anyone until necessary.

Additionally, gather evidence to prove that you have never demanded dowry or taken it at any time. This can include financial records, witness statements, or any other relevant documents. It is also essential to collect evidence to prove that your spouse moved out of the marriage without a valid reason. These pieces of evidence will be helpful when seeking anticipatory bail or notice bail from the court.

Safeguarding your family is of utmost importance, as false complaints can often implicate the entire family. Section 498A has a broad jurisdiction, allowing women to complain against anyone in the family, including parents of the husband. To protect your family members, apply for anticipatory bail or notice bail once the FIR (First Information Report) is lodged. The specific process may vary depending on the state where the case is registered. Different states have different mechanisms for dealing with false cases, such as referral to a Crime Against Women Cell or Mahila Thana for settlement attempts. Seeking legal advice and taking necessary bail measures can safeguard your family members from arrest.

Filing a Complaint About Blackmailing and False Allegations

If you are facing blackmailing, false allegations, or any other forms of harassment, it is important to lodge a complaint with your nearest police station. Detail the incidents of blackmailing, false allegations, and unbearable behavior in your complaint. Request that the police take necessary actions to stop the threats and abuses immediately. It is advisable to consult a good criminal lawyer with experience in such matters to draft your complaint correctly. If the police refuse to register your complaint, seek the help of a lawyer to ensure it is properly filed.

In some cases, the police themselves may provoke a wife to register a false complaint against her husband, with the intention of receiving a bribe later. If the police reject your complaint, you can write a complaint letter to the Superintendent of Police or Commissioner, depending on the jurisdiction. Make sure to obtain a "receiving copy" of the complaint or send it by registered post if the police refuse to provide one. This increases the chances of the police taking action on your complaint.

Engaging a Legal Expert

One common mistake victims of false 498A complaints make is trying to handle the matter on their own without involving a legal expert. It is crucial to engage a lawyer who specializes in such cases to advise you on the matter and, if possible, handle the legal proceedings. A lawyer will have a better understanding of the legal complexities and can guide you through the process. Their expertise can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Restitution of Conjugal Rights (RCR)

If your wife has left your place after blackmailing and threatening you, you have the option to file a Restitution of Conjugal Rights (RCR) petition. This legal remedy allows you to request that your wife agree to certain conditions before she resumes living with you. However, it is important to consider the implications and feasibility of this option, as it may not be suitable for all situations.

Avoiding Settlements

If you decide to compromise with your wife, it is crucial not to pay any money as it indirectly accepts the blackmailing and guilt. Paying money can encourage fraudulent women to engage in further blackmailing. However, if you choose to pay and compromise, ensure that you do not pay the full amount until the High Court or Supreme Court has given the final order of compounding the IPC 498A and all other related offenses, including the divorce decree. It is essential to involve your lawyer in negotiations and have all settlement conditions agreed upon and filed in court.

Raising Awareness of False Complaints

In addition to legal actions, it is important to raise awareness about the misuse of Section 498A and false complaints. You can write letters to the media, human rights organizations, and use social media platforms to reach a wider audience. By sharing your experience and highlighting the misuse of the law, you can draw attention to the issue and encourage a change in the system. The Prime Minister's Office in India also accepts complaints through their official website, where you can submit your concerns regarding false complaints.

Offensive Measures

To strengthen your case and potentially expedite a settlement, you can file counter cases against your wife. These counter cases can include charges such as criminal conspiracy, framing incorrect documents, false information, giving false evidence, using forged documents, adultery, defamation, intentional insult, criminal intimidation, and more. It is crucial to have an advocate represent you in these matters to ensure proper legal representation.


False complaints of domestic violence and dowry cases against men are a serious issue that violates basic human rights. While the problem is well-recognized, the misuse of Section 498A continues to be a challenge. However, efforts are being made by the government and the judiciary to address the issue and bring about necessary amendments. It is crucial for men who are falsely accused to gather evidence, safeguard their family, engage legal experts, and take necessary legal actions. By raising awareness and fighting against false complaints, we can strive for a fairer and more just system.


  1. https://www.kaanoon.com/34881/how-can-husband-fight-against-false-dowry-domestic-violence-complaint
  2. https://www.firstpost.com/india/flipside-of-dowry-law-men-recall-how-section-498a-is-unfairly-used-against-them-2172943.html
  3. https://www.quora.com/My-wife-is-threatening-me-with-false-dowry-charges-Is-there-any-law-for-me-in-India-How-should-I-handle-this-situation
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  8. https://www.change.org/p/lawcommission-make-498a-bailable-punish-false-complaint-dowry-givers-gender-neutral
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  11. http://www.livelaw.in/automatic-arrest-498-cases-sc-issues-strict-guidelines-police-magistrates-non-compliance-will-attract-disciplinary-contempt-proceedings/
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