Powers of Police under Section 498A IPC curtailed


The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the matter of Rajesh Sharma Vs. State of UP, Criminal appeal no. 1265 of 2017, decided on 27th July, 2017 inter-alia gave the following guidelines in regard to registration of FIR under Section 498A IPC:

-Complaints under Section 498A and other connected offences may be investigated only by a designated Investigating Officer of the area. Such designations may be made within one month from today.

Proximate & live link between cruelty based on dowry demand and death is a must to prove dowry death #indianlaws



To attract the provisions of Section 304B, one of the main ingredients of the offence which is required to be established is that “soon before her death” she was subjected to cruelty or harassment “for, or in connection with the demand for dowry”. The expression “soon before her death” used in Section 304B IPC and Section 113B of the Evidence Act is present with the idea of proximity test. Though the language used is “soon before her death”, no definite period has been enacted and the expression “soon before her death” has not been defined in both the enactments. Accordingly, the determination of the period which can come within the term “soon before her death” is to be determined by the courts, depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case. However, the said expression would normally imply that the interval should not be much between the cruelty or harassment concerned and the death in question. In other words, there must be existence of a proximate and live link between the effect of cruelty based on dowry demand and the death concerned.

Supreme Court comes down heavily against abuse of Section 498A of Indian Penal Code


A tendency has, however, developed for roping in all relations of the in-laws of the deceased wives in the matters of dowry deaths which, if not discouraged, is likely to affect the case of the prosecution even against the real culprits.

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