Though the unholy nexus between the marriage and money flourish with aplomb in India, the punitive laws for protecting women have failed on many dimensions. While the horrific numbers of annual dowry deaths continue to climb (NCRB records 6,000 annual dowry deaths), another dimension of terrible misuse of the law is taking its toll. Supreme Court of India named this malaise as ‘legal terrorism’ where Section 498 (a) of the IPC is being maliciously used. Given the stringent nature of the law, the trend is increasing where groom’s family is wrongfully harassed by many unscrupulous women. It has been reported that most of the time almost all of the husband’s family that including elderly grandparents, disabled individuals and even young children have been incarcerated in this. There are estimated 40,000 dowry related cases in courts across India, with an implication of around 5 members of a family in each cases, the cases have led to jailing of about 200,000 people in most cases as undertrials.
While it is nobody’s case that women should not be given protection, but there should be a national debate on the cruelty perpetrated by the weaker sex against male population as well. Dowry act in the present format remains loaded against the virtues of equality of law which needs correction as much as anything.