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Bombay HC asks ASG to take up IPC 498A before concerned ministry to make it compoundable


This is historical when the Bombay High Court bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and SM Modak took a stand and recommended make the IPC Sec 498A compoundable. The bench asked the ASG to take up the issue before the concerned Ministry, at the earliest.

The Bombay High Court recommended to make the IPC section 498A compoundable, considering the high number of quashing and involvement of resources. The Court asked the ASG to take up the issue before the concerned ministry to make the section compoundable. Then bench further states that the petition be listed under the caption “for direction” on 19th December 2022.

“we are constrained to observe that a large number of petitions are filed daily in the High Court, seeking quashing of Section 498A alongwith other compoundable offences, having regard to the amicable settlement between the parties”, the bech states.

The learned Advocate General of State informed the court that Government of Maharashtra has passed a bill for amending the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and sent to the President of India for his assent. The President forwaded the bill to Ministry of Women and Child Development for its comments, in year 2020 the ministry denied vide its Office Memorandum OM No. CDN/105/2018-Coord dated 03.06.2020.

“The issue has been reconsidered and it is stated that ‘diluting of Section 498A of IPC will not be in the interest of the victim’.”

According to In the bill, the complainant woman can file an “application for compounding” before the court

“Cruelty to woman. 498-A The woman subjected to cruelty: Provided that, the application for compounding shall be supported by an affidavit of the woman subjected to cruelty stating that the marital dispute has been amicably resolved either by resumption of cohabitation with the husband or that the said woman and the accused have worked out any other mutually satisfactory disposition”, the learned Advocate General of State informed

The bench observed that parties can save expenses, time and energy in approaching the High Court.

“we have a minimum of 10 petitions/applications seeking quashing of Section 498A by consent, since 498A is non-compoundable. Concerned parties, have to come personally before the Court from wherever they are residing, including from villages, thus incurring tremendous hardships for the parties concerned, apart from travelling expenses, litigation expenses and staying expenses in the city. Parties, if working, are required to take a day off.”

The bench also referred the Law Commission reports namely, 243 rd Report, 154 th Report, and 237 th which recommendations to make the offence compoundable.

The bench also referred the National Crime Records Bureau 2020 report,

“According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2020 report, a total of 111,549 cases were registered under 498A in 2020. Of these, 5,520 were closed by Police citing as false and overall 16151 cases were closed by police either because they were false or there was a mistake of fact or law or it was a civil dispute etc. That is 14.4% of cases were closed by police for not finding merit in the case. 96,497 men, 23,809 women were arrested under 498A, making total arrests under this section 1,20,306. 18,967 cases were tried in courts of which 14,340 led to acquittal and 3,425 led to conviction. 498A cases pending trial at the end of 2020 are 651,404 with a pendency percentage of 96.2%.”


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