Law panel rejects demands to repeal anti-dowry law
New Delhi: The Law Commission has rejected demands to repeal an anti-dowry law but has recommended making the offence compoundable by allowing the wife to withdraw the complaint in case of a compromise with the permission of the court.
In one of its last reports, the 19th Law Commission has said that the demands to repeal Section 498 A (dowry related harassment) of the IPC were unwarranted.
But at the same time, it has recommended that the husband or his relatives should not be arrested immediately in case of complaints of harassment for dowry.
Following complaints of its misuse, the Supreme Court had asked the Commission, till recently headed by Justice P V Reddi, to see whether the laws related to harassment of women for dowry required any amendment.
In a recent consultation paper, the law panel had made a similar case for keeping Section 498 A and the recommendations on the same lines.
The panel, whose term ended recently, has suggested amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure to introduce a 30-day "reconciliation" period before police can arrest the accused.
"The need for caution in exercising the drastic power of arrest in the context of cases under section 498A IPC has been emphasised time and again by the courts and parliamentary committees," the report said.
It said the police officer should ensure that the reconciliation process is started by the police officer as soon as a complaint of physical or mental torture for dowry is received.
The Law Ministry is likely to send the report to the Home Ministry as it relates to IPC and CrPC.
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