Indian Supreme Court says: women 'misusing' dowry law

In a landmark decision that even NRI couples planning divorce are watching closely, India's Supreme Court has said that women are increasingly misusing the tough anti-dowry law to harass their husbands and in-laws.

A complaint under the law allows for immediate arrest and jailing of the accused, often the husband and his family members, but campaigners say the provision is frequently misused with many women filing false cases.

"The fact that Section 498A is a cognisable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives," the two-judge bench of Justices CK Prasad and PC Ghose said in its order on Wednesday. "The simplest way to harass is to get the husband and his relatives arrested under this provision. In a quite number of cases, bed-ridden grandfathers and grandmothers of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for decades are arrested," it added. "The …

Q&A : How can I earn money by divorcing a drug addicted Indian NRI husband? Can I file 498a against him to show the power of women?

This was an interesting question that came from an online forum. Our editor's response follows

I see two red flag here
Your intent to “Earn money by divorcing.” Divorce is an ultimate step couple take when they are not able to reconcile matrimonial differences. The process is never easy is can be highly stressful. To even think you are planning to ‘earn money’ by divorcing is despicable. Trying to file a “498a to show power of women” As per wikipedia, “498a is an Indian law in which a husband and his family are summarily arrested without any investigation when a complaint is lodged by the wife or any of her relative claiming that the husband or his relatives treated her cruelly. Once the complaint is lodged the husband and his family are presumed guilty and it is up to them to prove that they are innocent in a court of law. This law has been under much controversy due to its increasing misuse leading to breakdown of families. It does not cost anything to file a 498A, and there i…

Q&A : NRI Guy planning for Divorce

Here is a recent query that came from a visitor to NRIDivorce


I am an NRI living in US for more than 10 years. My wife went back to India and filed false dowry and DV cases. I wanted some advice on the same. Can I ask you some questions on email or on the phone? I have a few directed questions and will not take too much time. I have consulted a few lawyers in US and India and my intention is not to save a few dollars by asking you questions an attorney can answer.

Rather I want to benefit from your experience. He went on to add:
Me and my wife stayed in USA for 2 years and then she went back to India and filed false 498a, dowry cases against me and family in India. I am still in the US. She is planning to come back to US and file for no fault/irreconcilable differences divorce in US. I know that if I don’t submit myself to USA divorce proceedings, then it will be ex party and USA ex party divorce is not valid in India. But I will have to submit myself to US divorce proceedings, as …

Indian Government to launch web portal to assist women deserted by NRI

To help women abandoned by their NRI husbands, the government will soon launch a centralised web portal which will be a repository of information on lawyers and NGOs working in this field and a list of dos and don'ts for them. The decision to launch a portal was taken last week in a meeting of a three-member committee comprising officials of the ministry of women and child development, the ministry of external affairs and the ministry of home affairs. The portal will help women who have been abandoned by men abroad and are struggling to get a divorce or seeking maintenance from them and their children. The committee, formed last year to address the issue after such complaints poured in, has taken a series of measures to protect the rights of these women, including providing financial aid of USD 3,000 in developed countries and USD 2,000 in developing ones. However, the committee felt that there was a need to set up a single-point redressal system, where such women can register th…

How can I file for divorce from my NRI husband in Japan?

Here is a recent question that came to us via an online forum. Expanding on the question: 
I recently got married to an NRI who works in Japan. I went on tourist visa as he promised to apply for my dependant Visa once I am there. Since the day I landed in Japan he started mental torturing and in the end I had to forcefully come back to India on my own. What divorce options do I have?
Firstly, very sorry to hear about your predicament. It is unfortunate to find oneself in this situation, especially when overseas. I am assuming your family and the guy’s family have tried to consul both of you to resolve any differences that may have arisen?

Now that you are back in India, you should consult with your family. And if divorce is the only option ahead, you should contact an attorney. As you are in India and presumably got married in India, the divorce proceedings will be done in India.

With all this, let us also look at the silver lining here : You are safe and back ‘home’ in India, hopef…

Court asks NRI couple to settle child custody dispute in U.S.

The Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday directed a NRI couple to settle their child custody dispute before a court in the United States. A three-Judge Bench of Justice Tarun Chatterjee, Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice B.S. Chauhan in its judgment in a habeas corpus petition filed by the child’s father, V. Ravi Chandran, directed his wife Vijayasree Voora to subject herself to the U.S. court, which gave joint custody of the child to the parents. The matter relate to the alleged abduction of the minor Master Aditya by his mother Vijayasree Voora, who had brought the child from the U.S. in June, 2007 in violations of orders of The Family Welfare Court of the State of New York, which granted the joint physical custody of the child to his estranged parents, whose marriage was dissolved in the year 2005 under the orders of competent court of the U.S. Dr. Chandran came to India in search of the child and filed a habeas corpus petition. On the directions of the Supreme Court the CBI traced the bo…

Court sets riders on NRI divorces

An Indian trial court has held that a divorce decree granted by a foreign court to an NRI is invalid in case the woman does not have the means to go to that country to plead her case and if she had not subjected herself to the jurisdiction of that court.

"The apex court has opined that where the foreign judgment is in defiance of the Indian Law, it could not be said to be conclusive... in the matter adjudicated and would be unenforceable," in this country," it said, adding the woman's objections raised by the woman fell within the purview of the exceptions of Section 13 Civil Procedure Code (when 'foreign judgment not conclusive'.)

The court gave the ruling in a case where a UK-based NRI divorced his wife there though his wife had returned to India and not "submitted to the jurisdiction of a foreign court". The woman has sought divorce here on grounds of cruelty. The court said that the decree of divorce granted by the court could not be recognized.