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Investigation in cruelty cases under section 498 A

By Shivendra Pratap Singh

Sir, I am a Govt servant in Police Dept in T.N. My wife has filed a false complainant against me and Police has registered a case u/s 498-A,342,327,406 IPC, Sec.3&4, 6(1),6 (2),6(3A) of DP Act 1961 IPC, Sec.3&4 DP Act 1961. In this case please advise me whether police Dept can initiate oral inquiry against me or not? And what are the rules regarding Investigation in cruelty cases under section 498 A?

Question from: Tamil Nadu

Section 498 A and other sections such as section 3/4 DP Act, section 323/327/504/506/342 etc are becoming a general practice in India. Section 498 A is a bailable but cognizable offence for the purpose of investigation. And also according to section 8 of the DP Act, section 3/4 DP Act dowry-related offences are cognizable.

Police are bound to initiate an investigation upon receiving the information of commencement of cognizable offence, during the investigation police may record your statement then he shall record statement under section 161 of the code of criminal procedure (crpc). Police are empowered to arrest the accused on the commission of the cognizable offence.

But after the amendment in section 41 of Cr.P.C. police cannot make arrest in the offence punishable up to the imprisonment of seven years. But in some conditions mentioned in section 41 of crpc police is empowered to arrest any accused of the cognizable offence which is punishable up to 7 years.

After some recent development is the law relating to arrest in dowry and cruelty related police cannot arrest merely on receiving of information, In the last year, Supreme court of India has passed some directions in the judgment of Arnesh Kumar vs State of Bihar and made notice under section 41 A of Cr.P.C. as mandatory before starting investigation towards offences under section 498 A IPC and DP Act.

Now, police are bound to give notice to the accused under section 41 A to appear before the investigation officer. if the accused appears and co-ordinates the investigation officer then police shall not arrest him. Police may record the statement of the accused. If the police found that there is a reason to believe that offence is committed then the police can arrest the accused on the prior permission of the court. Now, police are bound to initiate a preliminary investigation regarding the offence either oral or written.

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