As citizens, it is always important for us to know our legal rights. Though we scarcely feel the need to know them without any occasion- it would be helpful in any situation if we had known the legal rights earlier, for example, in case of false complaints. Among the many instances of false complaints, the most usual ones occur in marital cases. While there are many actual complaints by wives against husbands who are brutal, there are also some false ones that put the husband in a really helpless position. The wife can file a complaint against her husband under Section 498A, IPC, The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Domestic Violence Act, 2005. It is easy to forge a false complaint regarding dowry, domestic violence etc. within the bounds of these acts. Therefore, it is necessary for a husband to be aware of his rights.
- It is naturally very unnerving to be accused falsely of something. However, it is important to remember that the husband is innocent until proven guilty in court. As in individual, he has a right to claim his innocence, as has his family. The accuser has to provide enough evidence in order to actually establish the crime. Therefore, legally, the accused does not become a criminal. There might be a chance that they would be acquitted in case the complaint turns out to be false.
- Being arrested is also not a concern, since the police cannot do so without first verifying and investigating the matter thoroughly. In the meantime, the husband has the right to appeal for an anticipatory bail.
- It is important to take immediate counsel from an advocate before jumping to any rash action, as that might lead to further accusations. Act carefully so that there might be no possibility of a suggestion of any truth behind the complaint.
- Especially in case of marital complaints, it is important that your neighbours can give a testimony about your reputation as a good husband. Talk about your relationship problems to your colleagues or neighbours. It goes without saying that the husband would be better off after getting out of this relationship.
- On 23rd December, 2015 the court decided that in case of a false complaint by the wife against the husband and his family, where they get acquitted by the court- without any charges whatsoever, such an act would be considered as “cruelty”. Cruelty as a legal term constitutes both mental suffering as well as physical torture. If the wife complains falsely, it would be an inhuman act of “cruelty”, and in such a case the husband would be entitled to file a divorce against the wife no grounds of cruelty under section 13(1)(ia). Therefore, the wrongly accused man has the right to file a divorce as The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 states cruelty as one of the grounds for divorce.
Therefore, when you have a false complaint against you, you have to fight legally. If the legal steps are taken carefully, without any delay, the husband’s innocence would soon be proved in court.