If the wife states that her husband and the relatives have treated her with ‘cruelty’, whether physical or mental, then a case can be registered under Section 498A of IPC. No evidence is necessary for filing charges. A mere statement by the wife is enough to get her husband and relatives arrested and thrown behind the bars. Since this section is non-bailable getting a bail is not always easy.
Even if there is no evidence, the husband and the relatives have to keep appearing in the court for several years before they get acquitted of the false charges. Senior citizens and children have been arrested under this section. Even if a person gets cleared by the court, still the psychological, emotional and mental trauma takes a toll on everyone. Not to mention it destroys the reputation of all the accused. In a good percentage of cases it has been observed that a good monetary compensation has been extracted from the husband at the time of settlement for mutual divorce in exchange for dropping the charges under Section 498A. In one of its judgements Supreme Court of India has pointed out that “legal terrorism” can be carried out under this section.