Report No. 243
Judicial Officers Training Institute, (JOTRI), Jabalpu.-
1.Police has to register the criminal case on receiving FIR alleging commission of offence under Section 498-A, but they should commence investigation keeping in view the two conditions contemplated under Section 157 Cr.PC.
Having regard to the nature of dispute, preliminary investigation should be done instead of straightway arresting the husband or other relatives named in the FIR. Immediate arrest of the husband and other close relatives will destroy the possibility of amicable resolution of dispute forever.
2. Police officer may commence investigation but before taking harsh measures by way of arrest etc., there should be a process of reconciliation with the help of counseling centres run by reputed NGOs or Govt. mediation centres. The concerned police officer should contact the DLSA or TLSA so that the authority may take steps to arrange the task of conciliation.
3. Offence should remain non-bailable with cautious approach of the police in making arrest. Misuse or over-implication cannot be a ground of making the offence bailable as this will defeat the objective of Section 498-A.
4. Counseling/mediation procedures should be completed preferably within two months from the date of appearance of husband and wife. If the husband does not respond to the notice from family counseling centre or does not cooperate in the process of counseling, then only, the I.O. should proceed against the erring party according to law after receiving the report from the counselors/mediators. After amicable settlement, further investigation of the criminal case shall be stopped and the case be closed.
5. Police should not get involved in the actual process of conciliation. Family counseling courts should be established in every district with professional counselors. Mediation Centres are also helpful in resolving matrimonial disputes.