Back to basics: SC scraps “family welfare committee” to look into complaints of dowry harassment


New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Friday asserted that there was no need for a “family welfare committee” to look into the complaints of dowry harassment cases before arresting the accused. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra modified its earlier judgement which the court had given in July 2017. In that judgement, the apex court had held that the police could investigate a dowry harassment complaint under Section 498A IPC (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) only after the approval given by the family welfare committee. In Friday’s judgement, the Bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said, “We direct that the Investigating Officers (IOs) be careful and be guided by the principles,” thus restoring the powers back to the police. The court was hearing the petitions filed by NGO Social Action Forum for Manav Adhikar (SAFMA) and others seeking set aside of the two-judge bench order on apex court in July 2017. The Supreme Court's three-judge bench had reserved its order on April 23.