It was to provide protection to helpless married women against the mistreatment and harassment they faced at hands of their husbands
and his family members that the legislature found it fit to enact Section 498A.
However, soon enough the efficiency of law and promptness of action taken by the police in anti-dowry cases resulted in its misuse at the hands of unscrupulous elements in pursuance of murky ends. This is a problem that now needs to be urgently remedied.
While the protection provided cannot be withdrawn because that would be like throwing the baby with the bathwater, some safeguards must be carefully brought in place so as to ensure that while the guilty do get punished, the innocent are not unnecessarily harassed.
Of course, it would not be easy because it would necessarily involve conferring additional discretionary powers upon the police and the law enforcement machinery, which is, again, fraught with dangers of its own. A tightrope walk it indeed is, but there possibly can be no escaping it.