Full text of this recent judgment is available on another site http://menrightsindia.net/2014/07/automatic-arrest-498a-says-supreme-court.html so you may visit there to read it in full. Below are some of the salient points helpful to people who may be facing threat of arbitrary and unjustified arrests under IPC 498a, or any other offence punishable up to 7 years.
Basically, the judgment orders both the police and lower courts to follow religiously the provisions of Sec 41 of CrPC which regulate arrest and recording of reasons of arrest or even no arrest. These provisions have been in place since 2010 but there were no procedures (penalties really) in place whether the police followed them in the first place and if the magistrates enforced that they were being followed. What this judgment has brought about is provision for penalties on both police and judiciary if they do not follow the procedures for arrest.
Section 41 and 41A of CrPC
These sections including the latest amendments are given at links below:
Penal actions on police for arbitrary arrests under 498a
(7) Failure to comply with the directions
aforesaid shall apart from rendering the
police officers concerned liable for
departmental action, they shall also be
liable to be punished for contempt of court
to be instituted before High Court having
Penal actions on magistrates for routinely allowing arrests without scrutiny
(8) Authorising detention without recording
reasons as aforesaid by the judicial
Magistrate concerned shall be liable for
departmental action by the appropriate High
So people should get ready to approach high courts against police and magistrates if the provisions of CrPC section 41 and this judgment are not followed. Lastly, the judgment is applicable for all offences with punishment up to 7 years, not just IPC 498a. So its scope is much wider and it is really against arbitrary exercise of power of arrest by police and it’s routine authorisation by judiciary rather than just misuse of 498a, which by the way is heavily abused as given by way of statistics in judgment too.