DOWRY IS NOT A CRIME…BEING A MAN OR HIS KIN IS!
Thousands of husbands and their families are arrested every year,
without evidence or investigation,
under IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act, and related wife-centric laws.
Anti-dowry laws are among the most abused laws in India:
- The President of India, High Courts of various States, the Supreme Court of India and the World Health Organization have noted the misuse of dowry laws.
- National Human Rights Commission has issued guidelines to stop unnecessary arrests.
- The Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, issued standing instructions through a memo vide No.L&O/M6/1315/2002 to check arbitrary arrests.
- The AP Police Dept. has a web page entitled “Abuse of 498A” on their Department website.
- The Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued an advisory to all the State Governments and Union Territories on checking the misuse of Section 498A.
Abuse of police powers continues;
Unnecessary arrests have only been increasing in the State;
Innocent citizens are illegally detained, humiliated, subjected to mental and physical torture;
Blackmail and extortion have become a daily business;
…all in the name of “protecting women from cruelty and harassment”.
- The real motive behind these arrests is to terrorize you and extort money from you under the threat of imprisonment and long-drawn legal battles.
- The Government of India is trivializing our pleas to stop arbitrary arrests of citizens under anti-dowry laws.
- The Government is making new laws (sexual assault, work place harassment, acid attacks etc.) which stress on immediate arrest of men upon mere accusations made by women.
- Arrest is inevitable for any man facing allegations of abuse or assault.
- Be prepared to go to jail along with your family even if you committed no crime!
- Free yourself from the fear of jail!
- Get over the humiliation and suffering of being dragged into the streets!
- Do not drive yourself into depression, ruin your health or end your own life!
- Do not give in to blackmail and extortion!
- Learn about your human, constitutional and legal rights!
- Fight back for your honour, dignity and justice!
- IF THEY WON’T MAKE 498A GO AWAY, LET’S MAKE THE FEAR GO AWAY!
Jail bharo! Jail bharo! Giraftaaree se nahee daro!
NFHS Demand “Holiday Courts” and “Evening Courts” similar to Tamil Nadu and Orissa in Family Court Bangalore
P R E S S R E L E A S E
NFHS Demand “Holiday Courts” and “Evening Courts” similar to Tamil Nadu and Orissa in Family Court Bangalore
Today NFHS has submitted a list of proposals and suggestions to Chief Justice-Karnataka, Chief Minister-Karnataka, Honorable Governor-Karnataka, Law Minister-Karnataka and Principal Judge, Family Court-Bangalore:
Subject: National Family Harmony Society (NFHS) supports the recent initiative of Chief Justice, Madras and Cabinet decision of Orissa Government to start “Holiday courts” and “Evening Courts” respectively. We demand similar steps be taken at Family Court, Bangalore to bring down the huge pendency of matrimonial cases in Family court, Bangalore.
About National Family Harmony Society®: “National Family Harmony Society®” NFHS is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore. We have branches in more than 16 states and in abroad too. We have approximately 14500 members all over India. To know more about us please visit http://www.family-harmony.org / http://www.498a.org.in.
Holiday court Initiative in Tamil Nadu:
Evening courts initiative in Orissa:
Gujrat, TamilNadu, Pujab and Delhi are some of the states where evening courts are functioning successfully. Our NGO works very closely with family court litigants and we provide counseling and other possible advice and help to the litigants of the family court. These litigants have a failed marriage and had already undergone lot of trouble, harassment and mental torture due to a failed marriage. Such litigants approach Family Court to get some relief or Justice. But they are further tortured and harassed by a system which is extremely slow, inefficient and insensitive to the needs of such litigants.
As per media reports thousands of cases are pending in the family court, Bangalore from many years. To get divorce or child custody it takes many years. Even to dispose an interim application it takes many months. The litigants go to the family court just to get another date. Adjournments, delay and endless wait in the Family Court are the norm of the day. These litigants need to be treated with extra care and emotion as these cases are different from a cheque bounce or a property dispute case. These cases involve human emotions and sentiments.
Our NGO has received cases where litigants are having suicidal tendencies due to the in-ordinate delays in disposing the cases. In order to alleviate the sufferings of the litigants of family courts, we have submitted following list of proposals and suggestions to Chief Justice-Karnataka, Chief Minister-Karnataka, Honorable Governor-Karnataka, Law Minister-Karnataka and Principal Judge, Family Court-Bangalore:
- Induct more judges and extend the court timings to late evenings.
- Family courts should start an evening shift in addition to the regular day shift.
- Due to the heavy pendency of the cases Family Courts should operate on Sundays also with additional judges.
- Additional 6 more family courts in addition to the existing 4 family courts should be opened without any further delay to cope up with the huge pendency.
- The Family Courts shall ensure that all matrimonial cases be disposed within a period of Six months.
- The Family Courts to officially suspend the practice of summer vacation to the benches till the time limit of Six months is met.
- The Family Courts to officially state that no new cases to be taken till the old ones are disposed.
- All long-pending (one year and above) cases should be transferred to the Fast Track Courts to dispose of within a time limit.
- Family Court records must be computerized so that old cases can be disposed on a priority basis and cases can be tracked scientifically.
- As there are overload on the court on a particular date and less-load on some dates hence the practice of giving dates in the open court must be stopped. Instead dates must be given by the computer section like in Supreme Court or judges should be given computer training and computers must be installed so that dates are given in a scientific way.
- The tendency of one party to drag the cases to delay the proceeding must be dealt severely with heavy cost and other means.
- Judges must be sensitized to the fact that they are dealing with the cases involving “Human life” that are driven by “emotional issues” in case of matrimonial issues which are very different from a criminal case.
For more information please contact
P Suresh, President, M Mahesh, General Secretary,
National Family Harmony Society National Family Harmony Society
You are also requested to visit
Husbands Acting on Behalf of Women Representatives
Women’s Commission terms it forgery
Tribune News Service
Nainital, July 2
Peeved over certain women representatives of public being represented by their husbands at various forums, the Uttarakhand Commission for Women is planning to write the state government to take immediate steps to check this practice and treat it on a par with forgery.
Vice-chairman of the commission Geeta Thakur said here today, “It is really a pity that we have pradhan pati, sarpanch pati and block pramukh pati (husbands of gram pradhans, sarpanches and block presidents) representing them in various meetings at the administrative level. There are instances that the husbands take decisions on their behalf. Such practices need to be stopped and the women public representatives need to understand that they are representing the public with certain powers entrusted. The husbands have no rights to use that power.”
Geeta said, “We are going to take up the matter with the state government at the earliest asking them to take measures to stop this practice which is nothing but forgery in a different form. If the husband goes ahead and signs at the place where his elected wife is supposed to do, it is obviously a case of forgery and needs to be dealt with in a similar manner.”
She further said the commission was going to take up issues concerning women of Uttarakhand with the National Commission for Women (NCW) at a meeting scheduled to be held on July 5. This is the first time that there would be an interface between the two institutions. “We want them to know that there is a need to set up stay homes for women who are victims of atrocities in the state. We will also be seeking budgetary provisions for making women aware of their legal and other rights. We also want to involve the aanganwadi workers in making women in the villages aware of things and also to help them report cases of rape and other atrocities to the police. We are also aiming to get the police officials to train these aanganwadi workers on how to help the victims reach them,” she added.
Referring to the recent tie up of the commission with the 108 EMRI
emergency health service which will help women facing atrocities or abuse get their complaints registered by dialling the number 108, Geeta divulged that a police personnel will accompany the ambulance to reach the victims.
She said in cases of rape or other atrocities, the women would not have to go to the police station but would get their complaints recorded while being transported and being given first aid inside the 108 ambulance.
“This will also help in checking cases where women at times try to register false complaints as she can always be confronted later with whatever she got recorded in the first instance,” she said. She added that at least 35
per cent of the complaints of dowry lodged by women across the state
were found to be false and the recording of their version through GPRS
would help check this. She said since the tie up with the 108 service, 84 women complainants had got their complaints lodged.She was very critical of the attitude of the police towards the women who are victim of various atrocities and seek legal redressal.
She accused the police of tampering with the complaints and evidence in several instances, besides helping the accused in various matters flee by the time a police team arrives to arrest him.
|High Court lawyer Naveena Srinivas lay motionless outside Court Hall No 4 for 45 minutes on Thursday afternoon after being stabbed thrice by fellow advocate Rajappa Lakshmaiah, whose marriage proposal she had turned down. There were three cops at the scene, but none of them made any attempts to rush her to a hospital. While two cops went chasing the assailant, who had locked himself in a toilet, the third busied himself in shooing away the crowds.
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The brutal stabs of a button knife on Naveena’s head, neck and stomach had caused potentially fatal injuries. The delay in taking her to a hospital killed her.
Advocate Subhash S, who was among the first to reach a profusely bleeding Naveena a few minutes after the attack said she was breathing and her eyes were half open.
Subhash was in the library when he heard the commotion at around 1.35 pm. Downstairs, in the corridor outside Court Hall No 2, which overlooks Cubbon Park, he saw Naveena sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood. “Her gown was partially covering her face. When I moved the gown aside, I noticed a flutter in her eyes. I yelled out saying she was alive and should be rushed to a hospital,” he said.
There are four hospitals in close proximity of the high court — Martha Hospital, Wockhardt Hospital, Mallya Hospital and Bowring Hospital. All four are not more than ten minute’s drive from the high court. If the cop on the scene had shown some presence of mind and rushed Naveena to one of them, she could have been saved.
Advocate Subramanya Jois, who tried to give Naveena some water, agrees the delay in taking Naveena to a hospital proved fatal. “The delay killed her. She was breathing when I offered her water,” he said.
Advocate Shankar Narayan Rao, who called 108, was asked so many questions that at one point he was heard screaming, “I am the registrar general of the high court. Please send an ambulance immediately.”
Bangalore Mirror Bureau
|Naveena is the daughter of Sreenivas Reddy J V and Savithramma C L who live in Chikballapur district. The 26-year-old was an alumni of Kolar Degree College. She had enrolled with the Karnataka State Bar Council (KSBC) in 2009. Three months ago, she began working as a junior advocate with Prakash Shetty.
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Mathew, one of her colleagues, said, “She joined us on April 1. She was a hard worker. Her work hours were from 9.30 am to 7 pm. Her assignments took her to the Karnataka Central Administrative Tribunal and the civil court. She never discussed her private life with colleagues.”
SHE USED TO VISIT RAJAPPA
Ramu, manager of a grocery store just below Rajappa’s house, said, “I knew him to be a gentleman and a hard worker. He would leave his home at 8.30 am and return only by 11.30 pm. He used to share his work-related problems with me. He would always come and speak to me before going to work. Everybody knew that he was in love with the girl. Last month, she visited his house twice. At that time, I was not around. Later, he told me that his girlfriend had been to his house and he had wanted to introduce her to me. They had visited Chickmagalur and Mysore some time ago. Last week, he got to know that she was going to be engaged to some other person. He told me that if what he had heard was true, he would not spare anyone, not her or her family.”
‘He wanted to marry her’
‘He is expected to survive’
|On Thursday, the Karnataka High Court witnessed a horrific incident. At around 1.50 pm, 26-year-old lawyer Naveena Srinivas was allegedly stabbed by a 27-year-old trial court lawyer Rajappa Lakshmaiah outside Court Hall 4 on the first floor. Immediately after stabbing Naveena with a pen knife, Rajappa tried to kill himself. Unrequited love is said to be the cause of the murder.
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According to eye-witnesses, Rajappa came to see Naveena near the court hall during lunch hour, and had a heated argument with her. He then whipped out a small knife and stabbed her a couple of times. Naveena collapsed in a bloody heap and started screaming. Even as some lawyers tried to get hold of him, Rajappa locked himself inside a nearby toilet and stabbed himself. He reportedly consumed poison after stabbing Naveena.
The police arrived almost immediately and brought out the semi-conscious Rajappa. They rushed him to Bowring Hospital, where he is being treated for major injuries in the throat and chest. Naveena was rushed to Mallya Hospital where she was declared brought dead.
AMBULANCE COMES LATE
There were other hurdles too. “We did not know whether it was near the front gate or in some other part of the court. The staircase to the court hall was not only narrow but also crowded with advocates and it was extremely difficult for our staff to move swiftly with the stretcher,” he added.
Doctors at Mallya Hospital are trying to save Rajappa ‘who has several stab wounds and had also consumed poison’. He is expected to survive.
Families of the victim and the accused, who are based in Kolar district, had rushed to Bangalore after hearing of the incident.
How Rajappa smuggled knife inside
In theory, any person entering the high court building has to go through a metal detector placed strategically at the various entrances. But in reality, there are quite a few places where anyone can avoid the metal detectors. Three gates are earmarked for vehicles. One is near Gopal Gowda circle, the second opposite Vidhana Soudha and the third is on a road that comes from Press Club. But, the vehicles are not checked at any of these gates. However, those in civilian clothes are sometimes asked about their business in the premises. Those in advocates’ attire are spared any questioning.
Those entering the high court building have to pass through metal detectors at the main entrance. Metal detectors have also been placed on either side of the building. But those who park their vehicles in front of the building or behind can avoid all these detectors.
Anyone can walk into the canteen at the north-east corner of the building. From the canteen on the ground floor, a visitor can move into any other part of the building.
The advocates’ room on the ground floor right behind the statue of Lord Cubbon also does not have any metal detector.
Attack not impulsive
Sources said the note was written in Kannada and said: ‘I am going to die. I had told the girl that I loved her. I wanted to marry her, but she refused. She told me that I will get other girls and I should marry them and I would be happy. I am going to die, but no one is responsible for my death. I have also written another similar letter, which is in my office. All details of the love affair between me and her is in a pen drive at the office.”
Police are investigating the veracity and contents of the letter.
Eyewitness account: ‘Girl was still breathing’
On seeing us, the man ran into the toilet and locked himself inside. We also latched the door from outside thinking that he would escape.
“We were keen on saving the girl who was gasping for breath, so we got her water from court hall 4. While I was trying to pour water into her mouth she collapsed. Everything happened in just three to four minutes. Immediately we called for help.”
“But when I was coming out of the rest room, I saw her lying in a pool of blood. The man was trying to stab himself in the corridor. I rushed towards him and I tried to stop him but he kept stabbing himself.
“He then ran into the toilet and locked the door. I saw him carrying a bottle wrapped in a paper and it could have been poison.
Fate decreed otherwise
“We were to leave at 1 pm. She was talking to her advocate friends, so I left her behind.
“She called me at 1.30 pm. By then, I was already near Indiranagar,” Prakash Shetty said.
Naveena and her colleague Satish BH ate vadas at the High Court canteen after their senior left.
“She had just collected her smart card and called me at 1.05 pm and I asked her to be near the registration office. We ate vadas in the canteen. I told her she was looking good today and she said she had had a head bath. I told her we would have lunch near the car parked outside.
“She was with me till 1.15 pm. She left with Rajappa when he came,” Satish said.
HE HAD BEEN WARNED
“She always tried to avoid him. She was living at a paying guest facility near Modi Hospital. He was living in a rented room in Malleshwaram,” Satish revealed.
Prakash Shetty said he has never met Rajappa. “I did not know anything about him until this incident. Naveena was a very nice girl who kept to herself. She was working with us for the last three months.
“If she had come with me to Indiranagar today as planned, she would have been alive,” he said.
While the two top associations — Madras High Court Advocates Association and the Tamil Nadu Advocates Associations — have made it clear that they had no objection to the proposal so long as advocates were not forced to accept the idea, two others forums — Women Lawyers Association and the Federation of Women Lawyers in Tamil Nadu — have condemned the suggestion.
Pointing out that several states had six-day week for the judiciary, the MHAA president RC Paul Kanagaraj said that courts could function on Saturdays only with the consent of the advocates concerned. “We, however, are not in favour of any court works on Sundays. We deprecate any move to extent holiday courts to Sundays as well,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
S Prabakaran, president of TNAA, said holiday courts, as a policy, should not be thrust upon advocates. “If counsel appearing for their clients are willing to participate in holiday court proceedings, let them do so. We will not oppose it. However, constitution of more courts to hear family cases would avoid unnecessary complications,” he said.
The WLA, on its part, condemned the proposal and called upon the authorities to withdraw the proposal forthwith. An extraordinary general body meeting of the WLA was convened on Wednesday, and resolutions against the proposal were adopted at the meeting, according to the WLA president D Prasanna. “We resolve to take necessary steps for sanction of more additional family courts for speedy disposal of pending cases,” it said.
The federation president, K Santhakumari, said no quality justice could be expected from judges who were stressed out in the first five working days of the week, and then asked to preside over holiday courts. She denied the claim that most of the adjournments in family courts was due to non-availability of leave for the litigants. “It is wrong to assume that all litigants before family courts are working couples or those from IT background,” she said, adding that the authorities must focus on simplifying the procedural formalities in family courts. “Parties need not be made to visit courts for every hearing and adjournments. It is enough if they are present for counselling, trial and examination,” Santhakumari said.
Former CBI counsel Gita Ramaseshan said the higher judiciary too should think of working on holidays. Whereas rights activist Sudha Ramalingam said it was a short-sighted idea, which would not bring the desired results. A delegation of advocates is likely to meet chief justice Eqbal on Thursday to press for withdrawal of the proposal.
Bhubaneswar, July 6: The state cabinet today decided to set up four new evening courts in the state capital for speedy disposal of a long list of pending cases.
Law department sources informed that there are nearly 1,13,064 cases pending in different courts of the city.
These include 90,911 criminal cases, 4,573 junior first class magistrate cases, 12,500 civil cases, 5,000 trial court cases and 800 sessions court cases.
The evening courts would sit at the existing court buildings and would function from 6.15pm to 8.15pm on official working days.
No additional recruitment would be made for this. Evening courts would run with the existing staff, who would be provided extra 20 per cent of their current salary.
This process would be completed by March 31, 2011.
The Cabinet today approved the proposal for setting up the evening courts and it was decided that four of them would come up on an experimental basis at Bhubaneswar. If these four proved successful, the government would set up more in other districts.
Gujarat was the first state to set up evening courts to clear the backlog of cases at the lower court level. The first such courts were inaugurated by then Chief Justice of India Y.K. Sabharwal on November 14, 2006. Some 27 of them were initially set up. The numbers have since gone up.
The next state to follow suit was Tamil Nadu. Since then several states such as Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi have set up evening courts for decreasing the workload of the courts.
Several others such as Karnataka, Assam and Kerala are also planning to set up evening shifts for their courts.
In some states retired personnel and new staff have also been recruited to man them. However, most states usually offer a maximum of 30 per cent of the basic salary as an incentive to sit for these two extra hours.
Gujarat had once sought a Rs 5 crore grant for these courts from the Centre but was turned away on the ground that administration of justice was a state subject. States are hence expected to pick up the tab for such courts.
The proposal for evening courts to reduce pendency and delay was first mooted in the Law Commission of India’s 125th report. It was accepted by the joint conference of state chief ministers and chief justices on September 18, 2004.
These courts mostly deal with petty offences and cheque-bounce cases. In Delhi for example, most of these cases deal with cheque-bouncing. In Punjab they also deal with motor vehicle cases.
In Gujarat, they deal with bootlegging, theft, property and dowry cases as well.
Dowry law role limited
|OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT|
|New Delhi, July 8: Section 498A of the IPC, dealing with cruelty to a woman by her husband or his family, will only apply to the husband’s relatives by blood, marriage or adoption, the Supreme Court ruled today.
The term “relatives” will not apply to so-called foster parents or foster relatives, the court clarified, quashing cruelty charges under Section 498A brought by a wife against her husband’s supposed foster sister.
The ruling has come against the backdrop of complaints of misuse of the provision which makes any sort of cruelty and harassment for dowry an offence. The maximum punishment is a jail term of three years and a fine.
The high court had earlier rejected the plea by Delhi’s Vijeta Gajra, accused in the complaint, despite her lawyer’s contention that she could not be regarded as a “relative” and tried for “ill-treatment” under Section 498A. On that occasion, the court had said the word “relative” would not include a paramour or concubine.
But today, the apex court bench of Justices V.S. Sirpurkar and Cyriac Joseph overturned the high court decision and spiked the charges under Section 498A. It said Gajra would instead be tried for criminal breach of trust over the allegations.
An FIR had been filed against Gajra for offences under Sections 498A and 406 (criminal breach of trust) by Gunjan Sujanani, wife of Rohit Sujanani. Gunjan accused Gajra of harassing her and cheating her of her jewellery soon after her marriage in July 2003 to Rohit, a resident of Nigeria.
Gunjan said in her FIR that Rohit had introduced Sham and Lavina Daswani as his foster parents, and Vijeta Daswani-Gajra and Ritika Daswani, as his foster sisters to Gunjan before the marriage.
Rohit and Lavina harassed Gunjan for dowry, while Vijeta took away her necklace, Gunjan’s FIR said.
She also claimed she had a miscarriage as she was physically and mentally ill-treated.
Gajra, in her petition, has denied all the allegations and described them as “concocted, false and baseless”. She has claimed she had met Gunjan only in 2007. She also said Rohit was an employee of her father who ran a business in Sierra Leone