MUMBAI: Women, children and physically handicapped persons, who are either witnesses or complainants, will not be summoned to police stations for recording of their statements from now onwards, the Bombay high court was informed on Monday.
The court was informed through a circular issued by Deven Bharti, inspector general of police (law and order).
The circular issued to all police stations across Maharashtra has directed police to ensure that women, children and physically handicapped are not summoned to police stations for recording of statements.
Asking the police to strictly follow section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the circular states if the statement of any woman, child below the age of 15, and physically handicapped person is required, the policeman concerned will have to go to their residence and record the statement.
The circular was submitted to a division bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and AR Joshi during the hearing of a plea filed by an advocate Geetal Haldankar, who had alleged that when she had gone to lodge a complaint with the police against an estate agent she was made to sit in the police station till late in the night.
According to Haldankar, she had rented a flat in Diva in neighbouring Thane district through one Shubhda Narvekar. She was, however, not given an agreement by Narvekar.
Recently, when she returned from work, the landlord of the house had removed her lock from the door and put his own. When Haldankar approached the Diva police to file a case against Narvekar, the police there refused to take her complaint and made her sit there till late in the night.
Haldankar wrote a letter to the senior police inspector complaining about the behaviour of the police officials but did not receive any reply. The advocate later approached the high court seeking direction to police to lodge a case.
The high court was today also informed that Haldankar’s complaint has been lodged and investigations are on following which her petition was disposed of.
A court in the US has ordered a man to post an apology to his estranged wife on his Facebook page for 30 days to avoid a jail sentence for blasting her on the social networking site, a case that stirred controversy over freedom of speech rights.
Mark Byron, a Cincinnati-based photographer, was so bothered by his pending divorce and child visitation issues that he wrote a nasty note to “vent” out his frustration.
“I just went on Facebook to vent,” Byron said. “I kind of likened it to having a drink with a friend at a bar and telling them about things.”
The note implied that his wife was out to ruin his life. “If you are an evil, vindictive woman who wants to ruin your husband’s life and take your son’s father away from him completely – all you need to do is say you’re scared of your husband or domestic partner and they’ll take him away!” the note on his Facebook wall said.
Despite Byron blocking his wife from seeing his Facebook wall, she learnt of the post which touched off a battle that resulted in a Hamilton County judge ordering Byron jailed for his Facebook rant.
To avoid 60-days in jail, Byron was asked to post on his page an apology to his wife and all of his Facebook friends, something free-speech experts found troubling.
“The idea that a court can say, ‘I order you not to post something or to post something’ seems to me to be a 1st Amendment issue,” free-speech expert Jack Greiner said.
Magistrate Paul Meyers said Byron could either go to prison and pay a USD 500 fine or post an apology and pay child support.
The apology was written by the judge and Byron has been posting all the news stories about his case on his Facebook page.
Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs
Expeditious trial of cases has to be ensured by making necessary changes in procedure. States must create a separate investigation cadre. Separate prosecution cadre is also required. This was stated by the Union Home Minister Sh. P. Chidambaram at the Consultative Committee meeting of the Ministry of Home Affairs which discussed the topic: Investigation, Prosecution & Trial – the need for revamping.
He informed members that Law Commission of India has been requested to give a report on the amendments required immediately. He said the Department- related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs while examining the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2010 in its 146th Report has recommended that there should be comprehensive review of the Criminal Justice System and introduction of composite draft legislation for revamping of the Criminal Justice System in the country. Accordingly, Ministry of Law & Justice have been requested to request the Law Commission of India to examine and give a comprehensive report covering all aspects of criminal law, so that comprehensive amendments could be made in the various laws viz. IPC, Cr.P.C., Evidence Act, etc. It was also suggested that the Law Commission of India may also, inter-alia, take into account the recommendations made by Malimath Committee & other Committee/Commission in this regard. The recommendations of the Law Commission of India in this regard are awaited.
While initiating the discussion, the Union Home Minister said, the investigation has moved to technology based evidence, new forensic tools are used by other countries. We also need to move towards it.
He said the Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System, constituted on 24.11.2000 under the Chairmanship of Justice V. Malimath, former Chief Justice of Karnataka and Kerala High Courts, considered measures for revamping the criminal justice system and gave recommendations on various aspects of the criminal justice system including investigation, prosecution and the trial procedure in its Report submitted in March, 2003. Since the Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure are on the Concurrent List of Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and the same are administered by the State Governments, any amendment to them requires consultation with the State Governments. In view of this, the report was forwarded to the State Governments and Union Territories Administrations to obtain their views/comments.
The Law Commission of India also reviewed the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 in its 154th Report. The 197th Report of the Law Commission of India examined the issues relating to appointment of Public Prosecutor. The view of the State Governments/Union Territory administration on recommendation of Law Commission have been sought. Some of the issues relating to investigation, prosecution and trial procedure highlighted in these reports are:
The Investigation Wing should be separated from the Law and Order Wing. A separate wing of the investigation with clear mandate and it is accountable only to Rule of Law is the needed. The Law Commission of India specifically discussed this issue threadbare in its 154th Report and categorically recommended for separating the investigating agency from the law and order police. Placement policy of investigating staff, inadequate training, Comprehensive use of Forensic Science from the inception and problems related to Medico Legal Services were highlighted.
Several measures have been suggested to improve the quality of investigation. Interrogation centres should be set up at district headquarters in each district where they do not exist and strengthened where they exist. A mechanism for coordination amongst investigators, forensic experts and prosecutors at the State at district level for effective investigations and prosecutions should be devised. A suitable provision be made to exclude the period during which the accused is not available for investigation on grounds of health etc. for computing the permissible period of police custody. Refusal to entertain complaints regarding commission of any offence should be made punishable. Stringent punishment for false registration of cases & false complaints.
Members highlighted that the common man suffers as the manner in which police investigation is conducted is of critical importance to the functioning of the criminal justice system. A prompt and quality investigation is the foundation of an effective criminal justice system. They also raised the issue of non-registration of cases by police in some cases. On this, Sh. P. Chidambaram informed Members that in Delhi all but sensitive FIRs are on website. The members also called for separate cadres for investigation work and prosecution.
The following members of Consultative Committee were present at the meeting:
Shri H.K. Dua, Nominated, Dr. K. Keshava Rao, INC, Andhra Pradesh, Shri Thomas Sangma, NCP, Meghalaya, Dr. Vijay Mallya, IND, Karnataka from Rajya Sabha. Shri Bhisma Shankar alias Kushal Tiwari, BSP, U.P., Shri D.B. Chandre Gowda, BJP, Karnataka, Shri Ismail Hussain, INC, Assam, Shri J.P. Aggarwal, INC, Delhi, Shri Kalyan Banerjee, AITC, W.B., Shri Lalu Prasad, RJD, Bihar, Dr. Rattan Singh Ajnala, SAD, Punjab, Shri Sheeshs Ram Ola, INC, Rajasthan, Dr. Thokchom Meinya, INC, Manipur, Shri Yogi Aditya Nath, BJP, U.P. from Lok Sabha.
If you’ve ever nursed an ambition to be photographed with the prime minister, today’s your chance. Gurmeet Singh, who is in Bangalore to promote his debut movie The Wedding Gift, looks so much like Manmohan Singh that even Sonia Gandhi ends up being muddled.
In fact, it was an episode with Sonia that made film director Suhaib Ilyasi cast Gurmeet as the prime minister in his film. “At a public function in New Delhi, I saw Sonia Gandhi get up to welcome prime minister Manmohan Singh. To everyone’s surprise, it turned out to be Gurmeet Singh. I immediately knew I had the actor for my film. He is not only Manmohan’s lookalike, but even his voice is similar,” Ilyasi said.
Gurmeet loves the confusion that he leaves in his wake and does nothing to set it right. On the contrary, he wears Manmohan’s trademark blue turban and white kurta-pyjama in public, leaving security personnel at their wits’ end. He even flummoxed staff at the hospital where Manmohan underwent a heart surgery by walking around.
Gurmeet is an All India Congress Committee (AICC) media co-ordinator and knows the PM. “I have met the prime minister on a few occasions. He calls me by my name. I have met his family members also,” says the 67-year-old,” he said.
He was into the family’s cold storage business in Delhi until 2004 when Manmohan became the prime minister. Leaving the business to his brother, Gurmeet joined the Congress.
“I was a close friend of Ajit Jogi. It was because of him that I joined. I have worked as a campaign organiser for Manmohan Singhji. I can go on about the many funny incidents that take place because of my resemblance to him,” says Singh.
The latest confusion happened two days ago when Gurmeet went to watch India play against Italy in the Olympics Hockey qualifiers. The television commentator announced that the prime minister was watching the match and it was only later that he realised his mistake and revealed that it was Gurmeet the lookalike.
PM’s press meet
Gurmeet Singh will be answering questions about the Indian Penal Code and other laws allegedly misused by women to harass their husbands. No, he’s no activist. But, his film ‘The Wedding Gift’ is about the misuse of Section 498(A) of the IPC.
1 / 1
A Sessions Court at Rohini here has overturned a Magistrate’s order granting bail to a woman accused of involvement in the dowry death of her daughter-in-law despite three successive orders, two by a Sessions court and one by the Delhi High Court, denying her anticipatory bail.
“The order may not per-se be illegal, but is certainly improper [of] the Metropolitan Magistrate [for] not having taken into consideration two successive orders of the Sessions Courts and also the order of the High Court, and the impugned order being a non-speaking order not reflecting proper application of mind or an effective hearing given to the prosecution, but I may add that no mala fide can be attribute to the Judge, though the Subordinate Court ought to be much more vigilant. The order of the Magistrate dated December 5, 2011, is hereby set aside being an abuse of process of law,” Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
The prosecution said the Magistrate did not grant sufficient opportunity to the prosecution to argue the matter as the bail application of accused Krishna Devi Sharma was moved by her counsel on December 5, and the order passed on the same day without the court calling for a report from the Investigating Officer.
The prosecution also contended that the MM failed to consider that the accused avoided her arrest intentionally, that the bail order was passed in haste without going through the case records and that the accused had concealed that fact that non-bailable warrants were issued against her. It was also pleaded that the case pertains to dowry death, exclusively triable by a Sessions Court and therefore, the Magistrate’s Court should refrain from entertaining bail applications in such cases wherein the punishment provided is death or life imprisonment.
The prosecution also pointed out that the Magistrate’s order was not a speaking order as it does not show any grounds or reason for which bail was granted for the accused. While cancelling bail, Dr. Lau took note of one of the earlier reasons given by a Sessions Court for not granting bail: the victim in a suicide note had said her husband had married her only for the “service of his mother, cleaning and cooking and treating her like a maid”.
A panchkula court, on Thursday, acquitted Anil Kumar and his father Sheesh Pal, a resident of Hongal, Barwala on charges of dowry death under Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code.
The defence counsel in the case, Anirudh Kush had pleaded that Anil’s wife, Sushma Devi, had committed suicide by hanging herself and the duo had no role in the incident and had never demanded a dowry.
The prosecution had in turn had pleaded that the two accused had demanded lakhs of rupees from Sushma Devi in dowry, which forced her to commit suicide .
After hearing the arguments the Sessions Judge Anita Chaudhary, acquitted the father-son duo of the charges under Section 304-B. The case dates back to May 30, 2009, when Sushma Devi was found dead at her home. On the compliant of Sushma’s family, police had registered a case against Anil and his father under Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code. The two were later arrested by police and were presently out on a bail.
One alimony no bar to a woman getting another
Husband’s counsel tells court that estranged wife is already getting alimony from another ex-husband. Judge retorts: “What is your problem if he is paying? You too will have to pay”
Posted On Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at 04:43:28 AM
|A man tried to evade paying alimony to his estranged wife by pointing out that she was already getting an allowance from another previous husband. But the judge retorted, “What is your problem if he is paying? You too will have to pay.”The rather unusual situation cropped up in the High Court of Karnataka on Monday, with the man’s counsel arguing, “She is being paid Rs 6,000 per month as alimony by a former husband as well.” Taken by surprise, the division bench of Justice N K Patil and Justice C R Kumaraswamy asked the counsel which husband he was talking about. The advocate explained that the woman had been married earlier and the case in question was related to her second marriage.
It led to Justice Patil retorting, “What is your problem if he is paying? You too will have to pay.”
The divorce case, which was being heard in a lower court, reached the high court, with concerned parties disputing the alimony amount.
When told that the first husband was paying the woman Rs 6,000 per month, the judge asked, “Does she have a child?” When told that she had a seven-year-old daughter, he asked, “How much of the Rs 6,000 is for the mother and how much is for the child?” He was told that the amount was for both of them.
This prompted the husband’s counsel to tell the court that he had no property. “I do not have anything. I have no property,” the husband’s counsel said.
The court said that these were human problems and there should be trust in the marriage.
The husband’s counsel said, “If she goes about filing criminal complaints on charges of dowry and domestic violence, there is no trust left. No marriage is a benefit. It is always a problem. Acquiring property is a liability in marriages now.”
Justice Patil put an end to the argument saying, “Every couple quarrels, but not all end up in court and jail… Loud arguments will not help anyone in personal problems. The question here is only about maintenance. Is there any problem with the first husband?”
When told there was none, the court asked the couple to meet, along with their counsels, and arrive at a mutually-agreed alimony amount by October 21.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS
Justice A P Bhangale upheld a sessions court order that as Sunil Katole (45) “was a man of sufficient means, he was bound to maintain his illegitimate son”.
“There is no need to interfere with the quantum (of compensation) granted, particularly, considering the basic needs of the child like food, clothing, shelter and education,” said the judge, while refusing to quash the compensation awarded by a sessions court. The high court said that Katole was free to prove that the child was not his or seek cancellation of the maintenance if he had substantial reasons by either moving a civil court or a subordinate court.
Eleven years ago, Katole was arrested for allegedly raping a girl 10 years younger than him. A sessions court in 2002, though, acquitted Katole of rape charges, saying it was consensual – the victim had consented to sexual intercourse on the promise of marriage.
Last year, the victim filed an application seeking maintenance for herself and her child under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The provision says that the court can order maintenance if a man refuses or neglects to maintain his wife, children or parents. The protection of the law is also available to a man’s illegitimate children.
While a magistrate dismissed the application, a sessions judge ordered Katole to pay monthly maintenance for the upkeep of the child. The mother’s plea for maintenance, though, was rejected.
Katole, in his petition, denied that the child was his or that he had any liability to maintain him. “This contention will have to be substantiated by (Katole) by adopting appropriate remedy to prove the circumstances,” said the high court, adding that “no manifest injustice or any miscarriage of justice appears to have occurred”, to warrant its intervention. Katole’s lawyer’s plea to reduce the maintenance amount was also dismissed by the high court.
NEW DELHI: Repeated threats to commit suicide is a ground for divorce, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday and dissolved the marriage of a couple from Punjab after the husband proved that he was traumatised by his wife’s incessant suicide threats.
A bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said: “Giving repeated threats to commit suicide amounts to cruelty. When such a thing is repeated in the form of sign or gesture, no spouse can live peacefully.”
The court departed from judiciary’s traditionally lenient approach towards an estranged wife mainly because of the glaring facts of mental and physical hardship and humiliation faced by Pankaj Mahajan at the hands of his wife Dimple.
The trial court had granted divorce to Mahajan in April 2006, but the Punjab and Haryana High Court by its August 6, 2009 order set aside the divorce decree.
Appearing for the husband, senior advocate Nidesh Gupta placed material to prove before the apex court that Dimple used to give repeated threats to commit suicide. On one occasion, she also tried to commit suicide by jumping from the terrace.
Accepting his arguments, the bench said cruelty in marriage meant that the treatment meted out by one spouse made the other apprehend danger to his life and limb while living in a conjugal relationship.
“The acts of the respondent wife are of such quality or magnitude and consequence as to cause pain, agony and suffering to the appellant husband which amounted to cruelty in matrimonial law,” said Justice Sathasivam, writing the judgment for the bench.
Making out 12 grounds of cruel behaviour on the wife’s part, the bench said: “She caused grave mental cruelty to him and it is not possible for the parties to live with each other, therefore, a decree of divorce deserves to be granted in favour of the husband.”
The court directed the husband to pay Rs 2 lakhs to the wife and deposit Rs 3 lakhs in the name of the couple’s minor daughter, who is living with the mother.
The protection under the Act will be made available to wife who was driven out from her husband’s household prior to coming into effect of the DV Act 2005 but the deprivation continued even after the Act came into force,” the judge ruled. The court held that even if the woman was in a past relationship, she would be entitled to invoke the provisions of the DV Act on the basis of continuing cause of action. According to Khan’s wife Nahid Akhtar, she and Khan entered into wedlock on January 24, 1993, and had two daughters. Her father had spent .`2 lakh during marriage and also gifted some gold ornaments and cash worth .
`90,000. However, she was being allegedly ill-treated and tortured by in-laws and husband. She was thrown out of her matrimonial home by Khan in 2001 after she could not provide .`1 lakh for his
clothes business. Even during stay with her parents, Khan thrashed her mercilessly which led her to lodge a complaint at Khandwa police station. Nahid became psychotic due to torture and was unable to bear her medical expenses as her parents were poor. In her complaint, she prayed for a monthly alimony of.`5,000 for herself and two kids along with .`1 lakh for medical expenses and.
` 2 lakh compensation. While the case was pending in Khandwa court, Khan filed an application in Khamgaon court in Buldhana objecting to the maintainability of his wife’s claims contending that DV Act of 2005 had no retrospective effect as it came into force from October 26, 2006, and they had started living separately from May 9, 2001. The Khamgaon court rejected Khan’s application on the ground that the marital relationship between them is still subsisting.
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has stayed notice issued under Domestic Violence (DV) Act, 2005, by JMFC court against a couple accused of alleged ill-treatment of their daughter-in-law. Justice Prasanna Varale also issued a notice to daughter-in-law Mamta Pandey and Maharashtra government directing them to file a reply by September 29. Rajendra Daga was counsel for the petitioners.
According to Daga, Mamta married Arun, son of Mahendra Pratap and Jayanti Pandey, both residents of Chhattisgarh, on June 27, 2007. Mamta alleged that between the period of engagement and marriage, her father had given Rs 7 lakh to her in-laws by way of demand draft as first instalment of dowry. During marriage, 25 tolas of gold were also given to Pandey family.
Arun was serving in Hyderabad where Mamta joined him after marriage. However, relations soon turned sour between married couple over alleged demand of dowry. Arun began ill-treating and harassing respondent’s wife. Arun allegedly even tried to strangulate Mamta.
Mamta’s torture continued till April 6, 2008, when Arun dropped her at her maternal home at Wadi in city apparently over her failure to bring more dowry. For about three years, she resided with her parents. On January 9 this year she filed criminal complaint against Arun and his parents under Section 498A of IPC. In the complaint she demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh for ill-treatment and harassment and return of gold given to Pandeys during the marriage. Additionally, she insisted on getting alimony of Rs 20,000 per month.
The JMFC court then issued notices to Arun and his parents that they challenged in the high court. Daga, pleading for Arun’s parents, contended that Mamta never resided with Mahendra Pratap and Jayanti Pandey and neither shared household. Therefore, there was no domestic relationship between Mamta and her in-laws as per Section 2f of Domestic Violence Act. He pointed out that they were related with Mamta just because of Arun. However, there were no specific allegations against them in the complaint.
Parliament of India
(Rajya Sabha Secretariat)
Petition praying for amendments in Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1860
The Committee on Petitions of Rajya Sabha under the Chairmanship of
Shri Bhagat Singh
M.P. presented its Hundred and Fortieth Report to the Rajya Sabha on 7th
petition praying for amendments in Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
was submitted by Dr. Anupama Singh, a resident of New Delhi.
2. The petitioner has raised her concern about the misuse of the Section 498A, IPC, which was
inserted in Indian Penal Code, 1860 way back in 1983 to protect married women from dowry harassment
in their matrimonial home. The offence under Section 498A IPC being cognizable, non-bailable and noncompoundable
gives power to the Investigating Officers in police stations to arrest the husband and his
relatives whose names are mentioned in the First Information Report (FIR) by the woman or her family.
The petitioner has prayed to make the law bailable and compoundable; and also for provision of stringent
punishment for abusers of Section 498A of IPC.
3. The Committee while formulating its observations/recommendations, has relied on the written
comments of the concerned Ministries, National Commission for Women and National Commission for
Protection of Child Rights, oral evidence of witnesses- official as well as non-official, feedback received in
response to the Press Release, observations of the Members of the Committee and interaction with others.
Important recommendations of the Committee:-
A. Making offence under Section 498A bailable and non-cognizable:-
Having gone through the evidence produced before it by different stakeholders, the Committee
finds it difficult to give a straight answer to the request made in the petition in terms of yes or no. The
petitioner and the stakeholders who have come up in favour of the petition have vehemently protested
against the misuse of the provisions of Section 498A IPC. But the Committee is unable to oversee the
inputs it has received from the Ministry of Woman and Child Development, the National Commission for
Women, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and other organisations that have pleaded
before the Committee against the petition.
The fact that offence under Section 498A of IPC is
cognizable and non-bailable is acting as a big deterrent in the society. In the opinion of the
Committee, this historic step has succeeded in containing the magnitude of crime against
women in the country. Therefore, the Committee is unable to agree to the petition in so far as
categorising the offence under Section 498A IPC as non-cognizable and bailable is concerned.
The Committee recommends that the offence under Section 498A of IPC may continue to
remain cognizable and non-bailable as any change in the law at this stage might go against the
interest of the women community in general. The Committee fears that any interference in the
present law might reverse the social protection of women in their matrimonial home that has
been built up so far.
(Para 13.1 of the Report)
B. Making the offence under Section 498A, IPC compoundable:
The Committee notes that the offence under Section 498A, IPC is essentially fallout of
strained matrimonial relationship for which there might be various considerations. Since there
can be various causes leading to an offence under Section 498A, IPC and parties to the
marriage could be responsible for the same in varying degrees, it would be appropriate if the
remedy of compromise is kept open to settle a matrimonial dispute. The Committee, therefore,
recommends to the Government to consider whether the offence under Section 498A, IPC can
be made compoundable.
(Para 13.2 of the Report)
Having recommended that the offence under Section 498A of IPC should continue to be
cognizable and non-bailable, the Committee strongly recommends that the ill-effects and
misuse of the present legal provisions is also checked. The Committee fears that failure to do
so might leave no option except to dilute the law by making the same non-cognizable and
bailable. In this context, the Committee recommends certain additional measures as contained
in the succeeding paragraphs.
(Para 13.3 of the Report)
C. Power to arrest:
As a first step to check misuse of provisions of Section 498A IPC, the Committee recommends that
the provisions of Section 498A, IPC should be suitably modified so as to define the term ‘relative’ which
may exclude the arrest of small children and very elderly people and also distantly related persons who
might not have a role in the commission of offence. Secondly, the Committee would very much like to see
that the powers of arrest on such complaints are exercised carefully and cautiously.
notes that advisories have been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs to all State
Governments/ UT Administrations for preventing the misuse of Section 498A, IPC. The
Committee would like these guidelines to be followed and implemented strictly in letter and
spirit by the State Governments/UT Administrations. The Committee further recommends that
these guidelines should be adequately published by the State Governments/UT Administrations
and displayed publically in police stations so that the public is aware of their rights/liabilities
and is not harassed on account of ignorance of law.
(Para 13.4 of the Report)
The Committee recommends that arrests under Section 498A, IPC should be done only with the
written orders of the police officer of the level of DCP or equivalent and for acceptable reasons.
(Para 13.5 of the Report)
D. Counseling and Mediation:
The Committee recommends that adequate provisions may be introduced in Section 498A to make
the process of counseling compulsory before any arrests are made. The Committee further advocates that
professional and trained family counselors should do the counseling in the Women’s Cell so that frivolous
cases are screened at the initial stage itself and Section 498A is invoked in rare cases.
also recommends that the process of counseling which is being handled by the Police
Department should be developed professionally by involving qualified counselors and reputed
NGOs so that people have more confidence in the mechanism and they could be approached for
intervention timely and arrive at some settlement without reaching the stage of complaint
under Section 498A, IPC.
(Para 13.6 of the Report)
E. Check on false complaints:
The Committee feels that the Government should consider providing legal remedies for preventing
filing of false complaints or complaints with ulterior motive to harass the husband and his relatives under
The Committee recommends that Section 498A be amended so as to provide for
specific penalty in case the complaint is found to be false or with some other ulterior motive.
(Para 13.8 of the Report)
F. Dowry and Registration of Marriage:
The Committee is of the considered view that a strong and effective anti dowry law can go along
way in curbing matrimonial disputes.
Accordingly, the Committee recommends that the existing
Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 may be strengthened so that no dowry is given in marriage and
whatever gifts are exchanged in the marriage are listed out and acknowledged by the parties
to the marriage in writing. The Committee feels that such a step by the Government would
curb the dowry related matrimonial disputes which are substantial portion of the whole lot of
(Para 13.10 of the Report)
G. Juvenile in conflict with law (Section 498A, IPC):
The Committee also recommends that there is a need to ensure that provision of Section
498A should not be invoked in case of juveniles. However in case of any aberrations, the police
must ensure that the children are put under the care of Child Welfare Committee which would
arrange for counseling and interim care of the children in child friendly environment.
(Para 13.12 of the Report)
BANGALORE: If one door closes, another opens. Actress Nikita can vouch for this.
Criticizing the decision of the Karnataka Film Producers’ Association, noted producer K Manju offered her the lead of the leading lady in his next film.
”The association decision is wrong. If I’d been at the Sunday meeting, I’d have opposed it tooth and nail. I’ve spoken to association office-bearers and conveyed my opinion,” he said.
Manju feels artistes shouldn’t be banned, for their career in tinsel town is short. ”If Nikita wants to act, I’ll be glad to offer her a role,” he said.
Ambareesh the arbitrator
Kannada cinema’s arbitrator and president of Karnataka Film Artistes’ Association MH Ambareesh is the man Nikita and her sympathisers are looking at with hope.
After the arrest of Darshan on Saturday for allegedly assaulting his wife Vijayalakshmi, Ambareesh intervened and tried to advise her to withdraw the complaint. He’s currently in Malaysia with his wife Sumalatha.
Once he returns, artistes will request him to mediate. Nikita too plans to come to Bangalore and meet him. Many times in the past, Ambareesh has successfully resolved many crises. The last time Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce imposed a ban, actor Ramya was at the receiving end. Ambareesh mediated and resolved the problem.
BANGALORE: The domestic violence that Darshan allegedly subjected his wife Vijayalakshmi to has hit the headlines all because the perpetrator is a famous film actor. But several other cases in the city just don’t make it into the public domain.
Vanitha Sahaya Vani, the government-run helpline that offers free counselling and legal help for distressed women, receives about 20-30 calls every day from women stating they’re victims of abuse. In July, it dealt with 107 cases related to marital crisis and 46 were of domestic violence.
Helpline counsellor Saraswathi B S told TOI: “Every day, women come to us with bruises on their hands and eyes or legs swollen after being beating by their husbands. They come when the situation becomes unbearable. Most of them we counsel here try to save their families.”
Saraswathi recalls how she had to ensure safe shelter for Jayalakshmi who didn’t want to go back home. She had to endure threats from her policeman husband. “She went for a movie with neighbours. Her husband got suspicious and started ill-treating her and beating her up, thinking she’d gone with a boyfriend. We took her for treatment to Bowring Hospital and Ashok Nagar police refused to take her complaint and lodge an FIR saying it was a personal issue between the couple. We’ve put her in an ashram and she’s free from trouble,” says Saraswathi.
In another case, Stella D’Souza,45, successfully battled breast cancer but had endure domestic violence at home. As part of the treatment, her breasts were removed. Her husband found her unattractive and got involved in an extramarital affair. “The well-educated husband had no concern for the wife. He even beat her up when she questioned him about the affair. She turned to us for help,” Saraswathi said.
Another counsellor Rani Shetty says there is a breakdown of relationships among young people, including techies, and common causes are incompatibility, ego issues and extramarital affairs. “Most belong to the 25-35 years age group. We receive complaints of domestic violence attributed to extramarital affairs. We counsel them to save their families and suggest they change profession or look for jobs in other companies,” says Shetty.
She has been married for the past year but hardly spoken to her husband since the wedding. The couple hasn’t had any kind of relationship despite living in the same house for over six months. If she asks any questions, she’s beaten up.
This is the story of Mangala, who has sought help from the Vanitha Sahaya Vani. This graduate says she wants a divorce from her PUC-pass husband. “He doesn’t speak to me at all and doesn’t let me work. He only wants the jewellery given to me during the marriage. He has a girl friend and I’m a namesake wife. Is this not domestic violence?” asks Mangala, who this reporter met at the helpline on Monday.
Defunct helpline number
* Where do I top up my currency?
* What did you have for breakfast?
These are some crank calls made to the women’s helpline. The toll-free helpline exclusively for women in distress (1091) has not been working for the past six months. “After TOI wrote about the non-functioning helpline in March 2011, BSNL officials took up the matter. But we were flooded with crank calls. After a few days, the number once again stopped functioning,” said Hema Deshpande, helpline convener. The helpline now deals largely with walk-in cases.
(All names of battered women have been changed to protect their identity)
Cases in July 2011
Marital disharmony — 46
Premarital relations — 5
Extramarital relations — 13
Dowry harassment — 21
Alcoholic/psychiatric — 16
Others/ Cheating — 6
Total — 107
Violent crimes against women
* In 2009, 8,839 cases
* In 2008, 7,698 cases
* Crimes include gang rape, molestation, abduction and dowry deaths
(Source: State Crime Records Bureau, Karnataka)
?The brutality of domestic violence is often never understood and adequate measures taken to assuage the pain of women. Often, the silence of victims who put up with it just to ensure their children don’t suffer more than they already have to. But when they do summon courage to take on the bullying husband, the government should make sure she is protected and cared for. In Bangalore, the government can make a small beginning by fixing the dead helpline.
BANGALORE: The first additional chief metropolitan magistrate on Monday adjourned the hearing of actor Darshan’s bail application to Tuesday. He was booked for allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill his wife Vijayalakshmi on Friday.
During the hearing, when asked about her health condition, Vijayalakshmi told the court that she was better. She reiterated the statement she had given earlier at the magistrate’s house that she had slipped and fallen in the bathroom and injured herself and that she had sought compromise.
The magistrate took Vijayalakshmi to task for changing her statement from what she had given to the investigating officer earlier. The court also took serious note of police not producing the firearm for which they have booked a case against the accused.
Darshan’s lawyers argued that she slipped in the bathroom and sustained injuries and she was never assaulted. The charges of attempt to murder and case under Arms act do not arise at all, they told the court.
But the senior assistant public prosecutor, supported by the police records, submitted that medical records for both Vijayalakshmi and her son stated that Vijayalakshmi sustained severe attack injuries. Citing the medical report, he told the court that Vijayalakshmi had burn marks. He contended that there was evidence that while assaulting, the accused had used shoes to hit her, and it was not possible to treat it as a case of a fall.
Darshan’s lawyer Krishne Gowda contended that though police records claimed that it was a case under section 307 IPC (attempt to murder), actually it was a case under section 324 of IPC (voluntarily causing grievous hurt).
However, police officials clarified that no such memo had been sent to the court and the public prosecutor confirmed that charges of attempt to murder still stand.
COPS CLAIM GUN SEIZURE
Police confirmed that they have seized the US-made .32 mm pistol from Darshan’s house, which was used to allegedly threaten Vijayalakshmi, and that it had been included in the witness list. Thus the charges under Arms act stand, they said.
WHO ARE THEY?
During the proceedings, two men were found at the entrance to the court room. They were found questioning all the visitors of their identity, even stopping some of them from entering the hall. When enquired about their credentials, they claimed they were security officials. However, police present in the court said that they were unaware of any such security.
CHARGES AGAINST DARSHAN
The public prosecutor has confirmed the charges against Darshan. They are:
SECTION 321 of IPC: Voluntarily causing hurt
SECTIONS 324, 326 of IPC: Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means
SECTION 354 of IPC: Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty
SECTION 355 of IPC: Assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour person, otherwise than on grave provocation
SECTION 506 of IPC: Criminal intimidation
SECTION 307: Attempt to murder
SECTION 498(a): Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty
SECTION 27 of Arms act: Use of arms and ammunition
A young scientist is being harassed allegedly by her husband for additional dowry.
P. Anita, 29, of Akkayyapalem is a scientist in the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, New Delhi. Her parents performed her marriage with Sailesh of Vuyyuru in Krishna district in October last. Sailesh allegedly gave them wrong information claiming that he was a scientist. He was given Rs.10 lakh as dowry and an additional Rs.20 lakh in the form of gold and other valuables. Anita found out after the wedding that Sailesh had done his MBA and was employed in a private company as a trainee manager in Hyderabad. She initially pulled him up but later reconciled. Sailesh allegedly started harassing Anita for additional dowry soon after.
Anita returned to the city and met DCP B. Balakrishna who directed her to lodge a complaint with the Fourth Town police.
In her complaint, Anita alleged that her parents-in-law and sisters-in-law too were harassing her.
But prior consent of Central Government is required
A dowry or any other offence committed by an Indian husband against his wife in a foreign country can be tried by a court in India, the Supreme Court has held.
A three-judge Bench of Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice S.S. Nijjar said “the provisions of the Indian Penal Code have been extended to offences committed by any citizen of India in any place within and beyond India by virtue of Section 4 thereof.”
The Bench, however said that offences committed by an Indian citizen in a foreign country would be amenable to provisions of IPC subject to the limitation imposed under Section 188 CrPC, viz seeking the prior consent of the Central Government.
In the present case, appellant Thota Venkateswarlu was married to Parvatha Reddy Suneetha in November 2005 as per Hindu traditions and customs at Ongole in Andhra Pradesh. At the time of marriage Rs. 12 lakh in cash, 45 sovereigns of gold and Rs. 50,000 as ‘Adapaduchu katnam’ was alleged to have been given to the husband, mother-in-law, and other relatives of the husband.
According to Suneetha, her husband left for Botswana in January 2006 and she joined him later. While in Botswana, she was allegedly severely ill-treated and various demands were made including a demand for additional dowry of Rs. 5 lakh. Unable to withstand the torture, she sent a complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Ongole, for dowry offences under IPC as well offences under the Dowry Prohibition Act. The magistrate, to whom the complaint was forwarded, took cognisance and issued summons to the husband and others, who were questioned on their arrival to India.
While the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed proceedings against the appellant’s mother and two others, it dismissed his plea. The present appeal by Venkateswaralu is directed against this order.
The appellant’s wife argued that part of the offence relating to dowry was committed in Indian soil and part of the offence was committed abroad. Hence the offence could be tried in Indian courts. However, the appellant argued that he could not be tried without prior sanction from the Central Government.
Writing the judgment, Justice Kabir said it was clear that the case related to alleged dowry offence committed outside India. But since part of the offence was committed in India, the court here could try the appellant and the High Court was correct in rejecting his plea to quash the proceedings. The Bench while asking the trial court to take up the case said the trial would not proceed without sanction of the Central Government as envisaged under Section 188 CrPC.
- A woman alleged dowry harassment by her husband and in-laws partly in India and partly abroad
- ‘Since part of the offence was committed in India, the court here could try accused’: apex court
A woman can claim her rights under the law for protection from domestic violence, even while living separately from her husband and in-laws, a Delhi court has held.
Additional Sessions Judge Anju Bajaj Chandna held that so far a couple’s marriage subsists, the wife cannot be denied protection and other rights under the Domestic Violence Act.
“It is not essential that on the date of filing of the complaint, the parties should have been living together and it is sufficient that they have lived together as husband and wife in the past,” said the court underlining the legal condition under the Act for filing the complaint.
“In the present case, the marriage between the parties is still subsisting,” said the court, setting aside an April 2011 order of a magisterial court, which had dismissed a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act by an estranged housewife against her husband on the ground that she was no longer residing with him.
The court order came on an appeal against the magisterial court’s order by an East Delhi woman, who was married in March 1993, but had been living separately from her husband since January 1996.
She had first moved the court under Domestic Violence Act in March 2008, seeking monetary relief and compensation from her husband besides protection from domestic violence.
“It is the duty of the magistrate to see that in view of subsistence of status of husband and wife between the parties whether the relief sought by the petitioner can be granted within the provisions of the Act,” the court added.
It directed the magistrate to “reconsider the facts of the case”.
Cancelling the divorce decree granted on the grounds of mental cruelty, Justice Kailash Gambhir said in a recent judgment that the impact of alleged cruelty on the mind of the spouse also needed to be factored in before concluding that the marriage had broken down.
“An isolated or stray incident, an angry look, a random quarrel, a sugar coated insult or a taunt can not lead the court to grant a decree of divorce. The question that needs to be addressed is that whether the cruelty alleged is antithetic to love and affection, the two basic pillars of matrimony, and whether it has poisoned and polluted the bond of conjugal kindness to such an extent that marriage itself has become a Damocles’ sword for the parties,” Justice Gambhir said while ruling in favour of the wife who had appealed against the divorce order.
The husband had claimed divorce on the ground that his wife had lodged criminal cases of harassment and cruelty against him and his family members.
“As per the settled position of law, looking into the background of the aforementioned criminal cases filed by the wife, it is difficult to accept the argument of the counsel for the husband that the same were filed by the wife just with a view to harassing her husband and the same were without any basis,” the court said while referring to Supreme Court judgments.
The high court accepted the wife’s arguments that the circumstances, including an alleged assault on her and also a murder attempt by the accused, had forced her to register the criminal cases.
“The conduct should be something much more than the ordinary wear and tear of married life and should touch a certain pitch of severity. What may be cruelty in one case may not be cruelty in the other case and each case has to be seen from the prism of its own peculiar fact and situation,” the court said.
It rejected the husband’s submission that his wife had started harassing him on one pretext or the other like a separate residence, getting her pregnancy aborted without his consent, and alleging that her life had been ruined by marrying a clerk.
According to the wife’s appeal, they got married according to Hindu rites in April 1994. But their relationship turned sour after a few years, following which her husband had moved a petition before the trial court for divorce. The divorce was granted in May 2009.
BANGALORE: Does it matter if a couple decides to tie the knot during Dhanurmasa or Ashada? No, the high court has ruled.
Cancelling a decree of divorce granted by a family court in favour of a 35-year-old Mysore resident, a division bench of Justices Mohan ShantanaGoudar and K GovindRajulu observed: “It all depends on the facts of each case and persons involved. Some persons may believe in auspicious days while others may not. Only on that ground (the wedding date fell during Dhanurmasa), it cannot be said that a marriage hasn’t taken place.”
The court ruling came in an appeal filed by a Mysore-based woman and her parents. The appellant had challenged a decree granted by a family court in 2006 in the husband’s favour.
The husband had filed a suit for declaration that the marriage dated January 10, 1997, between him and his wife, be held null and void. He said the marriage had taken place under threat and his wife was five years older to him. The husband, in a lower court, also alleged that he was forced to sign certain documents in a local police station and exchange garlands at a Ganesha temple in Mysore.
The wife’s advocate in the HC argued that under Section 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act, such a suit should be filed within one year of marriage or after one year from the time when differences between the couple surface.
The husband, in this case, filed the suit after over two years of marriage. The lawyer also argued that there was no evidence to prove that the husband was forced into the marriage.
The lower court had ruled that since a suit for declaration can be filed within three years from the date of cause of action under sections 11 or 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the husband’s suit is maintainable.
The lower court, while granting a decree in favour of the husband, had further observed: “As per the Hindu calendar, the month of January (when the couple got married) is Dhanurmasa. According to the husband, the said month is treated as inauspicious and therefore, auspicious functions like the marriage, wouldn’t have taken place during the said month.”
Justice ShantanaGoudar, while setting aside the lower court order, remarked: “The court below has made much about Dhanurmasa for coming to the conclusion that the marriage has taken place during an inauspicious period. Such a contention cannot be accepted in as much as marriages take place even in Ashada masa. Even otherwise, the case of the husband is not that the marriage did not take place, but that it was not voluntary. Therefore, the court is not justified in concluding that the wedding must not have taken place during Dhanurmasa.”
The HC ruled that the marriage between the man and his wife did take place on January 10, 1997, in a healthy atmosphere without any force.
Mamta Sharma has taken charge as chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW).
She took over from Yasmeen Abrar, who was the acting chairperson after Girija Vyas demitted office.
In a statement issued here on Tuesday, Ms. Sharma said her focus would be on women’s empowerment.
Empowerment would bring down atrocities against women as they would be able to stand up for their rights.
Another thrust area would be protection of the girl child for building a healthy society. It was imperative to safeguard the interests of young girls, provide them with a safe and healthy environment and bring about attitudinal changes in the discriminatory attitudes.
Ms. Sharma, a Congress leader from Rajasthan, was a member of the Legislative Assembly and also president of the Rajasthan State Women Congress Committee.
Member takes charge
Charu Wali Khanna also took over as member of the NCW on Tuesday.
She was the executive member of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
‘There are several checks to ascertain whether a case is genuine or not’
City Police Commissioner N. Madhusudan Reddy on Tuesday said there was no truth in the contention that Section 498A of Indian Penal Code was being misused.
Speaking at a roundtable organised by the Vasavya Mahila Mandali (VMM) on the Dowry Act that has come under criticism for its alleged misuse by some women against their men and their families, Mr. Reddy said a woman musters a lot of courage to visit a police station.
He said in the Vijayawada police Commissionerate limits, the number of women approaching police stations is relatively high.
Informing that the law in question was easily accessible to a woman in distress, he said there were several checks and balances to ascertain if a case was genuine or not.
He said there could be instances where a woman was influenced by her parents or other family members to file a case against her husband. “It is the discretion of the investigating officer to get to the bottom of the facts in the course of enquiry and establish the genuineness of the case,” he explained.
He said many cases had to be closed after being labelled as ‘mistake of facts’ while many others were being referred to the Lok Ayukta.
Responding to an observation on the increasing number of NRI cases, he said the law enforcement department had two options to exercise – to issue a look-out notice or a red corner notice against the accused.
The roundtable was organised as part of a study on 498A of IPC commissioned by the National Commission for Women (NCW) in response to the Committee on Petitions, Rajya Sabha, that is reviewing a petition on misuse of the law. The meeting discussed threadbare execution of 498A in the Vijayawada police commissionerate from the perspective of the prime stakeholders – police, judiciary, and the DV Cell, and analyse the emerging trends and take a deeper look into the pros and cons of the Act being cognisable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable.
It also took into consideration the safeguards recommended besides exploring amendments if any.
Responding to a query, Second Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Vijayawada, Lakshmi Sarada, said the legal aid clinics set up across the city to make legal aid accessible to the people of all sections.
These are located at V.B. Siddhartha Law College at Kanuru, Syyed Appalaswamy Degree College opposite milk factory in One Town and gram panchayat offices of Tadigadapa and Nunna.
Former MP and VMM president Chennupati Vidya, who presided over the meeting, mooted in-camera facility for woman victims reluctant to speak publicly.
President of the Bezawada Bar Association Ch. Ajay Kumar, public prosecutor P. Uma, advocates P. Satyanarayana, M. Syamsundar, and Jayprakash, counsellor of the DV Cell in Women and Child Welfare Department Sudha, advocate Radhika, VMM’s executive secretary G. Rashmi, technical support manager Keerthy, medical director P. Deeksha, and others were present.
- Roundtable organised as part of study commissioned by NCW
- Legal aid clinics set up across the city, says Lakshmi Sarada
Man slit the throat of his wife at police station when she went there to file a dowry harassment case
In a gruesome incident, a man slit the throat of his wife at Malkapuram police station on Sunday evening when she went there to file a dowry harassment case.
She was admitted to a private hospital in Gajuwaka, where she is undergoing treatment. According to the police, the accused, A. Robin Moses, who was arrested immediately after the incident, entered into wedlock with Sabitarani Patnaik two years ago after deserting his first wife. Sabita, daughter of an employee of Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, had first complained to the police against Moses, a private employee, last year that he was torturing her for dowry. The police sent them home after some counselling. As there was no change in his behaviour, she approached the police again with a complaint on Sunday.
Sabita gave birth to a baby boy at her parents’ house three months ago. After Sabita returned a few days ago, Moses allegedly harassed her for dowry and also threatened her parents.
At around 7.30 p.m., Sabita went to the Malkapuram police station to lodge a complaint. The police also called Moses. While Sabita was filing the complaint, Moses allegedly slit her throat with a knife.
BANGALORE: Prema is a welleducated woman, married to Raghu, an executive with a multinational company in Bangalore. The couple tied the knot in 1997 and has an 11-year-old daughter. Those who don’t know Prema will find her healthy and happy. But her husband and daughter have experiences otherwise. Raghu has moved the family court seeking divorce from Prema saying she’s suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental illness or a psychiatric disorder.
Raghu, in his plea, has contended that in the initial years of marriage he noticed that Prema had a habit of doing certain things repetitively. “She will either keep washing her hands or repeatedly check if the main door is closed. I used to ignore it, but her behaviour became more obsessive after our daughter was born in 2000. Once she started going to school, Prema used to doubt if she really goes to school or not; she does her homework or not. She used to punish the child for petty reasons,” states Raghu.
But can OCD be a ground for seeking divorce? A family court in Bangalore has raised this pertinent question. Last week, when Raghu’s petition came up for hearing, the judge posed some questions: “Is this illness incurable? Show how will it affect your matrimonial prospects?”
The court also questioned if a person suffering from OCD can live a normal life. “What if her illness is cured after divorce is granted?” asked the judge.
Raghu’s lawyer argued: “He waited for two years after finding out that she is suffering from OCD. She hasn’t shown any improvement to treatment for over ten years now. Even the child is getting affected because of the mother’s behaviour.”
The plea, which was filed in 2001, said Prema’s symptoms aggravated from 2000, after the birth of their daughter. She was treated in two Bangalore hospitals and also one in the United Kingdom but hasn’t shown any improvement. She is now staying with her parents in Kerala and is under treatment.
Prema’s lawyer countered that his client is responding to treatment and the illness is curable. “Just because a mother is giving some minor punishment to the child, can she be called mentally ill? Or can it be a ground to seek divorce?” he asked.
Sheila Aneesh, president of All-India Federation of Women Lawyers, said: “The law generally says that some incurable disease can be a ground for divorce. But the case should be supported by medical reports which say that the disorder or the illness is incurable in nature. There are chances that certain illnesses which are incurable today can be cured tomorrow with the help of advanced medical facilities. The judgment in a case should be passed on the present status of the case and not on its future prospects.”
B N Gangadhar, professor of psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences ( Nimhans), had this to say: “Diagnosis cannot answer all questions. A good proportion of these patients show much improvement and we say they are cured.” He explained that in a similar proportion, response to treatment would be satisfactory thus enabling a person to perform most of the essential roles. “However a small proportion would be disabled even after considerable treatment and the disability of performing matrimonial duties can vary from case to case,” he added.
MERIT OF THE CASE
A family court,while hearing the case last week, asked if obsessive compulsive disorder could be a ground for seeking divorce. “Is this illness incurable? Show how will it affect your matrimonial prospects? What if her illness is cured after divorce is granted?” asked the judge.
Prevention of Inhuman Treatment of Women
Only one incident of Sati has been registered in Chhattisgarh in 2008. As for the other crimes against women, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has recorded 185312, 195856 and 203804 cases in the country in 2007, 2008 and 2009 respectively. This was revealed by the Minister of State (I/C) of Women and Child Development Smt. Krishna Tirath in Rajya Sabha today.
There is no proposal to amend the existing law on Sati nor is there any proposal to bring about a separate law to prevent the crimes against women. Except for the provisions relating to Rape and Molestation, the existing provisions in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) with regard to Kidnapping & Abduction (Sec. 363-373), Dowry Death (Sec.304-B) and Cruelty to married women (Sec.498A), which deal with the major offences committed against women, are adequate.
Smt. Krishna Tirath said that besides IPC, there are specific laws in existence for tackling offences such as trafficking, dowry, indecent representation, sati and domestic violence against women. They are Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956; Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986; Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 and Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. In addition, the Government has introduced a Bill in 2010 in Parliament to protect the women against sexual harassment at work place. ‘The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010’ is a comprehensive Bill which will replace the existing guidelines on sexual harassment issued by the Supreme Court in Vishaka and others V. State of Rajasthan and others.
(Release ID :75033)
NEW DELHI: Planning to get married, or want to get your marriage registered?
First, declare in writing that you didn’t ask or give dowry.
The committee on petitions under the chairmanship of MP Bhagat Singh on Wednesday presented its report to the Rajya Sabha on the dire need to curb female feticide. The panel has recommended that that the registration of marriage must be made mandatory and “undertaking from both the parties should be maintained at that time that no dowry has been exchanged between those parties”. The committee said it “understands that publicity of high expenses on marriages of rich people have cascading effects on the psyche of middle-class and lower-middle class citizens of the country.”
The report, therefore, recommended to the ministries to find ways and means to regulate high expenses for the wedding ceremony. “The evil of dowry is one of the vital causes leading to low status of girl child in the society. Unfortunately, the practice of dowry is still prevalent. The committee is unhappy that this law enacted in 1961 has been unable to check the evil of dowry in the society.”
It added, “The committee, accordingly, recommends that government should take immediate steps to review the toothless Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, and ensure that it prescribes some mandatory obligations in the form of disclosures/joint declarations on the parties to the marriage (on both sides) so that they remain conscious and bound socially and legally to their resolves/declaration of not having asked for/given any dowry in marriage.”
As per the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data, there has been an increase in cases of dowry registered under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, from 3,204 in 2005 to 5,650 in 2009.
The existing definition of ‘dowry’ under the Act is limited in its scope and does not distinguish between ‘gifts’ that are exchanged voluntarily and ‘dowry’ that involves an element of coercion, the report said.
“While the Rules to the Act provide for registration of gifts, but, in the absence of a mechanism for authentication of such gifts, there is nothing to prevent its abuse/misuse. In the opinion of the ministry of women and child development, the scope and coverage of the law needs to be expanded, based on a better understanding of how the system of dowry operates in the current social context. There is also a need for stricter penalties under the law to serve as deterrence to demanding dowry,” it added.
The government is considering making amendments to the Act. Some of the areas which are being looked at are strengthening the definition of “dowry”, making a specific provision on ‘gifts’ and their authentication, increasing penalties for ‘taking and demanding dowry’ to increase the law’s deterrent effect and strengthening role of functionaries under the law.
Dowry deaths under Section 304B of IPC has also increased by 2.6% in 2009 (8,383) as compared to 2008 (8,172), says NCRB record, 2009.
NFHS Presentation point no8:
1. Marriage registration should be made compulsory: Compliance to the rules pertaining to Dowry Prohibition Act must be made mandatory even during marriage registration. In absence of marriage certificate, no complaints under section 498A should be entertained. This is important because exorbitant claims are made that huge sum of cash was given as dowry without any proof or evidence. If Dowry Prohibition Act rules regarding maintenance of lists are followed during marriage registration, we can significantly reduce complaints with false claims later on. Also, this will significantly help in curbing the custom of Dowry as it will be impossible for anybody to give or take dowry. A Dowry prohibition officer must be assigned to file an affidavit to the court with proof and evidence of the claims of the wife regarding the dowry exchange before entertaining an FIR containing claims of dowry demanded or having given and taken. In case dowry was given by the complainant wife, according to section 3 of Dowry Prohibition Act, even giving dowry is a crime and so, a case should be registered by the police against those who have given dowry. Only then the custom of dowry can actually be brought to an end.
MUMBAI: A month after her step-daughter accused her of stealing almost 40 priceless paintings from the Mafatlal bungalow, Sheetal Mafatlal, the second wife of Atulya Mafatlal, hit back by registering a criminal case of cruelty against her husband and in-laws.
Gamdevi police has registered an FIR under Section 498-A (cruelty to wife by husband, in-laws) of the IPC. Sheetal has accused Atulya, who is recovering from cancer treatment in London, his 78-year-old mother Madhuri, brother-in-law Ajay, his sisters Kunti Shah and Gayatri Zaveri (both living nearby in Malabar Hill) and Marushka-Atulya’s 19-year-old daughter from his first wife Payal.
The four-page FIR, in Marathi, talks of mental and physical harassment from 2006 onwards by Madhuri and Ajay. It says they beat her regularly with a wooden stick and in June 2006 she required “five days’ medical treatment at the government-run GT hospital.” After 11 years of marriage, she has said that Atulya is an alcoholic who used to beat her and demand dowry from her parents.
Atulya Mafatlal, speaking from London, told TOI, “I am aghast at the travesty of justice; that the police could even register such a bogus complaint without verifying the truth. My mother suffers from lung fibrosis. For the last five-six years she can’t walk 10 steps without getting breathless and neither she nor Ajay ever enter my side of the house.” Atulya added, “It is ridiculous to hear that they beat Sheetal who exercises 90 minutes daily with a personal trainer and can lift 10 kilos on her feet. Why would she go to a dreary government hospital and not to Breach Candy or Cumballa Hill next door?”
On the theft case against her, Sheetal’s lawyer Zulfikar Memon said, “It was a family dispute and there was no criminal angle involved.” But the criminal complaint by Sheetal can send her in-laws to three years in jail.
Fearing such “a baseless move” from Sheetal, Mafatlal matriarch Madhuri and Ajay had already got an anticipatory bail from the court that requires the police to give them a 72-hour pre-arrest notice.
A survey in Welsh, Scots, revealed that 18 per cent chat to their dogs more frequently than their husbands or boyfriends.
Forty-two percent have taken time off work to nurse sick animals and 34 per cent leave the radio or television set on to keep their pets company.
Favourite shows are EastEnders , watched by 41 per cent of owners because their dogs like it, and the Chris Moyles show on BBC Radio 1, the Mail said quoting the study.
Richard Rockett, from dog food specialist Burgess Supadog Sensitive – which carried out the poll – said: “We share everything with our dogs, from our favourite television programme to musical preferences, and we’re not afraid of showing real affection for our favourite companion.”
MUMBAI: For years, every class at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) was boringly uniform. Students were mostly boys, with only a sprinkling of the other sex. In class, these young men thought similarly, used identical logic and took decisions that were alike, for they were all hardwired to behave in a certain fashion at the engineering campuses they came from.
In a strange correction to break the monotony of these two singularly large constituencies that cornered seats for years at the IIMs, the management schools have decided to award special marks to girls and non-engineering students.
All the six new IIMs and the ones at Lucknow and Kozhikode feel it`s time to rebalance the gender scales in office spaces. So while IIM-Rohtak will give 20 marks to each girl and another 20 to a non-engineer, IIM-Raipur will add 30 marks to the overall scores of each girl-non-engineer. IIM-Lucknow has decided to grant five marks to each girl and two to non-engineers.
“It`s for the first time that we have taken a conscious decision to make the diversity on our campus richer. Hence apart from the CAT scores, academic performance in class X and at the graduation level, and work experience, we will award marks for two diversity factors-gender and academics,” said IIM-L admissions chairman Arunabha Mukhopadhyay. Echoing his feelings was B S Sahay, IIM-Raipur director, who said that all the new management schools jointly took a call to benefit girls and non-engineers.
Seven IIMs released their admission criteria months before the Common Admission Test. The new IIMs have decided to do away with group discussions and will instead jointly hold a Written Ability Test (WAT). “The aim of the GDs was to test candidates` communication skills, their convincing prowess, their leadership abilities and their teamwork. But then many students get coached to participate in GDs. And sometimes, students who can`t raise their voices and are not aggressive just go unheard,” says IIM-Trichy director Prafulla Agnihotri.
The older management schools-IIM-Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Kozhikode, Indore, will, like IIM-Ahmedabad, expect students to clear a “writing task” as well as conduct GDs and personal interviews.
A division bench of Justices Mohan Shantana Goudar and K Govind Rajulu dismissed an appeal filed by S Mohan (52) challenging a family court order which denied him divorce from his spouse of 18 years, Shyama (46), in 2006. The couple has two children, a 17-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son.
Mohan had sought divorce from Shyama under Section 13(1) of the Hindu Marriage Act on grounds of cruelty and desertion. He alleged that Shyama left their house and started living with her parents since 2004. He also saidShyama had suspected he was having an affair with another woman and was staying with her.
Justifying his case for seeking divorce, Mohan contended: “My wife wanted me to be a puppet in her hands. She is dominating and she has conceived the idea of controlling me. In other words, she is highly egoistic and suffers from status syndrome,” he told the court. Shyama, on the other hand, alleged she did not have any respect in the matrimonial house, though she is an educated woman. “My husband used to tease me and often quarrel too,” Shyama contended.
When Mohan’s appeal came up for hearing in the high court on August 3, Shyama informed the court that despite all the issues between them she’s willing to go back and stay with her husband for the sake of their children.
Observing that the couple married in 1986 and have lived together for about 18 years before they separated in 2004, and that they have two grown-up children, the court refused to grant them divorce. “We do not find any valid ground to grant divorce, in as much as this is a case of non-adjustable nature for both parties. We are of the firm opinion that if the parties leave their ego, they can join to continue matrimonial life,” the judges observed.
(Names have been changed to protect identity)
Next time when you hold a marriage ceremony, you could have a group of unsolicited guests – the Dowry Prohibition Officer (DPO) and cops.
The Orissa Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Rules, 2010 which was notified a couple of days and forwarded to implementing authorities on Monday, authorises DPOs to visit any marriages along with officer-in-charge of a police station to see that the provisions of the Act are not contravened.
“The DPO while making inquiries under the Act or when he attends any marriage, for the purpose of making inquiries, shall take the assistance of an officer of a police station or other officers to assist him in the performance of his functions and it shall be the duty of the officer of the police station to render the assistance required by DPO,” the new rules say.
The DPO is, however, cautioned that he would have to discharge his duties with due care and decorum to uphold privacy, dignity and harmony of family relationship. The officer would ascertain and confirm by suitable means in respect of as many number of marriages as are held within his jurisdiction as to whether the provision of the Act are being followed and are not.
The State government has amended the Orissa Dowry Prohibition Rules, 2000 and named it as Orissa Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Rules, 2010.
The designated officers would list all the presents submitted by the parties to any marriage and make entries relating thereto in a register to be maintained for the purpose. The amended rules say where any dowry is received by any person other than the woman and a complaint is received in respect of non-transfer of such dowry to the woman who is entitled to it in accordance with section 6 of the Act, the DPO would issue directions to the parties to transfer the same within stipulated time.
The rules say the State government would designate a senior officer of the concerned department as the Chief Dowry Prohibition Officer to administer and coordinate the work of DPOs and will be responsible for creating consciousness and awareness to prevent dowry system among the public.
Every government servant shall after his marriage furnish a declaration stating that he has not taken any dowry, the Head of the Department, it says. The declaration will be signed by his wife, father, mother, father-in-law and mother-in-law.
“This being a deep rooted social problem the effort by the State government alone cannot eradicate the dowry system either before or after the marriage but the present amendments are quite exhaustive providing more teeth to the Dowry Prohibition Officers making them more sensitive and responsive,” senior High Court lawyer Bibhu Prasad Tripathy reacting to the new amendment.
Mr. Tripathy said, “now the discreet and covert practice of dowry will not only be punitive but also preventive. It is high time the Central government must bring necessary amendments in the Act to raise the quantum of punishment.”
After a spate of domestic violence complaints lodged by Sheetal Mafatlal, the estranged socialite daughter-in-law of the Mafatlals and second wife of Atulya Mafatlal, the family on Thursday sought anticipatory bail from sessions court.
Madhuri Mafatlal and her son Ajay moved the anticipatory bail application (ABA) on the grounds that the claims made by Sheetal are baseless. The plea will be heard on Friday. Sheetal has filed a police complaint against her ailing husband Atulya, mother-in-law Madhuri and brother-in-law Ajay. In her complaint, Sheetal has alleged that she suffered constant harassment, mental and physical cruelty and baseless slander by her husband.
The family relations, which went sour in 2005 over a property issue, got murkier after Sheetal’s 19-year-old stepdaughter Marushka filed a police complaint claiming Sheetal had removed 34 paintings by internationally known artists from the Mafatlal residence while her father was undergoing cancer treatment in London.
However, Sheetal claimed the paintings belonged to her and she was simply transporting them to a company to secure them from moisture. Marushka, who has written several letters to the Gamdevi police station, alleged she felt insecure in the presence of Sheetal and her “male friends” who frequented their plush bungalow on Altamount Road in south Mumbai.
According to Sheetal’s complaint, the family on July 5, had allegedly beaten her up with a cane and abused her. A complaint of cruelty and criminal breach of trust is registered against the family. Madhuri, however, in her bail plea claimed, “I was continuously tortured and harassed by Sheetal.”
The Bombay high court missed an opportunity to make history by striking down the archaic provision of adultery which is punishable under Section 497 of the IPC. The writ petition was filed by a person facing trial in a criminal court on a complaint filed by the husband for having sexual relations with his wife. It seemed that the husband had engaged the services of a detective agency to track down the wife’s movements.
The argument of the petitioner was that the section violates his fundamental right to have relations with a person of his choice, particularly since same-sex relationships have been decriminalised and since the Domestic Violence Act 2005 awards recognition to “living-in” relationships. Hence the archaic law has ceased to have any relevance in the contemporary context.
This argument did not cut ice with the bench comprising of Justices B.H. Mariapalle and U.D. Salvi who strongly felt that Section 497 is essential to preserve the sanctity of the institution of marriage. The court was of the view that in order to have sex with a person of one’s choice, it is imperative for the married spouse to first excuse herself from the contract of marriage.
But while upholding this premise, the bench failed to take note of the sexist premise on which the provision is based — that it views women as essentially the property of their husbands, a notion prevalent in the bygone era of Victorian England. Consequent-ly, having sexual relations with her violates the husband’s property rights which warrants a criminal punishment. Within this formulation, a man indulging in extra-marital sex with an unmarried woman does not warrant a similar punishment as it does not hurt the sentiments of a male-dominated society. The wife of such a man has no remedy in criminal law, as it appears that the sanctity of marriage is not violated by such lapses on the part of men, within a society premised on a patriarchal value system!
Ironically, while this petition was being heard in the Bombay high court, the adjacent Sessions Court appears to have been gripped with a similar concern. Since the famous Nanavati trial of 1959, where the husband was given a lesser punishment for killing the wife’s lover, on the ground that it was a crime of passion caused by “grave and sudden provocation”, this ground has been invoked to protect the husband’s prerogative which is a mere extension of the prerogative granted to him under Section 497. The Maria Susairaj-Emile Jerome murder trial also resonated with a similar concern, where this privilege was extended to a murderer who was not yet the husband but the woman was betrothed to him.
There have been challenges to Section 497 on the ground that it discriminates against men as it does not punish women engaged in extra-marital affairs. But within the patriarchal scheme, women are viewed as mere chattels and passive objects of men’s sexual pleasure and not active partners in crime. The Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court in 1954 in Yousuf Abdul Aziz vs State of Bombay (AIR 1954 SC 321) upheld this notion using the constitutional mandate of Article 15(3) which provides for special protection to women. In 1985, in Sowmitri Vishnu vs Union of India (AIR 1985 SC 1618), it was contended that Section 497 is a flagrant instance of “gender discrimination” and “male chauvinism”, as it recognises only the husband of the adulteress as an aggrieved party but does not confer similar rights upon the wife of the adulterer. But the Supreme Court, once again, upheld its validity.
There have been recommendations by the Law Commission, the National Commission for Women and the Malimath Committee to make this section gender neutral and bring women within its purview. The high court, during the hearing of the present petition, also seemed to echo a similar sentiment. But this premise seems to be equally problematic as it will continue to criminalise sexual acts between consenting adults, which is essentially a matrimonial fault, like several other matrimonial faults in our statute books such as desertion, cruelty, unsoundness of mind, etc. The only solution is to give women’s adultery the same status as other matrimonial faults, including men’s adultery, and not to privilege it by awarding it the status of a “crime” on the pretext of “preserving the sanctity of marriage”.
The writer is a lawyer and director of Majlis in Mumbai; email@example.com
Crimes connected to alcoholism, mobile phone abuse and dowry appear to be on the increase in Kerala as they constitute a vast majority of cases coming before the state Women’s Commission.
Nearly 80 per cent of cases coming up before the Commission are related to liquor, dowry issues and mobile phone crimes, Justice D Sreedevi, Chairperson of KWC, said.
“Though people of different social and economic status approach the Commission on various matters, basic problems seem to be similar — liquor and dowry. Nature of those cases may be different. But they will surely have a connection with both these menaces in one way or other,” she said.
Most of the complaints from southern districts like Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram were related to domestic violence, she said.
Mobile phone crimes, especially cases of girls being pushed into love traps through phones, taking pictures without their consent and creating and distributing pornographic material have become serious problems which require urgent attention of law enforcers, she said. “These days, films, advertisements and television programmes often have an adverse impact on the moral concerns of the society. Obscene ads and film songs and vulgar dressing of anchors convey wrong messages to younger generation. Many parents lose control over their children due to the overspread of mobile phones and internet,” Sreedevi said.
The KWC has initiated a campaign against the display of obscene posters in public places and the tendency to portray women in a “vulgar” manner in visual and print media. “Our recently formed Media Monitoring Cell is closely watching the trends in various media and their approach towards women. The basic purpose of the initiative is to check circulation of porno literature, blue films, obscene ads and films. We are organising awareness seminars and discussions with media persons to invite the attention of general public to the menace,” she said.
Justice Sreedevi, who has been heading the Commission for the last four years, said the spurt in cases being registered showed the increasing awareness of people of the existence of forums like these. “The increasing number of cases coming before us is not at all a negative sign but the reflection of people’s increased awareness about their rights. As their awareness level increases, they will surely approach us when they feel that they are denied justice,” she said.
The KWC has received a total of 25,761 complaints since 2007, of which 23,245 had so far been settled. “Besides liquor and drug which were the main source of domestic problems, emotional immaturity and financial dependence also contribute to the plight of women,” she said. “The ‘spoon-fed young generation’, both boys and girls, are not trained to shoulder responsibilities or face difficulties in life. This makes them weak and incapable of taking challenges thrown up by life as they mature’,” she said.
A sessions court has set aside a magisterial court direction to a man to pay a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh to his wife for subjecting her to domestic violence, saying that the order was not based on proof, but merely on claims and counter-claims.
“The trial court is expected to give findings on facts and evidence on record and not on basis of claims and counter-claims. Since the findings of the trial court are given merely on the basis of affidavits, the impugned order cannot sustain,” Additional Sessions Judge Santosh Snehi Mann said.
She also asked the magisterial court to examine afresh walled city resident Monika Gupta’s allegations that she faced domestic violence at the hands of her husband and in-laws.
The metropolitan court had awarded a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh and a monthly maintenance of Rs 2,500 to Monika who had moved the court against her husband Anshu Gupta and his seven relatives under the Domestic Violence Act.
She had also alleged that they had been harassing her through various methods, including lodging complaints with her employer, due to which she was thrown out of job and lost her source of income.
In his appeal against the March 2010 order of the trial court, Anshu contended that the findings of the court were not based on any evidence.
The ASJ noted the trial court had given its findings on various disputes between the parties on basis of claims and counter-claims made in their affidavits.
It observed that the parties to the case were also not given the opportunity to cross-examine each others’ witnesses, which is a basic procedure for leading evidence and right of the opposite party.
Condoning domestic violence is also a form of abuse
A couple of years ago, I directed a stage play about two affluent urban couples, one married and the other courting. The courting couple has a highly tempestuous relationship and in one disturbing scene, the man strikes the woman in anger. This financially independent, single woman is then confronted with a dilemma to either stay or walk out. The play ends with her eventually electing to make a go of the relationship, forgiving the man this one act of physical violence.
A few weeks later, at a dinner party, I met a highly successful industrialist, who had recently remarried. He introduced me as the director of this play to his lovely and sophisticated wife. I was taken aback when she launched a vitriolic attack on not only the production but also on me, personally, for having been a part of it. Her husband took me aside and tried to apologise for her tirade, explaining she had been a victim of domestic abuse in her previous marriage.
Jolted out of complacency, I decided to learn more about this malaise, which exists in every strata of society.
I started by getting involved with the Bell Bajao campaign (www.bellbajao.org) initiated by Mallika Dutta at Breakthrough, an organisation that has done remarkable work in not only creating awareness on domestic abuse but also giving hope to millions of battered women across India.
Most of us have heard of maidservants who are beaten regularly by their alcoholic husbands. Emasculated cowards, who are frustrated at their own inability to hold a job and resentful of the fact that a woman has become the family breadwinner.
What is now becoming well known but is still not so openly discussed, is the domestic abuse perpetrated on and tolerated by a large number of educated, affluent women.
Domestic abuse goes beyond just physical violence and also includes sexual, psychological, verbal or financial violation of a spouse or partner.
Statistics compiled by Bell Bajao reveal that 45 per cent of Indian women have suffered at least one incident of physical or psychological violence in their lifetime, which indicates just how widespread this problem is.
A staggering 55 per cent of women in our country think spousal abuse is warranted as they are conditioned to accept domestic violence as an intrinsic part of married life.
What we need to understand is that domestic violence is not just a woman’s issue. In order to effectively counter this problem, both sexes have to work in tandem to change cultural norms.
It is vital for each one of us to not only provide every kind of support to the victims but also to hold abusers accountable by outing them in society, shaming them and reporting them to the authorities.
It is high time we realised that condoning an act of domestic violence is also a form of abuse. And by that definition, we are all complicit in this crime.
Fahad Samar is a filmmaker, inveterate traveller and intrepid chronicler of society
A study has found that while social pressure discouraging women from working outside the home has weakened, pressure on husbands to be breadwinners largely remains.
The research, led by Liana Sayer of Ohio State University, was designed to show how employment status influences both men’s and women’s decisions to end a marriage.
According to the study of employment and divorce, a woman’s employment status has no effect on the likelihood that her husband will opt to leave the marriage. An employed woman is more likely to initiate a divorce than a woman who is not employed, but only when she reports being highly unsatisfied with the marriage.
The results for male employment status on the other hand were far more surprising.
For a man, not being employed not only increases the chances that his wife will initiate divorce, but also that he will be the one who opts to leave. Even men who are relatively happy in their marriages are more likely to leave if they are not employed, the research found.
According to researchers, taken together, the findings suggested an “asymmetric” change in traditional gender roles in marriage.
“These effects probably emanate from the greater change in women”s than men”s roles,” the researchers said.
“Women”s employment has increased and is accepted, men”s nonemployment is unacceptable to many, and there is a cultural ambivalence and lack of institutional support for men taking on ”feminized” roles such as household work and emotional support,” they added.
The research used data on over 3,600 couples taken from three waves of the National Survey of Families and Households. Waves were conducted in 1987-88, 1992-94, and 2001-2.
The study will be published in the American Journal of Sociology.
Maria Shriver, who filed for divorce from actor Arnold Schwarzenegger this month, is likely to walk away with more than $300 million.
Shriver, who was married to Schwarzenegger for over 25-years, filed for divorce from the actor-politician after it was revealed that he cheated on her and fathered a love child with the house keeper. The couple have four children.
A settlement agreement has been under discussion for months between lawyers for Schwarzenegger and his soon-to-be ex-wife, RadarOnline reported.
Under California law, all assets obtained during the marriage are split 50/50. The ‘Terminator’ star is said to be worth between $500 and $700 million which means that Shriver could walk away with up to $350 million or more. “Arnold realizes he is to blame for the collapse of his marriage. Maria was a loving wife and mother, and he doesn’t think that any amount of money can minimize what he has put her through,” a source told the website.
“He wants to do the right thing, and go above and beyond what is required of him under the law. This is going to be a very amicable divorce, and it won’t be played out in the media. Neither one of them wants that. Arnold hasn’t lost his mind, he is going to be giving away his fortune to her. He wants to show his children that he is taking responsibility for his actions,” the source added.
The couple is likely to settle for joint physical custody of their minor sons Patrick, 17 and Christopher, 13.
Casting aspersion on the character of spouse is the worst form of cruelty and amounts to mental torture, the Delhi High Court has ruled while granting divorce to a woman from her husband.
“As per the settled legal position, casting such aspersions on the character of the spouse has the effect of causing deleterious effect on the mind of such spouse and the same is the worse form of cruelty,” Justice Kailash Gambhir said while setting aside a lower court’s ruling which had dismissed a woman’s plea for divorce.
“The physical beating by the husband on many occasion by itself constitutes cruelty, but the scandalous allegation levelled by him attacking the moral character of the wife or attributing her relationship with some sadhu certainly amounts to worse form of cruelty in the absence of any corroboration to such allegations,” the judge said.
The court’s ruling came on an appeal by the woman challenging the lower court judgment dismissing her plea for divorce on the ground that her husband suspected her fidelity and accused her of having an extra-marital relation with a sadhu.
The high court also censured the lower court for dismissing the woman’s plea.
“This court fails to comprehend as to how such a view could be taken by the trial court as clearly serious and malicious allegations of the wife having relationship with one sadhu and her staying out of the house during nights also levelled by the husband,” the judge wondered.
According to the woman, she got married as per the Hindu rites in 1980 and after two years of the marriage she was blessed with a daughter.
She said her husband’s attitude suddenly changed after the birth of her daughter as he expected a son. Besides beating her, the husband had accused her of having an affair with a sadhu, she claimed.
A Southern California woman was in police custody Tuesday after authorities said she drugged her estranged husband, tied him to a bed, cut off his penis and put it through a garbage disposal.
Garden Grove police Lt. Jeff Nightengale said that Catherine Kieu Becker drugged a meal and served it to the victim, whose name was not released, shortly before the attack Monday night.
Nightengale said the 51-year-old man felt sick, went to lie down and lost consciousness. The 48-year-old Becker then tied the victim’s arms and legs to the bed with rope, removed his clothes and attacked him with a 10-inch (25-centimeter) kitchen knife as he awoke, Nightengale said.
“He was conscious when his penis was removed,” Nightengale said.
Nightengale said Becker put the penis in the garbage disposal and turned it on.
Becker called the emergency dispatcher and indicated to arriving officers that the victim was in the next room, Nightengale said. Paramedics found him tied to the bed, bleeding profusely.
Bail for Becker was set at $1 million after she was booked at the Orange County Jail for investigation of aggravated mayhem, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, administering a drug with intent to commit a felony, poisoning and spousal abuse.
The victim underwent surgery and was in serious condition at the University of California at Irvine Medical Center in Orange. Nightengale said the man is expected to survive.
A call to a hospital spokeswoman was not immediately returned.
Becker was taken into custody without incident, although she would not talk to officers, Nightengale said.
Becker is due in court Wednesday. A telephone listing for her residence could not be located and no one was home in the apartment.
Neighbor Lourdes Painter said the couple had been married since December, did not have any children and seemed very quiet. Becker and her husband lived in a second-story condo in the working class complex. Painter lives in the unit below them.
The couple was reportedly in the process of a divorce.
Nightengale said a database search showed no previous calls to the house for any past problems. He didn’t know what kind of food the couple ate for dinner.
No private attorney was listed on booking documents. If Becker seeks a public defender, one could be appointed at her first court appearance.
In 1993, Lorena Bobbitt, cut off her husband’s penis (which acquired the infamous term ‘bobbitised’ later on) in Virginia. She claimed years of sexual abuse drove her to the attack, and she was acquitted by reason of insanity.
The Delhi High Court has said that it is the ‘solemn duty’ of the husband and the in-laws to give wives a friendly and affable environment, instead of treating her like an outsider — forcing her to break away from the marriage.
Justice Kailash Gambhir said a husband and his family must not forget that somebody who leaves her parents and friends to enter a new home has certain expectations from her marriage, and she should receive some respect from them.
The judge further ruled that a man cannot be allowed to obtain a decree of divorce on the ground of desertion by his wife, even after 22 years of separation, when he and his family are the ones who forced the woman to leave home. Adjudicating on the contention of the two-decade-long separation, he further held that this could alone cannot be enough to grant divorce because the legislature was yet to introduce irretrievable breakdown of marriage in the Hindu Marriage Act as a ground for divorce.
The court was adjudicating an appeal by a man, who had challenged a trial court order refusing to annul his 27-year-old marriage.
The couple had married in February 1987, and a daughter was born the next year. According to the husband, the woman abstained from fulfilling her matrimonial obligations, and never seemed to be satisfied. The petition also alleged that she refrained from indulging in “normal” physical intimacy, and therefore caused him a great deal of mental agony.
According to the husband, she had abandoned her matrimonial home and started living with her parents without sufficient cause, even though he took several steps towards effecting a reconciliation.
The woman, however, countered the allegations by saying she was forced to go back to her parents’ house because of her husband and in-laws’ behaviour. Also, they were not happy with the dowry they got from her in-laws, and the birth of a daughter only made matters worse.
A woman, who divorced her husband eight years ago, was in for a rude shock when she approached the passport office only to be told that she no longer can use her marital name in the passport.
In a judgment passed in 2010, the Bombay High Court ordered one Neelam Shewale to give up her husband’s surname after divorce. The passport office seems to have implemented the judgment as a blanket rule and claims a divorced woman can no longer retain her husband’s name.
“I was married for over 25 years and all my documents, including PAN card, Ration Card, driving license etc, had my husband’s last name. For the last eight years, I have been divorced but I continued using my husband’s surname without any hassle. Last month, when I approached the Regional Passport Office, they refused to issue me the passport and insisted I went back to my maiden name,” the woman said.
She has now filed a series of RTI applications to find out if the RPO had received any order from the Central government regarding the issue. “I wrote several letters to the officer asking if a law exists which requires a divorcee to revert to her maiden name. There has been no reply so far,” she adds.
Last year, the High Court had ordered Neelam to stop using her former husband’s surname. But that was a stray case, legal experts say.
“In that case, the High Court upheld the order of a family court. However, there is no such blanket rule so far. The court in its judgment did not make any observation in general where women have to give up their husband’s name after divorce,” said Women’s Rights Lawyer Flavia Agnes.
The passport office said it was unaware of any such incident. “I will have to look into the case and find out what had happened,” said Regional Passport Officer Vinoy Kumar Choubey. However, he added, ever since the High Court order, passport office has been overly vigilant and forward such issues to its legal department.
This is not a one-off case. Another divorcee faced similar problem last September when she approached the office to get her passport renewed. However, after she confronted the regional officer, her passport was renewed retaining her husband’s name.
“It’s the woman’s wish to continue or discontinue with her married name. After using my husband’s name for a decade, it’s not easy to change it overnight,” the woman said.
With no guidelines in place and no reference to the High Court order, lawyers feel the order has been misinterpreted and causes unnecessary hassle.
“Until the husband raises an objection, there should be no reason for officers to deny any woman her right to use her married name. It’s arbitrary,” says Flavia.
They said the trend was most common among separating partners without children when four-legged friends take on an increasingly important role in family life.
Tindall Gask Bentley partner and family law specialist Jane Miller said pets usually entered divorce negotiations when property agreements were being discussed.
This includes one client of Tindall Gask Bentley who settled for 10,000 dollars less from her ex-husband to keep the couple’s two dogs.
“People are reaching formal agreements, that the pet may live with one person once a week and the other another week, or doing quite a big trade off so they can keep a pet,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Miller as saying.
“It’s usually something that’s done outside of court, through a document of consent, where a pet is listed as an asset and the court endorses an agreement,” he said.
The Bombay High Court has held that “before the decree (of divorce by mutual consent) is passed, one party cannot be allowed to unilaterally withdraw the consent if the other party has already acted upon the consent terms either wholly or in part to his or her detriment.”
A Division Bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice Mridula Bhatkar observed that the court can allow one of the litigating spouses to backtrack from the agreements made for a divorce by mutual consent only if there is a reason good enough for it and the rights of the other party are not prejudiced.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by a Pune-based couple that had been separated since 2006. They were married in August 1993 and have two children. Initially, the petition for divorce was filed by the wife on the grounds of cruelty. There were other complaints filed by her under Section 498-A (harassment) of the IPC.
On October 6, 2008, however, the husband and wife agreed for a divorce by mutual consent and the wife withdrew the criminal complaints lodged against the husband. She also relinquished her right for alimony and agreed to transfer the property in her name to that of her husband. While the custody of both the children was given to her she had agreed to let him have access to them on weekends and during school vacations.
However, at a later stage the husband refused to seek a divorce by mutual consent contending that the consent terms were not irrevocable. He said his wife had faulted on granting him access to their children. However, the wife informed the court that he failed to meet the children as he was facing criminal charges in some other case and was in jail on the day he was supposed to meet them. On March 31, 2009, the family court in Pune granted the couple a divorce by mutual consent.
Agreeing with the family court’s order, the judges held that the wife had “performed her obligations and committed herself to waive the claim of maintenance for herself and also streedhan including to withdraw civil and criminal actions initiated by her against the appellant (husband). Even for this reason, the appellant cannot be permitted to withdraw his consent as it would result in bestowing premium on the appellant in spite of his unjust and inequitable request to allow him to unilaterally withdraw the consent.”
It seems that marriage and divorce are both bad for the waistline — while women are most likely to gain weight after tying the knot, men tend to pile on the pounds following a break-up, researchers said.
A new study of more than 10,000 people surveyed between 1986 and 2008 found that both marrying and getting divorced can have a “weight shock” effect that leads to rapid weight gain, especially in over-30s.
But the researchers said there was a marked difference between men and women in which marital event was the most traumatic on the waistline.
In fact, the researchers used data from the survey in which men and women were weighed every year to see how many pounds they gained or lost in the two years following a marriage or divorce.
Up to the age of 30 there was little impact on the weight of either men or women, but after this point the probability of weight gain after marriage or divorce began to rise steadily until the age of 50.
Both sexes were more likely to gain weight in the two years after a divorce or marriage than someone who had never been married, the study showed.
Dmitry Tumin of Ohio State University, who led the study, was quoted as saying, “Clearly, the effect of marital transitions on weight changes differs by gender. Divorces for men and, to some extent, marriages for women promote weight gains that may be large enough to pose a health risk.”
The impact was greatest on older people as a marriage or divorce comes as a greater shock later in life, he added.
The study, however, is not clear why men’s and women’s waistlines respond differently to marriage and divorce.
But Prof Zhenchao Qian, one of the researchers, said: “Married women often have a larger role around the house than men do, and they may have less time to exercise and stay fit than similar unmarried women.
“On the other hand, studies show that married men get a health benefit from marriage, and they lose that benefit once they get divorced, which may lead to their weight gain.”
Wife deserts husband and stays live-in with lover….but HC finds fault with husband and the live-in person!!! Great Indian Judicial System
AHMEDABAD: The drama in real life can far surpass the reel life, as a case involving a city-based coupled heard in the Gujart high court shows. The dark details of metro life emerged when the husband, Ramesh Christian, filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court to get his wife back. Ramesh and Ramila were married for two years, but of late, the wife was not living with him.
However, when she appeared, Ramesh refused to live with her again saying that he was a Roman Catholic and she a protestant. The court did not buy the argument and probed further into the case. It turned out that the couple had a love marriage and their relationship went back to college. But Ramila had a live-in relationship with a student Nirajgiri Goswami in Rajkot.
Ramesh’s petition said he feared that she was intimate with the boy. In the court, even Ramila refused to go back to Ramesh saying her in-laws ill-treated her and so she had gone to her parents’ place in Maninagar. She told the court that Goswami forced her into a relationship and took her to Rajkot, proclaiming himself her ‘boyfriend’.
Ramila told the court that Goswami did not allow her to contact anybody. It was only after Goswami received court notice, that she managed to escape and attended the proceeding. On the other hand, Goswami told the court that Ramila and he were in a live-in relationship with her consent. Ramila countered him saying Goswami had forced her to sign a maitri karaar (friendship contract) and said even the signature on this contract was not correct and produced a photocopy for verification.
The judges verified her original signature with the one on the document, and concluded that they were different. In the end, the court found that the petition was not genuine and imposed penalty of Rs 25,000 on the husband, and the amount was ordered to be paid to his wife. The court also observed that the woman should have lodged complaint against the self-proclaimed boyfriend, Goswami for various offences. The police authorities have been asked to take appropriate steps to protect the interest of the woman and to book the ‘boyfriend’.
|Over 35 per cent of all women and 40 per cent of married women experienced physical or sexual forms of violence and the figures were higher in rural areas, the Lok Sabha was informed today.|
|“The National Family Health Survey III (2005-06) data shows that in the 15-49 age group, 35.4 per cent of all women and 40 per cent of married women experienced physical or sexual violence,” Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said during Question Hour.
She said 6.7 per cent experienced both physical and sexual forms of domestic violence.
Domestic violence defined under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 covers physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic abuse.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, a total of 5,788 were registered under the Act in 2007, 5,643 cases in 2008 and 7,802 in 2009, Tirath said.
She claimed that Protection Officers (POs) had been appointed in every state except Jammu and Kashmir (where the Act is not applicable) and her ministry held regular meetings with state governments to ensure that this system was functioning efficiently.
The Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is implemented by states and Union territories.
“Under the Act, state governments are required to appoint Protection Officers in each district as they may consider necessary,” she said.
Maharashtra has the highest number of 3,910 Protection Officers followed by Rajasthan (574), Madhya Pradesh (368) and Himachal Pradesh (366).
New Delhi: The Team Anna versus government deadlock seems to be over for now. Anna Hazare has been given the go ahead to fast for 15 days at Ramlila Maidan. But the civil society is split over whether his method of protest falls in the category of blackmail. Apart from Anna’s team, no one’s come out to support his version of the Lokpal Bill, not even the political Opposition.
Anna Hazare’s supporters loudly expressing that they have complete faith in Anna, his methods and the Jan Lokpal Bill.
“We want the Jan Lokpal Bill to be passed. That is the only condition and till the government accepts it, we won’t agree,” said a supporter.
But there are equally vocal differences in civil society about Anna Hazare. There are those who feel Hazare’s threat of a hunger strike is nothing short of blackmail.
The National Campaign for Peoples Right to Information which has drafted its own version of the Lokpal Bill says that Team Anna’s draft is not the only way to fight corruption.
“It will take several years of fight and struggle to be able to change the situation. People will have to fight for many years no matter what the law is,” said Nikhil Dey.
Others say Anna Hazare’s agitation is only undermining Parliament.
“This is a democratically elected Parliament and anyone who challenges it, please be wary of them,” said Nandita Rao.
And still others feel that Anna is simply a front for the Hindu rightwing groups.
“We have seen what the RSS has done in this country,” said Shabnam Hashmi.
Writer and civil activist Arundhati Roy is scathing about the arrest of Anna but says it’s naive to think that Lokpal will solve corruption problem.
“It is absolutely outrageous what the government has done and mysterious as well. I don’t know what is it so insecure about,” said Arundhati Roy.
In the CNN-IBN State of the Nation poll across 19 states and 20,000 respondents, it was found that only one third of Indians have heard about the Jan Lokpal Bill and only one fourth have any idea what the bill is about. So the Anna Hazare movement could well be one based mainly in the TV viewing educated urban middle class.
The numbers on the street may be growing but scepticism is also growing about this so called second freedom movement.
“I think this is all absurd language about the second freedom struggle and third freedom struggle” questioned Kumar Ketkar.
For some Anna may be Gandhi, but others say, it takes more than just a topi and media attention to become a true Mahatma.
A 25-year-old constable of the Jayanagar police station is absconding after his wife was found hanging in his sister’s house in Kaggalipur on Saturday morning in the limits of Talaghattapur police station.
Constable Kantharaju, a resident of Shakambari Nagar, married Pushpa Kumari three years ago. The couple have a two-year-old son, Chirag, who also is missing along with the father. Interestingly, Kantharaju’s three brothers also are police constables.
The police have filed a dowry harassment and murder case based on the complaint lodged by Pushpa’s father Krishnappa.
Police said Pushpa’s body was found hanging in Kantharaju’s sister Yashoda Narayan’s house in Kaggalipur. They suspect that she might have taken the extreme step on Friday night.
Krishnapp alleged that she was murdered over dowry issues. Pushpa had allegedly told her parents that her husband was in an extra-marital relationship and wouldn’t return home sometimes.
Apparently, Pushpa also went to the Kantharaju’s paramour’s house recently to warn her, but was attacked by her relatives. Pushpa had then filed a complaint with KS Layout police.