Home > Governor > Regarding arbitrary arrests under 498A IPC – Governor – Karnataka

Regarding arbitrary arrests under 498A IPC – Governor – Karnataka

8th July 2010

Bangalore

To,

Honorable Governor of Karnataka
Raj Bhavan, Raj Bhavan Road, Bangalore – 560 001

Subject: Regarding arbitrary arrests of ordinary law-abiding citizens in Karnataka under IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws.

About National Family Harmony Society®: “National Family Harmony Society® NFHS is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore. We have branches in more than 16 states and in abroad too. We have approximately 14500 members all over India. To know more about us please visit http://www.family-harmony.org / http://www.498a.org.in.

Honorable members of the Parliament have been raising questions in the parliament at regular interval regarding the heavy misuse of IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws. Please find some of the questions raised by members of Parliament regarding heavy misuse of women centric laws.

T a b l e – 1

Sl No Question number House Name of  Member Answered on Subject
1 1409 RAJYA SABHA SHRI MOTILAL VORA  01.08.2003 MISUSE OF DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT
2 1610 RAJYA SABHA SHRI R.S. GAVAI  16.03.2005 INCREASING NUMBER OF FALSE DOWRY CASES
3 2698 RAJYA SABHA SHRI ABU ASIM AZMI  22.08.2005 AMENDMENTS TO DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT
4 2805 RAJYA SABHA PROF. RAM DEO BHANDARY  23.08.2006 HARASSMENT DUE TO DOWRY ALLEGATIONS
5 3876 RAJYA SABHA SHRI MAHENDRA SAHNI  10.05.2007 AMENDMENT IN ANTI DOWRY LAW
6 4501 RAJYA SABHA SHRI SURENDRA LATH  16.05.2007 MISUSE OF DOWRY PROHIBITION ACTs
7 1474 RAJYA SABHA SHRI BRIJ BHUSHAN TIWARI  03.12.2007 AMENDMENTS TO DOWRY LAWS
8 1696 RAJYA SABHA SHRI LALIT KISHORE CHATURVEDI  05.12.2007 PUNISHING PEOPLE FILING FALSE DOWRY RELATED CASES
9 2933 RAJYA SABHA SHRI KAMAL AKHTAR  21.04.2008 STIFFER ANTI DOWRY LAWS
10 1474 RAJYA SABHA SHRI BRIJ BHUSHAN TIWARI  03.12.2007 AMENDMENTS TO DOWRY LAWS
11 1073 RAJYA SABHA SHRI AMAR SINGH  10.03.2008 AMENDMENT OF ANTI DOWRY ACT
12 304 RAJYA SABHA ABU ASIM AZMI  20.10.2008 MISUSE OF ANTI DOWRY ACT
13 440 LOK SABHA SHRI SANAT KUMAR 28.08.2001 Dowry Prohibition Act and Domestic
14 1012 LOK SABHA Shri RAMDAS ATHAWALE 06.03.2007 AMENDMENT IN DOWRY ACT
15 440 LOK SABHA Shri SANAT KUMAR MANDAL 20.02.2009 DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT
16 2030 LOK SABHA Shri DALPAT SINGH PARASTE 30.11.2007 ABUSE OF ANTI-DOWRY LAW
17 193 LOK SABHA Shri RAGHUVIR SINGH KAUSHAL 16.11.2007 FALSE IMPLICATION IN DOWRY DEATH CASES
18 1181 LOK SABHA Kunwar REWATI RAMAN SINGH 21.08.2007 COMPLAINTS ON DOWRY BY NRIs
19 382 LOK SABHA Shri N CHELUVARAYA SWAMY SWAMYGOWDA 20.11.2009 MISUSE OF DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961S

 

Honorable Supreme Court and various High Courts have observed from time to time that these women centric laws are being highly misuse. Honorable Supreme Court had observed that IPC 498A is being used as “Legal Terror”. Some of the observation of the Supreme Court and various High Courts are compiled below:


T a b l e –  2

Sl No Court Case Number/Reported Year Between
1 Supreme Court Writ Petition (C) No. 141 of 2005) 2005 Sushil Kumar Sharma Vs. Union of India (UOI)
2 Supreme Court Appeal (crl.) 206 2008 Som Mittal Vs Govt. of Karnataka
3 Supreme Court Appeal (crl.) 1716 of 2007 2007 Onkar Nath Mishra & Ors vs State (Nct Of Delhi) & Anr
4 Supreme Court 2000 (2) JCC (SC) 657: 2000 (5) SCC 207 2000 Kans Raj vs. State of Punjab and others
5 Delhi HC Crl.A.No.339-41/2005 2010
6 Delhi HC CRL.M.C.7262/2006 2007
7 Delhi HC CRL. R 462/2002  2003 Savitri Devi Versus  Ramesh Chand and Ors.
8 AP HC A. A. O. No. 1039 of 2001 2002 Saritha Vs R.Ramachandra
9 Punjab & Haryana HC (1990)2 Rec Cri R 243 1990 Jasbir Kaur vs. State of Haryanas
10 Supreme Court CriLJ 2993 2000 Kanaraj vs. State of Punjab
11 Karnataka HC 2002 CriLJ 3605 State Vs. Srikanth
12 Supreme Court 2002 CriLJ 4124 2002 Mohd. Hoshan vs. State of A.P.
13 Delhi HC 2003 CriLJ 2759 2003 Savitri Devi vs. Ramesh Chand
14 Punjab & Haryana HC 2003 CriLJ 3394 2003 Bhupinder Kaur and others vs. State of Punjab and others
15 Jharkhand HC 2004 CriLJ 2989 2004 Arjun Ram Vs. State of Jharkhand and another
16 Punjab & Haryana HC RCR (Criminal) 163 2002 Mukesh Rani Vs. State of Haryana
17 Delhi HC 2001 (2) JCC (Delhi) 86 2001 Anu Gill Vs. State & Anrs
18 Supreme Court AIR 2005 SC 1989 2005 Ramesh & Ors. Vs. State of Tamil Nadu
19 Delhi HC CHANDER KANTA LAMBA & ORS
20 ADDITIONAL SESSIONS JUDGE Revision No. 88/2008/2002 2002
21 Punjab & Haryana HC 2002 Krishan Jeet Singh vs State Of Haryana
22 Orissa HC 2003 Benumadhab Padhi Mohapatra vs State
23 AP HC Criminal Petition No. 6642 of 2007 2007 Kamireddy Mangamma and others
24 Allahabad HC CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. – 3322 of 2010 2010 Sanjeev Kumar & Others vs State Of U.P.s

 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence or to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

 

In blatant violation of all the above rights, thousands of husbands and their families are arbitrarily arrested every year, without evidence or investigation, under IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act, and related wife-centric laws which presume that the accused are “guilty until proven innocent”.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has noted the misuse of dowry laws, arrest of innocent individuals and the resultant overcrowding of prisons. NHRC has urged the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to take measures against these abuses. High Courts across the country and the Supreme Court have condemned the misuse of dowry laws. The Commissioner of Police, Bangalore had issued standing instructions vide memo to check arbitrary arrests. The DGP, Karnataka has also issued a circular to implement 11 guidelines issued by Honorable Supreme Court of India regarding arrests and detention of Individuals in Cr WP No. 539/1986 and Cr WP No.592/1987. By taking note of the heavy misuse of the 498A IPC, recently on October 20, 2009, Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued an advisory to all the state Governments and Union Territories. National Commission of Human Rights also has issued guidelines regarding arrests.

Nevertheless, abuse of police powers continues and unnecessary arrests have only been growing in the State of Karnataka. Police routinely enter people’s homes at ungodly hours, take accused men and women into custody, and incarcerate them in the name of “protecting women from cruelty and harassment”. Innocent citizens are illegally detained, humiliated, subjected to mental and physical torture, blackmail and extortion. The honor and reputation of these accused individuals is simultaneously attacked through media trial and unrestrained slander by women’s organizations every day. Thousands of men and women have been driven to suicide due to the trauma of false cases, arrest, prolonged trials and the resultant humiliation and financial troubles they have to endure.

According to statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2007 alone, an overwhelming 94% of the individuals arrested under IPC Section 498A were found not guilty. A closer look at individual cases under Section 498A reveals that arrests are made by lower cadre police officials without proper justification and only with the intent of terrorizing innocent citizens and extorting money from them under the threat of imprisonment and long-drawn legal battles.

Our numerous pleas to the Government of India to stop arbitrary arrests of citizens under IPC Section 498A have fallen on deaf ears. On the other hand, new laws are always on the anvil (sexual assault, work place harassment, acid attacks etc.) which stress on immediate arrest of men upon mere accusations made by women.

While it is amply clear that under the prevailing circumstances, arrest is inevitable for any man facing allegations of abuse or assault, it is imperative that innocent citizens are prepared to go to jail even if they committed no crime. Ordinary law abiding citizens and their kin should be freed from the fear of jail and the concomitant feelings of humiliation and suffering so that they do not drive themselves into depression, ruin their health or end their own lives.

In spite of All round coverage by Media regarding heavy Misuse of IPC 498A, questions in the parliament by honorable MPs, Critical remarks by various HCs and SC, Observation by NHRC, advisories issued by Union Home Ministry from time to time, State Governments are not taking any steps to prevent the heavy misuse of IPC Sections 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws. These laws are so biased and dangerous that any innocent can become victim just on a false complaint by a woman. Even celebrities like Pakistani Cricketer Shoaib Malik and Former Union Minister Arjun Singh have not been spared have been falsely implicated under these laws.

 

OUR Demands:

 

  • Direct the State Government to stop the heavy misuse of Gender Biased laws such as 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws by bringing in amendments to these laws in Karnataka.
  • Direct the State Government not to arrest before Final Judgment/Order in case of a complaint under 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws.
  • Direct the State Government to bring in state amendment in Karnataka to stop arbitrary arrest of elderly persons, children and pregnant sisters.

 

 

 

 

P Suresh, President,                                           M Mahesh, General Secretary,

9880141531                                                     9731569970

National Family Harmony Society                         National Family Harmony Society

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