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Don’t be hasty in case of cruelty against women

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/article/2/2010071720100717020203574a2a3f4b7/Don%E2%80%99t-be-hasty-in-case-of-cruelty-against-women.html

Try to sort out differences before filing FIR under IPC 498 (a), Home Department tells police

Posted On Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 02:02:03 AM
 
The state police have been asked to ease up on implementing complaints under 498A, the Act on dowry-related harassment as it can land the complainant’s husband and his family in prison before investigation. Maharashtra’s Home Department has instructed cops to not only verify the complaint before acting on it but also to try out options like counselling for the parties involved.
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The Home Department has asked the cops to sort out the differences between the woman who wants to file a complaint and the husband and/or in-laws. Even if their effort in this direction fails, the police have to verify the compliant and ensure that the case justifies 498 (a) on the IPC.

Acting on the directives of the Union Home Ministry, the state home department has issued a circular to police stations across the state in the matter. The circular says that the police should not arrest the accused without a warrant and should conduct a preliminary inquiry before filing a First Information Report (FIR) under this section, which is both cognizable and non-bailable.

The department has also directed the Women and Child Development Department to start counselling centres in at all the police stations. The police stations have been asked to provide an independent room for the special cells with furniture, stationary, a telephone line and a vehicle. Currently, there are 20 such centres in the state. The three in Mumbai are being run by Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) at Bandra, Kurla and Vikhroli.

•    Cops told to first verify the complaint before registering it

  Better laws to deal with crime against women 

Even as State Home Department has asked the cops to practice restraint while registering complains under IPC section 498 (a), it has appointed a 20-member committee to make the existing laws dealing with women and child related crimes more effective.

The committee headed by retired Bombay High Court Chief Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari will comprise retired judge Bhaskar Shetye, chairperson of the state women commission (to be appointed), MLCs Neelam Gorhe and Usha Darade, MLAs Praniti Shinde and Pankaja Munde-Palwe, special IG Meeran Borwankar, ACP Rashmee Karandikar with senior officers from Home Department and State Police.

Vijay Raghavan of Prayas NGO, Dr Rani Bung, journalist Pratima Joshi, Professor Sadhana Zadbuke, Advocate Lalita Patil and Alka Awlaskar will also be a part of the committee.

The committee is expected to suggest amendments to existing laws and ways for effective implementation by police and the state administration. The committee has been asked to submit its report within six months.

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