Strongly worded petition by NFHS to Law Commission, on the reccomendation to make 498A IPC compoundable
07th July 2011 / Bangalore
Chairman, Shri Justice P V Reddi
Law Commission of India,
The Indian Law Institute Building
(Opp. to Supreme Court), Bhagwandas Road,
New Delhi – 110001
Subject: Strong protest by “National Family Harmony Society®” on the recommendation of the Law Commission to make 498A IPC compoundable
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 16000 members all over India. To know more about us please visit http://www.family-harmony.org / www.498a.org.in.
There have been media reports recently which have indicated the intention of the Law Commission to make 498A IPC compoundable. This will further accelerate the breaking of families and give further encouragement to the greedy wives to file false cases.
A criminal case, and that too of the nature of an offence which deals with cruelty must not be compounded at any cost. If husband and his family members have done crime then they must be tried under the criminal justice system. If 498A IPC is allowed to be compounded then it will be mockery of the criminal justice system. In that case if any dispute arises between husband and wife due to whatever reason, 498A will be used to blackmail, threaten and for money extortion.
It is also surprising that before initiating discussion on such an important topic, Law commission has not given any News Paper advertisement as is done by Parliament Sub-Committees and our NGO came to know about the Law Commission initiative only by media articles.
Through media article, we also came to know that Law Commission has selectively invited suggestions from certain quarters. There are hundreds of NGOs like ours, who are working from many years to bring effective amendments to 498A IPC due to its heavy abuse and misuse. It seems none of the group or NGO has been invited for oral pleadings as is the common practice in law making/amendment process.
The heavy misuse and abuse of the 498A IPC is an open secret with hundreds of question being raised in parliament and hundreds of Judgment from Judiciary. We fail to understand that by making 498A IPC compoundable, how the misuse and abuse of 498A IPC will be prevented.
Thousands of families who had been falsely implicated by using this IPC section were hopeful and had great expectation that Law Commission will make some concrete suggestion to the government to stop the misuse of this Law. Thousands of husbands have committed suicide as they were falsely implicated in this Law but it seems that Law Commission is not able to see the agony, harassment and torture of these families.
Left with no other option, our NGO did protest by the way of “black flag” Dharna at Bangalore on 2nd of July which received wide media coverage and hundreds of calls/enquiries from various quarters. All the media coverage has been compiled at below location for your kind persual.
In response to the Law Commission’s earlier questionnaire, NFHS had sent following answer regarding question 8.
8) Do you think that the offence should be made compoundable (with the permission of court)? Are there any particular reasons not to make it compoundable?
Once a complaint is registered then the complainant should not have the option to withdraw it. If the complainant is allowed to withdraw the complaint then it amounts to blackmailing. Anyone with intention to extract money from husband will file complaint in police station and withdraw later when her demands are met. 498A must not be allowed to be used as a blackmail tool. Hence we strongly oppose to make it compoundable.
In view of the above discussion and reasons we strongly mark our protest to make 498A IPC compoundable and we will use all democratic means of protest so that efforts can be made to stop the heavy misuse and abuse of the 498A IPC which has been termed as Legal Terror by the Supreme Court.
With profound respects, Jai Hind !!!
P Suresh, President, 9880141531
National Family Harmony Society