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Regarding arbitrary, exorbitant and high maintenance amount awarded by Courts and harassment to husband and his family members in the name of “protection of women”

5th Aug 2011

Bangalore

To,

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: Regarding arbitrary, exorbitant and high maintenance amount awarded by Courts and harassment to husband and his family members in the name of “protection of women”

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 16500 members all over India. To know more about us please visit http://www.family-harmony.org / http://www.498a.org.in.

Dear Sir,

 

We are sure that the, you must be concerned about the high rate of Divorce and breaking of families. We have been relentlessly petitioning Government from many years citing various reasons for this trend and have been organizing protests, dharna and procession etc from time to time. But we have not been able to get any concrete proposal from Government to stop the breaking of families.

 

Alarmed by another disturbing trend in the recent times which can have serious implication in the society, we are writing this petition to you in the hope that concrete steps will be taken in this regard. The trend is the tendency of the courts to pass very high, excessive, exorbitant and unreasonable amount of maintenance awarded to estranged wife in case of matrimonial disputes.

 

There have been media reports in recent times that amount of 40000/- per month and 40 lakhs etc are being awarded as maintenance amount citing the status of wife, earning capacity of husband etc. While not many will dispute to give reasonable maintenance to wife but at the same time it seems that these orders are being passed as there is no bar on the higher side of maintenance in Law. While most of the discussion in court orders revolve around a reasonable amount of maintenance but there seems to be no clarity, consensus or agreement in the Judiciary on this as can be seen from a widely contrasting orders from different courts.

 

In our NGO, we have come across a case where a husband has been ordered to pay around 50% of his salary. While everyone seems to be emotionally and heavily biased towards wife, conveniently forgetting that a husband also has aged old parents and could have siblings like brothers and sisters whose marriage and education he needs to support. A broken marriage is not a crime but the Gender biased laws of this country makes sure that in case of matrimonial dispute a husband and all his family members are sent to Jail merely on the allegation of wife, thanks to heavy misuse of 498A IPC.

 

Coming to the issue of maintenance, passing of 30%, 40% maintenance against husband is nothing but absurd and injustice to husband and his family members. Even if we do a simple calculation and look at our own families, we can easily calculate how much a person needs per month for his/her survival. Just to stress this point with an example, if a person has wife and a child and age old parent and one brother and one sister then his income needs to be divided into 7 parts atleast as son is the main bread earner when parent grow old. It is a matter of common knowledge that a person does not spend everything and saves as much as possible for a rainy day. And also Just because a person has married does not absolve him from taking care of his parent and siblings. Considering all this 1/10th of a person’s monthly take home salary seems to be reasonable amount of maintenance provided the estranged wife is illiterate and handicapped. If an estranged wife is well qualified and well bodied then her maintenance claim should be rejected outright.

 

While passing maintenance most of the time the standard phrase is “Husband is well bodied”. Well that is true for women also. Also most of the time maintenance is passed citing the status of the couple. Well a husband might had married a women who is from poor family and husband might be in good financial position and assuming that marriage lasted only for couple of months, can the wife be awarded maintenance on the changed status? It is absurd even to think of that because a significant portion of her life she spent in poor financial status.

 

While in matrimonial dispute, it seems most of the court orders related to maintenance seems to be passed emotionally rather than as per Law, we should not forgot that a husband also has mother and sister who are also women and whom he needs to support. In fact mother will be aged and in need of financial assistance for her medical needs.

 

We would also like to invite your kind attention to another important issue which is in dire need of reforms by the Parliament and that issue is of “Multiple maintenance” or in other words “Duplication of Law”. There are more than five sections in Law which enables an estranged wife to claim maintenance from her husband in case of matrimonial dispute. They are Domestic Violence Act, CrPC 125, HMA24, HMA25 and HAMA18. It has become a trend by estranged wife to file all possible section against husband in order to harass him and to extract maximum maintenance.

 

We would also like to invite your kind attention that “women empowerment” cannot be achieved by “harassing husband” and his family members. “Women empowerment” can be achieved only by making them educated, self reliant and making them skillfully employed. What will happen to women if she is receiving 40000/- per month maintenance and then her Ex-husband dies after few years. Such women will virtually come on road as she is neither employed nor can seek employment without any experience.

 

In view of above discussion and reasoning, we demand following

 

  • Mandate Law Commission of India to study how various maintenance laws can be simplified into one law so that it will benefit both wife and husband in case of matrimonial disputes and also it will bring pendency of court cases significantly.

 

  • Amend current maintenance laws to put a cap of not more than 1/10th take home salary per month.

 

  • Maintenance should not be given to educated, working, well bodied or adulterous wife

 

  • No maintenance should be given to wife if husband gets acquittal in 498A IPC or any criminal case initiated by wife.

 

  • Number of years elapsed in marriage should be a critical factor in deciding maintenance as there are series of cases where even after few days of marriage wife has put maintenances cases.

 

  • When considering status of wife, while deciding maintenance, more weightage should be given to the status of wife before marriage.

 

  • Wife should not be allowed to put two or more maintenance cases.  Once she prefers a forum for filing maintenance case, others forum should not accept her petition.

 

  • Maintenance should be granted for the purpose to maintain decent life style and not for luxury.

 

  • Tendency to pass high maintenance in the form of interim maintenance should be stopped as the charges/allegations are not proved at that stage.

 

We submit that our demands are just and reasonable and in the event of non-implementation of our demands, we would be constrained to go to the streets with dharnas, Public Fasting and resort to other democratic means of protests.

 

Please save the family and thereby save our great Nation to retain India a “Vasudeva Kutumbaham”.

 

Jai Hind!!

With profound respects,

 

 

P Suresh, President,                                           M Mahesh, General Secretary,

9880141531                                                     9731569970

National Family Harmony Society                        National Family Harmony Society

Categories: Law_Commission

Strongly worded petition by NFHS to Law Commission, on the reccomendation to make 498A IPC compoundable

07th July 2011 / Bangalore

To,

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.

https://498amisuse.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/nfhs-press-coverage-flash-dharna-against-law-commission-reccomendation-tp-make-498a-compoundable/

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

Categories: Law_Commission

NFHS reply on Consultation Paper-cum-Questionnaire regarding 498A IPC

26th February 2011 / Bangalore

To,

Shri Justice Shiv Kumar Sharma
Member, Law Commission of India,
The Indian Law Institute Building
(Opp. to Supreme Court), Bhagwandas Road,  New Delhi – 110001

 

Subject: NFHS reply on Consultation Paper-cum-Questionnaire regarding Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code

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 / www.498a.org.in.

Questionnaire

1)                  a) What according to you is ideally expected of Police, on receiving the FIR alleging an offence u/s 498A of IPC?  What should be their approach and plan of action?

Once a complaint is received under 498A IPC police must not act in hurry. The police force is normally trained to deal with offences which are criminal in nature. They need to keep in mind that this complaint even though is categorised in the IPC but is still basically it is a dispute pertaining to husband and wife and is matrimonial dispute in nature. Any action by the police in haste or in hurry in making any attempt to arrest to husband or those named in the FIR will close all the ways of a possible reconciliation between the couple. Hence we suggest that as soon as a complaint is received at the police station immediately police must send the couple to Government Mediation Centre to explore the possibility of reconciliation.

b) Do you think that justice will be better meted out to the aggrieved woman by the immediate arrest and custodial interrogation of the husband and his relations named in the FIR?  Would the objective of s.498A be better served thereby?

Immediate arrest and custodial interrogation of the husband and his relatives means nothing but breaking of another family. No husband will ever take back his wife after arrest and custodial interrogation by police. Husbands who approach our NGO categorically state that they prefer to go to jail rather than taking back their wife after suffering the humiliation of arrest and police interrogation.

 

2)                  a) The Supreme Court laid down in D.K. Basu (1996) and other cases that the power of arrest without warrant ought not to be resorted to in a routine manner and that the Police officer should be reasonably satisfied about a person’s complicity as well as the need to effect arrest.  Don’t you agree that this rule applies with greater force in a situation of matrimonial discord and the police are expected to act more discreetly and cautiously before taking the drastic step of arrest?

In fact as a rule police must not arrest anyone in the complaint u/s 498A IPC as not only the complaint is of matrimonial in nature but also there are high chances that it could be a false complaint and the allegations could be exaggerated and colourful version of the actual. Most of the time it has been found that the complaint is registered as a counterblast to the divorce/RCR filed by husband and is an afterthought.

 

b) What steps should be taken to check indiscriminate and unwarranted arrests?

498A must be made bailable with immediate effect to curb the power of the police. Almost all the DGPs had issued circulars and guidelines regarding 498A IPC. Police must follow them strictly.

 

3)                  Do you think that making the offence bailable is the proper solution to the problem?  Will it be counter-productive?

Yes, 498A must be made bailable and that is the answer to curb the heavy misuse of 498A IPC.

 

4)                  There is a view point supported by certain observations in the courts’ judgments that before effecting arrest in cases of this nature, the proper course would be to try the process of reconciliation by counselling both sides.   In other words, the possibility of exploring reconciliation at the outset should precede punitive measures.  Do you agree that the conciliation should be the first step, having regard to the nature and dimension of the problem? If so, how best the conciliation process could be completed with utmost expedition? Should there be a time-limit beyond which the police shall be free to act without waiting for the outcome of conciliation process?

Yes, the couple must be sent to the Government appointed counselling centres immediately with a possible time frame of 3 months. Registration of FIR u/s 498A IPC means breaking of another family.

5)                  Though the Police may tender appropriate advice initially and facilitate reconciliation process, the preponderance of view is that the Police should not get involved in the actual process and their role should be that of observer at that stage?   Do you have a different view?

The normal tendency of the police is to call the husband and his family members and threaten them with criminal case. The police use the same language which they use against the criminals to the husband and his family members. The role of the police should be as far eliminated in the matrimonial disputes.

 

6)                  a) In the absence of consensus as to mediators, who will be ideally suited to act as mediators/conciliators – the friends or elders known to both the parties or professional counsellors (who may be part of NGOs), lady and men lawyers who volunteer to act in such matters, a Committee of respected/retired persons of the locality or the Legal Services Authority of the District?

Normally Government appointed mediation/Counselling centres will be ideally suited to counsel the parties.

 

b) How to ensure that the officers in charge of police stations can easily identify and contact those who are well suited to conciliate or mediate, especially having regard to the fact that professional and competent counsellors may not be available at all places and any delay in initiating the process will lead to further complications?

Normally all major tier1 and tier2 cities have such centres. In the absence of such centres in a city the couple can be sent to the nearest cities. The DGP of the particular state can frame guidelines and issue circular to all the SHO’s of his state about do’s and dont’s in such cases.

 

7)  a) Do you think that on receipt of complaint under S.498A, immediate steps should be taken by the Police to facilitate an application being filed before the Judicial Magistrate under the PDV Act so that the Magistrate can set in motion the process of counseling/conciliation, apart from according interim protection?

There is no need for it. The police itself can be issued instruction/circular to send the parties to the counseling/mediation centers. PDV Act is for such wife’s who had undergone violence at the hands of their husband. If the complaint received at the police station is false one then if another application is filed before magistrate then it will amount to filing of another false complaint.

b)  Should the Police in the meanwhile be left free to arrest the accused without the permission of the Magistrate?

As we had mentioned earlier that power of the police to arrest accused in case of a complaint u/s 498A IPC has to be completely eliminated.

c)  Should the investigation be kept in abeyance till the conciliation process initiated by the Magistrate is completed?

The police should wait for the report from the counseling centre. If it is found during the counseling that the complaint has been found to be a false one and there are no evidence of torture then police should close the case.

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.

 

9)                  Do you consider it just and proper to differentiate the husband from the other accused in providing for bail? No

 

10)               a) Do you envisage a better and more extensive role to be played by Legal Services Authorities (LSAs) at Taluka and District levels in relation to s.498A cases and for facilitating amicable settlement?   Is there a need for better coordination between LSAs and police stations?

Yes, LSA’s can play a better role but in reconciliation and not in settlement. We need to understand that the meaning of reconciliation and settlement are different. 498A should not be used as a settlement tool to extract money and meet demand of the complainant.

b) Do you think that aggrieved women have easy access to LSAs at the grassroot level and get proper guidance and help from them at the pre-complaint and subsequent stages?

Not sure.

 

c)Are the  Mediation Centres in some States well equipped and  better suited to attend to the cases related to S,498-A?

Yes

 

11)               What measures do you suggest to spread awareness of the protective penal provisions and civil rights available to women in rural areas especially among the poorer sections of people?

We feel that there is a need to spread awareness about heavy misuse of 498A IPC and the consequences. If the message reaches to the large section of the society that once a false complaint is lodged then it is the end of the road for the couple then many such false complaints will not be lodged. Now in the present situation whenever there is a misunderstanding between the couple then there is a tendency to rush to the police station and lodge a complaint under misguidance.

 

12)               Do you have any information about the number of and conditions in shelter homes which are required to be set up under PDV Act to help the aggrieved women who after lodging the complaint do not wish to stay at marital home or there is none to look after them?

Government must set up shelter homes for women under DV Act and it must be made mandatory for the complainant to reside there.

 

13)               What according to you is the main reason for low conviction rate in the prosecutions u/s 498A?

The conviction rate in 498A IPC is very low as the complaints which are given are not true and most of the time they are colourful and the exaggerated version. Hence they fail in the court of law.

 

14)               (a) Is it desirable to have a Crime Against Women Cell (CWC) in every district to deal exclusively with the crimes such as S.498A?   If so, what should be its composition and the qualifications of women police deployed in such a cell?

All major cities have women police station and all states have State Women Commissions who can entertain complaint from women hence there is no need to setup CWC.

 

(b) As the present experience shows, it is likely that wherever a CWC is set up, there may be substantial number of unfilled vacancies and the personnel may not have undergone the requisite training. In this situation, whether it would be advisable to entrust the investigation etc. to CWC to the exclusion of the jurisdictional Police Station?

There is no need to duplicate authorities as it will lead to further complications. The procedure has to be kept simple for the benefit of everyone. The complaint can be lodged with police and they have to sent it mandatory to counselling centre and then wait for their report.

 

 

 

 

P Suresh, President,                                                              

9880141531                                                    

National Family Harmony Society

Categories: Law_Commission

NFHS Petition to Law commission on 498A

26th February 2011

Bangalore

To,

Chairman, Law Commission Of India,

The Indian Law Institute Building

(Opp. to Supreme Court),

Bhagwandas Road,

New Delhi – 110 001.

Subject: Regarding arbitrary arrests of ordinary law-abiding citizens 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 / 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. 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:

 

  • Bring in appropriate amendment: To stop the heavy misuse of Gender Biased laws such as 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws.

 

  • Bring in appropriate amendment: So that no arrest happens before Final Judgment/Order in case of a complaint under 498A, 304B, Dowry Prohibition Act and related laws.

 

  • Bring in appropriate amendment: To stop arbitrary arrest of elderly persons, children and pregnant sisters.

 

  • Bring in appropriate amendment: To prevent arbitrary arrests by police and to implement the advisory issued by the Union Home Ministry regarding heavy misuse of the 498A IPC.

 

  • Bring in appropriate amendment: As it is a common knowledge that allegations made in the Domestic Violence Act and IPC 498A are almost similar hence there must be an amendment so that only one provision can be used in case of a matrimonial dispute.

 

 

 

 

P Suresh, President,                                           M Mahesh, General Secretary,

9880141531                                                      9731569970

National Family Harmony Society                        National Family Harmony Society

Categories: Law_Commission