Indian Media supports 498a and Family Destruction

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Recently the Law Commission was once again tasked with the job of reviewing 498a , and once again recommending if this needed to  be changed.  However the interesting thing is the stand that the media has taken on this whole issue. From the type of media reports of the media a few salient points are amply clear.

Media was thoroughly enjoying the gender war:- Innocent men going to jail, Mothers and sisters being imprisoned, Men coming out with a sense of vengeance. Some men creating ingenious methods like filing cases for giving dowry or thousands of dharnas and press conferences taking place on 498a all made for excellent masala news which the media seemed to enjoy. There is a sense of dissatisfaction in the media that these will cease of 498a becomes billable and people stop suffering. Let us further analyze this paragraph further.

Media’s agenda of family breaking may fail:- Lets face it, media loves to see breaking families. Not only does breaking families leads to more spicy news like increasing crime,  breaking families brings immense financial gain to the media and its advertisers. How ? Here is how ….

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Rape often isn’t a crime when women do it

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Women Raping Men

By RICHARD MORGAN

Five years ago, a few months before his first semester at Ohio State, Nick (not his real name) lost his virginity on the floor of a dark living room, surrounded by sleeping party goers. “She told a lot of people she was going to fuck me,” says Nick, 23, sitting in a booth at the Blue Danube, a greasy spoon in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. “She gave me a lot of vodka and she did it. I was barely awake. But I remember — it was so weird — she said, ‘Look, I’m either going to fuck you or go to the kitchen and fuck a cucumber.'”

He was too drunk to remember the hows of what followed, but he knows there was no condom, no consent, and, at first, no problem.

The next morning, “I woke up and I’m like, ‘Holy shit! I must be in love,'” Nick says. “And she says, ‘Get real. I was just fucking you.'”

Upon suffering a variety of emotional problems Nick sought counseling, and it was then that he came to believe that in losing his virginity he had become not a man but a victim of rape.

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More laws not the answer in India

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M D Nalapat

This past week, attendance at cinema houses has suffered because of two stories that have repeatedly been shown on television. The star of the first is the 86-year old Congress Party politician,Narain Dutt Tiwari, who has been Chief Minister of two states,a Union Cabinet Minister,and till a few days ago,the Governor of Andhra Pradesh. According to the channels, a charming lady from his home state of Uttaranchal used to arrange for other – and much younger – women from the same location to visit the Governor in his official residence.

Although protocol demands that each appointment be cleared by the Intelligence Bureau, this was not done.Instead,the lovely young ladies were escorted by an Officer On Special Duty ( very special duty,indeed) past the security checkpoints at the Raj Bhavan to the waiting arms of His Excellency. No entry was made in the visitor logs,and the Chief of Security was informed that the ladies in question were all “close relatives” of the Governor. Of course, the “close relatives” usually looked very different from each other,thus raising questions as to the gene pool they belonged to being 86, Tiwari did not follow the example of some other Governors, who met their “relatives” in 5-star hotels rather than in their official residences. Indeed,in Delhi, at least two 5-star hotels are known for the multitude of charming “relatives” that come for short periods – sometimes at night but usually in the afternoons) to meet “Uncleji” for what must surely be chats about the weather. Others rely on close friends to provide the venues needed for such refreshing encounters, meetings that do so much to preserve family values and the spirit of togetherness. Sadly for Tiwari, his contact got annoyed because a promised coal mine allocation did not materialise. She promptly got one of the “neices” to film Uncleji as he gave learned discourses in the bedroom to her and to two other “neices”, discourses where the practical mingled happily with the theoretical.

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What IPC? Cops set to arrest kids for killing ‘bhabhi’

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SASARAM: Can Class I and LKG kids torture and assault a woman to death? Or, to be more liberal, can children of this age collude with their

grown-up kin to execute a killing in their household? Indian Penal Code (IPC)’s Section 82 says: “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age.” But either Kaimur police have not read the rule book or they care a damn about it.

In yet another instance of sham police investigations making ridiculous conclusions in criminal cases, Chaniya Khatun, 6, and her sister Soni Khatun, 5, along with six other family members have been held guilty by police of having killed an 18-year-old woman.

With Kaimur superintendent of police P K Srivastava agreeing to the Bhabhua DSP Sanjay Kumar’s supervision note and ordering the arrest of the accused, the eight, including the two girls, are likely to be arrested “any moment now”. “I have already procured a warrant of arrest against the eight accused,” said R K Singh, station house officer of Sonhan police station.

It was the Sonhan PS which lodged an FIR in the case on September 2 this year after the court of Bhabhua chief judicial magistrate (CJM) forwarded a complaint case to it for investigation. In his complaint, filed in the CJM’s court on August 18, one Shah Mohammad of Khair village alleged that his 18-year-old daughter Akhtari Begum, who was married to one Md Tajuddin of Pawandi village in Rohtas district, was killed by her husband and in-laws on July 26 for dowry. As it happens in such cases, all the in-laws were named as accused.

On September 24, Bhabhua DSP Kumar along with the investigating officer visited Pawandi and supervised the case. He also interrogated the minor sisters and arrested the girl’s father-in-law. His supervision note concluded that the accusation appeared to be true as those named accused had tortured and assaulted Akhtari to death for dowry. Akhtari was the wife of the brother of Chaniya and Soni, who study in a primary school.

Srivastava just okayed the DSP’s findings and ordered the arrest of the accused. In case they elude police, their property will be attached, he further ordered.

Ironically, Srivastava on Monday evening told TOI: “Aisi galtiya hote rahti hai (Such mistakes keep happening)” if the children are named accused and witnesses also corroborate the accusation. When told about IPC and asked about police wisdom, he said: “We will do something about it now.”

A senior lawyer and member of the Bihar Bar Council described the police action as illegal. “Nor only does it border on incredulity, but it also reveals an insensitive face of the state police,” said Akhauri Mangala Charan Srivastav.

No this is not a one-off case of its kind. Earlier this month, this newspaper reported how an SP found the accusation true against all the members of a family in a case of kidnapping that never took place. So, all of them, including an octogenarian, were jailed for months.

In another case, an alleged murderer fooled police into arresting two innocent persons for the crime he had committed.

Taking cognizance of the two cases of “violation of rights of innocent persons by police” the State Human Rights Commission has sought a reply from director-general of police Anand Shankar.

No Arrest in dowry harassment matters!

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Translated from Hindustan Dainik (Click here for the Scanned PDF)

  • No arrest in matters where the maximum punishment is less than 7 years
  • Law commission gave report to home minister
  • No need to review the provisions of stay

The path is clear for the implementation of Cr.P.C. amendments that have mandated no arrest of the accused in cases leading to less than 7 years of imprisonment. Law commission, along with tightening the grip on police officials, has recommended the continual of recent amendements. The commission said it is un-necessary to ponder on the other section – 309. Staying the proceedings or not is a matter of court’s jurisprudence.

Under the new provisions 41-A, the police will not arrest the accused for crimes that are punishable with less than 7 years. In stead, the police can issue a notice ‘informing’ them that they should appear at the police station for investigations.

The commission said that the word ‘may’ should be changed to ‘will’ in the provisions. This implies that sending the notice to the accused should be made mandatory. Commission said this is to ensure that police officials do not benefit the accused under any political pressure or by unfair dealings. The commission also said that if the addressee of the notice hides own identity, then this can be a basis for arrest.

In the report, chief of the commission Justice A R Laxman clarified that the decision not to arrest the accused is equivalent to judicial directives. If a police official mis-uses powers, then he would be liable for contempt of court in addition to the departmental disciplinary action.

AMENDED SECTION 41-A: police will not arrest person accused with offenses punishable with less than 7 years. In stead, a notice will be issued to them. Only on a failure to follow notice can an arrest happen with the orders of a magistrate. Crimes like eve teasing, attempt to loot, and dowry torture will come out of the ambit of arrest. Till now, an arrest used to happen immediately after the registration of F.I.R. because offenses with more than 3 years punishment were cognizable.

Intention: stopping arrest in un-necessary and false cases. Also to reduce the crowd in jails

Opposition: Criminals will lose the fear of law

AMENDED SECTION 309: not to stay the case in the absence of lawyer

Intention: To reduce the burden of cases and controlling the tendency to delay proceedings for a long time

Opposition: lawyers said, this is against the natural principles of law. Accused will suffer because of this.

Indian police encourages abuses: Human Rights Watch

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LONDON: India is modernizing fast but its police still indulges in widespread human rights violations, a prominent human rights group claimed on Tuesday as it pressed the government to overhaul a “failing system”.

The US-based group Human Rights Watch said “India is modernising rapidly, but the police continue to use their old methods: abuse and threats.”

“India’s policing system facilitates and even encourages abuses,” the 118-page report said.

It said there has been little change in attitudes, training or equipment since the police was formed in colonial times with the aim to control the population.

The report said the government must take major steps to overhaul a failing system.

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch said, “it’s time for the government to stop talking about reform and fix the system.”

The authorities require a major overhaul – otherwise the beatings, torture and illegal killings will continue to stain India’s democracy, he said.

According to the report, there was no immediate response from the Indian authorities.

Letter to Law Minister for Judicial Reforms

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To,

The Honorable Minister for Law and Justice,

Dr. M. Veerappa Moily,

Ministry of Law and Justice,

4th Floor, A-Wing, Shastri Bhawan,

New Delhi-110 001

Subject: Mother of a victimized son demands Judicial Reforms from the Law Minister

Honorable Sir,

No country can progress unless it gives justice to its own people. Today, Indian judiciary is in a dysfunctional state with more than 2.6 Crore pending cases. I a common Indian Citizen request the immediate implementation of Judicial Reforms. This also requires cooperation from judiciary, lawyers, politicians and different State Governments.

A report by Transparency International, the Global Corruption Watchdog organization said in February 2006, “in India 26 Supreme Court judges faced a backlog of more than 30,000 pending cases; over three million cases were pending in the high courts – 350 years of work for the country’s 670 judges at the current rate of resolution”.

I would henceforth request that the Honorable Law Minister include the below recommendations included in the Judicial reform process.

  1. To make IPC section 498A a bailable Law.
  2. To make IPC section 498A a non-cognizable Law.
  3. A circular should be immediately issued to all the Police Stations in the country with specific directions not to arrest any person u/s 498A and 406 without thorough investigation and attempt of counseling where the wife is alive. If any arrest is made, it should be officially signed and authorized by a SP or DCP rank and the police should be made to justify the arrest with prima facie evidence.
  4. The learned court could carefully consider whether the allegations of the bride are indeed genuine at least against the in-laws or other relatives of the husband when it directs investigation under section 156(3) of CrPC for an offence under section 498A.
  5. The Learned court could carefully take into account whether custodial detention is at all needed for the in-laws and other relatives.
  6. Arrest should be made only after getting orders from the Magistrate after primary investigation and producing facts and evidences before the Magistrate
  7. Arrest should not be made before trial in cases where the wife is alive.
  8. Sections 120B, 177, 182, 211, 199, 200, 209, 499 and 500 of IPC should be extensively used against false complainants.
  9. At the stage of counseling before 498A, the parents and/or relatives of the wife should be strictly prohibited to interfere in the family matter of the daughter. If the in-laws are blamed, after investigation, the in-laws should be separated from the son of the family. The husband and wife should be asked to stay separately.
  10. Counseling if any should be brought out of the ambit of police or government officials and be handed over to different NGO’s working in this field hence making sure that it is a real counseling and not a threatening process.
  11. To replace the word “husband” or “wife” with the word “spouse in all related laws, so as to ensure equality in law for men and women.
  12. Make provisions for a man to file complaint when a wife and in-laws harass him and commit cruelty. Create sections 498B and 304C in IPC to protect men and women in his family when the perpetrators of crime are daughters-in-law and their family.
  13. Make provision for penalty on a false complaint by amending IPC 498A. Lodging a complaint u/s 498A IPC has become a tool of manipulation, legal blackmail and legal terrorism in the hands of certain unscrupulous people.
  14. Speedy and fair trial in all marital disputes.
  15. Make registration of marriages compulsory. Gifts at time of marriage must be listed and photographed.
  16. Make extensive use of section 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
  17. Strict conviction of either the complainant or the defendant.
  18. No negotiations be allowed at the cost of money/property/gift whatsoever and the faulty should be severely punished.
  19. For any negotiation or exchange of amounts made, both the parties should be made liable for prosecution on recommendation of a third party.
  20. Ensure fair and unbiased investigation & trial of Dowry related complaints, which is totally in favor of daughter-in-law and disregards the trauma caused to mothers and sisters due to a false complaint. Judiciary and enforcement agencies must recognize the possibility of wives and daughter-in-law maltreating the husband and old in-laws or other vulnerable members of the husband’s family.
  21. Distant relatives not routinely living with the couple should not be allowed to be named in the complaint and excluded routinely.
  22. Fathers should not be routinely deprived of child custody by assuming mother is the best for the child. Child should not be made to choose between parents and joint custody should be preferred.
  23. No Passport surrender and unnecessary travel restrictions should be imposed at the time of bail. Passports should not be impounded and restrictions of going abroad where wife is alive should be lifted with a condition that the husband should appear in the court as and when summoned.
  24. Elder abuse in the name of IPC 498A should be absolutely stopped.
  25. Government employees should not face compulsory suspension in case of arrest due to a false complaint.
  26. Legislation involving domestic issues should be enacted keeping in view the preservation of institution of marriage and not based on gender bias.
  27. 82% of the individual income tax collected in the country is paid by men. Spending is all done for women only. Animals in the country have a welfare ministry. Now is a need for opening of a Men’s welfare ministry.
  28. On the lines of the Crime-Against-Women Cells, Crime-Against-Men Cells are also becoming need of the hour.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,
Indian Citizens

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