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India Law: Weapon of vengeance

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by kds1980, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Law: Weapon of vengeance - Yahoo! India News

    Law: Weapon of vengeance
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    Tue, Jun 29 06:15 PM

    Tue, Jun 29 06:15 PM

    Marriage, dowry, relationships, family, marital discord: it's a potent mix of human emotions and failings and nowhere is this more in evidence than in the misuse of the Dowry Prohibition Act (DPA).

    Extreme Decision

    Pushkar Singh, 34 Vineeta, 30 Mumbai

    Singh, a teacher, committed suicide after his wife allegedly implicated him in a false case for which he had to spend four months in jail. He hanged himself after his release, blaming his in-laws for his plight. He leaves behind a minor child and his ailing, aged mother.

    All in the Family

    Brijesh Awasthi, 34 Sunita Awasthi, 33, Mumbai

    Brijesh claims that his brother-in-law borrowed money which he did not want to repay and in turn told his sister that Awasthi was planning to remarry secretly. Sunita committed suicide and his in-laws charged him with dowry killing. He is now bringing up his two daughters.

    An incredible 9,000 husbands and their relatives (10 per cent of the total jail population) are languishing in Uttar Pradesh prisons under the provisions of the Act. Parents of estranged brides are increasingly lodging cases against their in-laws under the Act to "punish the husbands" and to also conceal the actual cause of the dispute between the couple.

    "After murder cases, if there is any other crime sending the greatest number of people to jail, it is the Dowry Prohibition Act," says senior IPS officer and Inspector General of UP Jails Sulkhan Singh. What that proves is that an Act meant to protect victims of dowry has become a weapon of vengeance and a mockery of the judicial system.

    Indraneil Bhattacharya, a senior executive in a Lucknow-based private company, was married to Mausami Chatterji in 2002 and within five months their relations deteriorated. But they sustained their togetherness and had two children by 2008. "I requested her not to spend too much money on herself but she refused and finally filed a case under DPA as revenge," says Indraneil.

    "We have lost all our money in courts and police stations. Mausami and her kin have driven us out of our house. My parents, who had built the house with their hard-earned money, are now living in a rented house," recalls Indraneil, who is now socially ostracised and economically broken.

    The Act has caused so much trauma that Pushkar Singh, a teacher, even ended his life. Implicated under the Act, Singh was sent to jail for four months. He came back, wrote a letter blaming his wife and in-laws for implicating him in a false case of dowry and ruining his life. "I cannot face the society so I am ending my life" were his last words as Singh hanged himself. He left behind his aged and ailing mother and a child.

    Another victim, Vikas Parihar, says his wife was a journalist who had illicit relations with the owner of a magazine, and when he protested she filed a case under the DPA. "I have lost my job, my money, my status in society and my family. My day ends running after police personnel and advocates. I have no money now. If I don't contest the case, I would be convicted and sent to jail for a crime that I did not commit. But if I challenge it, I lose everything and may soon turn a beggar. What is the use of such a life?" says an emotional Parihar.

    In an unusual case in Barabanki district, Saroj of Belia village was married to Ram Saran of Bhaisupur in 2006. One morning she was found missing from her in-laws house. Her father charged Ram Saran and his family with killing his daughter for dowry and disposing of her body.

    The sessions court pronounced rigorous life imprisonment for Ram Saran and his family. But during the high court proceedings, the "dead" Saroj presented herself before the court, saying that she had eloped with her paramour and her father had out of vendetta filed a case against her husband and in-laws under the dpa.

    There are, however, larger social and judicial issues here. Between 2000 and 2007, 795 minor girls and 1,300 minor boys were also booked under the Act. "In most cases the bride's family lodges a complaint under the dpa against the husband and his family.

    Instead of investigating the case, the police immediately arrests the accused. This is ridiculous. How can minor boys and girls be involved in a dowry case? They may not even know what dowry is," says a senior government official who himself faced such a case. While the situation in Uttar Pradesh is scary, chaos reigns across the country over the provisions of the Act.


    National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) figures reveal that in the five years between 2004 and 2008, no less than 3,36,842 cases were registered under the Act and 94 per cent of the accused were absolved of the charges. The figures show that the DPA is being grossly misused by the bride's family.

    The misuse has now triggered off counter activism with many organisations like Patni Pidit Sangathan, Save Family, All-India Male Welfare Association, Hyderabad MASA (Mother and Sister Initiative) and Forgotten Women coming up across the country. Salem in Tamil Nadu hosts a national-level meeting of victims of the wife in August every year.

    "I have no hesitation in saying the Act has become a money-making machine for the police and lawyers," says Vikas Parihar, another victim. Swarup Sarkar, founding member of the Save Indian Family Campaign, said over 2,000 NGOs are working all over the country for women's welfare, but not a single one for the welfare of men.

    Sarkar added that most dowry cases are registered against economically sound families and then a gang of police personnel and advocates start extorting from the groom's family. "How can a mere verbal statement by a woman be made the ground for the arrest of an entire family, including minors and elders without an investigation? This is unconstitutional and illegal. Even the Supreme Court has issued directives to first investigate DPA-related complaints and then make arrests," says Sarkar.

    In view of a growing number of dowry-related cases, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has constituted a Mediation and Conciliation Centre in the court campus.

    Senior lawyer I.B. Singh, chairman of the centre, said that in the last eight months, 622 cases were referred to the centre, out of which 500 cases were dowry related but there was not a single case in which dowry was the real cause of dispute. Shabnam Siddiqui, a member of the centre said: "The misuse is increasing in the middle and upper middle classes with a good economic and educational background."

    After murder cases, if there is any other crime sending the largest number of people to the jails, it is the Dowry Prohibition Act.- Sulkhan Singh, IG Uttar Pradesh Jails

    Even the President, the Supreme Court and a number of high courts have expressed their concern over the misuse of the Act. The apex court has even described the phenomenon as "legal terrorism."

    Lucknow's Nari Bandi Niketan holds 151 elderly women. "Most of them have to serve life terms," says a senior jail official. Many of them cannot walk independently or perform their daily chores.

    Most have been abandoned by their own relatives. A senior jail official said of these 151 inmates, 105 had no visitors in the last one year. The remaining 46 had just three visitors despite the fact that the jail manual allows 12 meetings. "These inmates are like our family members and we take care of them," says the official.

    Indeed, it is common to see women and men between the ages of 65 and 70 years serving a life term. Apart from the mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law too were in jails with their children.

    Now the All India Mother-In-Law Protection Forum has come up to fight for their rights. Parihar says that the Act is taking a heavy toll on men, adding that more than two lakh married men committed suicide between 2005 and 2008 while the number of housewives was much less.

    Now, men are uniting across the country and demanding a review of the Act. That will be little consolation to the thousands of victims of vengeance and greed, stuck behind bars with their future in tatters.
     
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  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Isn't it strange How Indian media is quite silent on this issue While a handful of honour killing cases have created havoc.Everyone one is discussing that issue
     
  4. spnadmin

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    Kanwardeep Singh ji

    I don't think you have taken all factors into consideration on this point. What should we all do in countries where honor killing is a problem -- and there are a lot of them?

    1. Should the media take count of the number and decide the percentage is too small to warrant a story? Arson does not occur in high numbers either. Should media ignore those stories as well?

    2. What should the better legal approach be? Should we form local town/village/tribal/ municpal units to hunt these monsters out and deliver tribal justice?

    3. Would tribal courts work? What if the circle of judges were also paid off by those who kill for honor because they had more money and more iinfluence?

    4. What solution would be perfect? Without flaws? Are you saying that if there is no perfect solution, there should be no legal response at all?

    5. What is more important? The rule of law? Even if the law is not always perfect? Or the rule of individuals?

    Investigating charges in depth before making an arrest can lead to analysis paralysis where nothing gets done. Real criminals have time to abscond.

    The course of action of course is for police to consider whether there is preliminary evidence of a crime, arrest the accused, allow for representation by an attorney, set bail before and judge, and then proceed with preliminary hearings where evidence is brought before the court and tested. There is nothing unusual about this. It happens everywhere in the world. In cases of child abuse, domestic abuse, murder, you name it. The role of the police is to enforce the law, not to make law or adjudicate cases.

    I think there is a temptation here to be so intellectually meticulous that heinous social crimes become jokes. Without media attention who would care? No one would know?
     
  5. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    May be I have not taken factors but my point is that from past 63 years honour killings have been happening why suddenly now media have woken up and started showing stories.
    Is it because some cases happened in Delhi?

    Anyway what about the crimes I have posted above.Why Indian media is totaly ignoring this problem? I have hardly seen any discussion,debates about misuse of DPA law on TV
    so govt will take action only when TV channels will report some problem?
     
  6. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    The benefactors of anti-dowry law 498A
    The benefactors of anti-dowry law 498A
    The article summarises the main benefactors of anti-dowry law that exists in India today. The below mentioned agencies benefit from the misery of others, while the MWCD tries to understand if the law is misused at all
    CJ: AG Mon, Oct 13, 2008 13:51:50 IST
    Views: 1652 Comments: 9
    Rate: 5.0 / 14 votes
    Women : Anti-dowry law set to be overhauled

    IT IS not true that anti-dowry law does not benefit anyone, it sure does. Below are the benefactors of the anti-dowry law. These agencies benefit from the misery and suffering of others while the ministry for women and child development tries to understand if the law is misused at all.

    Benefactors:

    1) Unscrupulous aka ’empowered’ wives:-

    These people are the primary benefactors of the draconian anti-dowry law, section 498A law. The level of misuse has reached epic proportions in the last four years and if it has made someone rich, it is these folks. These people being the primary accusers in the cases go to great lengths to file false cases. False medical certificates are made, the cases are planned and filed meticulously. The compromise money demanded to withdraw the false 498A cases has now reached anywhere between 10 lakhs to 40 crore (a recent southern film star was threatened with a false 498A unless he forked out Rs 40 Crore as ’compromise’ money). These women then have a cut in the share of the booty that they manage to extort, get a favourable divorce and resume the hunt for their next prey.

    2) The lawyers of India:-

    The lawyers have a field day when the falsely accused families run to the lawyers for getting advice when their entire families have been put behind bars. The increase in the number of false cases in India has increased astronomically and so has the revenues of these lawyers. The people also sometimes provide false advice and collude with the members of the girl’s families to sell out their clients in turn paving the way for more extortion. These people are also currently benefiting from the thousands of false domestic violence cases that are flooding the Indian judiciary system.

    3) Police and IO:-

    One of the most corrupt government agencies of India, these people are another major benefactor of the false 498A cases. These people are the wife’s henchmen in uniform in false 498A cases. They try to arrest, terrorise the husband’s family having total disregard for senior citizens, women and children. These people break the rules of Indian Constitution on every count and have scant disregard for all judgments that have set down guidelines for arresting citizens of India. We have cases where these knights in shining armour have dragged 90-year-old women to the court under the dowry harassment cases. They look for opportunities to make money first from the girl’s side to unleash legal terrorism on the husband’s family and then after the husband and his family is arrested, extort money from the husband and his family for releasing them and giving them any leverage in the police station. Not only that they try to negotiate the compromise amount and have a fixed cut in the `compromise’ amount that is extorted from the husband.

    4) Crime against women cells (CAW cell):-

    The so called cells, which were created with the intention of being counsellors to investigate and resolve differences in sensitive matrimonial issues, now has turned into a ’mafia den’ for extortion in false 498A cases. Here is where husbands families are humiliated, terrorised into payment of compromise money to `resolve’ differences. The women in these cells are no less than henchwomen who do not think twice before using brutal physical force to make their victims succumb to pressure and extortion demands. Once the payment is being made, the CAW cell women have a good cut in the booty.

    5) Radical NGO’s:-

    If police and CAW cells are henchmen then the non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) are the bloodhound. These organisations at the slightest smell of a marital discord between a woman and her ’well to do’ husband start counselling the wife instead of resolving the marital discord and urge her to file false 498A and DV cases. Rarely will you find a NGO helping the wife of a bus conductor or a sweeper. These NGO always work with the wives of rich individuals where money is there to be made.

    6) The National Commission of Women:-

    Lovingly called as the National Commission of Wives, this agency although does not directly benefit from extortion amount in these false 498A they are a great indirect benefactor. This agency is an expert in fudging numbers and always push for laws to falsely increase the count of women that have fallen prey to dowry harassment and other similar cases. Recently, the agency came up with the historical recommendation to convert any unnatural death of women to be categorised as ’dowry deaths’. They are also an epitome of unaccountability and have done nothing for the 120,000 women who have been arrested in the past four years under the anti dowry law. The leadership of this agency is ordinary and totally unaccountable. The chairperson of this agency quote numbers, which have no basis for support. This organisation now says that the false cases are because of ’ignorance’ on the part of the woman. Is using a criminal law under ignorance tantamount to its misuse ? The agency tries to sensationalise the condition of women in India and provide staggering false numbers to the press and agencies like the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to gain funds for itself and its sister NGO’s.
     
  7. spnadmin

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    Well I would say that Sikh Philosophy Network has a 24 karat gold track record in keeping its Internet audience informed about honor killings in India, and in the Diaspora.

    We have many news articles gathered on this subject, and many of them were posted here by respected forum member Soul_jyot ji who has never been known to back off from a controversy when the liberty and freedom of the least of creation has been threatened.

    The collection is perhaps 1 1/2 years old. It covers the ramifications of honor killing, culture and caste, and so-called developed countries like UK and Canada have not been spared scrutiny.

    Not only that...We have also posted extensively on advocacy, support, shelters, and legal protections available to women who are victims of chronic abuse by husbands, husbands' families, fathers and other male relatives, and who are candidates for worse than abuse.

    Perhaps the media has taken its time recognizing the enormity of this problem. We can do more to keep them on their toes. Maybe we should do more of that and perhaps we should feature for an extended period of time the articles that we have in archive. Who knows? One random reader may be responsible for saving a life.
     
  8. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Narayanjot ji

    The honour killing is subset of basic problem and that is voilent mentality of people of rural background of some part of India.Apart from honour killings there are 100s of killings in village's many within family.Father kill his son ,son kill father ,brother kill brother.Rural policing is almost absent in India.people just prefer to take law in their own hands.As long as this mentality prevails there is hardly anything could be done about honour killing
     
  9. spnadmin

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    kandwardeep ji

    Your conclusions contradict the statistics that show that honor killing has been on the rise in urban areas. You have yourself posted articles that point to that trend.

    In addition, honor killing is not an "indian problem" but a worldwide problem that has cultural causes. In most cases it happens because a woman's body is considered the playing field where justice is served when a man or the patriarchy believes that male honor has been defiled.

    In this scenario, no one is really a person with a conscience. Not the woman nor the man, nor the family members. Everyone is playing a role. Each person is playing the part in a drama that culture and history have dictated for them. In other words, everyone is acting out a script. No one is consciously human. No one really cares about anything other than "respectability" or how they are viewed by their culture. It is perhaps one of the greatest tragedies to be stuck this way. And there is no need to make excuses for it, because it serves itself.
     
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  10. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    The recent honour killings that happened in delhi is also done by people living in wazirpur village of Delhi.Also there is large scale migration in delhi from rural area's.Hardly any case of honour killing happened in urban middle class of delhi

    It is about family honour.What you will say about the case where a grandmother killed her 2 grand daughters?

    As far worldwide problem is concerned I don't know much about it but I read from wikipedia that majority of cases are from muslim countries and muslim community,and we all know to what extent they can go and what laws they realy believe in.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor_killing
     
  11. spnadmin

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    Women who are part of the patriarchy buy into the same values of family honor. Women are as enslaved by the fiction of honor as men. Progress is only made when individuals and groups of individuals have the moral confidence and fearlessness to step outside of the fictions of culture to make change and they take enormous risks.
     
  12. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    In this way i can also say that boys in families too are enslaved.Family honour is not always related to girls it is related to several things. for example boys are forced to pick lucrative career or join family business even if they don't want to though the most sensitive honour is Girl's marriage.Those who live in Indian society know how women are masters in dishonouring other families for the failure of their children or not much have economic success and bragging when their children succeed or income status rise.

    Yes girls in this type of societies are most vulnerable but we can easily say that no one is free
     

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