Friday, August 6, 2010

Press Release – SIFF announces 3rd Annual Men’s Right Conference on 15th August 2010

Press Release – SIFF announces 3rd Annual Men’s Right Conference on 15th August 2010

Friday, 06 August 2010 11:33


Sub: SIFF announces 3rd Annual Men’s Right Conference on 15th August 2010

About SIFF:

Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), Bangalore, a men’s rights organization fighting against misuse of dowry laws, domestic violence act and other anti-male and unconstitutional laws, comprises of around 30,000 people all over the country and abroad. SIFF came into existence in 2005 and since then it has been aggressively fighting misandry (male hatred) by creating awareness about men’s issues in the society.

About Annual Men’s Rights Conference:

SIFF, under the aegis of the Save Indian Family movement has been participating in men’s rights conference since 2008. This year, SIFF is organizing the 3rd Men’s Rights Conference at Yercaud in Tamil Nadu, a small hill station 32 Kms, from Salem on the 15th of August, 2010. Over 100 men’s rights activists from all over India, representing about 15 different NGOs working for men’s rights, will be participating in the conference to intensify the movement of men’s rights in India.

Theme of the Conference:

SIFF and its allied NGOs, under the aegis of the Save Indian Family movement, are calling for a “Sugarless Independence Day”, this year. Men’s rights activists attending the conference have decided to have sugarless tea/coffee on observance of the 15th of August, 2010 and also not to have any other sweets. This is an exhibition of epitome of the bitterness caused in the lives of men who are living in a society where there are only expectations from them and no acceptance for them.

Why men’s rights conference:

This men’s rights conference is being conducted to discuss and intensify the awareness campaign of the various problems and trampling of rights as faced by men in India as sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. Some of such problems are,

  1. Skyrocketing suicide rates by men, especially married men. As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB),

    1. Approx. Fifty Eight Thousand (58,000) married men are committing suicides every year vis-à-vis approx. Thirty Thousand (30,000) married women.
    2. From 1996 – 2008, One Lac Seventy Thousand (170,000) married men have committed suicide directly due to Domestic Violence.
  2. Men pay more income tax compared to women at the same educational levels and same salary.
  3. Not a single rupee has been allocated for men’s welfare in the Union Budget in the last 63 years of independence.
  4. Not a single study has been conducted by the Govt. of India to study men’s issues.
  5. Men do not even have a welfare ministry of their own, whereas even animals have.
  6. In the last 5 years close to Fifteen Lac (1500, 000) men have lost their jobs.
  7. Marital laws like Section 498A of the IPC, the Domestic Violence Act, the maintenance laws, the child custody provisions are heavily misused against men with false allegations of abuse and the same being used as tools of legal extortion against men. As per NCRB, from 2004-2008, Five Lac Fifty Thousand (550,000) men have been arrested without trial or investigation under Section 498A, merely on the basis of a complaint from their wives.
  8. Mothers and sisters of men face hostile situations as their human rights are routinely violated due to the male hatred unleashed by feminist organizations via media. As per NCRB from 2004-2008, One Lac Sixty Thousand (160, 000) innocent mothers and sisters of men have been arrested without trial or investigation under Section 498A, merely on the basis of a complaint from the wives of their brothers/sons.
  9. Men, having children, and entangled in marital disputes with their wives are not only alienated from meeting their children – as a social norm – but also face the fallacy of their own children being poisoned against them. Such unfortunate fathers are treated worst than a visitor in their child’s life and are used as FREE ATM MACHINES and SPERM DONORS.
  10. At the behest of men, a fatherless society is being created which will lead to increase in crime, jeopardize national security and create a bleak future for the children of tomorrow.

These problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Other than these men are facing many other problems in India like having to do the most menial/dirty jobs, taking a lot of risk on their lives in order to protect their family members, having no recognition for their efforts, face rampant castration right from the age of 6, so that they can become ruthless protectors and providers.

Why 15th August as the date of Conference:

  1. We organize the men’s rights conference on the 15th of August every year because the unfinished agenda is also to recognize and promote the men’s right on the observance of  August 15th as Independence Day, as it will be in accordance to the wishes of  all the national heroes who sacrificed their lives for this country. Though our country got independence on the 15th of August, 1947 from the British rule, men are yet to be get freedom from their mundane roles of a forced Protector (read Unpaid Bodyguard) and forced Provider (read FREE ATM MACHINE).
  2. Hence, men’s rights activist feel that the road to freedom for men is still under construction and hence men’s rights activists have decided not to observe “Independence Day” till their problems are resolved by the Govt. of India.
  3. Moreover, this year the Honorable Supreme Court also drove the nail in the coffin with their controversial remarks on the 11th June, 2010. The Honorable Supreme Court, comprising a bench by Justice Deepak Verma and Justice K S Radhakrishnan, Clearly made a remark that men should forget freedom as husbands.
  4. Observed Justice Deepak Verma, “Whenever a man is married, there is no question of independence” revisiting Justice Markanday Katju’s remarks last year that, “Men should bow down before their wives in marriages”.

These statements clearly elucidate the social expectations from men in marriages. Hence, when men have no right to freedom in marriages, men’s rights activists in India see the observation of Independence Day as an unfinished business and hence this year they would embark on observing a “Sugarless Independence Day” by having sugarless tea/coffee and not having sweets on the 15th August, 2010.

Last 15th August began a second freedom struggle; this year the struggle continues – the struggle for freedom and rights for men who are being denied many basic rights and equal protection in laws.

Click here to see the Press Invite

The Myth of Women's Oppression

The Myth of Women's Oppression




No big deal “Women ‘working double shift’” a myth

No big deal

Women ‘working double shift’ a myth

London, Agencies:

Men can now get away without doing housework, because the idea that women work a 'double shift' at the office and in the home is a myth, claims a UK survey.

If both paid work and unpaid duties such as housework, care and voluntary work are taken into account, husbands actually contribute more than their fair share to the household, experts found.

According to a study of how people use their time, men in Britain spend marginally longer on “productive” work each day than women.

While many wives scale back their working hours or drop out of employment after having children, husbands will often work overtime to earn more income for the family.

Across Europe men and women spend the same number of hours on “productive” work each day, each working on average eight hours either in paid jobs or on unpaid duties.

“This data overturns the well-entrenched theory that women work disproportional long hours in jobs and at home in juggling family and work,” the “Telegraph” quoted Dr Catherine Hakim, who carried out the study, as saying.

“Feminists constantly complain that men are not doing their fair share of domestic work. The reality is that most men already do more than their fair share,” she added.

The study — (How) can social policy and fiscal policy recognise unpaid family work? — found that only 14 per cent of women in Britain prefer a work-centred lifestyle, compared with 69 per cent who would rather combine work and family life, and 17 per cent who feel the home is more important.

Justice Dhingra slams Delhi Police for filing dowry cases without proper probe

Delhi Police rapped for filing dowry cases without proper probe

Posted On: 06-Aug-2010 08:50:45 PM Source: IANS

A day after the Supreme Court held that a person cannot be convicted for merely demanding dowry, the Delhi High Court Friday pulled up the Delhi Police for registering a case of dowry against a person without carrying out a proper probe.

While granting bail to a person arrested under the dowry act, Justice S.N. Dhingra observed that before registering an FIR, the police must investigate the allegations levelled against a person in a detailed manner.

As per the prosecution, the complainant in the case, Ramesh Chand had alleged his daughter Geeta's brother-in-law, Jaipal and sister-in-law used to physically harass her. Geeta had married Mahadev Feb 16.

In his complaint, Ramesh Chand mentioned that during marriage, his daughter's father-in-law demanded a car which they could not give. After two months of the marriage, Mahadev started beating her. Also according to prosecution, Geeta's brother-in-law also harassed her, asking her to bring more dowry. Geeta committed suicide June 26.

While submitting his bail plea before the court, Jaipal contended that he did not demand anything either from Geeta or from any other member of her family.

'He was not involved in any act pertaining to the cruelty for any demand of dowry. There is absolutely no allegation in the entire prosecution story that the petitioner was involved in committing any act which can be covered under the four corners of the sections 498-A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 304-B (dowry death) of IPC (Indian Penal Code),' submitted Amit Sahney, his counsel.

He also said that the police registered a case against him only on the allegations of Ramesh Chand. 'Police could not find anything incriminating against him. The entire story of the prosecution is based on surmises and conjectures and there is absolutely nothing on record against him,' he submitted.

Divorce made easy for incompatible couples

Divorce made easy for incompatible couples

The Union cabinet has cleared the way for couples to obtain a swift divorce in situations of “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”. The Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 seeks to amend two acts governing marriage – the Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and the Special Marriage Act 1954.

Sometimes, couples decide to divorce on mutual consent but later one party does not come to court or wilfully avoids the court to keep the divorce proceedings inconclusive. The amended law will save the other party such unnecessary delays and harassment.

The Bill was approved on Thursday by the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Bill has been prepared on the recommendations of the Law Commission as well as the Supreme Court that “irretrievable breakdown of marriage”should be incorporated as “another ground for grant of divorce”.

Welcoming this move, Jyotsna Chatterji, director of the Joint Women’s Programme said: “This will make it possible for couples who have decided on divorce by mutual consent to be granted a swift divorce. It will help prevent the retractions, lies, etc. which happens in case of long delays.”Chatterji who has earlier worked on the amendment to the Indian Divorce Act, added:

“There is the probability that the woman becomes the sufferer as Indian society doesn’t take too kindly to single women and that too divorced.”

But at the same time, she said a swift divorce at times would help women from agreeing to continue in a bad marriage. This new clause – the “irretrievable breakdown of marriage.”- will be in addition to the existing grounds for divorce, which include adultery, cruelty, desertion, conversion to another religion, unsoundness of mind, virulent and incurable form of leprosy, venereal disease in a communicable form, renouncement of the world and not heard as being alive for a period of seven years.

Apart from this, Section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act and Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act also provide for divorce by mutual consent as a ground for presenting a petition for divorce. Such a petition, if not withdrawn before six months after its presentation or not later than 18 months, then the court may, on being satisfied, grant decree of divorce by mutual consent.

In cases of mutual consent, it has often been found that one of the parties suddenly abstains himself or herself from court and keeps the divorce proceedings inconclusive, causing considerable hardship to the party. This will help such parties from the long drawn harassment in courts.

Ranjana Kumari of Woman Power Connect said: “Such a move would ordinarily be welcome. But in a patriarchal society where the decision to break a marriage largely rests with the man, he can also prove easily the irretrievable breakdown of marriage to suit himself. Moreover, most marriages in India are arranged marriages where the woman has no say. So before deciding to make this major change in the law, considerable thought needs to go into it and we must act with caution.”

Madhu Kishwar of ‘Manushi’ – a women’s rights group – welcoming the move, added a note of caution. “What if one partner feels there is an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage but the other does not?”



Moily started with Molding a Ganesha (sec 13 C HMA) and ended up with a Monkey (Sec 13 D).

Supreme Court honestly wanted to end long battles of Matrimonial dispute pending before Courts and requested a law to end marriages on the ground of Irretrivable Break down. . Both spouses can get out of marriage and still fight for Custody or Alimony. Law commission approved it.

The govt was not bothered and kept silent ! . SC went ahead ordered divorce in many cases. When Harish Salve demanded Divorce for Ms. Shinde the SC woke up and said Pass the LAW. Now it has become Clash of TITANs!!
Now Moily is forced to appease woman activists included 13D giving right to Wife to oppose IBM. Women empowerment is always about paying money to Wives from the Husbands Chest ( Why not Govt Pay Divorced women Pension? if they are seriously concerned)

Actually 13 D is reduntant as Sec 25 HMA takes care of Alimony and Custody at the time of passing any order under the ACT!
The funniest part is the definition for IBM ! ie" not living under same roof for 3 years" No estrangement or reasoning is needed!

A husband living abroad even without any estrangement can file IBM just by throwing money on his wife and get rid of her. We can only pity Hindu Wives!!

With this law neither the Courts nor the Wives are benefitted. On the contraray this law create more confusion and out Judges will have field day adjouring matters as usual.

Marriages don't break just because of lapse of 3 years time!!

IBM happens due many other serious reasons like incompetability, avarciousness, ego among others.

I am sure Ms Shinde won't get divorce! Harish Salve is failing Mr. Shinde!

Don't do paternity test routinely: SC

Don't do paternity test routinely: SC

5 Aug 2010, 0420 hrs

NEW DELHI: In a significant judgement, the Supreme Court has said that paternity test to determine the identity of the child should not be done in a routine manner as it infringes on the right to privacy and may also render the child as bastard.

Such test should be done after taking into account various balancing acts and when it eminently required, said the apex court, setting aside the order of the Orissa High Court which had ordered for a DNA test to determine the paternity of a child in a matrimonial dispute.

“In our view, when there is apparent conflict between the right to privacy of a person not to submit himself forcibly to medical examination and duty of the court to reach the truth, the court must exercise its discretion only after balancing the interests of the parties and on due consideration whether for a just decision in the matter, DNA is eminently needed.

DNA in a matter relating to paternity of a child should not be directed by the court as a matter of course or in a routine manner, whenever such a request is made. The court has to consider diverse aspects, including presumption under Section 112 of the Evidence Act; pros and cons of such order and the test of “eminent need” whether it is not possible for the court to reach the truth without use of such test”, said a bench comprising Justice Aftab Alam and Justice RM Lodha.

The court said, “in a matter where paternity of a child is in issue before the court, the use of DNA is an extremely delicate and sensitive aspect. One view is that when modern science gives means of ascertaining the paternity of a child, there should not be any hesitation to use those means whenever the occasion requires.

The other view is that the court must be reluctant in use of such scientific advances and tools which result in invasion of right to privacy of an individual and may not only be prejudicial to the rights of the parties but may have devastating effect on the child. Sometimes the result of such scientific test may bastardise an innocent child even though his mother and her spouse were living together during the time of conception”.

The court also expressed serious concern over the order of the Orissa State Commission for Women which had roped into matrimonial dispute to determine the rights of the parties and had passed certain directions.

“No power or authority has been given to the state commission to adjudicate or determine the rights of the parties”, said court
It said, the act of 1993 has not entrusted the state commission with the power to take up the role of a court or an adjudicatory tribunal and determine the rights of the parties. The state commission is not a tribunal discharging the functions of a judicial character or a court.

The court passed the judgement on the appeal filed by Bhabani Prasad Jena.

On May 15, 2007, the appellant and Suvashree Nayak got married. The certificate of marriage was issued by the marriage officer, Khurda, Bhubaneswar on June 30, 2007. However, in less than three months, on August 7, 2007, the appellant filed a petition under Section 25(iii) of the 1954 Act for a declaration that the marriage between him and Nayak was nullity as such marriage was consummated which is pending in the court.

However, on December 30, 2008, Nayak filed a complaint before Orissa State Commission for Women alleging that she was married to the appellant and due to torture meted out to her by the appellant and his family members and other issues, they have separated. She claimed that she was pregnant.

The commission ordered that maintenance was compulsory for the petitioner, as she has to have safe delivery and take care of the baby besides other directions.

The appellant then challenged the order of the commission in the high court. It had ordered for a DNA test of the appellant and the child. Against high court order, the appellant had came to the apex court. “The High Court instead of correcting that order went a step further and directed that DNA of the child as well as the appellant shall be conducted”, said Justice Lodha writing the judgement for the bench.

Held for abetting wife's suicide, Canadian national gets bail

Held for abetting wife's suicide, Canadian national gets bail

TNN, Aug 6, 2010, 01.37am IST

NEW DELHI: A Canadian national of Indian origin, who was arrested last year for allegedly abetting the suicide of his wife, has been granted bail by a trial court.

"Without making any observations on merits of the case and keeping in view the fact that all the witnesses have been examined by the court and the accused has been in judicial custody since September 2009, I admit the bail of Pawan Dass,'' additional sessions judge Kamini Lau said, while directing the accused to report to the SHO of the police station every month till the conclusion of the trial.

Earlier, seeking bail, Dass's counsel Prabhjit Jauhar said that the accused was falsely implicated in the case. Victim Richa committed suicide on April 4, 2004 by hanging herself. According to the victim's family, the girl took the extreme step under frustration that she had been left behind by her husband. Pawan Dass got married to Richa Saproo on December 11, 2003 in the capital. After getting married, Dass left for Canada in January, 2004.

Dass's counsel, however, alleged that Dass kept on sending money through Western Union Money transfer on various occasions and also deposited money for applying for immigration of Richa to Canada in 2004. In fact, an interview call was received from the Canadian Immigration authorities for immigration of Richa at Delhi.

Accepting the contentions of the accused, the court granted bail on the condition that Dass deposits his passport to the police. The court directed him not to leave the country without the prior permission of the court.

A case was registered against Dass under Section 498A and 306 IPC for having abetted the suicide of the deceased. Pawan was arrested from the International Airport on September 20, 2009.

The inheritance of loss

The inheritance of loss

by Preeti Singh, of Hindustan Times

Remember Amar Akbar Anthony? Three tragically-separated brothers grow up following different faiths  after being taken in by kindly souls who bring them up as their own. Nearly a quarter-century later, its idealism seems grossly out of place as current adoption laws in India continue to give more credence to religious beliefs over the secular right of every child to grow up in a loving home.

Only Hindus were allowed to legally adopt till a decade ago, under the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, 1956. Even now, if non-Hindus wish to adopt from within the gene pool, they can't. Till 2000, non-Hindus could only become guardians of a child under the Guardian and Wards Act (Gawa), 1890, which also applies to all foreigners wishing to adopt an Indian child. The lesser-known Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 (JJA) plugged a vital gap by allowing anyone to legally adopt any number of abandoned or destitute children, but still not from within the family.

Under Gawa, the adoptive parents are only guardians and the child has no automatic legal rights, unlike Hindu adoptees who are treated on a par with 'biological' siblings. Also, the guardian-ward relationship ceases to exist once the child turns 18, and any inheritance claims must be explicitly willed. Passports and visas are difficult to obtain since they carry no provision for a guardian's name; family insurance covers are tricky to negotiate and school admissions become tougher than they already are.

Continuing opposition from various religious communities — who view any proposed changes in the current laws as a Trojan trick to ease in the Uniform Civil Code — often forces prospective parents to sneak around under the radar. Pushing many adoptions underground, this has also opened the floodgates for predators looking to make a quick buck, spawning transnational adoption rackets.

The logic of demand and supply creates its own opportunities and pitfalls but, despite this, feels Bharati Dasgupta, managing trustee of the Pune-based Catalysts for Social Change, "even though we have a good system of checks and balances, the biggest problem today is the lack of imaginative interpretation of existing laws like the JJA, which prevents the State from reaching out to those that are already in its care."

The proposed Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 seeks to correct a long-standing anomaly, by finally allowing married women to adopt, give up a child for adoption, and become guardians (albeit with consent from their husbands). For now, a woman can adopt only if she is single, divorced or widowed. But any legislation is bound to fall short unless there's a level playing field for all — potential parents and children alike.

The equal measure of desperation and hope that mark every parent-in-waiting's quest for a child, as well as the psychological impact of rejection and abandonment on children, make adoption a highly emotive issue. Heart-rending stories of babies dumped in trash-cans, abandoned at hospitals or sold for paltry sums of money vie with tales of the decrepit conditions in our State-run homes, even as there are couples desperately seeking that one child to complete the family portrait. Why can't the twain meet?

Says Vinita Bhargava, author of the pioneering book, Adoption in India (and an adoptive mom herself), "The lack of a special, uniform law, coupled with corruption at several levels, political appointments of non-experts in regulatory bodies and the paucity of both funds and sensitivity have ensured that our approach to adoption is far from being child-centric." Previous attempts to introduce a common law have only raised religious red-flags but then as long as a law does not challenge a faith's core beliefs, why shouldn't the State's edicts apply to all?

Parents may get to choose which boxes they tick when seeking to adopt, but the child has little choice in deciding his/her future. By taking a long, hard look at our laws and ensuring that a child's welfare precedes all else, it's time to give these invisible children at least a fighting chance.

More Men Are Filing Sexual Discrimination Suits

More Men Are Filing Sexual Discrimination Suits

Tresa Baldas

The National Law Journal

August 06, 2010

The macho man image is dead in some workplaces.

So say employment attorneys, whose reaction to the recent Jimmy Fallon sex discrimination scandal — in which a stage manager claims that he was fired by the comedian and replaced by a less qualified woman — was essentially, "no surprise." In a complaint filed July 23 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, NBC stagehand Paul Tarascio claims that he lost his job because Fallon "just prefers to take direction from a woman."

"You don't have many people claiming that there's an employer that discriminates against men, quite frankly. But when you hear it in context, and you read his complaint, you see why he believes there's good reason to file a complaint," said Tarascio's lawyer, Dominick Bratti of Woodbridge, N.J.'s Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer.

Bratti, who mostly defends employers in workplace disputes, said he felt compelled to represent Tarascio after hearing his story — that he lost his job "out of some sort of preference."

"I felt for the guy. I saw him as someone who needed someone to stick up for him," Bratti said.

As of Aug. 2, NBC officials said they had not yet seen the complaint. As for the claims being made, the company said, "Any claim of sexual discrimination is without merit."

The Fallon case, employment lawyers say, is a sign of the times: Men are getting more and more comfortable about complaining that they've been mistreated at work because of their sex.

Even construction workers.

Less than a week after the Fallon complaint was filed, the EEOC filed a sexual harassment lawsuit on behalf of a male construction worker in Virginia who claimed that his male foreman called him "sexy," blew him kisses, caressed his hands and back, and told him he had to sleep with the foreman to work at the next job site. In EEOC v. Tidewater Plastering and Drywall Co. Inc., the plaintiff, Jorge Calderon, claimed that when he sought the the help of his employer, the president of the company told him nothing could be done, forcing him to quit.

A response has not yet been filed to the suit. Officials with the Virginia Beach-based Tidewater were not available for comment.
Meanwhile, Calderon's complaint is one of many by males that's keeping the EEOC busy these days.
According to EEOC, the percentage of sexual harassment claims filed by men doubled from 8% to 16% of all claims, from 1990 to 2009. Harassment aside, EEOC and private attorneys say they're also witnessing more men suing over women getting more favorable treatment than men in the workplace.

As EEOC attorney Nedra Campbell explained, men suing over discrimination at work is not as uncommon as people think. "We are getting more complaints [from men]," Campbell said. "A growing number of men are coming forward and saying those types of things, such as 'I can't get a secretarial job.' Or they might complain about different treatment in other respects."
For example, Campbell said, more men are claiming caregiver bias at work, accusing their employers of being more generous with women in granting time off to care for a sick family member. Men also claim that their sexual harassment complaints aren't being taken seriously by employers.

Such is the case in Campbell's pending harassment and discrimination suit against Lenscrafters in the Eastern District of Michigan. In EEOC v. Luxottica Retail, a man claims that his employer ignored his sexual harassment complaint because he was a man.
"A female complained about sexual harassment, and they immediately addressed the situation," she said. "But he complained about it, and they just let him deal with it on his own."

Susan H. Hiser of Vercruysse Murray & Calzone in Bingham Farms, Mich., who is representing Lenscrafters, was unavailable for comment.

The EEOC statistics come as no surprise to Audrey Mross, who heads the labor and employment practice group at Munck Carter in Dallas and frequently trains employers on sex discrimination. "When I do my harassment training for companies, I tell them oftentimes harassment isn't as much about sex as it is about power."

And with more women gaining power in the workplace, she said, it's no surprise more men claim harassment. "It's probably not a fluke that as women move into roles of power that the proportion of claims by men is climbing proportionally," she said. "It ties back into that, 'it's not a guy problem or a girl problem' — it's a problem that comes with positions of power."
And the days of men being afraid to say they're being overpowered — especially by a woman — are over, said Nesheba Kittling of the Chicago office of Atlanta's Fisher & Phillips, whose firm is currently defending two employers in sexual harassment cases involving male plaintiffs.

"For the longest time, men felt like it wasn't acceptable to come out and say that they were victims of discrimination and harassment. But as society has become more accepting of different lifestyles, they feel more comfortable doing so," she said, pointing to the Fallon case. "In the seventies, I don't know if you would ever see a man filing a suit against a celebrity because he was a man."
Kittling predicts more Fallon-type suits are in the pipeline. "I would not be surprised if we got more."

No conviction for mere demand of dowry: Supreme Court

No conviction for mere demand of dowry: Supreme Court

Thursday, August 05, 2010, 19:32

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that a person cannot be convicted for merely demanding dowry unless the demand is followed by mental or physical torture resulting in the death of the victim.

A Bench of Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik said in a judgement that the prosecution has to establish convincing evidence that the accused had subjected the victim to torture soon before her death in connection with the demand.

"The evidence of Prosecution Witness-2, PW-4 and PW-5 shows that Jagdish and Gordhani played a role in the demand of dowry for a scooter or Rs.25,000/- for Amar Singh but demand of dowry by itself is not an offence under Section 498A or Section 304B IPC.

"What is punishable under Section 498A or Section 304B of IPC is the act of cruelty or harassment by the husband or the relative of the husband against the woman," the Bench said.

The Bench passed the judgement while upholding the acquittal of Gordhani, mother-in-law, and Jagdish, brother-in-law, in a dowry death case of newly-married woman Santosh in Rajasthan's Alwar district in March, 8, 1993. It however, upheld the conviction of the husband Amar Singh.

The sessions court had convicted all the three for dowry death(304B) and 498A(harassment of married woman by husband/relatives).

The Rajasthan High Court had on an appeal from the accused quashed the conviction of Jagdish and Gordhari while sustaining the life sentence imposed on Amar Singh.

While the state government had appealed against the acquittals, Amar Singh challenged his conviction. "Thus, there was evidence in the case of Amar Singh about his exact conduct which caused harassment to the deceased but there was no such evidence in the case of Jagdish and Gordhani.

The apex court altered the life sentence of Amar Singh from life imprisonment to 10 years.
"A prosecution witness, who merely uses the word 'harassed' or 'tortured', and does not describe the exact conduct of the accused which, according to him, amounted to harassment or torture may not be believed by the court in cases under Section 498A and 304B IPC," Justice Patnaik writing the judgement observed._

Citing its earlier ruling in Kans Raj v. State of Punjab and Others (2000) case, the apex court said that in cases where accusations of dowry deaths are made, the overt acts attributed to persons other than the husband are required to be proved beyond reasonable doubt. Bby mere conjectures and implications, such relatives cannot be held guilty for the offence relating to dowry deaths.

At that time, the apex court had said a tendency has developed for roping in all relatives of in-laws of the deceased wife in a matter of dowry death, which, if not discouraged, is likely to affect the case of the prosecution even against real culprits.



The Supreme Court has ruled that a person cannot be convicted for merely demanding dowry unless the demand is followed by mental or physical torture resulting in the death of the victim.

A Bench of Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik said in a judgement that the prosecution has to establish convincing evidence that the accused had subjected the victim to torture soon before her death in connection with the demand.

“The evidence of Prosecution Witness—2, PW—4 and PW—5 shows that Jagdish and Gordhani played a role in the demand of dowry for a scooter or Rs.25,000/— for Amar Singh but demand of dowry by itself is not an offence under Section 498A or Section 304B IPC.

“What is punishable under Section 498A or Section 304B of IPC is the act of cruelty or harassment by the husband or the relative of the husband against the woman,” the Bench said.

The Bench passed the judgement while upholding the acquittal of Gordhani, mother—in—law, and Jagdish, brother—in—law, in a dowry death case of newly—married woman Santosh in Rajasthan’s Alwar district in March, 8, 1993. It however, upheld the conviction of the husband Amar Singh.

The sessions court had convicted all the three for dowry death(304B) and 498A(harassment of married woman by husband/relatives).

The Rajasthan High Court had on an appeal from the accused quashed the conviction of Jagdish and Gordhari while sustaining the life sentence imposed on Amar Singh.

While the state government had appealed against the acquittals, Amar Singh challenged his conviction.

Lower courts can’t hear contempt proceedings: Delhi HC

Lower courts can’t hear contempt proceedings: Delhi HC

Aug 05, 2010 at 1801 hrs IST

New Delhi The Delhi High Court has said lower courts have no power to prosecute a person for contempt of court.

Enumerating the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, Justice S N Dhingra said only higher courts can take cognisance of contempt committed by a person against lower judiciary.

“A perusal of provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act would show that a Court subordinate to High Court has no powers to initiate proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act. Under the Act, the High Court alone can take cognizance of an alleged contempt having been committed in respect of subordinate Courts,” the court said.

The Court said the decision of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in issuing a notice to two senior police officers for contempt proceedings was contrary to law.

“I find that the learned ACMM grossly exceeded his powers in issuing show cause notice as to why proceedings under the Contempt of Courts Act be not initiated against the investigating officer and ACP,” the court said.

The ACMM had issued notices to two officials of Delhi Police after holding that their conduct lowered the reputation of the lower court.

Setting aside the order, the High Court said the alleged contemptuous conduct of the police officers should have brought to its notice and it would have then taken an appropriate action against them.

“A subordinate court is supposed to send a reference of the matter to the High Court. A subordinate court cannot itself assume jurisdiction under the Contempt of Courts Act and issue show cause notice as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated,” the court said.

Judge reminds bahu of saas days ahead

Judge reminds bahu of saas days ahead


Thursday , August 5 , 2010

The high court on Wednesday reminded a young wife of the eternal truth — that she would one day become a mother-in-law herself.

“You have a son, you will grow old one day and become a mother-in-law. Remember this always,” the judge told 32-year-old Ronita Halder, asking her to forge cordial ties with her in-laws.

The saas-bahu saga unfolded before a division bench of Justice Asim Banerjee and Justice Raghunath Ray during the hearing of an anticipatory bail plea by Joydev Halder, 37, whose wife Ronita had filed a case under Section 498A against him.

Ronita had alleged that her mother-in-law Gouri Devi and sister-in-law Mitali were torturing her with the support of Joydev, an employee of a private firm in Mumbai.

“Marriage is not just about spending a happy life with the husband. Wives should develop a harmonious relationship with the family members of the husband,” the judges held.

The bench asked the couple to stay together at Joydev’s house in Behala with their six-year-old son, Bablu.

Ronita had filed her complaint on July 26 and Joydev moved his bail plea on July 28. The court had allowed the plea and scheduled the hearing for Wednesday.

Joydev and Ronita wed in 1999 but sources said their relationship hit a low soon after. In her complaint Ronita had said that Joydev sent money from Mumbai only to his mother, forcing her to “beg” for money from her mother-in-law to meet daily expenses.

On July 28, Ronita had pleaded with the judge for legal help. “I am not in a position to engage a lawyer, please hear my plea,” she had sobbed.

Justice Banerjee then appointed advocate Milan Mukherjee to assist Ronita. On Wednesday, Mukherjee communicated his observations to the judge privately and the judge decided to hear the matter a week later.

The judge on Wednesday also advised Joydev not to neglect his wife. “You should respect your mother. But you should pay equal attention to your wife too and send her money separately,” he said.

The judge ruled that Ronita and her son would stay with Joydev and his family at his Behala residence whenever he visited the city and live with her parents at other times.