Saturday, August 14, 2010

Violence against women going down?

Violence against women going down?

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) Complaints of attacks on women in the country have gone down sharply if official figures are any indication - from 4,505 recorded attacks in 2007 to 1,000 in 2010, parliament was informed Friday.

In a written reply to Bharatiya Janata Party’s Kamlesh Paswan in the Lok Sabha, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said during 2007 to 2010 the National Commission for Women (NCW) instituted committees to enquire into specific incidents relating to alleged rape, kidnapping, burning and harassment and beating up by police.

As per the report provided by the NCW to the state governments in 2007, a total of 4,505 complaints were reported. In 2008, there were 4,262 complaints, 3,557 in 2009 and 1,000 attacks were reported till Aug 6 this year.

The cases reported in 2007 included 2,768 complaints on dowry harassment and cruelty, 2,025 complaints of dowry harassment in 2008, 1,535 such complaints in 2009 and 332 such cases were recorded in 2010.

According to the data given by the NCW, there were no report on incidents of acid attack or attempt of murder reported from any of the states in 2010.

“Action on complaints is taken by expediting and monitoring investigations by the police, resolution of matrimonial disputes through counselling and constitution on inquiry committee for serious and heinous crimes,” the minister stated.

Court asks CP for inquiry into registration of fake FIRs

Court asks CP for inquiry into registration of fake FIRs


New Delhi, Aug 1 (PTI) A court here has asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to get an inquiry done into the registration of fake FIRs after noting that a witness, who was termed as complainant in a robbery case, had denied the occurrence of any such incident.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau noted the police officers had registered two FIRs on the alleged robbery of a mobile phone, which was handed over to the complainant in one case, after it was pointed out by Shivendra Biswas, counsel for one of the accused.

The complainant, Nitin, said while recording the statement before the court that no incident of robbery as alleged had taken place. He deposed that he was taken to the Jahangirpuri police station in March where the case was registered at the instance of one Kuldeep Soni who ran a news channel in the name of K-7 News channel. It was pointed out to the court by the counsel that Nitin had testified that he took one old mobile phone from Vishwajeet whereas Vishwajeet had himself lodged another case for the robbery of the same phone. "I am shocked to observe that the allegations and narration of the incident is absolutely similar in both the FIRs,"

ASJ Lau said. "If what has been testified by the witness Nitin that the present FIR has been registered on an incident which never took place is correct, then it is a serious matter that life and liberty of four young boys has been curtailed in violations of all existing norms," the court added. It said an offence under the provisions of Indian Penal Code would be made out not only against Kuldeep Soni but also against all such officers of Police Station Jahangir Puri who were involved in registration and investigations of the present case in respect of an incident which did not happen.

The court asked the police chief to get the matter investigated by an independent agency to get to its bottom and file a report to it within 15 days. It also directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police (north-west) to ensure safety and security of 18-year-old Nitin by saying that no public person, including Kuldeep, and police officers of Jahangirpuri police station should approach him. The court also allowed bail application of all the accused, except one, who were arrested in the case.

HC refuses decree of divorce to a Muslim woman who married a Hindu but failed to prove the conversion- slammed the woman for taking advantage of the situation

No divorce as Woman fails to prove conversion

A Muslim woman who claimed to have converted to Hinduism failed to secure divorce and a maintenance order from the Delhi High Court under the Hindu Marriage Act after she  failed to prove that she had changed her religion. The court said the right will be available when both the parties

were Hindus and they continued to embrace the religion at the time of presentation of the petition in the court.  Dismissing Rehana alias Sushma Sharma’s petition (name changed),

Justice Kailash Gambhir expressed  concern at the reason for which people change religious in the present day when once it was only to attain spiritual advancement.

“These days, religious conversions are being increasingly made for anything but the primary reason for conversion —spiritual advancement”.

“The basic focus to convert from one religion to another is to seek God from another platform but unfortunately today it is increasingly being done to reap benefits and in cases like the present one,” the court said.

The woman and the man Sourav (name changed) were working as a clerk and an officer, respectively. She claimed they married in December 3, 1988 at an Arya Samaj Mandir, according to Hindu rites. She said she was seeking divorce owing to certain acts of cruelty and also alleged that he had married another woman.

Sourav on his part denied she had converted and also denied they were married.



HC refuses decree of divorce to a Muslim woman who married a Hindu but failed to prove conversion


Hindu New Delhi, Aug 13 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today declined to grant decree of divorce to a Muslim woman, married to a Hindu, after she failed to prove her conversion from Muslim to Hinduism under the Hindu Marriage Act.

Justice Kailash Gambhir upheld a lower court's order and dismissed GA Arife alias Arti Sharma's petition for granting a decree of divorce against husband Gopal Dutt Sharma in March this year. The court also dismissed an application for permanent alimony to her daughter.

"The appellant (Arife) throughout her arguments failed to give any convincing reply to satisfy the court that she was successful in proving her conversion from Islam religion to Hinduism with the help of any documentary or oral evidence," Justice Gambhir said. "The basic focus to convert from one religion to another is to seek God from another platform but unfortunately today proselytisation is increasingly done for reaping benefits," the court said and slammed the woman for taking advantage of the situation.

Referring to the ruling of the apex court, the HC said "apostasy produces far-reaching results in the relations of husband and wife, where it is also a ground of divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act, and raises controversies like the present case demanding a mechanism in place to stop people from fishing in troubles waters."

Filing an appeal, Arife, alias Arti, said she got married to Sharma, her senior officer in the Directorate of Financial Planning in Air Ltd, against the wish of both the families in 1988 at the Arya Samaj temple. Seeking a decree of divorce, she alleged her husband had suggested her to go for abortion, to which she had objected and got to know about her husband's second marriage in 1989. She claimed her divorce petition was dismissed by a family court, after which she had filed her appeal in the High Court.


Wanted: Gender-neutral laws

Wanted: Gender-neutral laws

Nivedita Chaudhuri

If women like Uma Challa had their way, they would change all gender-biased laws that exist in India today, including Section 498A of the IPC or the dowry law.

The draft Bill on Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at the Workplace may be ready, but some women actually think it is heavily biased against men. If women like Uma Challa had their way, they would change all gender-biased laws that exist in India today, including Section 498A of the IPC or the dowry law. Challa argues that the dowry law is being misused by many women to harass their husbands and in-laws.

Hyderabad-based Challa launched a forum called All India Forgotten Women, under the aegis of Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) in 2005, in response to the “large-scale arrests of women falsely accused under Section 498A IPC”.

The draft Bill on sexual harassment at the workplace, she says, does not have provisions to protect men from similar harassment at the workplace and it thus undermines the Indian Constitution, which states that men and women have the same right to equality and life.
“The Bill and its architects undermine the basic truth that sexual harassment is neither about sex nor gender. It is about power, and a woman in power can be every bit as abusive as a man,” Challa says.

“The Bill requires that committees for redressing grievances consist of persons ‘committed to the cause of women’. If committees are filled with individuals committed to the cause of women and not to the cause of truth, law and justice, is it hard to foretell the fate of males in an institution or in society as a whole,” she asks.

Challa, who is also president of The All India Men’s Welfare Association, says the Bill contains provisions for ‘conciliation’ and ‘settlement’ between the ‘aggrieved’ woman and the respondent. If ‘conciliation’ happens and ‘settlement’ is arrived at, no further inquiry will be conducted. If, however, the terms and conditions of ‘conciliation’ and ‘settlement’ are not met by the accused, an inquiry will be conducted.

“When sexual harassment at the workplace is considered a grievous crime which warrants a special and stringent law, what is the purpose of having a ‘conciliation’ and ‘settlement’ plan? In what way is this law different from the dowry law, which is being used as a weapon of extortion,” she asks.

She says countries around the world, including the USA, the UK and all member countries of the European Union, have gender-neutral sexual harassment prevention laws. “Even Pakistan, which passed a similar Bill in January 2010, embraced the principle of gender neutrality,” she adds.

HC rues misuse of judicial process to stall trial

HC rues misuse of judicial process to stall trial

TNN, Aug 13, 2010, 05.19am IST

NEW DELHI: For those hoping the recent money trail exposed in the run up to Commonwealth Games will result in swift punishment by the judiciary, here is a reality check by the Delhi high court.

In a sober assessment of judiciary's own capabilities to bring corrupt accused to book, HC has lamented how despite documentary evidence corruption often goes unpunished as accused misuse the judicial process.

"The judicial process is often used as a tool to see that even if there is documented proof of commission of crime the accused goes scot free because of multifarious levels of appeals, writs, revisions, 482 CrPC petitions and special leave petitions to which accused and petitioners have unlimited access under the present system,'' Justice S N Dhingra noted, on Thursday, while throwing out a petition filed by one Mohan Lal Jatia, accused of perjury by the Supreme Court.

"The real judicial reform can come in this country only when despite the strength of money power and political power one is not able to capture the judicial system and hold it to ransom on the strength of this power,'' Justice Dhingra bluntly noted in his judgement after realising that in the case at hand the man accused of submitting a false affidavit in SC in 1986 (where the registrar general of SC himself was the complainant) had managed to drag his case for so long at the magistrate level.

The present petition is a gross misuse of the judicial process. The accused persons have come a second time before HC assailing the procedure being adopted by the magistrate. The whole effort by the accused seems to be not to allow the trial to go any further, an anguished HC observed. The court was also pained to note how the complaint filed against the accused in 1994 was still at an initial stage in 2010. "For these 16 long years the trial has not proceeded an inch. Those who talk of judicial reforms must take note of such numerous cases pending in courts where judicial process is misused to see trials don't proceed further,'' the judge noted while dismissing Jatia's plea and fining him Rs 1 lakh.

Parties must pay for filing misguided petitions: HC

Parties must pay for filing misguided petitions: HC

13 Aug, 2010 0520hrs IST [ Abhinav Garg ]

NEW DELHI: Parties rushing to courts with "misguided petitions'' against public projects like infrastructure must be made to compensate the other side if they lose the case, the Delhi high court has emphasized.

Justice Gita Mittal ordered VHCPL-ADCC Pingalai Infrastructure, a private firm, to cough up Rs 6 lakh as compensation to the government for delaying a highway four-laning project by more than a year.

Rueing the delay HC noted, "The time therefore appears to have come that just as in some other jurisdictions, in this country as well, the losing party must compensate the other side for actual costs incurred by it as well as the justice dispensation system for the court time expended. Only then will parties carefully asssess legal merits in their case before filing or contesting misguided litigation.''

HC was agitated to note how a petition filed by the firm had held up an important project for a long period, forcing the government to defend itself on the technical issues raised by fielding senior most government lawyers led by the Attorney General of India. "A public infrastructure project couldn't be commenced despite completion of all formalities from as far back as November 18, 2009 till date on wholly untenable grounds. The project was undertaken in public interest and would have been of tremendous utility to the users of NH-6,'' Justice Mittal noted while tossing away the firms petition.

The firm was awarded a contract for construction and operation of a project involving a major bridge in Maharashtra and on that basis it claimed it had rights without bidding for another contract involving four laning of a 67km stretch of NH-6, also in Maharashtra.The HC pointed out how the firm was culpable for causing delay as it first "sat by and waited for the entire tendering process to be over and contract awarded before it has mouthed its objections or approached this court''. Delay in completion of the project would have an inevitable and obvious impact on the interest of the users of this stretch of NH, the court added.