Sunday, August 29, 2010

IAS for a groom! - “Antardwand” deals with groom kidnapping – The DOWRY racket industry


“Antardwand” deals with groom kidnapping <br />prevalent in some districts of Bihar

“Antardwand” deals with groom kidnapping prevalent in some districts of Bihar

As “Antardwand” comes out in the open director Sushil Rajpal talks about the film

Socially relevant small budget cinema is proving to be the flavour of the season. New names and faces are making their way to the marquee. After Udaan and Peepli Live generated more than the expected buzz, Sushil Rajpal's Antardwand, released this past week. The film is based on groom kidnapping, colloquially called pakaruah shaadi in Bihar. Inspired by a real life incident, where his close friend had to go through the bizarre practice, Rajpal says groom kidnapping has got a degree of social sanction because in 80 per cent cases the boy and the girl compromise and resign to their fate. “That's why people are ready to take the risk. In many cases marriage ceremony is organised in the open and people come.”

Rajpal says mostly IAS officers and government engineers are targeted because private sector has yet to reach Bihar in a big way. “What happens is the girl's father targets a boy of a well-to-do family. If the groom's family declines or demands unusually high dowry, the girl's father gets the boy kidnapped, forces him to marry his daughter and ensures that the boy and the girl spend a night together. After that the boy is virtually trapped for life. He can't get divorce until the girl gives her consent. And if he pursues the case, complex legal battles on maintenance and rights over property crop up. If the boy has inherited property, his wife automatically gets a right over it. More often than not the guy compromises and every thing become normal on the surface.”

Rajpal says in such cases it is the girl who suffers the most, as she hardly has any outlet to air her emotions. “Whether deserted or divorced, her life becomes a living hell. Her father believes that he has done a great job for his daughter but in most cases he only ensures slow death.” Rajpal says dowry is one of the biggest causes but egos also play a part as in most cases the girl's family is also financially strong and politically connected. “I have seen an IPS officer refusing to marry his son to a bureaucrat's daughter because of dowry. So, it is prevalent at the highest level.”

Rajpal says the film doesn't take sides as his intention is to bring out the reality. “I have treated it as an entertainer otherwise common man won't be able to digest the seriousness of the issue. The issue is also such that it sounds bizarre and has a tinge of black humour.” An alumnus of Hansraj College, Rajpal himself hails from Bihar. Interested in photography from college days, he graduated from FTII with specialisation in cinematography.

A known name in advertising, he was noticed when he shot Pradeep Sarkar's Laaga Chunari Mein Daag. We generally expect visually-rich subjects from cinematographer-turned-directors? “That's true but I wanted to make a content-driven film. I shot in real life situation and cast actors who could speak with the local accent.” The film stars Raj Singh Choudhary (of Gulal fame) and FTII graduate Swati Sen in lead roles with Vinay Pathak and Akhilendra Mishra lending support.

The film was ready two years ago, but came into limelight when it won the National Award for the best film on social issues. “A doctor friend of mine in the U.S. saw it and said that it should get a theatre release. He donated some money and the process started. The National Award tag helped PVR come on board but the real help came from Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali and Raj Kumar Hirani who vouched for the film.” Isn't it a healthy trend where established filmmakers are coming to the support of an emerging filmmaker? “It is, particularly when they all make different kinds of cinema. I must say I was lucky. Even if somebody has the best of intentions, you must remember these are very busy people and it is difficult to take out time to watch and then promote the film.”

Even as we talk to Rajpal, he is busy collating funds so that his Rs.1.5 crore film gets the desired publicity. “It is one of the rare films where the publicity budget has exceeded the shooting budget!”

Mother kills son by electric shock as he opposes her 'affair', held

Mother kills son by electric shock as he opposes her 'affair', held

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Police arrested a mother, who allegedly killed her 13-year-old son because he objected to her 'illicit' affair.

The 32-year-old mother gave electric shock to her son in Nalgonda district resulting in his death after he objected to her relationship, police said on Saturday.

The incident occurred at Damarchala village of Miryalguda Mandal of the district yesterday, they said.

According to police, the boy was tied to a pole near his house and his mother allegedly held a live electric wire to his body resulting in his death.

A senior police officer quoting Damarchala villagers and sarpanch said K Shivamani was reportedly angry when her son opposed her alleged illicit affair.

The woman, on the other hand, refuted the allegation and claimed that her son harassed her daily. She said the boy was neither studying nor doing any work and was indulging in illegal acts, police said.

"Following a complaint by the villagers, police have registered a case of murder against Shivamani, who has been taken into custody," a senior police officer said.

Delhi Court expresses concern over misuse of Domestic Violence Act

Delhi Court expresses concern over misuse of Domestic Violence Act

New Delhi, Aug 29 (PTI) A Delhi court has expressed its concern over the misuse of the Domestic Violence Act to settle civil dispute between sparring couples with the use of women as "pawn" by the male relatives.

"The misuse and abuse of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is a matter of serious concern for the courts which are required to be careful and ensure that a woman petitioner is not made a puppet or pawn in the hands of her male relatives so as to manipulate the Act and use it for ulterior motives," Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
The court said the purpose of passing the welfare law was to protect the family value system and not to create a civil right.
"The provisions of special legislation in favour of women cannot be abused as the short cut for establishing a civil rights where none exists," the court said.

"The intent of the Act is to protect the value system and institution of family and save it from destruction. This being so, the provisions of the Act have to be so interpreted to ensure that the existing family system is preserved," it said.
The court made the observation while dismissing an appeal of a woman who challenged an order rejecting her plea to be given a wholesome right to reside in a shanty also being occupied by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law.

"It is evident that the attempt of the appellant (woman) is to ensure the division of the property and create her independent right in the same under the garb of the present petition," the court said.

It also noted that the woman as well as her husband have "collusively" filed the petition by "camouflaging a dispute" and have sought the invocation of the Protection of Women from the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, with the sole object of seeking the removal of her brother-in-law and sister-in-law from the property in question.

"This court cannot be a party to any such attempt of the parties to abuse the special legislation enacted to grant immediate relief to women who are victims of Domestic Violence. The right of one woman (the appellant) cannot be implemented by infringing upon a similar right of another woman i.e. sister-in-law/jethani in the same property," ASJ Lau said.

Domestic Violence Act: Court pulls up woman


A Delhi court has slammed a woman petitioner for misusing of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.

Noting that Sunita Devi connived with her husband to file the petition against her in-laws, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said: “The intent of the Act is to protect the value system and institution of family. The misuse and abuse of the Act is a matter of serious concern for courts who must ensure that a woman petitioner is not made a puppet in the hands of her male relatives so as to manipulate the Act and use it for ulterior motives.”

The court was hearing the appeal of Sunita, who had appealed against the March order of a Metropolitan Magistrate, dismissing her petition under the Act.

The appellant said that her brother-in-law and sister-in-law requested shelter at her Delhi house in July 2008. Since then they abused her verbally and physically and with the brother-in-law even tried to kill her under the influence of alcohol, she claimed.

Alleging that they also looted Rs 7,700 from her, Sunita requested the court for grant of maintenance, compensation and also to pass protection orders under the Act.

The brother-in-law pleaded that it was his property and he had allowed Sunita and her husband to live there, but the papers of his ownership had been lost.

The court noted that none of the parties have papers to establish their ownership over the property constructed by DDA, and the home in which Sunita was living with her husband was separate from the one that her in-laws were residing in.

The domestic incident report also revealed that when Sunita came to live in the house, her husband and in-laws were already residing there.

The court said, “The attempt of the appellant is to ensure division of property and create her right under the garb of the petition. It is clear that she and her husband have collusively filed the petition by camouflaging a dispute. Such kind of abuse of the special legislation should be checked at the earliest.”

Room for justice: Saket Court opens

Sake Court Complex

Sake Court Complex. (Photos: Anindya Chattopadhyay)

NEW DELHI: From judges holding courts in the "space under the staircase'' to "centrally airconditioned'' courtrooms, the new swanky court complex at Saket is now a model court complex for other states. Sharing his experience of seeing judges working in "pathetic conditions'' for the last 20 years, Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia on Saturday said that after opening of Saket court complex, which has the best infrastructural facilities, the subordinate courts will work with "dignity''.

"Can you have a judicial delivery system or justice delivery mechanism without proper infrastructure? The answer is no,'' CJI Kapadia said at the inauguration of the sixth district court complex in the capital. CJI Kapadia said he had gone through the statistical data of the last 10 years regarding budget allocation for the judiciary and while other states had below 1% of their GDP being allocated to the judiciary, Delhi topped the chart with 1.6%. CJI Kapadia's remarks were seconded by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit also present at the inauguration who hinted that Saket was not going to be the the last of the many district courts in the capital."We are opening the sixth district court complex. Two more will come as and when the need arises. We can give whatever is required for the judicial system,'' she said.

While the new swanky court complex won accolades from the judiciary and legal fraternity for having the best infrastructure in the country, opening of saket court complex will also significantly reduce the workload of Patiala house court complex. Built using a budget of Rs 313 crore, Saket court complex will have two major districts south and southeast under its jurisdiction. With this, Patiala house, which used to handle 2 lakh people every day, will now be left with New Delhi district and will have less workload. Making Saket court complex operational is also going to ease the backlog of more than 12 lakh pending cases in the district courts as posting of the new batch of 80 judges, who were recruited last year as judicial officers in a bid to fill up the vacancies and deal with the mounting backlog, will also come into effect. As many as 2,500 lawyers will move their base from Patiala house to Saket court complex and extra facilities would be provided to them for smooth functioning of the court hearings.

A special bus service is also in the offing and it will start from Patiala house to Saket court complex so that lawyers and litigants have no trouble in commuting.

Apart from having the best infrastructure in place, Saket court complex has also focused on security arrangements. Around 50 CCTV cameras have been placed in and out of the complex with a recording capacity of three days. The daily recordings will be monitored by the staff and all the entrances will be strictly monitored.

Saket court complex, that has been constructed by Ahluwalia Contracts, consists of a seven-storey centrally airconditioned building with 80 court rooms, 92 chambers for the judges. Moreover, separate towers with 666 lawyers chambers and 128 residential houses for judges have been made. Two bar rooms and a library for the judges and lawyers have also been provided. A temporary lock-up has been made for the undertrials till a permanent judicial lock-up is constructed.