Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Domestic help accuses of sexual harassment by L. Subramaniam in retaliation to her being charged for theft-L. Subramaniam plans legal action

Accused of sexual harassment, L. Subramaniam plans legal action

2010-09-08 14:50:00
Last Updated: 2010-09-08 15:09:28

Bangalore: Three days after he was accused of sexual harassment by his domestic help, eminent violinist L. Subramaniam said he would take legal action and that she was trying to 'divert attention' from a theft case.

'The maid has issued a false complaint against me to divert the attention from the case of theft. I intend to take legal action against all those who are trying to spread these baseless allegations,' Subramaniam said in a statement from his home here on Tuesday night.

Subramaniam, who is married to Bollywood playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy, had on Sep 2 filed a complaint of theft at his home against the maid, who used to do household chores, at the Sanjayanagar Police Station in Bangalore. He accused her of stealing cash and valuables worth Rs.6 lakh.

The maid had been engaged through an agency.

But Sep 5 evening, the maid filed a complaint of sexual harassment against him and then approached a newspaper Bangalore Beat, which printed her allegations in their afternoon edition on Sep 6.

In a statement made to police, Subramaniam said the maid's lifestyle had changed overtime, which made him suspect her of theft.





Domestic help accuses of sexual harassment by L. Subramaniam in retaliation to her being charged for theft

Violin maestro L. Subramaniam has been accused of sexual harassment by a domestic help whom he had named as a suspect in a case of theft from his house, police said in Bangalore on Tuesday. "The maid, Bhagya, has sent a complaint against Subramaniam through an organisation but has not herself

lodged a written complaint with the police," Bangalore city police commissioner Shankar Bidari told reporters.

"We will investigate if she files the complaint," he said.

Subramaniam had complained to the police Sep 2 that around 5,000 euros, Rs.55,000 and a gold chain were missing from his house in upscale Raja Mahal Vilas II Stage in north Bangalore.

Police said Subramaniam suspected Bhagya, 25, and she had been questioned over the missing cash and jewellery in the violinist's house.

However, on Monday, Dalit Rakshana Vedike (forum to protect Dalits) lodged a complaint with the police claiming that Subramaniam had been sexually harassing Bhagya.

"We have acknowledged the receipt of the complaint but no case has been registered as the maid herself has not lodged the complaint," a police official said.

Subramaniam and his singer wife Kavita Krishnamurthy have denied the sexual harassment charge and said they will fight it out.

Bidari said probe into the theft in the violinist's house was on and that no arrest had been made.




Method to examine rape victims is archaic: former Chief Justice of Delhi HC

Method to examine rape victims is archaic: former Chief Justice of Delhi HC

Mumbai Human Rights Watch, an international NGO working for human rights, released a report on problems with the existing methods of forensic examination of rape victims on Monday. Authored by Aruna Kashyap, the report deals with “absolute ignorance of survivor rights by the Judiciary and the State.”

Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice AP Shah, released the report. “As the report points out, the finger test method which continues to be used for examining rape victims is an archaic method. We need a system to sensitise judges and lawyers on a large scale,” he said.

Based on 153 High Court judgments, the report cites judgments where the finger test has been cited as evidence of the victims’ compromised moral character.

“This is despite a Supreme Court order in the State of Uttar Pradesh Vs Pappu case where the apex court held that the victims’ sexual history had no bearing on a rape trial,” Justice Shah said. Eminent women’s rights activist and lawyer Flavia Agnes said the outdated forensic science syllabus is the root of problems in India. “Doctors continue to use the archaic finger test when WHO and gynecological organisations around the world have held that it is no proof of a woman’s virginity. When medical science has progressed to such astounding levels, the MCI does nothing to upgrade forensic science curricula. Students continue to read books which were written in the 1920s. The fact that a scientifically baseless test continues to be quoted and made the basis of High Court judgments is alarming,”she added.

Kashyap stressed on the need for a uniform standard to be set for examination of rape survivors. “Currently there is no set protocol which leaves room for ambiguities that compromise the survivors’ rights,” she said.


…..more @

Abolish degrading hymen test on rape victim: Activists

The international human rights body, Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday released a report, “Dignity on Trial – India’s Need for Sound Standards for Conducting and Interpreting Forensic Examinations of Rape Survivors”, seeking a ban on the finger test used on rape victims.   The report prepared

by Aruna Kashyap, women’s rights researcher with the HRW, documents the continued use of the practice and reliance of the “results” by many defence counsels and courts. The report was released by retired chief justice of Delhi High Court A P Shah.  

The practice involves the doctor inserting fingers in a victim's vagina to determine the presence or absence of the hymen and the “laxity” of the vagina.  

“This is yet another assault on a rape survivor, placing her at risk of further humiliation,” said Kashyap, adding: “The government should heed the demands of Indian activists to abolish this degrading practice. These tests are unsound scientifically because the state of the hymen is not conclusive about virginity.”  

The test conducted on the victim, without “informed consent”, would constitute assault and is inhuman and degrading, states the report.

Consent is interpreted as the victim being asked if she was okay with a male doctor performing the test, which is not sufficient, said Kashyap. 

“The doctor has to explain each procedure before conducting the test, which is usually not done. The actual test comes as a shock for the victim, who practically relives the trauma of rape,” said Kashyap.  

The Maharashtra and Delhi governments continue to recommend finger tests in their forensic examination templates.



Dad's origin not only basis to fix child's status: Chennai HC

Dad's origin not only basis to fix child's status: Chennai HC

CHENNAI: Fixing the origin status of a child for the purpose of granting domicile or caste certificate on the basis of the origin of the father alone would amount to gender discrimination, the Madras high court has ruled.
"It cannot be disputed that both the parents are in equal footing, hence, the status of the child has to be decided based on the other relevant factors," Justice S Tamilvanan said. The judge made the observations while allowing a petition of D Vidjeacoumary of Puducherry, whose daughter R Arthi was denied the Scheduled Caste (Origin) certificate by the authorities of the territorial administration.
Her application for the caste certificate was rejected on the ground that the father of the child was not from Puducherry and that he had migrated to the Union territory about 18 years ago.
Vidjeacoumary, a Dalit woman born in 1962 in Puducherry, married V Ranganathan of Tamil Nadu over 18 years ago. After marriage he too moved to the Union territory. In September 1989, Arthi was born. When they applied for the SC (Origin) certificate for Arthi in 2007, it was rejected on the ground that her father did not possess the residential status in the Union territory.
Justice Tamilvanan, disapproving of the denial of certificate to the girl, said: "As contemplated in Article 14 of the Constitution, the state shall not deny equality of person before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. Accordingly, no citizen shall be discriminated on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth."
Pointing out that the territorial administration's counter-affidavit itself admitted that Ranganathan was residing in Puducherry for the past 18 years, the judge said: "In the instant case, both the parents of Arthi are permanently residing in Puducherrry and the girl is a resident of the state since her birth. Hence, I am of the considered view that denial of origin status to her based on the origin status of her father is certainly gender discrimination, accordingly violation of Article 14 of the Constitution." The judge then directed the authorities to grant SC (Origin) certificate to Arthi within four weeks.

''Cultural sensitivity must to prevent women''s sexual abuse''

''Cultural sensitivity must to prevent women''s sexual abuse''

New Delhi, Sep 7 (PTI) A massive cultural sensitivity programme aimed at changing heart and psyche of people is needed to bring down the increasing number of sexual harassment cases against women, according to experts.

It''s difficult to define sexual harassment but a woman always knows when she is being subjected to it, they say.
"We need social awareness and activity to ensure men and women are treated equal and women are not seen as filth of the business by men," says former minister of Women and Child Development, Renuka Chaudhary.

Chaudury was participating in a panel discussion on sexual offences against women here recently organised by a TV channel.
"We have a lot of laws but they do not address the root cause of the problem. What is needed is pro-active work and education for young men to teach them to respect women," says veteran journalist and author Madhu Trehan.

"It''s unfortunate that we educate people not to murder but do not teach them to respect women. The advertisements promote inferior status of women compared to men," she adds.

Research released recently shows that every fifth woman worker is sexually harassed in India. Also drafted in the year 2007 by the National Commission for Women (NCW), the path-breaking "Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill," still remains in consultation stages.

Joint Secretary of NCW, Sundari Subrimaniam Pujari opines that laws change as per the dynamism of the society.
"We need more sensitisation and good execution of laws and we need to make our children aware and give them good teachings," she points out.

Ranjana Kumari, Director, Centre for Social Research observes that sexual harassment is not only prevalent in educated circles but a poor woman working at a construction site is also subjected to it by the contractor.

"She has no knowledge whom to complain to. We need awareness for that. Parents should give voice and confidence to their daughters while bringing them up, so that a girl has guts to come out against sexual offenders," she says.

Senior advocate Aryama Sundaram favoured presence of tough laws along with education to deter criminals.
"Education is more today than it was 40 years ago, but, harassment is also more than it was 40 years ago in the society. We need teeth in form of laws so that there is a deterrent," he said.


Gone in 60 seconds-Ex-wives whisking away their children to undisclosed locations to prevent father's visitation rights-trend on the rise-Contempt of Court

Publication: Bangalore Mirror;
Date: Sep 7, 2010;
Section: City;
Page: 10

Gone in 60 seconds

Ex-wives whisking away their children to undisclosed locations in a bid to thwart their ex-husbands’ visiting rights is a trend that’s fast catching up in the city

Shyam Prasad shyam.prasad1@timesgroup.com
    Even though a family court in Bangalore granted Raghuram S the permission to visit his son Tarun once every 15 days, Raghuram woke up one fine day to the news that his ex-wife had relocated to Jaipur along with their four-yearold son, without informing him. He was informed of the development by his ex-wife Suma Hanumanthappa’s advocate, that too through e-mail.
    In another case, John Varghese went to visit his two children aged 14 and 8 only to be informed that they had moved to the US along with his ex-wife. “How do I contact them? I don’t even know which state they have relocated to. This, despite a court decree that gives me the right to visit my children,” said Varghese.
    Interestingly, both these cases were settled by the Mediation Centre after a referral from the respective family courts. The Bangalore Mediation Centre claims a success rate of 80.73 per cent out of the 5,094 cases it has handled so far. The average time taken to settle a divorce dispute is 259.35 minutes or just over four hours.
    ”The high-profile case of Adita Chandra whose parents went to the Supreme Court and finally to a court in the US, to fight over his custody, made headlines. But there are so many such cases in Bangalore. Nobody is ready to even acknowledge that it is the fathers who suffer in such cases,” said Kumar Jahgirdar of Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP).
    Raghuram works in Hyderabad and used to visit his son once every fortnight in Bangalore. He was shocked to hear from his ex-wife’s advocate that she had moved to Jaipur along with their child. “Somebody informed me of my ex-wife’s intentions and I immediately moved court. The court said the case was maintainable and took it up. Weeks before the hearing, I came to meet the child and found the house vacated. Her phones were switched off and her advocate informed me through email that she had moved to Jaipur. How can I go to Jaipur twice a month? The court has been informed of this development,” he said.
    ”In cases where a dispute over a child’s custody is as yet to be settled, the court becomes the guardian of the child and not the father or mother. If the mother or father takes away the child to some other place during the hearing without informing the court or the other party, it legally amounts to abduction. But even otherwise, the custodial parent has to inform the other parent of the child’s whereabouts at all times,” said Jahgirdar.
    Kumar Jahgirdar said that cases of custodial parents whisking away their children to undisclosed locations without informing the other parent were on the rise. “Ever since the case of Aditya Chandra became big news, such incidents are on the rise. It is an abuse of the child’s rights when the other parent who is available and fit is not given the right to visit the child,” he said.

A file photo of Raghuram with his son Tarun. The boy’s mother suddenly relocated to Jaipur without informing the father

‘Can’t presume all suicides by women are dowry-related’-Delhi High court

‘Can’t presume all suicides by women are dowry-related’-Delhi High court

Truth losing significance because of ego of litigants, says Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court, ruling on a case involving the death of a married woman at the house of her in-laws, has said “truth is losing significance because of the ego of the litigants to see that in-laws should be hanged”.

Justice S N Dhingra ruled that it was unfair to presume that a woman, who ends her life within seven years of marriage, must have been subjected to harassment for dowry. “Suicide is a complex phenomenon. One who commits suicide is not alive to disclose what was going on in his or her mind when he or she committed suicide. There is no presumption that every suicide committed by a married woman in her in-laws’ house or at her parents’ house has to be because she was suffering harassment at the hands of her husband or her in-laws,” he said in the ruling on September 1.

Justice Dhingra made these remarks while dismissing a revision petition filed by the father of a woman who had committed suicide at her in-laws’ house in November 1988. The father got a case registered against her husband and in-laws under sections relating to murder, causing death for dowry and cruelty for dowry. In 2003, the trial court acquitted the husband and in-laws of all charges and held there was no evidence to suggest the woman had been tortured for dowry.

The father challenged this in the High Court but Justice Dhingra concurred with the view of the trial court, noting that several letters written by the woman to her father narrated every happening in her life but disclosed no sign of harassment for dowry. Moreover, medical evidence showed nothing to suggest homicide.

Justice Dhingra said every suicide had to be tested on the basis of evidence available on records and the mental conditions of the victim. The court also censured the growing practice among the deceased's family of slapping dowry cases as a matter of ego. The court said that normally the in-laws are convicted on the testimonies of parents of the girl who, in a fit of anger, are not prepared to believe that their daughter could commit suicide for any other reason.

‘No arrest without thorough probe’
Last August, the High Court had put a curb on registration of dowry cases as a “routine affair” and held that no arrest can be made unless there is a thorough investigation and prior approval of the DCP concerned. The court issued these directions to “salvage and save the institution of marriage” after noticing that trivial fights, ego clashes, “heat of the moment” decisions, were largely behind most of the dowry complaints.


It's raining pesky daughters-in-law - All India Mother-in-Law Protection Forum ( AIMPF) gets calls from mother in laws victimised by their tormenting bahus

It's raining pesky daughters-in-law - All India Mother-in-Law Protection Forum ( AIMPF) gets  calls from mother in laws victimised by their tormenting bahus

CHANDIGARH: It seems that the city is flooded with troublesome daughters-in-laws. Within a day of its launch, the Chandigarh unit of All India Mother-in-Law Protection Forum ( AIMPF) received at least 55 calls, mostly from harassed women, claiming they were fed up with the torment of their 'bahus'.

Talking to TOI on Monday evening, unit incharge Manjit Puri claimed that the helpline began ringing as early as 6:45am, and the torrent continued throughout the day, with most of the 'victims' breaking down while relating their woeful tales.
The callers were not from the city alone, but extended to Punjab and Haryana and included mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and even fathers-in-law, she added.

"While praying to save her from the clutches of her daughter-in-law, one caller said that after her only son got married, things were going smoothly till they came to know about his wife's affair that was still not over. In a dramatic bid, the daughter-in-law tried to commit suicide. Later, she shifted to her parent's house and filed a case for abetment," Puri said.

Another distressed caller reportedly told Puri how her daughter-in-law moved out over a minor altercation. "The girl's relatives then beat up her in-laws and left them locked in a room of their house. When they lodged a complaint, the accused were arrested on minor charges but soon let off," Puri related.

She said most of the complaints were about the tilted laws that worked in favour of the daughters-in-law. "When the girl complains, police takes immediate action. But when the boy complaints, authorities hardly take note," she added.

"It is not just the men who suffer due to false cases under 498A (cruelty for dowry). Even their elderly parents and other family members are dragged to the jail," said Puri, who attended most of the 55 calls.

There were heart-rending calls from mothers who said they couldn't bear to see their sons, husbands and other kin insulted in full public view by scheming daughters-in-law.

"I have asked the callers to attend the next meeting of the forum on September 12. The line of action includes talking to legal experts and informing them about our plight," Puri said.

The front, headquartered at Bangalore, was launched on September 6 last year.

The Chandigarh unit began functioning on Sunday.


slideshow of AIMPF chandigarh launch and related news also @


U-turn by victim's parents; husband let off in dowry death in New Delhi

This again reinforces the misuse of 304B to fudge data of dowry death and dowry harassment to mislead the legislatures and siphon funds from US handlers in the name of women emancipation and empowerment
A recent judgment by Delhi HC has exposed and the mentality of girls’ parents to implicate husband and all his relatives in the desparate attempt to seek revenge or encash the opportunity to extort monies
the complete judgment is available here

U-turn by victim's parents; husband let off in dowry death in New Delhi

Monday, Sep 6, 2010,
A Delhi court has acquitted six members of a family, including the husband of the victim, in a dowry death case, considering the flip-flops of her parents while recording the testimonies during the trial.
"I am astonished to see their (parents of the victim) changed versions. These witnesses have deposed entirely different things in their cross examination by their examination in chief," additional sessions judge SC Rajan of a fast track court said.
The court absolved Sandeep Chopra, the husband of deceased Shefali, and his five family members of the charges under section 304B (dowry death), 498A (subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC.
Shefali, who married Sandeep in 2006, was found hanging with the ceiling at her matrimonial house at Chitranjan Park area in New Delhi on February 9, 2007.
In the FIR, Anita Bhatia, mother of the victim, had alleged that Shefali's husband used to harass her as one of his friends was not invited to their wedding. They had also demanded dowry, she had alleged.
She also charged the accused first killed her and then hanged her to the ceiling to establish that she committed suicide.
During the trial, Anita and Kuldeep Bhatia, parents of the victim, first testified that she was subjected to cruelty by the accused.
However, when cross-examined by defence lawyers, they took a complete U-turden and denied their own allegations.
The court, while perusing their testimonies, was of the opinion that there was some substance in the allegations but later found out that they were refuted by the witnesses themselves.

Full text @