Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Court to NCT govt: Frame rules to deal with dowry deaths

Court to NCT govt: Frame rules to deal with dowry deaths

A Delhi court on Monday expressed its displeasure over "inaction" on the part of the NCT government in framing proper rules for executive magistrates to follow in case of unnatural death of a woman due to dowry harassment. Additional Sessions Judge R K Gauba also decried a practice followed by the

Delhi police in which they wait for a Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) to send a report in order to register an FIR in case of death caused due to dowry demand.

The court sought a report from the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Headquarters on November 23 to apprise it whether any instruction has been sent to all police officers with regard to registration of FIRs in such cases.

It issued the notice while awarding a woman and her two daughters with 10 years rigorous imprisonment for driving her daughter-in-law to commit suicide on December six, 2005 within 10 months of her marriage.

"There seems to be inaction on the part of the state government in framing appropriate rules for purposes of sections 174/ 176 (police to inquire and report on suicide etc and inquiry by magistrate into cause of death respectively)of the CrPC," the court said.

During the trial in the case, the court noted that there was a substantial delay in registration of the FIR in the matter despite information sent to Prasad Nagar police station by Kamla Devi, mother of victim Chanda Kumar, following her suicide. The police, instead, waited for an instruction of the SDM to register the case. The SHO concerned sat over the order of the SDM stating that there was no specific direction to register the FIR even though the nature of offence was cognizable.

The court noted that the SDM, on his part, also did not issue proper instruction to the police under the procedure.

"The manner in which the SDM conducted his proceedings in this case has left much to be desired. His lack of training, instruction and preparedness to discharge responsibilities of this nature has come out vividly in the course of this trial.

"The evidence has also shown that the SDM never cared to even prepare any final report of the inquest. These aspects need to be taken up further with the concerned quarters in the executive branch of the government," the court said.

In its judgement, the court imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on victim's mother-in-law Premawati and his sisters-in-law Deepa Bala and Lalita after holding them guilty of abetment of suicide and cruelty.