Thursday, March 3, 2011

'No personal interest in Afzal's execution'

'No personal interest in Afzal's execution'

New Delhi, March 03, 2011

A day after slamming the government for inordinate delays in arriving at a decision on Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru's mercy plea, Justice SN Dhingra on Wednesday said he did not have any personal interest in the matter. "I cannot have any personal interest in Afzal Guru's hanging nor am

I personally aggrieved. My job, as a judge, was to decide the case on the basis of evidence and give the sentence. Now, it is for the Executive to take a decision on the hanging," Justice Dhingra told HT.

On the day of his retirement as a Delhi High Court judge, Justice Dhingra, who sentenced Guru to death, had on Tuesday said: "Ministers on various platforms criticise the judiciary for pendency and talk of speedy trial…they forget the Centre is unable to take a decision on his (Afzal's) mercy petition and on many others on death row for several years."

Dhingra, who pronounced judgment in the case, within a year, said mercy petitions did not require detailed examination, as there was no need to go into the specifics.

He added that the Centre needs only to look at the basis on which courts had come to such a conclusion.

"The Centre is unable to do even this much and at the same time, keeps blaming the judiciary for pendency," he said.

The Supreme Court had, in 2006, dismissed Guru's appeal against his death sentence, after which he had filed a mercy petition.

After shooting into the limelight with the order, Justice Dhingra, who became a Delhi High Court judge five years ago, has been widely acclaimed as a judge who boldly stood up for citizens rights in the capital and speedy trial.

Justice Dhingra has also been known to uphold the freedom of the press by ruling that journalists cannot be prosecuted for carrying out sting operations to expose corruption.

Misuse of dowry provisions is legal terrorism: Delhi Court

Misuse of dowry provisions is legal terrorism: Delhi Court

Smriti Singh, TNN, Mar 3, 2011, 01.39am IST

NEW DELHI: Terming the misuse of provisions of dowry harassment by women as "legal terrorism'', a trial court has slammed such women who, in a bid to settle scores, drag all family members into a dowry harassment case though they may be "totally unconnected" with the case.

"The provisions of Section 498A are not a law to take revenge, seek recovery of dowry or to force a divorce but a penal provision to punish the wrongdoers. The victims (women) are often misguided into exaggerating the facts by adding those persons as accused who are unconnected with the harassment under a mistaken belief that by doing so they are making a strong case," additional sessions judge Kamini Lau said.

The court's remarks came while discharging a man, who was chargesheeted by police for allegedly harassing his sister-in-law for dowry. A metropolitan magistrate had summoned the man on the basis of the complaint. The man had moved the sessions court challenging the magistrate's order saying there was no legal evidence against him.

Even as the complainant alleged that the man beat her up for dowry, the court was shocked to know that he was not even present in the house at the time of the incident. In her complaint, the woman alleged that her brother-in-law on October 23, 1998, asked her to bring more money for her husband and when she showed her helplessness, she was slapped and threatened by him.

The man, however, proved his innocence by producing the certificates which stated that he was living in Mumbai at the time of the incident. After going through the record, ASJ Lau said, "in any matrimonial dispute, it is the primary duty of every court to ensure that for any fault of the husband, his other relatives including married sisters and brothers who may be living jointly or separately and the aged parents are not involved either out of vengeance or to curl out appropriate settlement."

The court also expressed its displeasure over the misuse of the dowry harassment laws. "I am compelled to observe that provision in the recent years has become consummate embodiment of gross human rights violation, extortion and corruption and even the Apex Court of our country had acknowledged this abuse and termed it as legal terrorism," it said.