Friday, January 31, 2014

Sexual crime against men is no myth!

Sexual crime against men is no myth!

Last Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 19:42
Rashi Aditi Ghosh/Zee Research Group

As the nation moans ever growing sexual crimes against women, the similar crime against men often go unnoticed. The number of such cases, however, officially registered with the police is yet small. The low number is attributed by legal experts to fear of society reprisal who insist many such cases go unreported. 

The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) under the home ministry tabulates crime against men under various categories of kidnapping and abduction for variety of motives including illicit intercourse, prostitution and marriage. 

According to NCRB 2012 data, 175 men have been kidnapped and abducted for the purpose of illicit intercourse since 2009. The cases have been registered under Sec.363 to 369, 371 to 373 of Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

Men too are vulnerable is evident from another disturbing statistic. The NCRB report also shows that since 2009, 995 men were either kidnapped or abducted for forceful marriage. 

NCRB data further shows that 115 men were kidnapped for the purpose of prostitution. Most of the kidnappings and abductions of men for the purpose of getting sexual favour have been reported within 18 to 30 years and 30 to 50 years age group. 

Men rights activists charge the situation is “serious” and needs “urgent attention.” Atit Rajpada, men rights activist and ex president of Men’s Rights Association says, “The irony is that sexual abuse of men is not treated equally under law.” He wants government to accept the Association’s charter for changes in the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act to ensure men are treated at par on the issue. 

Abha Singhal Joshi, High Court lawyer and Consultant at Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative concurs with the under reportage view. The exact incidence of sexual crime against men, however, is not known since no independent work has yet been carried on the issue. 

“It is true that sexual harassment of men is not a much talked about issue but it does exist. I have personal knowledge of such few cases,” reveals Joshi. She, however, does not buy the argument of poor legal protection for such victims. 

“Protection is available under the Section 355 of the Indian Penal code which deals with assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour any person as also under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012,” she explains. 

Experts argue society retribution in such cases has to do with lack of exposure. Unlike heavy focus on sexual crimes against women in media and Bollywood, male victimization is by and large a taboo subject. 

Bollywood has not being very vocal on issue of sexual crime against men. Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra starring ‘Aitraaz’ is a rare example that dealt with the issue of sexual harassment of men at the workplace. 

Only recently actor Zeenat Aman announced that she has starred in a bilingual movie called `Strings of Passion` that deals with the unexplored subject of sexual torture of male models and extras. The movie is under production. 

A study by Texas Association Against Sexual Assault shows that in the United States about 10 per cent of all victims of sexual assault, sexual abuse and rape are men. 

A book named “Betrayed as boys: Psychodynamic treatment of sexually abused men. Guilford: New York” also reports that in a 1996 study of 600 college men, 28 per cent of those surveyed reported some form of sexual abuse as a child. 

First Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 19:42 
(The views expressed by the author are personal)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

HC asks Centre to file reply on Domestic Violence Act section

HC asks Centre to file reply on Domestic Violence Act section

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai  January 29, 2014 Last Updated at 18:06 IST
The Court Bombay High Court today gave a last chance till March 5 to Union government for filing its reply on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of a section under the Domestic Violence Act which allows cases to be filed only against males. 

The petition filed by a mother-daughter duo has challenged the validity of Section 2(q) of the Act restricting the definition of 'respondent' to adult male members. 

The petition was filed in February 2013, following which the bench issued a notice to Ministry of Women and Child Welfare seeking its reply. However, the ministry is yet to respond. 

"The ministry has been given three chances since February last year. But you (ministry) are still seeking time. We are giving you one last chance now. File reply by March 5. No further time will be given," Chief Justice Mohit Shah said. 

According to petitioners Kusum Harsora (53) and her mother Pushpa Harsora (78), the section under the said Act makes an unreasonable, unfair and arbitrary distinction in the definition of 'respondent'. 

"Even female family members can be perpetrators of domestic violence. By restricting the definition of respondent to a domestic violence case to adult male members, the entire purpose of the Act is defeated. The section must be declared as unconstitutional and violative of the rights of women," according to the petition. 

The petition was filed after a single judge of the high court in February last year quashed a case filed by Kusum against her sisters and sister-in-law under the Domestic Violence Act. While junking the case, the high court took the view that no case under Domestic Violence Act can be made out against female relatives. 

Kusum had filed complaint in a metropolitan magistrate in October 2010 against her two sisters, Anita and Chandrika, brother Pradeep and his wife Hiral. Kusum had alleged that the four were harassing her and her mother Pushpa.

After probe, police may get rape FIR cancelled

After probe, police may get rape FIR cancelled

TNN | Jan 29, 2014, 02.37 AM IST

NEW DELHI: East Delhi police have said that the allegations of rape levelled by a 28-year-old married woman against her friend who, she claimed, assaulted her inside a car in presence of two other men, could not be established as there are several contradictions in her statement. 

While the medical reports of the woman ruled out rape, it was found that the description of the rapist as mentioned by her in her complaint does not match that of the person she accused of committing the offence. It was also found that the car mentioned by the woman did not belong to any of the two men. Police said that the mobile location of the men was nowhere near Loni flyover where she claimed she was picked up from. Sources said there would be no arrests in the case and that police may move court for cancellation of the FIR. 

The woman had told police on Sunday that she was walking to her house when her friend and two other men pulled over and offered her a ride home. She claimed that the friend raped her after she got into the vehicle and later dumped her near a roundabout on way to Loni. She said the two friends had watched the assault and threatened her to keep mum. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Child custody law in India: a litigant perspective. - The Hindu

Child custody law in India: a litigant perspective. - The Hindu

Updated: February 2, 2013 13:09 IST
Aveek Jayant
There has been a flurry of activity on the personal law front in our country in the recent past. An amendment seeking to add ‘irretrievable’ breakdown of marriage as a ground for divorce to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954 is in the wings. There are also provisions on sharing matrimonial property and waiving the statutory cooling period before a legal dissolution of marriage. Doubtless, personal law reform is a necessity given that most of our laws are antiquated.

A parody of sorts is that the first move to grant divorce on the basis of irretrievable breakdown was initiated by the Law Commission of India in its 71 report more than three decades ago! In the background is the increased incidence of matrimonial breakdown, the Sample Registration System 2010 data finalised recently quotes figures in the range of around 9% for states like Tamil Nadu (1)). Although exact figures are difficult to obtain the factum of increase seems to be unequivocal; the annual number of divorce petitions in a city like Mumbai has doubled since the 1990s (2). A renowned legal scholar and lawyer in the Madras High Court, Geeta Ramaseshan believes that while ‘more divorce cases are coming to court but this does not mean marital discord did not exist earlier’ (3). Others take a contrarian view and a clinical psychologist attributes it to the ‘complete death of tolerance’ (4).

Be it as it may, my concern in this article is to draw attention to another emotional landmine- the issue of child custody. In my opinion, this continues to languish as a neglected corner of our jurisprudence. The flashes of attention that are drawn to it are mired in sensationalism as the recent dispute regarding custody of two small Indian children in faraway Norway and its current chapter in Kolkata prove.

The laws governing child custody in India are the Guardians and Wards Act 1890 and the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956. The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act states that the ‘natural guardian of a Hindu minor, in respect of the minor’s person as well as in respect of the minor’s property …. in the case of a boy or unmarried girl- the father, and after him, the mother, provided that the custody of a minor who has not completed the age of five years shall ordinarily be with the mother’(5). There are numerous connotations this can take, some of these are: that the law reflects our patriarchal social structure and that small children are always better off with the mother... Matters are also complicated by a legal process that does not view legal guardianship to be co- terminus with physical custody of a child.

Over a year ago I happened to meet a leading lawyer in a metropolitan South Indian city to plead my own petition for child custody. A very warm and affable person, she did her best to dissuade me from litigation: in her considered opinion, it was time to do other things such as focussing on a career since my chances of getting child custody were negligible. At best one could file for ‘visitation rights’ and given my modest financial resources she found it unconscionable to waste my money on futile or near futile litigation. At least, in operational times it therefore seems that mothers most often win custody battles in our country. This is not surprising because this is an international phenomenon. In the United Kingdom only 8% of fathers function as single parents (6). In Germany local laws give sole custody to the mother unless she consents to joint custody. In at least one case the European Court of Human Rights has ruled this provision overtly discriminatory (7); this has led to German law makers taking a re- look at their child custody provisions.

The Supreme Court of India has consistently held that in deciding cases of child custody ‘the first and paramount consideration is the welfare and interest of the child and not the rights of the parents under a statute’ (8). As if to dispel any doubts on the matter the Court held (vide supra) ‘no statute on the subject can ignore, eschew or obliterate the vital factor of the welfare of the minor’. In a landmark judgement the SC driving home the equality of the mother to fulfil the role of a guardian held that ‘gender equality is one of the basic principles of our Constitution, and, therefore, the father by reason of a dominant personality cannot be ascribed to have a preferential right over the mother in the matter of guardianship since both fall within the same category ‘(9). To the lay person, this was akin to the highest Court in the country saying gender was not a consideration in deciding matters of child custody and guardianship. It was not to be, the Karnataka High Court held several years later that ‘it is the most natural thing for any child to grow up in the company of one’s mother’ and ‘a child gets the best protection and education only through the mother even in nature’ (10). Again it was the sagacity of the Supreme Court hearing an appeal in the same matter which held that ‘we make it clear that we do not subscribe to the general observations and comments made by the High Court in favour of mother as parent to be always preferable to the father to retain custody of the child’ (11). Despite the over- arching observations of the Supreme Court in the matter of child custody it is thus, often, the subjectivity of an individual judge which decides a case of child custody.

A now popular talk show claims that more than 50% of women (which it claims is a conservative estimate) in our country are victims of domestic violence. An enormous amount of media time was spent on the tragedy of Baby Falak, a battered baby. More topically the horrendous rape and subsequent death of another young woman in Delhi was, for days on end the talk of the town. Concurrent with their anxiety to make their coverage of these tragedies an index of their social conscientiousness, news channels spared no attempt at bashing the prototypical Indian male- lawless, abusive, selfish, greedy, insensitive to the plight of women and children and so and so forth. It is unquestionable that violence against women, the solicitation of dowry and the neglect of children are social crimes, that these are prevalent enough to need special attention is also not in doubt. The problem arises when societal prototyping potentially prejudices the delivery of justice. With the phenomenal impact that visual and increasingly social media have on public opinion can we expect fairly that legislation or jurisprudence will be immune?

As early as 1980 the Law Commission of India submitted a report to the Government of India advising it to amend the Guardians and Wards Act 1890, it suggested that Section 6 of the Act (vide supra) be amended so as ‘ to allow the mother the custody of a minor till it completes the age of 12 years’. In its infinite wisdom this was necessary to prevent the father from ‘using the child as a pawn for securing complete submission of his wife’. Fast forward to 2010 where the SC heard an applicant father who was denied visitation rights for a little more than three years, an order of the Supreme Court notwithstanding. In this case the Court opined that the petitioner’s rights stood ‘completely frustrated’ and that the ‘mind of the child has been influenced to such an extent that he has no affection/ respect for the applicant’ (13). It also minced no words in holding that the respondent had ‘wilfully and deliberately’ committed ‘contempt of this court’. Women therefore are not above ‘using the child as a pawn’.

It does therefore appear that when a marriage fails either party, male or female uses the child to browbeat the opposite partner into submission. In the emotional battle of parents the child is often held hostage by whosoever has physical custody. India urgently needs legislative and judicial action to prevent either parent from alienating the child from the estranged partner. An interim measure can always be that a parent who deliberately alienates the child from the other has his or her rights for custody weakened; the underlying assumption always being that it is never healthy for a child to be denied the love and guidance of a biological parent. It is also moot to point out that the absence of these measures inevitably strengthens inter- parental international child abduction since India is not a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Let us also briefly look at another area of family law jurisprudence- the laws governing prohibition of dowry and domestic violence. It is nobody’s case that these are not social problems in this country. Implementation of the statute has been vitiated to such an extent that the SC held that ‘as has been rightly contended by the petitioner many instances have come to light where the complaints are not bonafide and filed with obligue motive (sic)’ (14). While solicitation of dowry and any violence is indeed reprehensible (and must be met with the full force of the State) is it not shocking that such stringent laws are misused by women and their families? More cogently when will our society mature enough to view goodness or wickedness as part of our innate human nature, not necessarily endowments of our sex?

It is unfair that women will or should give up their careers to stay at home with toddler children it is equally unfair that men should be disqualified on the basis of statute. The need of the hour is a gender neutral custody law; there is however no way to second guess which way our custody laws are headed.

Within the realm of judicial intervention I would earnestly plead that our higher judiciary enunciate a specific set of guidelines on the matter. In the absence of these child custody matters essentially rest on the discretion of an individual judge, who drawn from our society is not always free from one or other stereotypes.


Tamil Nadu has the highest percentage of widowed/ divorcees in India. The Times of India 05 April 2012.

With India’s new affluence comes the divorce generation. The New York Times 19 Feb 2008.

Why is the divorce rate climbing up? The Hindu 23 Sep 2002.

For space, young couples snap the knot in no time. The Times of India 15 Dec 2010.

Section 6 (a) -The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956.

Divorced fathers to get more contact with their children. The Guardian Feb 3 2012.

Love before the law: child custody set for overhaul. The Local 2 Jul 2010.

AIR 2008 SC 2262

AIR 1999, 2 SCC 228

II (2003) DMC 288, 2003 (3) KarLJ 530

AIR 2004 SC 1525.

The Law Commission of India 83 report 1980.

2011 1 MLJ (1002)

2006 AIR 670.

Aveek Jayant is on the faculty of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,(Chandigarh) an autonomous institution under the Govt. of India. The views expressed in this article are entirely personal. Email:

Pune City police warned against ‘misuse’ of IPC section 498A

Pune City police warned against ‘misuse’ of IPC section 498A

Posted On Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:36:23 AM

Officials at city police stations have been directed to be circumspect while registering FIRs under section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Preliminary inquiries may be conducted in cases of matrimonial/family disputes before an FIR is registered, police officials have been told. 

“We have issued circulars to all police stations in the city. They have been told that a preliminary inquiry must be conducted in cases of matrimonial/family disputes before FIRs and arrests in cases under 498A,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sanjeev Kumar Singhal.

As per records available with the police commissioner’s office, there were 299 cases in 2013, 180 in 2012 and 231 in 2011 registered under section 498A. “A woman or her relative(s) can file a case under against her husband, his parents, siblings and other relatives. 

In the past, there has been misuse of the law when the police arrested people without verification or investigation. Alleging harassment over dowry demands by their husband’s family, women would lodge false complaints of physical and mental harassment. 

The Supreme Court has framed guidelines for preliminary inquiries before registration of FIRs in cases of matrimonial and property disputes,” said criminal lawyer Kainat Shaikh.

However, Asunta Pardhe, president of NGO Chetna Mahila Vikas Kendra, believes that victims never misuse the law. “There are several social and cultural factors responsible for this perception that women misuse this law. 

A victim approaches the police when she has undergone tremendous mistreatment at the hands of her husband and in-laws. As she may not know about the law, it is the police who invoke this section of the IPC. It is often seen that, in many cases, family members force the women to compromise and withdraw the case. 

Due to this, there is a perception that women misuse this law. Victims also compromise for the sake of their children or other family commitments. Hence, few case go to trial unless the victim is no longer alive,” Pardhe told Mirror.

The women grievances redressal cell at the Police Commissioner’s office has been counselling couples and their family members regarding family disputes and police officials said they have been sensitised about the law and its ramifications due to misuse.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Woman should be booked for filing fake rape case, says HC

Woman should be booked for filing fake rape case, says HC

Thursday, Aug 1, 2013, 10:43 IST | Agency: DNA
Urvi Mahajani  
Distinguish between genuine and false plaints, cops told.

If a woman lodges a false complaint of rape, then she should be prosecuted, observed the Bombay high court on Wednesday while granting anticipatory bail to an Art of Living teacher accused of rape.

Justice Sadhana Jadhav said, “The police should be careful and distinguish between genuine cases and false complaints.”

The judge remarked that of late several cases were coming to the HC in which ‘victims’ had filed rape complaints and alleged that they had entered into relationships after being promised marriage.

“In a relationship between consenting adults, sometimes, such complaints are filed in the heat of the moment. This sends wrong signals to society,” observed justice Jadhav.

The judge said the police should conduct initial inquiry into the matter and decide whether it is a genuine complaint or not.

The court was hearing an anticipatory bail application filed by Divyesh Vala, 35. He had sought anticipatory bail saying he has been falsely implicated and the case is causing him severe harm and mental agony. The complaint was filed by a central excise inspector, 42, alleging Vala raped her on the pretext of marrying her.

According to additional public prosecutor, Anil Shitole, the victim, who is also a divorcee, had contacted Vala through a social networking website, where they became good friends. Vala later cut all ties with her and married another woman in May. Following this, she registered a complaint with the RAK Marg police station in June this year.

Justice Jadhav, while granting Vala anticipatory bail against a surety of Rs15,000, said that both of them are adults and the victim, in her complaint, never said that she had sexual relations with Vala because he promised to marry her.

The court observed that Vala cannot be sent to custody as it would not serve any fruitful purpose except satisfying the complainant’s vendetta.

Justice Jadhav has directed him to report to the RAK Marg police station on Sundays.

Friday, January 24, 2014

3 youths acquitted of gangrape as girl says it never happened

3 youths acquitted of gangrape as girl says it never happened

HT Correspondent  Chandigarh, January 24, 2014
First Published: 15:21 IST(24/1/2014) | Last Updated: 15:23 IST(24/1/2014)

Three engineering students booked on charges of gangrape were acquitted after the 'victim' refused to identify them and even wondered how the case was registered "when I did not lodge the complaint".

With the victim effectively turning hostile, additional district and sessions judge Shalini S Nagpal acquitted Kulwinder Singh, Monty Pandwal and Mohit Subharwal, diploma students at an institute in Sector 26. The police had on April 28, 2013, arrested the three youths on a complaint purportedly written by the 17-year-old girl from Maloya alleging that she was raped in a forest near Sakteri.

But testifying before the court on September 25, 2013, she had denied rape and said, "I have seen these persons (accused) for the first time. I have never been raped or even lodged a complaint. I do not know how the case was registered or why at all I am in the court."

Defence counsel Yadvinder Singh Sandhu told HT, "These students were implicated by the police. The girl told the court that the police had forced her to sign blank papers and she was unaware of the contents which the police called 'her complaint'."

In this 'complaint', it was said that the girl, a school dropout, had become friends with Kulwinder, who told her his name was Prashant, over phone conversations. Police said she was picked up from Sector 41 on a bike by Kulwinder who told her they would go to Sukhna lake. But he allegedly took her towards Saketri, where his friends and he allegedly took turns to rape her. None of it could be proved, though.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Court orders FIR against those who filed false rape case, man gets bail after 3 weeks in jail

Court orders FIR against those who filed false rape case, man gets bail after 3 weeks in jail

Written by D K Rituraj | New Delhi | January 23, 2014 04:21

A city court on Wednesday granted bail to a man accused of rape by his ex-girlfriend. The court also ordered police to register an FIR against those responsible for filing a false case.

The court’s order came after the man spent three weeks in Tihar jail. The 25-year-old woman had complained to police that Vivek had established physical relations with her for the last four years after promising marriage. However, he allegedly did not keep his promise and planned to marry another woman. She had registered a complaint against him on January 2 and police had arrested him on January 3.

The man had applied for bail on Monday on the grounds that the woman had registered a false case against him out of spite. On Wednesday, the woman submitted an affidavit before the court stating that her allegations against him were false. She further claimed that she had been “misguided” by an NGO and her lawyer into pressing rape charges.

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma released the man on bail, but insisted on taking action against those responsible for wasting the court’s time. The judge asked police to lodge an FIR under Section 211 IPC, which criminalises any person filing false charges.

“In view of the affidavit filed by the prosecutrix, SHO PS R K Puram is directed to lodge an FIR and take appropriate action as per law,” Judge Sharma said.

Section 211 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860
211. False charge of offence made with intent to injure.-- Whoever, with intent to cause injury to any person, institutes or causes to be instituted any criminal proceeding against that person, or falsely charges any person with having committed an offence, knowing that there is no just or lawful ground for such proceeding or charge against that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both; and if such criminal proceeding be instituted on a false charge of an offence punishable with death 1[ imprisonment for life], or imprisonment for seven years or upwards, shall be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

HC judge, kin accused of dowry harassment | Daughter-in-law files dowry harassment case against AP High Court judge in Chennai

HC judge, kin accused of dowry harassment

Chennai/Hyderabad, Jan 24, 2014, DHNS:
The daughter-in-law of an Andhra Pradesh High Court judge lodged a complaint against her husband and family with the Chennai police commissioner on a charge of dowry harassment. An allegation which was refuted by her husband.

According to the complaint, Kavya Rao (30) married B Ramakrishna, the judge’s son, in 2007. After marriage, the couple lived in Bangalore till Ramakrishna lost his job in 2008. Kavya alleged that her in-laws began harassing her when she and her jobless husband moved to Hyderabad. 

She told police that her family had paid more than Rs 40 lakh as dowry, but her husband’s family demanded another Rs 50 lakh. 

As her parents could not pay the amount, she was harassed frequently by her in-laws, which forced her to come to live with her father in Chennai. Later, her father-in-law lodged a false police complaint against her father, she said.

“My in-laws, in their complaint, said that my father had stolen valuables from their house,” Kavya said and alleged that her father-in-law was influencing the police personnel even in Chennai.

On January 13, based on information received from Andhra Pradesh Police, Kavya and her father were summoned by the Chennai Police in connection with a case that she had stolen her father-in-law’s ancestral jewellery.

Meanwhile, Ramakrishna, who’s pursuing PhD at IIT New Delhi, refuted his wife’s allegations. 

According to family sources, Ramakrishna maintains that the issue of dowry harassment never came up in the communication he had with his wife through emails in the past several months. 

“Moreover she (Kavya) has recently sent a draft note of a mutual consent divorce petition. One of the conditions in that draft note was that there will be no mutual giving and taking between the two at the time of divorce”.

Incidentally, Ramakrishna filed a complaint at Jinnaram Police Station in Medak district on November 23 against Kavya’s family members alleging that they were threatening him with dire consequences and abusing him. 

According to him, his wife and in-laws were not allowing him to see his child. Besides, a case had been filed at Medak court for restitution of conjugal rights and custody of his three-year old daughter. The decision on that issue is pending.

Daughter-in-law files dowry harassment case against AP High Court judge in Chennai

R.Ramasubramanian  Chennai, January 23, 2014 | UPDATED 14:58 IST

The daughter-in-law of a sitting Andhra Pradesh High Court judge has filed a dowry harassment complaint against her husband and his family members.  Kavya Rao (30) a resident of Chennai came to the Chennai Police Commissioner's officer on Wednesday afternoon and filed the formal complaint.  In her complaint Kavya said her father,  a Chennai based businessman arranged her wedding with the High Court judge's son in 2007.  She said during their marriage her parents had paid Rs.43.5 lakh as dowry, but the judge and his wife and other relatives demanded Rs.50 lakh more.  Kavya also said that her husband lost his job in 2008 and hence they moved from Bangalore to Hyderabad.  "Ever since the harassment began and my in - laws pressurised me to bring in atleast 50 lakhs rupees immediately"

Kavya in her complaint also submitted that since her family could not arrange this much money immediately she was made to starve by her inlaws.  But after some time her parents gave her inlaws money at frequent intervals. When she could not tolerate the agony she returned to Chennai to live with her parents.  

But even after that the troubles did not end for her , her father-in-law lodged a false complaint against her father.  On the instigations of the judge, abduction and theft cases were filed against my father she said and added the judge is influencing the police in Chennai.  Her husband came to her house in Chennai a week ago and ransacked it . Kavya has a small baby girl. In her complaint she said her husband, mother-in-law and father-in-law are attempting to abduct her child.

The complaint was filed with the Additional Commissioner of Police (headquarers) R.S. Nallasivam.  It was later forwarded to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Adayar range for further investigations.  "We have informed the Chief Justice of India.  The AP High Court judge is attempting to influence the local police here.  We will wait for four or five days.  If the Police does not take any action we will move the Madras High Court for direction to the Chennai Police Commissioner to take suitable action in this regard"  said K.Balu, advocate of Kavya in an interveiw with India Today Online



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

HC gives guidelines on Section 498A, the process to be followed. NO routine arrest on mere allegations

HC gives guidelines on Section 498A

TNN | Jan 22, 2014, 01.16 AM IST

HYDERABAD: Finding fault with a woman who implicated the parents of her mother-in-law and the families of her husband's sisters currently residing abroad in a dowry harassment case under section 498 A of the IPC, the high court has issued certain guidelines to the state police to enforce the anti-dowry law. One of the main directions given is not to arrest the accused involved in dowry harassment cases without securing the permission of the district SP or any other officer of the equal rank in metropolitan cities.

Justice B Chandra Kumar pronounced this judgment while allowing a criminal petition filed by Syed Kaleemuallah Hussaini and three others seeking anticipatory bail in a dowry harassment case. In his order, the judge said that no accused should be arrested when the allegation is simple dowry harassment. "If arrest is necessary, the investigating officer should obtain the permission of either the SP or any other officer of the equal rank in metropolitan cities."

The judge directed the magistrates to ensure that no accused was remanded in judicial custody in a routine manner. When an accused is produced before the magistrate, the court should examine the matter judiciously and consider whether there are valid grounds for remanding the accused to judicial custody, the judge said. If arrest is not necessary, the police may complete the investigation and file a chargesheet before the court without arresting the accused, he said.

The judge made it clear that in the case of dowry death, suspicious death, and suicide or where the allegations are serious in nature, the police officer may arrest the accused and intimate the same immediately to the SP concerned. The judge ruled that no accused or witness should be unnecessarily called to the police station, and in case their presence is required for enquiry, they should be sent back immediately after completion of the process.

"During the investigation, if the officer is satisfied that there is an undue implication of a person in the case, then he may delete the names of such persons from the chargesheet after obtaining necessary permission from the SP or any other officer of the same rank", the judge said. "As soon as a complaint is received either from the wife alleging dowry harassment or from the husband that there is possibility of his being implicated in a case of dowry harassment, then, both the parties should be asked to undergo counselling with an experienced counsellor," the judge said and directed that the report of the counsellors should be made a part of the report to be submitted by the investigating officer to the court.

The judge also ruled that the SP in consultation with the chairman of the district legal services authority should constitute a panel of counsellors and details of such a panel along with their address and phone numbers should be made available at all the police stations.

Senior police officers should ensure that there are no complaints of forcible settlements or compromises made by the police. The advocates should play the role of social reformers and try to bring about reconciliation between bickering couples while dealing with such cases, particularly, where the couples have children, he said.

The judge in his order lamented that "it is most unfortunate that Section 498-A of IPC has become a weapon in breaking the families rather than uniting them."

He also said that there cannot be any doubt to say that there is dowry menace in the society. But, at the same time, it is also a fact that certain marriages are performed without any dowry. Due to ill-advice or under a wrong impression that the husband may come to terms if a dowry case is lodged, complaints are being lodged with the police, the judge opined. While directing the registry to mark a copy of this judgment to the DGP, justice Chandra Kumar wanted the DGP to issue necessary instructions to all the men under him in the state in this regard.

Leaving husband’s home is wife’s cruelty, says High Court

Leaving husband’s home is wife’s cruelty, says High Court

Monday, February 22, 2010 at 12:26:46 AM

The Bombay High Court (HC) in an order last week upholding a divorce granted by the family court said that leaving the house of the husband to stay with parents without informing or taking the husband into confidence is a conduct against matrimonial duties and amounts to cruelty. 

The division bench of Justice D B Bhosale and Justice R Y Ganoo was hearing an appeal filed by a wife against a family court order of 2005 granting divorce to the husband. 

The couple got married in 1996 and started staying in Chembur. In 2001, the husband moved the family court seeking divorce on grounds of cruelty.

The family court granted the divorce and the wife then appealed to HC saying that the husband could not establish cruelty and thus the judge has erred in granting divorce on grounds of cruelty. 

The HC in its order took note of instances of cruelty cited by the husband. The husband said that she would abuse him and his parents in filthy language, insult him publicly on the streets, not allow him to go to work,  left early in the morning  and would return late at night and when requested  to prepare food she would refuse to do so. 

The husband said that she was hot-tempered and was also in the habit of leaving the matrimonial home without informing him. 

She would also threaten to damage electrical appliances and household articles. The husband mentioned that on certain occasions she assaulted him and he had to take medical treatment. It was also his case that owing to her quarrelsome behaviour his reputation in the society was damaged.  

The wife on the other hand denied all his allegations, saying that it was the husband who was treating her cruelly. She told the court that despite his cruel nature, she was living with him. 

She said that the husband picked up quarrels with her and filed the petition for divorce without any basis and thus the HC should reject the divorce granted by the family court.   

The HC however, upheld the divorce and dismissed the appeal filed by the wife. The court took into consideration all the evidence put forward by both the parties to support their case. The court said that the Family Court Judge was right in observing that the wife’s behaviour amounted to cruelty.

The court in its order stated that the husband had filed complaint to the Social Service Wing of Mumbai Police narrating as to how the wife abused him.

“In the normal course, if the behaviour of the appellant (wife) was proper, there was no reason for the respondent (husband) to make any grievance to the Social Service Wing of the Mumbai Police making a request to look into the matrimonial dispute,” said the judges. 

While rejecting the wife’s claim that she had filed complaints to the police the HC said: “She has not produced any document to show complaints with the police or even medical treatment given to her. 

This will clearly go to show that the appellant (wife) came out with the false case about having filed complaints against the respondent (husband). 

The court further gave weightage to the fact that even the occupants of the building had observed that she was picking up fights with her husband without any reason. The husband supported his case with letters and complaints filed on various occasions.  

The court further referred to an intervention made by the Shakha Pramukh of Shiv Sena. The parties were called at the Shakha to resolve the matrimonial dispute. 

“Even the Shakha Pramukh had visited house of the appellant and had told her to reconcile and stay with the respondent. This would clearly go to show that even respectable persons in the locality were convinced that the behaviour of the appellant required change,” said Justice Ganoo and Justice Bhosale. 

“Surely, if the wife leaves the house of the husband and stays with her parents without informing the husband or taking the husband in confidence, such a conduct will have to be treated against the matrimonial duties and therefore the respondent was right in claiming that the appellant had treated the respondent with cruelty,” ruled the HC.

Source -

Leaving hubby often is cruelty: Court

Leaving hubby often is cruelty: Court

Monday, Jan 20, 2014, 6:53 IST | Agency: DNA
Grants divorce to man who accused wife of frequently going to her parents' place without his permission.
Representational pic
Representational pic

If a woman leaves her matrimonial home regularly without her husband’s permission or on false pretexts, it amounts to desertion and cruelty to the man as he would be deprived of marital bliss, observed the family court recently while granting divorce to a couple. 

The couple married in 2007 and have a daughter, whose custody has been given to the mother. The man had approached the family court, seeking divorce in his petition. He alleged that right from the beginning, his wife never made any attempt to get herself know her in-laws. 

“Even after 15 days of marriage instead of mixing up and knowing the family members, the respondent preferred to go to her parental house without information/permission of the petitioner. Such conduct of respondent continued thereafter,” stated his petition. 

The husband further alleged, “He tried his level best to continue relations but there was no change in the behaviour of respondent.” After going through the arguments and affidavit filed by the husband, the court issued notice to the woman. Since there was no response from her side, the court passed on an ex-parte order.

The court noted that “The parties are young. They are supposed to spend maximum time with each other. Particularly, after the birth of their daughter. It can be inferred from the evidence that even though the petitioner was not at all fault, the respondent deprived him from marital bliss without any justifiable reason.”

Further it said “Even if there are disputes/ differences between the married couple those can be solved by taking initiative. Miscommunication/ misunderstanding creates distance in the relation. 
Normally the guilty spouse either takes aggressive stand and/or keep silent. The conduct of the parties can be inferred from the pleadings and evidence. It clearly shows that the respondent deserted the petitioner for a long time. The desertion amounts to cruelty.” 

The court granted divorce and directed the man to pay a monthly maintenance of Rs 1,500 to the minor child.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What can a couple do to restore trust to their relationship?

What can a couple do to restore trust to their relationship?


After many years of marriage that have seen numerous painful circumstances requiring forgiveness on the part of both spouses, what can a couple do to restore trust to their relationship?


First be wary of clich├ęs and pat answers that promise quick solutions to the problem you’re facing. By your own testimony, it’s taken many years to build the wall of bitterness and suspicion that now stands at the heart of your relationship. You can’t expect to tear it down in a single day. Restoring trust takes time. It’s a process that requires both an accurate understanding and an appropriate application of the principle of forgiveness. But you can’t begin to move in this direction until you know what the words “trust” and “forgiveness” really mean.

Trust is something that has to be earned. It’s a mistake to assume that a person is worthy of trust simply because he’s expressed remorse and you’ve offered him forgiveness. That’s just the beginning. As has already been indicated, trust can be broken fairly quickly, but the rebuilding process can be lengthy and tedious. This is especially true where the offenses in question were unusually hurtful or if they’ve been repeated numerous times. When you’ve been wounded, it’s difficult to trust again unless you can see tangible evidence that things are going to be different in the future. So if you’re the spouse taking the initiative to restore the relationship, look for change and insist on seeing it implemented before moving forward. At the same time, don’t make unrealistic demands. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, you might reasonably expect the following responses from your partner:

1)     A willingness to take personal responsibility for the damage done without shifting blame or adopting evasive tactics.

2)     A determination to come up with a precise and definitive plan designed to prevent further offenses.

3)     A commitment to join you in seeking Christian counseling. This would include an active resolve to sort through all problematic  
        issues and to make all the necessary changes.

4)     Patience and forbearance in allowing the wounded spouse the time necessary to heal without undue pressure.

        Forgiveness, too, is a frequently misunderstood concept. Many people seem to believe that forgiving means one of the following:

1)     Condoning or excusing the offense.

2)     Forgetting past abuses or injustices.

3)     Minimizing or justifying negative behavior.                            

4)     Immediately trusting the offender again.

 By way of contrast, true biblical forgiveness is not a matter of overlooking offenses or sweeping them under the rug. Instead it    means:

1)     Giving up unhealthy anger which is often expressed as bitterness, spite, rage, the “silent treatment,” or revenge.

2)     Turning both the offender and the offense over to God for His righteous judgment.

3)     Making a commitment to work through the issues together until the root causes of the problem have been identified and resolved.

4)     Actively rebuilding the relationship, brick by brick, on a foundation of solid trust.

Remember: forgiveness is not optional for the Christian. God requires that you forgive your spouse — “for if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15). So “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another just as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). If this is a struggle for you, begin by asking the Lord to help you in those areas where you’re finding it difficult to forgive. Sin is the obvious reason we hurt each other, but it isn’t always easy to get to the practical heart of the matter. For helpful insight into this aspect of the problem, we’d highly recommend that you and your spouse get a copy of R.T. Kendall’s excellent book Total Forgiveness and study it from cover to cover.  

We would strongly urge you and your spouse to discuss the concepts at length with a certified marriage counselor. We have a staff of trained Christian therapists here at Focus on the Family who are available to consult with you over the phone — you can call one of them Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain-time at 855-771-HELP (4357). The Family Help Center staff member who answers the phone will arrange for a licensed counselor to call you back. One of them will be in touch just as soon as they're able. Our counselors can also provide you with a list of qualified professionals practicing in your area.  They’ll be more than happy to assist you in any way they can.

Copyright © 2010, Focus on the Family. Used by permission.

Also Read

How in most cases mothers on the side of the bride are most interfering causing breakage of marriages

How mothers can break marriages

Aditi Gyanesh, TNN Jan 4, 2014, 11.06AM IST
LUDHIANA: Sanya married a well to do businessman one and a half years ago. But she felt lonely in her marital home as she did not talk much to her in-laws. However, she talked to her mother every night and updated her on every detail. Her mother encouraged her to adopt the tit for tat attitude.
Sanya's husband, Sumit, who remained busy in his business or the family, followed the advise of his mother, who kept a strict tab on when and where the couple went and what they talked about.
Interference of mothers on both sides led to fights between the couple and after one and half stormy years they were in court for divorce. None of the four were willing to adjust.
Sanya and Sumit are among the many couples in Ludhiana who suffered marital discord due to the interference of mothers on both sides. A whopping 50% of divorce cases in courts have come within two or three years of marriage. The main reason being the inability of couples to adjust in each other's families. Advocate Avtar Kaur Brar, who handles such cases in Ludhiana district court said, "We get many cases of mothers intruding upon the lives of married couples. Newly weds also don't understand the need to maintain a distance and follow their mothers, landing up for divorce eventually. In most cases, it has been found that mothers on the side of the bride are most interfering. Girls share everything with their mothers and instead of putting them on the path of marital happiness, mothers ask girls to adopt a confrontationist stance. Couples today lack understanding and file for divorce."
Although marital discord may also be prompted by factors like domestic violence, extra marital affairs and busy partners, interference of mothers is a constant on both sides. Members of Punjab Istri Sabha, an organization which counsels couples coming for divorce, say they encounter cases of parents interfering in the married life of their children every other day. Eventually, things come to such a pass that the couple's life is spoiled and she files for divorce.
"It is very sad that parents don't even tell their children to understand their partner and just go along with their decision to file for divorce. They are also keen to get them married again. What is the guarantee they will not interfere in the second marriage and take it to divorce? Marriage is not a small thing to dispose of anytime. A couple must understand the importance of maintaining distance," said president of Punjab Istri Sabha, Gurcharan Kochar.
After interference of mothers, marriages also hit rock bottom due to extramarital affairs, which are increasing in the city. If advocates are to be believed, many of these liaisons are the result of social networking sites like Facebook, Whatsapp and mobile phones. These distractions don't allow partners to spend the crucial initial time with each other after marriage. In about 25% of cases, couples don't understand each other because they don't spend much time with each other. Other reasons for breaking of marriages include domestic violence, too much arguing, lack of equality, infidelity, marrying too young and unrealistic expectations.

Filing of Defamation and Contempt of Court cases - The Indian Judicial system - FAQ

Filing of Defamation and Contempt of Court cases - The Indian Judicial system - FAQ 

A Panel discussion on Legal Point  programme on LOKSABHA TV telecasted on 6th January 2014

1. Mr. Murari Tiwari, Secy Delhi Bar Council
2. Mr. Urmalesh, Senior Writer- Columnists
3. Mr. R. N. Vats, Presidenet Delhi Bar Association
4. Dr. N. K. Jha Dean, Professor & Dean, School of Social Sciences & International Studies
Anchor - Mr. Suraj Mohan Jha

The discussions focuses on various common scenarios as to How, When and Where Defamation and Contempt of court cases can be filed, including False implication in ipc 498a  (dowry Harassment cases), Gender Biased laws, on Lawyers, on Media etc.

Below is the link to the post on the details of Defamation petition filed by a Retd SC Judge seeking to restrain them from publishing news pertaining to the law intern’s allegation of sexual harassment (except judicial orders) and claiming damages to the extent of Rs. 5 crore.

Delhi HC grants temporary relief to J. Swatanter Kumar; Restraint on publishing details of allegations, use of J. Kumar's photograph

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Delhi HC grants temporary relief to J. Swatanter Kumar; Restraint on publishing details of allegations, use of J. Kumar's photograph

Delhi HC grants temporary relief to J. Swatanter Kumar; Restraint on publishing details of allegations, use of J. Kumar's photograph

Delhi High Court
The Delhi High Court granted interim relief to Justice Swatanter Kumar in the defamation suit filed by J Kumar (Petitioner) against media houses seeking to restrain them from publishing news pertaining to the law intern’s allegation of sexual harassment (except judicial orders) and claiming damages to the extent of Rs. 5 crore.
Justice Manmohan Singh, in an interim order running to 42 pages, has restrained the media from publishing or airing content on the intern harassment case till the next date of hearing to be held on February 24, 2013. The Court has also directed the media to not use J. Kumar's picture in any of the news articles published in connection with this case. The restrictions on reporting however, do not apply to court proceedings related to the allegations.
Justice Kumar, who has been accused of sexually harassing a law intern, had filed the suit against Indian Express, CNN IBN, Times Now and the law intern (Respondents) alleging that the manner in which the Respondents had reported the news pertaining to the intern's affidavit was deliberate and with the intent to “defame the plaintiff and the institutions dispensing justice”. The plaint has also impleaded the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 
He has also claimed that the Respondent media houses proceeded to reveal his name as the accused in the matter despite him categorically informing them that the allegations against him were false and publication of his name would cause irreparable damage to his reputation. The retired judge also claimed that the allegations were, "baseless, fraudulent and motivated in their entirety".
In his plaint, settled by Senior Advocate Maninder Singh and re-settled by Senior Advocates Rajiv Nayar, AS Chandhiok and Mukul Rohatgi, Justice Kumar states,
“The reckless and irresponsible action of the Defendants 1 to 4 seeking to increase their circulation and TRPs at the cost of the reputation of the Plaintiff and his public office have caused grave and irreparable injury to the Plaintiff and degraded the dignity of the Institution of Justice....Defendant no. 5 caused the publication of her false complaint to the media both print as well as electronic. The said acts of Defendants no. 1 to 5 lowered the esteem of the Plaintiff in the estimation of the public at large and his colleagues, staff, peers and members of his social circle.”
During the hearing yesterday afternoon in a packed courtroom no. 21, Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Justice Kumar, had taken strong objection to the manner in which the Respondents had reported news pertaining to the intern’s affidavit. Waving around copies of Indian Express and Mail Today, he had protested against newspapers lifting “juicy lines from the affidavit” and making front page headlines out of it terming it as yellow journalism.
He had also objected to the Respondent TV Channels airing debates and discussions centred on the contents of the affidavit and passing judgments on the character of the judge. He had further submitted that the said acts of the Respondents had not only impacted the reputation of the Petitioner but also besmirched the integrity of the Supreme Court and the entire judiciary.
The Court after hearing the Petitioner and the Respondents had reserved its order yesterday. Nine Senior Counsels inlcuding Mukul Rohatgi, AS Chandhiok, Rajiv Nayar, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, Vinay Bhasin, Maninder Singh and Aman Lekhi represented the Petitioner. Senior Counsels Ashwani Mata and Dinesh Dwivedi appeared for the Respondents.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had issued notice to Justice Kumar yesterday in the Public Interest Litigation filed by the law intern seeking, amongst other things, the establishment of a permanent mechanism to address complaints of sexual harassment against sitting and retired judicial officers.
Full text of the order is available below.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why is the divorce rate so high (especially in Western countries) if love marriages work?

Why is the divorce rate so high (especially in Western countries) if love marriages work?

Because divorce-rates are mostly a reflection of equal rights for women and social acceptability of divorce, and not how happy people are in their marriages.

There are happy and unhappy marriages everywhere. The biggest difference is not in this, but in what people do if they find themselves in a unhappy marriage.

In some cultures, it's socially unacceptable to ever get a divorce. Especially divorced women are often in a difficult situation. If they were at home as a housewife while the husband worked, they may have little experience with working and few chances of providing well for themselves financially. It is hardly surprising, under such circumstances, that few seek a divorce.

Instead, they endure. Marriages which are without passion. Without love. Without friendship. Sometimes even without basic respect -- nevertheless stay intact on the surface. One of my Iranian friends has parents who are still married to each other despite the fact that they generally try to avoid being in the same room, because they are on so bad terms with each other -- and they have been for more than a decade. Such a couple would almost certainly divorce in a culture where that was more acceptable.

In western countries, the question is not if the marriage is possible to endure. But instead if you think you will be happier inside or outside the marriage. It is common for married people in the west to divorce despite none of them being abusive, despite no cheating, and sometimes even despite a still functional friendship - because one of them, or both, feel that the marriage is holding them back or not providing everything they want from a partner.

To be honest, I am not certain if people in love-marriages are on the average happier than people in arranged marriages. There's a lot to be said for love, for making your own choice, for chemistry. But there's also quite a lot to be said for making a rational choice guided by things like shared values and background and considering pros and cons in a more rational and less emotional light.

Serial monogamy is pretty acceptable in much of "the west" and as such, you should not necessarily consider all marriages that end in divorce as "failures", if 2 people are in love, and live together happily for 3, 5 or 10 years (but not for life), where is the failure in that ? We don't consider other relationships that last for years but not for life a "failure" so why do so for love ?

If you've got a dear friend that you hang out with for 3, 5 or 10 years before you drift apart and lose contact, do you consider that friendship a "failure" ?