Monday, July 7, 2014

Rapedemic explained!! Add RAPE & Molestation to matri case. Arrest sure & bail difficult ! fath in law jailed for months !!

"On a daily basis I come across cases where estranged wives take recourse to filing FIRs under 498A. Since the courts have now become liberal in giving bail under this section, the new trend is to insert allegations of rape or attempt to rape to get FIRs registered under 376 IPC...."

".....Despite HC directives, certain police stations include 354 (outraging modesty) or causing injuries as additional sections in the FIR. Police then immediately lodge the FIR saying since it is not a simple case of 498A or 406 IPC, permission of DCP is not required."

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Jump in dowry arrests, not many convicted

Abhinav Garg,TNN | Jul 7, 2014, 01.16 AM IST



NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court judgment on the misuse of the anti-dowry law comes close on the heels of the latest National Crime Records Bureau figures that show a jump of 12.3% in arrests under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code since 2012.

The data in the 2013 NCRB crime statistics report vindicate the court's concerns that the penal provision meant to combat the menace of harassment of women by husband or in-laws is often being used as a "weapon rather than shield by disgruntled wives". IPC 498A being a cognizable and non-bailable offence only worsens the plight of the accused.

Section 41 of Criminal Procedure Code lays down a nine-point check list for police to weigh the need to arrest after examining the conduct of the accused, including possibility of absconding.

An analysis of NCRB reports of last three years show disturbing trends that obviously played on SC's mind when it came out with the recent guidelines. For one, more and more women are being arrested and charged under the section that is meant to protect women. Nearly 21-22% of those arrested by police for cruelty against a wife happen to be women themselves-they are either the husband's mother, sister or other female relatives.

Misuse of the provision is also evident from the fact that the rate of chargesheeting by police hovers around 93-94% for all the three years while conviction rate by courts is a dismal low of 15-20%.

TOI spoke to lawyers and judges in Delhi who welcomed the apex court verdict terming it as a much needed safeguard against arbitrary arrest under IPC 498A. They also underlined that the SC judgment would have far-reaching consequences only if police and investigative agencies adhere to it instead of sidestepping the norms. The apex court has noted that police have "not come out of its colonial image. Despite six decades of Independence, it is largely considered as a tool of harassment, oppression and surely not considered a friend of public".

A serving judge highlighted how a Delhi high court ruling that the DCP's nod is a must before arresting in-laws of a woman in a case of marital cruelty has been negated by police. "We have observed a trend where police have actively aided misuse of dowry- and cruelty-related marital provisions.

Despite HC directives, certain police stations include 354 (outraging modesty) or causing injuries as additional sections in the FIR. Police then immediately lodge the FIR saying since it is not a simple case of 498A or 406 IPC, permission of DCP is not required."

Advocate Prabhjit Jauhar said the SC verdict must be celebrated in today's scenario.

"On a daily basis I come across cases where estranged wives take recourse to filing FIRs under 498A. Since the courts have now become liberal in giving bail under this section, the new trend is to insert allegations of rape or attempt to rape to get FIRs registered under 376 IPC.

Wives don't even hesitate in levelling allegations against the father-in-law for sexual misconduct when there is no direct proof of the same. In these circumstances getting bail becomes very difficult and innocent persons have to undergo incarceration for 20 days to 4 months till they are granted regular bail. Courts are saddled with dockets of anticipatory or regular bails in these cases," he pointed out.


However, advocate Arvind Jain disagreed with the SC verdict. He drew attention to the overall conviction rate of roughly 26% and wondered on what basis the apex court could single out arrests under 498A as problematic.

"If law is a weapon, everybody is using it. You need to appreciate that all these dowry-related crimes are committed within four walls of the house and seldom do women have sufficient evidence to prove in court. One needs to see the complete reality that law has not been able to prevent dowry harassment and deaths. The interpretation coming from SC appears to be insensitive towards women."