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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Please report on Misuse of IPC section 498a: Indian families languishing in perpetual distress and injustice

Messers,

I was reading some of your articles which exposed a lot of everyday injustices , when it occurred to me that I should request you to study and report the misuse of the Indian Anti Dowry and Harassment laws(DP Act and section 498a of IPC(Indian Penal Code)), which is ruining many NRI lives along with citizens living in India. Please also download a Booklet( its a bit heavy to send by email) giving details about this misuse, in 'pdf' file format:
498a Research Report submitted to Judges and MOIA Minister Shri Vayalar Ravi (12 MB) . Anyway I am attaching 2 brief reports on the 498a Misuse with this email.


You can read more about IPC 498a misuse and our petitions and awareness efforts at http://www.498a.org/publicity.htm . News in media about cruelty by women/false cases: http://www.498a.org/news.htm

I am appending below my letter to the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, about the rampant misuse of the IPC section 498a, which is self explanatory. I would request you to take up reporting on this and expose the truth, which I along with the 1100 plus members of Save Indian family foundation yahoogroup:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saveindianfamily/ , would vouch is destructing families along with its women, and senior citizens hampering our nations progress itself.

The societal disintegration would be worst if we do not put a check on this somehow, so I would urge your good office to take up this subject with utmost interest and report the facts.

The below letter can be found in my blog too(
http://cruiserdeep.blogspot.com/2006/01/i-had-posted-below-petition-at-sites.html ), in case you wish to give this matter(which's quite lengthy) in print editions. See the article "NRI grooms tortured and fleeced by Indian brides(SPECIAL)": http://www.dailyindia.com/show/44895.php/NRI_grooms_tortured_and_fleeced_by_Indian_brides(SPECIAL). Here is my letter to the President of India regarding misuse of 498a: http://cruiserdeep.blogspot.com/2006/06/i-had-written-to-president-at.html

We are a group of victims(that includes our family members: father, mother, sister, brother, etc. who are accused in a typical false 498a case by a law-misusing wife) who are members of Save Indian Family yahoo group, and its local chapters as appearing below, you all could join any of the relevant groups of your choice and monitor the discussion and get to know better of the realities regarding misuse of IPC 498a. While joining any of the groups do specify that you are a Journalist, since many of our groups are quite strict on getting the details of the new entrants.

Main group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saveindianfamily

Local Chapters:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-mumbai
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-karnataka/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-pune/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-andhrapradesh/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-punjab/join
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-up/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-mp/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-assam/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-bengal/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-uk/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-middleeast/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-delhi
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SIF-US/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SIF-TamilNadu/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-orissa/

Warm Regards

P.R.Gokul
http://gokul.go.to , http://cruiserdeep.blogspot.com/
Tele/Fax : +91 22 25614188(Bombay, Res), +91 9821414336
Join SIF Mumbai Chapter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sif-mumbai/join
http://mynation.net
http://www.498a.org
http://www.saveindianfamily.org
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/saveindianfamily
24-hour All India Helpline Number:+91-9243473794
Volunteer Helpline Numbers(send SMS if unavailable)

Delhi : 9871734980, 9810611534, 9911119113
Chandigarh: 9888562582
Bangalore : 80-55334135
Mumbai : 9224335577
Jaipur : 9352562456
emails:
help@498a.org , info@mynation.net , mail@saveindianfamily.com, help@asha-kiran.com
See ongoing awareness campaigns: http://at498a.blogspot.com/, to post to this blog send email to cruiserdeep.498a@blogger.com



************Letter to CP, Mumbai************


From,



P.R.Gokul

B-102, Matoshrikripa C.H.S, Bhandup(east), Mumbai-400042
Tele/Fax : +91 22 25614188(Bombay, Res), +91 9821414336




To,



The Commissioner of Police, Mumbai

(and Other personnel in I.P.S)





Subject : Misuse of IPC section 498a, resulting misery for Indian families.



Messer’s,



This is to report rampant misuse of Anti Harassment/Cruelty(Domestic violence) laws in India(the concerned section in Indian penal code is section 498a). The potency of misuse is much since the Police doesn't need any other supporting evidence or witness other than the wife's statement/complaint, to straight away arrest the Husband and his relatives (Whoever is named in the wife's complaint), since it is a cognisable crime, following which is an ordeal of long drawn and wasteful legal proceedings for the Husband (in this law he is Guilty until proved innocent!, unlike any other law, anywhere else).



As you might be aware of this misuse yourselves, I would, on behalf of other victims of this misuse also, appeal to all police personnel to treat the complaints u/s IPC 498a with some restraint and empathy. This is in the same lines as supreme courts judgment, cited below, where SC has appealed its courts to exercise restraint till legislature finds way to deal with Makers of frivolous complaints, when S.C ruled: "Till then the courts have to take care of the situation within the existing framework". The excerpt from this judgment is shown below:



The supreme court judgment(in the writ number 141 of 2005) acknowledges that there is rampant misuse of 498a. Especially when Supreme Court of India acknowledges that misuse of 498A is on the rise, and has hinted that the legislature may have to find ways to deal with misusers of 498A, terming this trend as Legal Terrorism. And implicitly directing other indian courts by saying "Till then the courts have to take care of the situation within the existing framework.



The excerpt of this judgment, regarding misuse of 498a, in writ petition No.141 of 2005 of Supreme Court(full judgement also can be found at http://www.pariwariksuraksha.org/WP141.htm and http://at498a.blogspot.com/2008/05/sc-citation-for-legal-terrorism-writ.html) is reproduced below:



*************** Excerpt of the Supreme Court Judgment ***************


“The object of provision is prevention of the dowry menace. But as has been rightly contented by the petitioner, many instances have come to light where the complaints are not bonafide and have been filed with oblique motive. In such cases acquittal of the accused does not in all cases wipe out the ignominy suffered during and prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage adds to the misery. The question, therefore, is what remedial measures can be taken to prevent the abuse of well-intentioned provision. Merely because the provision is constitutional and intra vires, does not give a license to unscrupulous person to wreck personal vendetta or unleash harassment. It may, therefore become necessary for the legislature to find out ways how the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with. Till then the courts have to take care of the situation within the existing framework. As noted above the object is to strike at the roots of dowry menace. But by misuse of the provision a new legal terrorism can be unleashed. The provision is intended to be used as a shield and not as an assassin's weapon. If cry of wolf is made too often as a prank assistance and protection may not be available when the actual wolf appears. There is no question of investigation agency and courts casually dealing with the allegations. They cannot follow any straitjacket formula in the matters relating to dowry tortures, deaths and cruelty. It cannot be lost sight of that ultimate objective of every legal system is to arrive at truth, punish the guilty and protect the innocent. There is no scope for any pre-conceived notion or view. It is strenuously argued by the petitioner that the investigating agencies and courts start with the presumption that accused persons are guilty and that the complainant is speaking the truth. This is too wide available and generalized statement. Certain statutory presumptions are drawn which again are rebuttable. It is to be noted that the role of investigating agencies and the courts is that of watch dog and not of a bloodhound. It should be their effort to see that innocent person is not made to suffer on account of unfounded, baseless and malicious allegations. It is equally indisputable that in many cases no direct evidence is available and the courts have to act on circumstantial evidence while dealing with such cases, the law laid down relating to circumstantial evidence has to be kept in view.”



The above S.C ruling clearly shows that the judiciary is silently trying to do its best to avoid IPC section 498a being used as a weapon in the hands of assailants, we are sure that the Police force too will follow the same attitude towards 498a accusations, which are found to be false in more than 75% of all the reported cases(and actual conviction rate is only 2% for 498a cases(since a majority of cases are settled out of the court for money!), as per National Crime Records Bureau http://ncrb.nic.in/crime2004/home.htm).



Please also see below, the US and Canadian consular warnings for its citizens (of Indian origin mainly) with respect to this misuse of 498a.



US Consular Warning( http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1139.html ): Excerpt--> A number of U.S.-citizen men who have come to India to marry Indian nationals have been arrested and charged with crimes related to dowry extraction. Many of the charges stem from the U.S. citizen's inability to provide an immigrant visa for his prospective spouse to travel immediately to the United States. The courts sometimes order the U.S. citizen to pay large sums of money to his spouse in exchange for the dismissal of charges. The courts normally confiscate the American’s passport, and he must remain in India until the case has been settled. There are also cases of U.S.-citizen women of Indian descent whose families force them against their will into marriages to Indian nationals.



Canadian Consular affairs info for Canadian abroad ( http://www.voyage.gc.ca/dest/report-en.asp?country=128000#6 ): Excerpt--> Growing numbers of Canadian citizens have been caught up in marital fraud and dowry abuse in India. Most cases involve Indo-Canadian males who abandon their wives in India after cheating them out of large sums of money. Other cases involve misuse of India’s Dowry Prohibition Act. This law, which was enacted to protect women and makes demanding a dowry a crime, is sometimes used to blackmail men through false allegations of dowry extortion. Individuals facing charges may be forced to remain in India until their cases have been settled or pay off their spouses in exchange for the dismissal of charges. To avoid such problems, you are advised to register your marriage in India along with a joint declaration of gifts exchanged, as well as consider a prenuptial agreement



Sowry Harassment is what is in vogue now:
Sowry Harassment - The New Bane of Indian Society



Sowry Harassment Weblinks:



http://www.saveindianfamily.org/blogs/sowry-harassment/
http://www.saveindianfamily.org/blogs/2006/01/11/lisa-tsering-gets-award/
http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=768649893bc5975ce97b6bff5354c210
http://www.saveindianfamily.org/blogs/2005/10/29/complains-sowry-harassment/



In fact we are organised as a group in internet and we have over 460 members-victims in india and abroad.



To know more please visit http://www.498a.org, http://www.saveindianfamily.org & http://mynation.net . This is causing Havoc in Indian expatriates working in other countries like USA too.



Warm Regards

P.R.Gokul
http://gokul.go.to , http://cruiserdeep.blogspot.com/


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