By Mandeep Puri : The members of Save Indian Family Foundation, a NGO fighting against the misuse of Pro-women laws, submitted a memorandum to The Director General of UT Police, S.K Jain at the Police Headquarters, Sector 9.
On behalf of the DG, SP Operations R.S Ghumman received the memorandum and assured that adequate steps will be taken to stop the misuse of all pro woman laws especially IPC 498 A in Chandigarh.
He assures the members of Save Indian Family Foundation that the orders have already been issued to the concerned authorities and officials to investigate the matter freely and fairly, making sure that the arrest should be the last resort.
He claimed that the UT police is efficient to deal with such cases. He further claimed that no false cases will be registered and no innocent person will be put behind the bars.
Backing his claims, the SP provided the members with figures of his unit, wherein nearly 50 per cent of the cases have been amicably settled after counselling. Only in the rarest of the condition FIRs have been registered. He said that the performance of the UT police is much better than the other states where pro woman laws are being openly misused.
However, the members of Save Indian Family Foundation insisted that those misusing the laws should be penalised and simultaneous cases should be registered against the dowry givers too (DP3). They also demanded that stay arrest or a notice should be given to the accused family members so that no innocent is arrested before the trail begins.
Nitin Gupta, the secretary of the Chandigarh unit said, “We stand for Protection of Women, but against misuse of Women protection laws. These “women-protection laws”, which are in essence wife-protection laws, assume that wives are always honest victims and would never jeopardize their own family life by making false claims of abuse. The draconian law, IPC Section 498A, in particular, allows the arrest of the husband and his male and female relatives, irrespective of their age, martial status or even health condition, solely on the basis of allegations of a wife, without any evidence or investigation”.
“Several authorities have noted that in close to 98% of cases filed under Section 498A, there no conviction, which means that this law is misused and grossly ineffective (Reference CSR research report) and that the complaints were only filed with ulterior motives”, said Gaurav Saini, who handover the memorandum to the SP.
“Noted activist Madhu Kishwar acknowledged that IPC Section 498A is heavily misused, and that a significant proportion of individuals who approach “Manushi” these days are mothers-in-law and husbands who are falsely accused.The Supreme Court of India has labeled the misuse of IPC Section 498A as “legal terrorism” (Reference: Writ Petition (civil) 141 of 2005, Sushil Kumar Sharma
Vs Union of India and Ors.)”, added Gaurav.
Arrest Stay or notice to the families:
If the investigating office feels that an FIR has to be registered, the family members should be given a notice of at least three days. Families are can ruined when arrested let the trail court punish if anyone is guilty.
Registration of DP3:
There is a provision, wherein taking and giving dowry is an offence. However, police are quick to register an FIR against husbands and their families for seeking dowry, but not a single FIR has been registered against girls or their families for giving dowry. DP3 complaint should be simultaneously registered.
Proper and Fair Investigation should be made.
Section 498A should be properly and fairly investigated and arrest should be the last resort. The families should not be punished even before guilt is established.
Persons who misuse IPC 498A and Domestic Violence Law should be penalized.
Misuse of the process of law not only costs the public exchequer dearly, but also destroys the personal lives of many innocent citizens. Misuse of law should be treated as a serious crime, and persons who use women-protection laws as weapons for settling personal scores in marital disputes should be severely punished.
Save Indian Family(SIF) is a strong team of dedicated families comprising of victims of “misuse of 498a and other Gender biased Women-Protection laws like Dowry Prohibition Act, Domestic Violence Act, etc.”, including NRIs, Senior citizens who campaign and create awareness about gross injustice and abuse that happen in Indian Legal system. SIF has over 20 NGOs and 50,000 individuals as its members across the globe.