Letter Petition invoking writ juirsidiction against the violation of human rights

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 To

 The Hon’ble Chief Justice & His companion Judges

Hon’ble High Court of State

 

PARTIES

 

 

 

Yogesh Mahajan  …………Petitioner

 

Versus

  

Union of India

 

Through

 

1               Ministry of Home Affairs

                 North Block

                 Central Secretariat

                 New Delhi – 110001   

 

2                 Ministry of Law and Justice,

                   4th Floor, A-Wing,

                   Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110 001

 

3                  National Crime Record Bureau

                   East Block-7, R.K. Puram, New Delhi-110066

 

4                  National Human Rights Commission,

                    Manav Adhikar Bhawan Block-C,

                    GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi - 110023………….RESPONDENTS

 

 

SUB:        Petition for violation of human rights due to misuse of provisions of 498-A IPC, causing suicides of many married men across the country

 

2      Letter Petition on behalf of more than 1000 affected individuals to issue notices to Respondents  for causing inordinate delay in amending 498A- IPC and for not conducting empirical study/analysis for misuse of 498-A IPC in light of the recent decisions of Hon'ble SCI ; stakeholders & 243 Law Commission of India report

 

Sir,

 

1      The undersigned complainant online signed/supported by more than 1000 Individuals across the country & worldwide (with their comments as attached separately with the petition) against the lackadaisical approach of the Respondents, who failed to check the frivolous complaints made under 498-A IPC which has been filed with oblique motives just to harass the husband and his relatives. It is respectfully submitted that the FIR registered under 498-A IPC at the instance of the complaint made by married woman who deliberately roped the unmarried sisters/brothers, grandparents of the husband only for settling personal scores. The subsequent police investigations and protracted criminal trials at far distance place has not only spoiled the mental peace, harmony of the of the family members but also escalates the suicides cases among the married men which has been escalating year by year

 

2      The complainant, brought on records the following suicide cases which has been committed by married men during last 9 years, which has been reported by National Crime Record Bureau, Ministry of Home affairs

Number of Suicide Victims by “Married” Marital Status

 

YEAR                        MEN                 WOMEN

 

2013                         64098               29491

 

2012                        63343               31921

 

2011                         62433               32582 

 

2010                         61453               31754

 

2009                         58192               31300

 

2008                         57639               30224

 

2007                         57593               30064

 

2006                         55452               29869 

 

2005                         52483               28188

 

The above data clearly reflects that suicides cases among the married men has been increasing every year .Yet the ministry failed to maintain data or has done any reliable study about the misuse of the provisions of Indian law, causing suicides to married men

 

3      The complainant quotes various media reports obtained from Internet( news clipping & videos attached) which clearly showed that police has committed various atrocities during the investigations and has even roped 2 month aged baby & 7 years child in its FIR/charge sheet filed before the court. The Provisions of 498-A has grossly misused that many husband/their relatives has committed suicides during the course of criminal trial. Some extracts from news papers are reproduced as below with their links ( to check the genuinity of the news). Many incident donot get media coverage and hence unreported

 

I       Baby Got bail

 

21/06/2009 news published in Mid Day, Mumbai

 aby Got bail-in which Two-month-old gets dragged into a dowry harassment case filed by her father's first wife. In a case straight out of Ripley's Believe It Or Not, the Mumbai Sessions court last Wednesday (June 17, 2009) granted anticipatory bail for what must have been their youngest applicant ever a two-month-old baby…

 

The above article can be downloaded by visiting the following undermentioned link

http://www.mid-day.com/news/2009/jun/210609-Zoya-two-month-old-girl-anticipatory-bail-dowry-harrassment-case-youngest-accused-Mumbai-news.htm

 

II      Seven-yr-old faces dowry charges 

Published On: May 26, 2007

A seven-year-old has been charged in a dowry case in Bihar. Santosh, a class four student has paid the price for a crime he did not commit.

http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/seven-yr-old-faces-dowry-charges/13976

 

III     07/07/2013 The Times of India

 Women named in dowry harassment jump before train

 Depressed over a case of dowry harassment lodged against them, a woman and her 30-year-old daughter committed suicide by jumping before a train in Bikaner on Saturday. The case had been registered by the woman's daughter-in-law last month

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-07-07/jaipur/40420237_1_police-officer-bikaner-railway-tracks

 

IV      PSI shoots himself dead with service revolver

Nov 20, 2009, 03.08AM IST

Page 1 of 4

 

AMRAVATI: A police sub inspector, presently posted at Akola Control Room, shot himself with his service revolver in the wee hours of Thursday at Amravati.

According to information from the police department, the deceased PSI has been identified as Amol Datir (42), a resident of Jagriti Colony in Amravati. He had been posted to Akola Control Room some time back. PSI Datir was an intelligent officer, his fellow officers have said. He had completed his MSc and then passed the MPSC exam in the first attempt in 1995.

On Wednesday night, at around 1.50am, Datir shot himself with his service revolver and died on the spot. Sources said that he had a dispute with his wife, who had lodged a complaint against him in 2006 at Akola police station. After this complaint, offences had been registered against PSI Datir under 498 section of IPC. It is also learnt that his wife had filed a case against him and demanded alimony from him. The hearing in this case was scheduled on Thursday.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/PSI-shoots-himself-dead-with-service-revolver/articleshow/5249121.cms

 

 

V       DECCAN HERALD

 

Treated cruelly by wife, techie ends life

 

Last updated: 12 August, 2009

 

Allegedly hounded by a greedy and cruel wife, who was fully supported by her parents, a 32-year-old techie ended his life by consuming a full bottle of anti-depressant tablets here on Monday.

Shubhankar Katyayan was married to Nandini, 27, also a software engineer, for the past two years. Their marriage was registered and solemnised here. Although the two hailed from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, they had been working in Bangalore after their arranged marriage.

Since their marriage was floundering, the couple decided to settle for a mutually agreed upon divorce.

Shubhankar’s lawyer Anand said the divorce petition (MC1732/09) was filed on June 24, 2009. In the judicial separation petition posted for hearing on January 1, 2010, Nandini had claimed Purunjay’s custody and return of all gifts she received at her wedding.

On July 14, Nandini’s mother Anmana Jha lodged a complaint with the Commercial Street police, alleging that Shubhankar, demanding dowry, had assaulted and attempted to kill her daughter. A number of criminal cases were also lodged against him. He was arrested and produced at the magistrate’s court on July 19. The magistrate directed the police to investigate the matter, and he was sent to Parappana Aghrahara Central jail. Anand said Shubhankar was virtually a broken man in jail and had undergone treatment. Last Saturday, he consumed a bottle of anti-depressant tablets. The authorities rushed him to Victoria Hospital in a critical condition where he died. The authorities refused to hand over the body till Nandini gave her consent. Finding her house locked, the police allowed the release of the body.

 

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/19204/treated-cruelly-wife-techie-ends.html

 

VI     Hyderabad professor killed sons before ending his life

 

The author has posted comments on this article TNN | Oct 7, 2014, 03.54AM IS 

HYDERABAD: ICFAI assistant professor, A Raghavendra Guruprasad, who had committed suicide on Saturday, also killed his two sons and buried them at his plot in Medchal before ending his life. The bodies of the two children were exhumed on Monday evening by the police.

Guruprasad, 44, an assistant professor at ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, Donthanapally, had committed suicide by jumping in front of a train near James Street railway station on Saturday afternoon. Guruprasad and his wife Suhasini got divorced in 2013. On Saturday morning, he went to Suhasini's house at Anandbagh in Malkajgiri to visit his two sons, Vittal Virinchi, 9, and Nanda Vihari, 5. He took the boys out at 9am and was supposed to drop them at their mother's place by 1pm

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Hyderabad-professor-killed-sons-before-ending-his-life/articleshow/44548133.cms

 

VIII   2- and 4-year-olds accused in domestic violence Plaint

By Hemanth KashyapHemanth Kashyap, Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Dec 28, 2014, 04.00 AM IST

A woman lodged a domestic violence complaint not only against her estranged husband and his family but also against his sister's two children, aged two and four.

On May 8, barely 10 days after getting married to 34-year-old Umesh G M, a senior software engineer with IBM, 22-year-old Hamsavani allegedly ran away with her boyfriend. Acting on a missing complaint filed by Umesh, police traced Hamsavani and her boyfriend to a lodge in Madikeri. She claimed to have married her boyfriend Nanda Kumar while Umesh approached the court to invalidate his marriage with Hamsavani.

Five months after the family drama, the case took a new twist. Hamsavani lodged a domestic violence case against Umesh, his parents, five sisters, including two kids aged 2 and 4, with Tiptur police in Tumakuru. Before this, she lodged a dowry harassment complaint with the Subhramanyapura police. The case later got transferred to the Ulsoor Gate police station.

In her complaint with Tiptur police, Hamsavani wrote, "On May 18 we all went to a nearby mall and the family started harassing me. They assaulted and threatened me." She mentioned Umesh's sisters, their husbands and two children in the complaint. "The children of Devika (Umesh's sister) also joined in unison to harass me out of the blue. They stopped talking to me and left me all alone," she wrote

http://www.bangaloremirror.com/bangalore/crime/2-and-4-year-olds-accused-in-domestic-violence-plaint/articleshow/45663827.cms?

 

4      On seeing the NCRB data, Police register the cases under section 498-A IPC which has been escalating year by year and charge sheeting rate is 93.6%

 

Cruelty by husband or his relatives (Sec. 498-A IPC)

YEARS                              CASES REGISTERED

2009                                         89,546

 

2010                                         94,041 

 

2011                                         99,135 

 

2012                                         1,06,527  

 

2013                                         1,18,866

 

 

 

Disposal Of IPC Crime Cases By Police During 2012

Crime Head                                CRUELTY BY HUSBAND OR HIS

 

RELATIVES  (Sec. 498A IPC)

3      Total No. Of Cases For

 

Investigation Including

Pending Cases from

previous year                                     147329

 

4      Cases Withdrawn By Govt.                    613

5      No. Of Cases in Which

 

Investigation was refused                     155

 

6      No. Of Cases Charge

 

Found False / Mistake Of

 

Fact Or Law Etc.                                  10235

 

7      No. Of Cases  Final

 

Report True Submitted                         5980

 

8      No. Of Cases Charge

 

Sheets Submitted                                        87633

 

 9     Total {(6)+(7)+(8)}                             103848

 

 

 

10     No of case pending

 

 

 

Investigation at the end of

 

the year                                             43265

 

Charge sheeting rate:                                     93.6%

 

5       Simultaneously, it cannot be ignored that conviction rate of such cases is just 1.6% which only reflects that Police exaggerate the trivial issues and give the shape of matrimonial bickering to dowry harassment case. The Police though is state subject and comes in concurrent list but responsibility of effective & moral policing lies on respondents as thousands of crores of public funds got wasted in frivolous litigations and appeals. The accused named in FIR/Charge sheet are worst affected as they have to sell out the properties, entire saving in defending their cases which are filed at different stations

 

Disposal Of IPC Cases By Courts During 2012              

Total No. Of Cases For Trial

 

Including Pending Cases from

 

 

 

previous year                                             4,26,922                           

 

 

 

Cases Withdrawn By Govt.                            613

 

 

 

Compounded Or Withdrawn                           8162

 

  

 

No of cases in which Trial was

 

 

 

completed

 

  

 

Convicted                                                   6916

 

 

 

Acquitted                                                   39138

 

 

 

Pending Trial at the

 

end of the year                                                   372706

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage Of  IPC Cases Disposed By Courts During 2012

 

 

 

 Percentage Of Cases To Total Cases For Trial

 

 

 

In Which Trials Were Completed

 

 

 

Convicted                                                  1.6% 

 

Acquitted                                           9.2%

 

 

 

Pending Trial at the end

 

of the year                                         87.3%

 

 

 

6      The provisions of 498-A IPC are grossly misused by married woman and her family members and used as weapon for blackmailing, extort money and for settling personal scores against husband and relatives of husband. Despite of strict observations made by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and various High courts no effective measures has taken for its amendment. The provisions of 498-A has unnecessarily linked with dowry deaths. It sis submitted that even after introduction of 498-A there was no declination in dowry death however married men suicides numbers has been escalating year by year. Because of its misuse, many innocent families including their unmarried sisters/brothers and old aged parents has been roped in protracted criminal trials who do not have any criminal antecedents. Unmarried sisters and brothers marriage prospects destroyed. Many lost their jobs due to frequent appearances in criminal trial at distant places. Their career, social and mental peace get extirpated at the instance of complaint made by married woman or/and her family members. The husband his family members has to face the protracted criminal trial which lasts for several years (List of the Individuals/groups supported this petition are annexed at the end of the petition with their comments which is not exhausted)

 

 

 

7      The Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides adequate safeguards to punish those who indulge in false complaints. Section 182 ( False Information, with intent to cause public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person) provides imprisonment upto 6 months or fine upto Rs 1,000/- or both for giving false information to the public servant. Section 211. False charge of offence made with intent to injure) IPC, inter-alia, provides imprisonment up to 2 years or with fine or with both for falsely charging any person with having committed an offence, knowing that there is no just or lawful ground for such proceeding or charge against the person. Section 358 of Cr.P.C provides provision for compensation to the persons groundlessly arrested. There is no specific provision in I.P.C for false complainant of 498-A of IPC as result false complaints are regularly been filed up in lining with the state police officials. No formal enquiry was made by Police officers/I.O while registering complaints & filing Charge sheets in courts. The Police officers/I.O filed the final report u/s 173 Crpc, even without hearing/or recording the version of the opposite side and left the stake at the mercy of the courts. The fiar judicial mechanism also requires fair and transparent investigation which has not been done in any of the case. The Police never visted the site place and complete the investigation in closed room of their police station by just recording the statements of the married woman and her family members which lacks even the territorial jurisdiction for handling the complaints and file the final reports in their Judicial Magistrate courts. The Criminal trial get instituted on their final reports purely in mechanical manner which lasts for several years

 

 

 

8      Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in ARNESH KUMAR VERSUS STATE OF BIHAR & ANR. CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1277 OF 2014 (SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) No.9127 of 2013) Date: 2 July 2014 has observed
“The rate of charge-sheeting in cases under Section 498A, IPC is as high as 93.6%, while the conviction rate is only 15%, which is lowest across all heads. As many as 3,72,706 cases are pending trial of which on current estimate, nearly 3,17,000 are likely to result in acquittal”

 

 

 

9       243th Report of Law Commission of India Dated 30Th August 2012 too emphasized that there is no empirical data produced by the Govt to reveal the extent how long it will be misused

 

 

 

1.3  Several  enactments  and  provisions  have  been  brought  on  the  statute  book  during  the  last  two  or  three  decades  to  address  the  concerns  of  liberty,  dignity  and  equal  respect  for  women founded  on  the  community  perception  that  women  suffer  violence  or  deprived  of  their  constitutional  rights  owing  to several  social  and  cultural  factors.   Meaningful  debates  and  persuasions  have  led  to  these  enactments.   The  insertion  of  Section  498A  IPC  is  one  such  move  and it penalizes offensive conduct of the husband and his relatives towards the married woman.  The provision together with allied provisions in Cr. P.C. are so designed as  to  impart  an  element  of  deterrence.  In  course  of  time,  a  spate  of  reports of misuse of the section by means of false / exaggerated allegations and  implication  of  several  relatives  of  the  husband  have  been  pouring  in.   Though  there  are  widespread  complaints  and  even  the  judiciary  has  taken  cognizance of  large  scale  misuse,  there  is  no  reliable  data  based  on  empirical  study  as regards  the  extent  of  the  alleged  misuse.  There  are  different  versions  about  it and  the  percentage  of  misuse  given  by  them  is  based  on  their  experience  or ipse dixit, rather than ground level study

 

 

 

11. Diagnosis of the problem and reasonable solution

 

 

 

11.1 That Section 498A has been misused in many instances admits of no doubt. This has been taken judicial notice of in several cases. The Parliamentary Committee has also adverted to this aspect. The inputs received by the Law Commission and the representations made to the Home Ministry also confirm this fact. However, there is no reliable data to reveal the extent of abuse or misuse. The data/information reveals that urban and educated women are mostly coming forward to file the complaints under this section. The data also reveals that in most of the cases, apart from the husband, two of his relations (especially in-laws) are being prosecuted………….

 

 

 


10    The Information obtained under RTI from Ministry of Home

 

 

 

        Affairs RTI reply dated 17 January   2014      Letter No    

 

16/6/2014-Judl.Cell


“The Law Commission of India in its 243rd Report on Section 498-A of Indian Penal Code , 1860 recommended for certain amendments to the provision of CrPC/IPC. As the Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure are in the concurrent List of the Constitution Of India and are implemented by the State Governments. The comments of some state Governments are awaited. A decision in the matter will be taken after receipts of the comments of the State Governments”


“Amendment to Law is made on the basis of the recommendations of the Law Commission and various commissions/committees set up in this regard and thereafter the consultation of the State Governments and other stake holders. Presently, the Report of the Law Commission has been referred to the State Government for comments. A final decision in this matter will be taken after receiving the comments of the Stakeholders in this regard”

Ministry of Home Affairs ( Judicial Cell) No: 16/6/2014-Judl.Cell
dated October 2014
“Judicial division of the Ministry of Home Affairs deals only with the legislative aspects of the Code of Criminal procedure and the Indian Penal Code. These are the concurrent list to the constitution of India and implemented by State Governments/UTs by their law enforcing agencies. No data regarding the affective implementation of the provision of law is maintained in this Ministry. As regard to the amendment of the provision of law is maintained in this Ministry. As regard amendment to the provision of the law , it is stated that law commission in its 243rd Report on the section 498-A of the Indian Penal code , 1860 recommended for certain amendments to the provisions of Cr.P.C/IPC. Necessary action for such amendment is being taken in consultation with the stakeholders”

 


 
11    The undersigned Applicant filed RTI to almost all the states    

 

 

 

chief secretary offices .Only following states has furnished information under RTI rest of states declined to fwd the information

Haryana state:
Vide Letter No: 2742/CAW-5 dated 19/3/14 has informed that Necessary comments/Suggestions has been send to the Govt of India, MHA, New Delhi vide office memo No> 10133/CAW-3 dated 06.08.2013

1 Recommendation of Law Commission on Section 498-A of IPC:

The Law commission in point No 19.6 of Report No 243 has recommended that the offence under section 498-A should remain non bailable it has been suggested in the report that s safeguards against arbitrary and unwarranted arrests lies in strictly observing the letter and spirit of the conditions laid down in Section 41 and 41-A of Cr.P.C relating to the power of arrest and sensitizing the police on the modalities to be observed in cases of this nature. The need for custodial interrogation should be carefully assessed. Over-reaction and inaction are equally wrong. Police should take necessary steps to ensure safety of the complainant and to prevent further acts of the harassment
The Department agrees with the recommendations the law commission that the offence should be non bailable


GOVERNMENT OF KERALA:

Home (C ) Department , Thiruvananthapuram dated 09.01.2014 vide letter dated. 91191/C2/2012/ Home forwarded their comments to Joint secretary(Judicial) that the offence under section 498-A of IPC should remain non bailable in order to curb the misuse of the same

Government of Maharashtra:

Vide letter No WCDD/WD/RTI/3491 dated 10/06/2014 the women and Child Department has not forwarded any comments regarding this points to the Government

 

 

 


Government of Punjab:

Vide letter No 491/WC dated 20/05/2011 informed Govt of India that its better to made it as bailable enclosing the copy of report on consultation paper cum questionnaire with regard to 498-A of the IPC prepared by Punjab State Law Commission

3) Do you think that making the offence bailable is the proper solution to the problem? Will it be counter productive?

Yes, the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs had sent a copy of letter received from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat regarding amendment of section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. This Commission had sent its comments on the matter in which it was started that the provision is being largely misused to cause unaware, unexpected and harsh treatment and loss of liberty to the innocent members/relations of the in-laws family of the women. This commission recommended that Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code be suitably amended to male it bailable. Every law is required to be made neutral to protect the interest of any innocent, be it man or woman. The offence should be made bailable. There appears to be less chance of amendment becoming counter productive as it gives equal opportunity to the accused in laws to put their view of their problem before the investigation officer so as to enable him to save the marriage by reconciling differences but at the same time keeping in mind that the wife may not suffer further humiliation in any manner and complaint loses its value. The need is to sensitize the police force on such subjects and only experienced officer may be entrusted with such investigation.


Govt of Tamil Nadu:
Vide Rc No 104205/RTI-II(2)/2014 Dated 07.08.2014 has informed that necessary information may be obtained from the Government

Govt of Telangana
Vide letter No. G1/49/RTI-Act/2014 dated 05-07-2014 has informed “ yes, recommendations were made to law commission of India with regards to amendments to the provision of Cr.P.C/IPC

 

 

 

RELIEF(S) SOUGHT

 

 

 

In the light of above , its is respectfully prayed that

 

 

 

  1. Issue notices to respondents and conduct enquiry for suicides across the country which has made due to misuse of the provisions of 498A IPC

  2. Issue notices and directions to the respondents for causing inordinate delay for not amending 498-A IPC only on this ground that opinion of stakeholder is awaited for several years, resulting suicides of married men due to abuse of the provisions of 498-A IPC

  3. Issue notices and directions for not conducting the empirical study for gross misuse of 498-A IPC and not maintaining the reliable data for the grossly misuse of the provisions of 498-A IPC for settling personal scores by married woman and her family members

 

 

 

4      Issue notices and directions to made strict provisions in the IPC for checking the frivolous complaints filed under 498-A IPC with oblique motives as currently provisions of 182/211 IPC are not effective check on frivolous complaints

 

 

 

5      Issue directions to made effective guidelines and  affixing the liability on the Investigation officers for conducting impartial investigations and filing charge sheet in the courts  and/ to transfer the complaints to the appropriate police station where the cause of action had arisen as per the provisions of the CrPC

 

 

 

6      To provide effective safeguards to the relatives of the husband especially unmarried sisters/brothers, children & old aged parents, roped by married woman/I.O purely in mechanical manners on the account of domestic bickering

 

 

 

7      Any other relief which the Ministry deems fit and proper for the welfare  of the unmarried sisters/brothers, senior citizens of the country who are the relatives of the husband.

 

 

 

Thanking you,

 

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

 

YOGESH MAHAJAN

 

 

 

 

 



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