Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A dowry death "victim?" comes alive

Interesting a dowry death victim? comes alive.How could the police even charge this fellow what investigative mechanisms were followed. Is this is case of incompetence , negligence or plain simple routine systemic bias where in every death ( false death or otherwise ) is routinely blamed on the husband .

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Even an actress files charges

Makes me say huh what is happening .However it is not isolated case.too many for comfort are happening . This is possibly the reverse Nisha Sharma case. Ideally this case should not be charged because of the Laptop and the Skoda .In dowry cases you need transfer of money to be shown towards the boy and family. Let us be honest the clear point of contention seems to be that the actress wants to continue her acting work ( valid ) and arjun does not like her to be continuously on night shift and that was the genesis of the fight .

In marriage you expect certain responsibilities and one of them is that wife should be with the husbands for some time during the day and making objections to night shift is not out of the questions. However if the lady is not prepared to accept this much as the part of expectations of the marriage then she should not marry at all. and definitely not victimise the man under a false dowry and section 498a case.

In Indian Marriages it is assumed that the wife will stay where the husband is staying and if that is not acceptable then it should be made clear at the outset that you will be in channai and he is expected to be in chennai.You can't change the rules of the game in the mid way after the marriage .
Could this be one those 44% of the cases where charge will be thoroughly unjustified ?

44% of dowry death cases are false

January 14th 2005 12:00 A.M.
The Following judgement in 2000(1) Karnataka Law Online starting on Page no 560 is illustrative of the severity of the abuse of the process of law happening in the dowry harassment and section 498a cases

IN the high Court of Karnataka
M.F.Saldhana & M.S. rajendra Prasad JJ
Crl.A. no. 589 of 2003
Decided on 4-9-2003
important excerpts starting from page 562

we need to sound a note of caution that the police and investigating authorities should not improperly and technically jump to the conclusion that merely because death has occurred that ipso facto a criminal offense has been committed . In as many as 44% of these cases prosecution is thoroughly unjustified . Unless there is cogent and convincing evidence and unless there is material to sustain these charges , it would be totally impermissible and completely unjustified to embark upon legal action . The consequences of these charges are extremely grave because the accussed husband and invariably family members are placed under arrest . There are serious social and economic repurcussions.

end of excerpt
a little later following excerpt from same judgement
The fact that we do come accross considerable number of instances where prosecution was unjustified seems to indicate that in every case of death of young woman or recently married women that prosecution and filing of charge sheet has become automatic. There does not appear to be a proper application of mind at the stage of scrutiny and having regard to this position we direct the concerned authorities to ensure that requirements of the law are correctly and responsibly followed . Copy to be followed to D.G. ( Police )

I appeal to the judiciary also to take up the slack pointed out in this judgement and dismiss proceedings where prosecution has no case . Important point of law is that complaint and case are not synonmous and that case is made only by providing material substantiating the complaint. Mere complaint should not be treated as sufficient to proceed with trial any of the cases . Unfortunately in the Dowry harassment and section 498a without any material only on the say so of relative and friends of the girl the proceedings are started which is wrong. During the Charge/Discharge stage carefull evaluation of the material placed by both accussed and prosecution has to be done if there is sufficent material which could lead to conviction and it has to be done on broad sweep without going into minor contradiction . That is ASSERTION MATERIAL ANALYSIS has to be done to decide whether there is a prima facie case or innocence is already established .
Anybody who has read perry Mason Novels knows that in order to substantiate case you also have to get some witnesses to depose before a case is committed to trial . Unfortunately we are demanding too little from the prosecution and investigative authorities to substantiate if they have a case .
I suspect that if we rigourously follow this practice that upto 40-50% of the cases will not be commited to trial and that instead of the current 3-5 years for decision it would take 11/2 to 3 years to come to a decision .This would reduce a lot of burden on the courts


January 13 2004

Not much happening but read karnataka States Online journal of lawbooks with special interests on what is happening on the family law front specially in Bangalore . I am an On off member of Sangyabalya . Helped close a case of harassed husband just yesterday. Luckily he contacted us otherwise the lawyers would not have told any strategies on how to kill the brewing storm earlier. There are a lot of tricks which can be done safegaurd your position in family court if you get a whiff of trouble earlier. If the man starts to react once the wife threatens a false dowry and harassment case then typically she has gone all the way to generate enough mischief. Trouble is most men don't detect the warning signal until it is too late. They tend to take spoken words for granted when women actually communicate a lot through facial expressions and body languages rather then through words. Very important for guys to understand because as one feminist lawyer told me that in family court the husband actually fights four adversaries his lawyer , her lawyer , wife and the justice system all of whom advocate against him . Every one will put the women's interests first rather the interest of equality or justice. So he has to be extremely diplomatic and political savvy to survive the family court Tsunami. This is the reason why no lawyer gives you right clues as to what is the best way to conduct during this time. Probably there is none and they are interested in giving justice to women and children and men can go to hell . Still all is not lost you have to understand the system , how it works and work the political advantage and the acting shown by all the parties. The basic principle behind this is the jujitsu way so that all force directed against you should be directed at the other party . So that you have to give reasons for the best interest of the wife.