Mr. Rebates

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hair remover in conditioner, atta spiked with vim

July 24, 2010

While domestic violence cases often reveal ugly brawls and horror stories, a woman from Goregaon has accused her husband of resorting to ingeniously petty means to harass her for dowry over the course of their six-month marriage.

In a petition filed in the family court, the 26-year-old software consultant has alleged that her 28-yearold husband, a manager with an insurance firm, tortured her using elaborate schemes often seen in children's cartoons but rarely in real life. On one occasion, he mixed hair-removal cream in her hair conditioner so that she would go bald. On another, he added dish-washing powder to atta, and forced her to eat rotis made from the dough. And on yet another, he simply poured water on the bed while she was sleeping.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said cracks had started to appear in their relationship almost immediately after their wedding in Orissa earlier this year. "My husband demanded Rs 7 lakh to do up the house, which my parents gave. But after our wedding, he refused to get me to Mumbai from Orissa for several weeks," she told Mumbai Mirror.

"Before the wedding, he said he loved me and showed that he cared. My parents thought that they'd found me a dream match. But once I started living with him in Mumbai, the dream turned into a nightmare."

The woman said her husband soon put forward a demand for another Rs 10 lakh. "He told me to leave the house if I couldn't give the money. Not just him, soon his family , who visited often, started abusing me as well.

They said that I was not good enough because I couldn’t get enough dowry."

With time, she alleged, the verbal abuse transformed into subjecting her to physical and mental agony. 'My husband did everything — from his crazy plans, to pressing a pillow against my nose, to beating me, ' she said.

The woman said her parents came over to try and resolve the matter with her husband but there was no headway. On one occasion, her mother was assaulted by her in-laws while they were arguing about the way forward.

Lawyer Madhuri Sharma said since there was no provision to file for divorce until a year after marriage, they had moved the court under the Domestic Violence Act, demanding compensation of Rs 20 lakh and Rs 34 lakh spent on the wedding and doing up the home . 'We have sought rights to use the matrimonial home and also restrain her husband and his family from entering the premises, which the court has granted. We’ve also demanded she be given her jewellery back from her husband's family," Sharma said. 'But she’s still willing to continue the marriage if things change."

Couple paraded naked in Jalgaon; 13 remanded to police custody

July 24, 2010

MUMBAI: Thirteen persons, arrested for allegedly parading a couple naked in Jalgaon district of north Maharashtra, were today remanded to police custody till July 31, police said.

"The 13 accused have been sent to police custody till July 31," a police official told PTI over phone from Dharangaon police station which registered the case.

The accused entered the house of 32-year old housewife at Nanded village in Dharangaon taluka on July 19 and dragged her out of the house, along with a veterinarian Anil Chaudhry, who was with her," police said.

"The accused alleged that the woman was having an affair with him," the official said.

The couple were stripped, kicked about after tying their hands and legs with rope and photographed, police said.

Sexual relations on false promise of marriage not rape: HC

July 23, 2010

NAGPUR: The Bombay High Court has ruled that sexual relationship with a woman on a false promise of marriage does not amount to rape.

Acquitting a Yavatmal man in a rape case, the single bench High Court here observed that sexual relationship after promising marriage and reneging on it does not amount to rape.

Justice Ambadas Joshi set aside the Yavatmal Session Court order convicting Sandip Rathod (now 42) under IPC section 376 (rape). The victim was allegedly 16 years old in 1996.

The court said the victim's age has been proved to be around 18 when the incident occurred.

Rathod, then 30 years old, was serving at a forest office near the victim's house. He developed physical relations with her and promised marriage. She informed her parents when she became pregnant and Rathod was arrested following a complaint lodged by her parents.

Charged with repeatedly having sexual relations with an then "underaged" girl on and before November 11, 1996, the sessions court sentenced him to 10-year rigorous imprisonment.

Two years later, the convict moved the High Court.

Indian anti-dowry law boon or bane for Indian expats?

July 24, 2010

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) are increasingly concerned about their vulnerability to the Indian anti-dowry law, namely, the IPC-498A, that was passed by the Indian Parliament in 1983. And they have reason to worry.

Under the Indian law, when a wife files dowry charges against her husband and/or his family, irrespective of the validity of the charges, the husband and/or his family members can be arrested within 24 hours without an investigation, leading to much embarrassment and physical and emotional damage caused to the accused. Since most Indian expat families looking for brides for their sons are unable to carry out detailed investigations about the prospective bride because of the lack of such a facility in the Kingdom, their vulnerability increases many folds.

Mohammed Mustafa, an Indian expat working in a construction company in Jeddah, explains how he and his family were implicated in a false dowry case last year. “My brother-in-law’s wife filed a dowry case against him, me and my wife along with other family members. She alleged that we persecuted her for not bringing any dowry. She demanded an amount of Rs15 to 20 lakhs for an out-of-court settlement, which ultimately the family had to give in to,” said Mustafa.

He said Indian men working abroad are easy targets in false dowry cases since “mostly, their expectations of a wife are such that they desire women who would take care of the home and their relatives, even when they are abroad, and this leads to overlooking several other potentially problematic issues”.

“There have been countless instances,” Mustafa continued, “where without any investigation, the police have arrested elderly parents, unmarried sisters, pregnant sisters-in-law and even three-year-olds. In these cases, the unsuspecting family of the husband has to go through a lot of mental torture and harassment by the system. A typical case goes on for years (five to seven years) and the conviction rate is about two percent only. Some accused parents, sisters and even husbands have committed suicide after languishing in jail.”

International legal expert Advocate Basha Nawaz Khan says: “The definitions of an act constituting a crime in matrimonial matters are extremely vague and the procedures are attempts to give justice before the court’s verdict”.

The Indian Penal Code 498A, is a criminal law (not a civil law), which is defined as: “Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. The offence is cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable.”

Expatriates from India, regardless of their age or marital status, (including the husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother(s)-in-law, sister(s)-in-law) living /lived with the wife in the (joint) family, can be jailed under section 498A of the IPC based on the woman’s (wife’s) complaints in the police station.

Most cases, where the IPC-498A is invoked, turn out to be false as they are mere blackmailing attempts by the wife (or her close relatives) in a strained marriage. In such cases, the complaint is followed by demands for a large amount of money (extortion) seeking an out-of-court settlement.

“In a typical case, misunderstandings and the failure to fulfill the unlimited demands of a frustrated person in the family may lead the wife to file a false written complaint alleging dowry harassment. The husband, his parents and relatives are immediately arrested without sufficient investigation and put behind bars on non-bailable terms,” explained advocate Khan.

K. K. Vijayan, community welfare consul at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, said: “This law is for the protection and safety of women, especially in dowry and bride-burning cases. If it is misused and if a case is filed against a person, who is not living in India, that person can go through a legal procedure and prove his innocence.”

Mustafa said that there have been instances when Indian expats on returning to India were either arrested at the airport or their passports were confiscated as part of the bail condition.

“Following the confiscation of their passports, they are unable to return to their jobs,” he said, adding that since most court cases drag on for around six to eight years in Indian courts, these men cannot afford to stay in India for that length of time.

There is another related situation in Indian law according to which, if a wife dies an unusual death within the first seven years of marriage, her husband is assumed to have murdered her, if cruelty was mentioned by the wife before her death.

The Indian government’s concern for NRIs and their families is best exemplified by a ministry specifically created for NRIs, the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA). It was created to act as a liaison between NRIs and their motherland and to help innocent NRIs and their families in cases like these.

“The inflexibility of laws is so brutal that it totally blocks any access to the wife by the husband, who fears false cases against him, which will instantly lead to his and his family’s arrest. The assumptions are such that once the wife leaves the husband’s home, the husband fears that the death of the wife will involve him in a murder trial, and, at the same time, the reunification with the wife will result in more legal sufferings. Under such a legal system created by the Indian government, divorce is usually the best solution, despite the short-term jail and severe financial loss suffered by the husband and his family,” said Khan.

“Dowry death cases are unfortunate and should be punished, but today the tables are turned. The IPC section 498A is being misused, and there is no way for those resident abroad to prevent this law from being abused. A person can only win if he chooses to fight. A typical case will go on for three to seven years and requires a lot of patience and finances to win,” said Mustafa.

Woman files dowry case on NRI hubby

July 23, 2010

Hyderabad-based Panchadarla Maheswari, 22, lodged a complaint aga-inst her husband Saripalle Venkateswara Prasad, 30, with the Three Town police here on Thursday, stating that she was being harassed for additional dowry.
Prasad works in New Zealand. She earlier lodged the same complaint with Hyderabad police a month ago soon after arriving from New Zealand.

Maheswari, a native of Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad married Prasad of Ramnagar in the city in 2007. Her parents gave a dowry of Rs 10 lakh of cash, a flat in Jubilee Hills and 70 tolas of gold ornaments at the time of marriage. They immediately left for New Zealand.

Soon after their arrival, Prasad began harassing her. The family members said he used to lock her up in a room, tie her hands and on many occasions threw hot water on her.

She walked out from home and took shelter in a government-run home. With the help of another Indian woman, she flew back to Hyderabad last month. Soon after arriving she lodged a complaint with the Jubilee Hills police against her husband and in-laws Mr S. Karunakar and Ms Varalakshmi.

The police have been searching for the in-laws as they have changed their address. Recently, they were spotted while trying to dispose off their property. Maheswar’s family members traced them in a house in MVP Colony and informed the Hyderabad police. A sub-inspector arrived here on Thursday but refused to arrest them. He said he needed permission from his bosses in Hyderabad as he was asked to arrest only Prasad.

Meanwhile, the Three Town police took into custody Prasad’s brother Gautam, his parents after a fresh complaint was lodged by Maheswari and at the insistence of women organisations. They released them after questioning. The local police said after a permission was sought from Hyderabad, Prasad's parents would be taken into custody and handed over to the Hyderabad police.

How to get Anticipatory bail when no case is registered

If complaint is given orally(make out a case that complaint is given, thereby making out a ground for AB). Generally, unless complaint or FIR is registered no AB is given . In such circumstances then only option is to make out a fictitious complaint being made by wife because of threats made by wife before leaving home threatening 498a and DV - then there is a ground to raise a plea for Anticipatory Bail. Read below matter carefully. If no complaint is registered then how do they know the sections which they fall under ? You can get breathing time for AB later once you have knowledge of the registration.



This criminal petition under Section 438 Cr.P.C. is filed by the petitioners-Accused seeking to direct the Station House Officer, III Town Police Station, Vijayawada, Krishna District, to release the petitioners on bail in the event of their arrest in connection with any report given by Vishnu Priyanka Marella against the petitioners for the offence punishable under Sections 498A IPC and Sections 3, 4 and 6 of D.P. Act.

2) Heard.

3) According to the learned counsel for the petitioners, no crime is registered against these petitioners in pursuance to the report given by Vishnu Priyanka Marella. Therefore, this criminal petition is dismissed. However, the Police shall not interfere with the liberty of the petitioners in any manner as long as no crime is registered and for a period of one week after registration of crime, if any, on a complaint given by Vishnu Priyanka Marella.

The Judge is showing us indirectly - How to get rid of this menace of arrest even before the girl lodges a complaint. It is possible to get 'time to avoid arrest and time to apply for AB' before she lodges a formal complaint.

The very word 'Anticipatory' means to foresee or realize something is going to happen or cause to happen in advance. Once the complaint is lodged where is the question of AB in IPC 498a ? - because the Police get spring in their legs and joy in their walk taking cognizance of everything; even if a dog named 'pinky' is named in the complaint. They are capable of torturing you that they will not feed the dog unless paid when you are lodged inside.

The fact that AB is the discretion of the Judge does not mean that every husband is arrested. That is not the objective of IPC 498a or DP Act.

There is more to it. That order does not say anything beyond the time.

See Gurbaksh Singh.

The order to grant AB must should yield something that complements - "likelihood of arrest".
It cannot be just a possibility. There must be a showing something beyond for eg.

1. A & B file for divorce for mutual consent.

2. A or B retracts from the mutual consent.

3. Now A or B is threatening with a 498A.

4. If (1) and (2) had dragged the divorce for a considerable period of time, the 498A coming is very likely.

This is a scenario of a very likelihood of arrest. Hence there is no straight-jacket formula. There MUST be a solid showing of factual concern.

Suicide to save tortured men

July 24, 2010

A septuagenarian father has taken his own life to “save” his son and other tortured husbands.

Prasanta Kumar Ghosh blamed his death on his daughter-in-law’s threats to slap false torture charges and demanded a law to protect husbands and in-laws in such a predicament.

“My daughter-in-law is responsible for my death. I take the decision to end my life only to save thousands of husbands and their family members from the hands of cruel women like her,” the retired government employee in Hooghly’s Mogra wrote in a neatly folded three-page note he left behind in his shirt pocket.

Ghosh’s daughter-in-law was allegedly involved in an extra-marital affair with a cop in the area. “(But) neither me nor my son could protest as she threatened every day that she would lodge a complaint against us under section 498A,” wrote the 71-year-old.

In Calcutta High Court on Friday, Justice A.K. Banerjee read the note at least twice before the division bench, also including Justice R.N. Roy, dismissed the daughter-in-law’s plea for anticipatory bail. The police have charged the 31-year-old daughter-in-law with abetment to suicide.

“I know my letter will reach a judge one day. I would like him to consider my case. If there should be a law like 498A to protect housewives from cruel husbands and in-laws, there should also be a law to protect them from the hands of cruel women like my daughter-in-law,” wrote Ghosh.

Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code was introduced in 1983 to fight harassment for dowry. Under the law, a husband and his relatives can be jailed for life. The “cruelty” charge means immediate arrest and lawyers said the accused had no option but to wait out the investigation period. “Once the investigation reveals that a false complaint had been lodged, they can sue the woman and her kin,” said advocate and ex-mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya.

Complaints about the misuse of Section 498A have been levelled before by in-laws at the receiving end of threats. Advocate Jayanta Narayan Chatterjee said such complaints were on the rise. “Around four out of 10 complaints of harassment against husbands and in-laws do not stand in court.”

Pratip Ghosh found his father hanging at their home in Mogra, about 65km from Calcutta, when he returned home after dropping his six-year-old son at school on June 25. The police found the note in Ghosh’s pocket.

Opposing the daughter-in-law’s plea for a reprieve, government counsel Pradip Roy furnished a copy of the FIR Pratip had filed after his father’s death. “My wife was adamant in nature and did not want to keep a good relationship with me and my father. In my absence, she used to meet a person (the cop)…. He sometimes came to our house in my absence…. My father had opposed all this... the matter has maligned us in society,” it said.

Pratip is married for eight years. Ghosh had initially opposed his son’s relationship with her “but he accepted her after some time”, Pratip wrote in the FIR.

Women’s organisations chose not to read too much into the tragedy. “It is not so easy to misuse the law,” said Indrani Sinha of Sanlaap. “Even if a woman is trying to misuse section 498A, her family, in this case her father-in-law and husband, could easily have taken precaution in the form of going to the police first and lodging a complaint. If they are innocent, they need not fear.”

Sinha also pointed to the domestic violence law that “does try to protect women” but can also “be used by the men, or any member of a family who is facing a problem at home”.

Do not stigmatise housewives

 Jul 23, 2010

In a scathing observation that underscores the government’s insensitivity to gender issues, the Supreme Court on Friday said the Centre’s move to equate 36 crore housewives with beggars, prostitutes in the 2001 Census was unfair and wholly uncalled for.

‘’In the Census of 2001 it appears that those who are doing household duties like cooking, cleaning of utensils, looking after children… collecting firewood, have been categorised as non-workers and equated them with beggars, prostitutes and prisoners,’’ said Justice A K Ganguly, in a dissenting judgment.

By its observations, the Court drove home the point that it was unfair on the part of the government to view housewives and home-making as old-fashioned and an economic burden to society.

While deciding a case on compensation to housewives in an automobile accident case, the Bench of Justice Ganguly and Justice G S Singhvi said it was highly unfair, unjust and inappropriate to compute the compensation payable to the dependents of a deceased woman (wife or mother) who did not have any regular income.

It would be unfair to compare her services with that of a housekeeper or a servant or an employee, who works for a fixed period, whereas a woman is part of the family and her contribution cannot be quantified, they observed.

‘’We hope and trust that in the ongoing Census operation this will be corrected,’’ the apex court said, asking the Centre to correct the wrong it had meted out to a majority of women in the country.

Justice Ganguly observed that there is a distinct gender bias against women in India despite the Constitution recommended for eschewing discrimination on the grounds of sex (Article 15) and it is also prevalent in various social welfare legislation and judicial pronouncements.

Expressing regrets, Justice Ganguly said that the census, a process that is carried out under an Act of Parliament, is not sensitive to the categorisation and puts the 36 crore (367 million) women engaged in home-making in the category that is derogatory and demeaning.

With words of appreciation for their priceless contribution, the judge said women are generally engaged in home-making, bringing up children, production of goods (food) and services which are not sold in markets.

The judgment reminded the government of its duty by pointing out that despite India being a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on July 9, 1993, no law had been made for proper evaluation of the household work by women as homemakers.

The judges said that the services of a woman in a household are very important and monetary value could be fixed by quantifying various jobs such as cooking, taking care of children etc. ‘’It is possible to put monetary value of cooking for family members and it could be assessed in terms of what it would cost to hire a cook or to purchase ready cooked food or by assessing how much money could be earned if the food for the family were to be sold in the locality.’’

Kumble warms the benches, for once

July 23, 2010

Anil Kumble was made to wait outside the court for two hours on Thursday, where his wife was fighting for the custody of her child from her first marriage

It was one place where the normally self-effacing Anil Kumble really wanted to be, but was not allowed. On Thursday, the former Indian captain was made to sit outside the family court in Bangalore where his wife Chethana was fighting for the custody of her only child from her first marriage.

The case is being conducted in-camera at the request of the Kumbles, but after Kumar Jahgirdar, Chethana’s first husband, and his lawyer objected to Kumble’s presence in the court, the judge ordered him to go out. Kumble sat outside the court from around 3pm till 5pm.

Jahgirdar and Chethana’s daughter, who is 15, is currently staying with the Kumbles. The two were married for 13 years since 1986, and divorced by mutual consent. Chethana married Kumble two months after she got the divorce. The couple fought for primary custody of their only child, and it went all the way up to the Supreme Court. Jahgirdar lost, but the court said the child should spend her weekends and half her vacations with him.

The court also ruled that the father could ask for modifications should the circumstances change. Jahgirdar is married again, and is seeking a review under the “changed circumstances” clause.

The next hearing of the case will take place on July 31. “Jahgirdar can go to court but all the charges he is making against the Kumble family are false. Kumble’s presence is not really required in the court room,” his lawyer C V Nagesh said.

Chequered history

» 1986: Chethana marries Kumar Jahgirdar

» 1998: They are divorced, and Chethana marries Anil Kumble

» 2003: Supreme Court grants her custody of her eight-year-old daughter

» 2007: Jahgirdar files for review of custodial rights

» 2008: Kumbles get a stay, but Jahgirdar wants it vacated

» In 2009 High Court orders case be heard by family court

It’s a dog’s life

July 23, 2010

A Family Court order directs Adnan Sami’s third wife Roya Fariyabi to leave the house he’s living in since it belongs to his second wife Sabah Galadari

Adnan Sami’s marriage woes have surfaced again. In a few days from now, his third wife Roya Fariyabi will have to leave the Oberoi Skyheights flat in Lokhandwala for good. She is currently living there with Adnan.

Recently, Roya and Adnan returned from Islamabad after meeting his parents, only to receive an order fom the Family Court stating that only Adnan can live in their flat.

Since the flat Adnan is currently living in belongs to his second wife Sabah Galadari, divorcing her will actually have fewer benefits for him. He might just be homeless, unless of course he finds an alternative accomodation by that time.

Strangely, Adnan has not paid heed to the Family Court order. A source says, “If Roya does not leave the flat, Adnan’s second wife Sabah Galadari will file legal proceedings against him. Thereafter, the law will ensure that he vacates the flat.”

The Family Court’s order has come in the wake of an application filed by Sabah under the provision of the Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, “Sabah has started another war now. She is not going to take anything lying down,” says the source.

Sabah discovered Roya’s presence in the flat when she went to check on her pet dogs. Adnan had left them unattended (reported by Mumbai Mirror, June 14, 2010). “Sabah saw that the dogs were not getting adequate food. Also, they had been kept chained for long periods of time.

The animals were in a terrible state. Sabah decided that she would free the dogs and get them to her place, but after consulting her well-wishers, she decided against it. Her friends told her that she might get into serious trouble as Adnan might levy false allegations of theft against her,” adds the source.

Is it just the dogs or does Sabah have a problem with Roya living with Adnan in that house? “Sabah doesn’t have any problem if Roya lives with Adnan,” says the source, “Frankly, she is least interested in Adnan’s life now. All that she wants is that Adnan should obey the law.

When the Court had told Adnan that nobody except him was allowed in the flat, what right did he have to disobey the directive? This is breach of order. Sabah is the owner of three flats in Oberoi Skyheights.”

Explaining the deal, Sabah’s friend says, “Adnan was very keen to get plush flats in Oberoi Skyheights. Sabah gave him a loan of Rs 5.3 crore. But Adnan was unable to repay the loan. So, he gifted all these flats to Sabah. This happened in 2008 much before Adnan and Sabah’s marriage hit the rocks.”

Sabah’s lawyer Mrunalini Deshmukh neither confirms nor denies the story. She says, “As the matter is subjudice, I can’t talk about it.”

Adnan’s lawyer V Krishnan however confirms and says, “Yes, Adnan has received the Family Court order saying that only he can reside in that flat. He will fight it out. We have filed an appeal against that order.”

When told that Sabah may file legal proceedings if he refuses to vacate the flat, Krishnan adds, “The matter is now pending at High Court. I can’t talk any further about this.”

Police station turns into war zone as cops fight over bribe booty

July 23, 2010

All it took was one glimpse of Rs one lakh in crisp currency notes and the Mico Layout Police Station had turned into a battleground with two officers exchanging expletives and almost coming to blows.

Police inspector CN Janardhan Rao at his office in Mico Layout Police Station

The high-decibel drama between Police Inspector C N Janardhan Rao and Sub-Inspector (SI) Narasimhaiah of the police station that started at 7 pm on Wednesday night was triggered by the arrival of a bribe of Rs One lakh. Sources said, “A few days ago Mico Layout's crime team went to Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu and picked up seven persons in connection with a theft case registered with the station. Though the police knew that the accused were involved in criminal activity, they were released.” While the official version claimed there was no link between these men and the case in question, the secret to the release was a deal allegedly struck between the cops and the criminals.

A few constables from Mico Layout police station were despatched to collect the bribe.

However, the arrival of the cash at the station opened a Pandora’s box. “While 80 per cent of the booty was kept back by the inspector, the remaining was given to other members of the team including the SI,” adds the source.

Feeling shortchanged, the men are said to have muttered, “We do the ground work, but you (inspector) take away a large share of the booty.” What followed was a literal free-for-all with both sides hurling the choicest abuses at each other for over 30 minutes. Before leaving office, the miffed inspector even wrote down in the station diary that the SI was not cooperating with him in discharging his duties. The same copy was handed over to the Police Commissioner’s office.

In the meantime, the SI lodged a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (south-east) BNS Reddy against the inspector.

When contacted, Reddy admitted there was a fight at the police station, but maintained that there was no formal complaint with him. “The SI said he is finding it difficult to work there and that he wants to be transferred,” Reddy said.

Police Commissioner Bidari said, “I don’t know what has happened at the DCP level. I have not received any complaint in this regard so far.

The warring cops

C N Janardhan, a former Christ College student is a 1990 batch sub-inspector. Before being posted to MICO Layout police station, Janardhan was serving as a inspector in a traffic police station in Bangalore. During his stint as the traffic inspector, Janardhan was known as ‘carbon Johnny’ in the police circles. Janardhan allegedly prepared fake challans for traffic violators, hence the sobriquet. For any traffic violator, he used to collect the fine amount and issue fake challans, causing loss to the ex-chequer. After this fraud surfaced, an inquiry was constituted against Janardhan which is said to be still pending. After he was deputed to MICO Layout police station, Janardhan had frequent fights with Narasimaiah, the promotee sub-inspector. Narasimaiah, who was an alcoholic, used to hurl abuse at his inspector Janardhan for collecting bribe from all corners. The inspector and sub-inspector had regular tiffs at the police station, said an officer.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Man told to pay maintenance to wife and son

Pune: In an order which has been described as rare, a magistrate court has awarded interim maintenance of Rs 28,000 to a working woman under the Domestic Violence (DV) Act. The woman had proved that her earnings was not sufficient to meet her and her son’s expenses comparing her husband’s salary.

The court of judicial magistrate first class P K Kulkarni, on July 14, ordered the husband to pay maintenance of Rs 15,000 to his wife and Rs 5,000 to his son along with a house rent allowance of Rs 8,000 per month. The husband has also been directed to return her dowry.

The woman was working at a BPO and drawing a salary of Rs 22,000 per month. On January 23, 2007, she got married to a man who was working as a project manager in a software firm. The husband, who was drawing a salary of over Rs 1.19 lakh per month, made her leave the job.

Later, the husband started suspecting his wife and had harassed her for trivial reasons. On February 24, 2009, the woman filed a complaint against him at the Chatushrungi police station under section 498 (a) of the Indian Penal Code for subjecting her to cruelty. The victim’s lawyer Trevor Issac told TOI that his client was forced to move the court after she was driven out of the house.

The victim then joined another BPO for a salary of Rs 12,000 per month, but she was facing severe financial problems.

Issac said he had submitted her salary slip before the court and raised the issue of maintenance of Rs 55,000 per month to her as she was unable to meet the expenses of herself and her 22-month-old child, who is studying in a play group.

Issac termed the order as rare as the court has taken a view that her salary was less compared to the salary drawn by her husband who was staying in a 2 BHK flat and was also owning a Logan car.

NGO headed by former judge fined Rs 1 lakh for 'frivolous' PIL

July 20, 2010

Three months after the Chief Justice of India warned public interest litigants of heavy costs for frivolous petitions, a former Delhi High Court judge and an NGO of which he is “patron-in-chief” are the first casualties.

The Delhi Citizen Forum For Civil Rights was today directed to pay Rs 1 lakh as fine for espousing, as public interest litigation (PIL), the “private cause” of two “disgruntled” serving district judges of Delhi.

As for Justice J K Mehra, retired Delhi High Court judge and patron-in-chief of the NGO, the Supreme Court wondered aloud why a “retired judge, one who was part of the judiciary, should be party to this campaign”.

“If he wants publicity, he should do something else. This is vexatious litigation in the name of PIL to espouse the private cause of judicial officers who were not appointed as judges in the Delhi High Court,” a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly observed.

The NGO has not had a successful run, to say the least. The Delhi High Court dismissed the same case on March 8, 2010 and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000. Today, the Supreme Court said the High Court fine was “too conservative”. It clarified that the Rs 1 Lakh is in “addition” to the High Court’s.

This is the first such instance after the CJI, on May 12, announced the apex court’s zero-tolerance for “frivolous and vexatious public interest litigation”.

“We are convinced that this is a frivolous litigation. A sum of Rs 1 lakh is imposed as additional costs to that of Rs 10,000 ordered by the Delhi High Court. The petitioner (NGO) shall deposit this amount with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Authority within one month,” the court ordered.

Advocate Joginder Tuli, who is the NGO’s chairman, struggled to convince the Bench of the good intentions involved as regards the two senior judges.

But the court countered Tuli: “They are law graduates, they are literate. So why can’t they come on their own instead of through you? What is your locus standi and why do you intervene here?”

The two judges are PS Teji, District Judge, Karkardooma courts and IS Mehta, District Judge, Dwarka courts. Tuli argued that both were denied appointment to the Delhi High Court on the basis of an “arbitrary and unconstitutional procedure”.

“The names of two senior District Judges belonging to SC/ST Shri PS Teji, District Judge, Karkardooma courts and Shri IS Mehta, District Judge, Dwarka courts have not been considered for elevation to the Delhi High Court. This arbitrary and unconstitutional procedure adopted by the Delhi High Court has created great disgruntlement among SC/ST officers from the Delhi Judicial Services as well from other services in the country,” Tuli argued.

To Tuli’s comment that there was already complaints against the appointment of another district district judge to the Delhi High Court, the bench asked him how he got “that information” and went on to suspect that his source was his “patron-in-chief”.

“How did he (Justice Mehra) get hold of the records? He has abused his past position as judge of the high court. This is the grossest abuse of the process of court,” the bench said.

But advocate Tuli is still optimistic: “The court just wanted to know why we were in support of the two judges. Now, this means that court wants the two judges to themselves approach the court. This turns out good for them.”

Sacked disabled staffer moves HC against judge

July 20, 2010

July 19: A 47-year-old office assistant has approached the Madras high court challenging his dismissal from service for allegedly refusing to remove and throw household garbage into a dustbin kept outside the house while on duty at a judge’s residence.

A division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice K.K. Sasidharan before whom the petition was filed by office assistant A. Ramamurthy, ordered notice to the registrar general of the Madras HC, principal district judge and III additional district judge (ADJ) (CBI cases), Coimbatore.

The petitioner, who has vision impairment, was on July 12, 2002, asked to discharge duties in the residence of III ADJ. There he refused to clear garbage as it was not his duty. He was suspended and dismissed in 2004.

His case should have been considered under section 38 of the Persons with Disabilities (equal opportunities, protection of rights and full participation) Act, he contended.

Inspector goes soft on woman despite husband’s suicide note

July 20, 2010

Tells victim’s family that laws favour the fair sex and he would book even a dog if a woman filed a complaint against it

Here’s a cop with a difference. Mico Layout Police Inspector C N Janardhana Rao believes that the law will always support a woman, no matter what. He told the victim’s family who went to lodge a complaint that he would book even a dog if a woman files a complaint against it.

No wonder he refused to take up a suo motu case of abetment of suicide against Ruchi Goel, wife of Ashish Goel, a senior software engineer with Trainz Consulting who recently killed himself, despite his leaving behind a note that clearly implicated his wife in his death. “Our laws always favour a woman victim and not a male victim,” Rao said.


Ashish hanged himself at his BTM Layout house on June 23. He left a suicide note stating that he took the step because his wife had threatened him with a dowry harassment case if he did not pay her Rs 1 crore. When Mico Layout police refused to register a case, Ashish’s family leveraged some powerful political contacts in Delhi. The police finally registered a case on June 30. Rao confirmed this. “I was compelled to register a case against the girl because of pressure from Goel’s family,” he said.

Rao’s boss, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) B N S Reddy, however, has a different take on the matter. “There is no difference between a man or woman in the eyes of the law. If my officer has taken a contrary stand, it is wrong and he needs to be corrected. I will direct him to speed up the investigation,’’ he said.


Ashish and Ruchi got married in April 2009. She hailed from Meerut while he came from neighbouring Aligarh. Apparently, Ashish had an affair with another girl before he married Ruchi. After Ruchi learnt about it, the issue became a source of constant friction between the couple. Three months after their marriage, she went back to her parents’ home. After a while, Ashish brought her back to Bangalore.

But the fights continued and in April this year Ashish, according to his family, was pressured to try and find a job in Meerut. On June 20, he got a call from Ruchi in which she reportedly demanded Rs 1 crore in a week’s time, failing which she threatened to file a dowry harassment case against him and his family. This apparently acted as the trigger for Ashish to kill himself.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Court not to discharge woman from cases

July 15, 2010

“Madurai fast-tract court had rightly rejected her pleas”

The Madras High Court Bench here on Wednesday refused to discharge A. Jayalakshmi of Sivakasi from four cheating cases pending trial before a lower court here.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had booked the cases against the woman for indulging in criminal activities between 2000 and 2004 by exploiting her proximity to a few police officers.

Dismissing all four criminal original petitions filed by the accused as not maintainable, Justice R. Mala said that a prima facie case had been made out against the petitioner as mentioned in the charge sheets.

She also held that the Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court-II) and the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Madurai had rightly rejected similar discharge petitions filed by the petitioner.

In 2004, the Madurai Bench had suo motu treated a letter written by Ms. Jayalakshmi's father as a habeas corpus petition because he had levelled several charges, including sexual harassment, bigamy and illegal detention, against more than 20 police officers.

Subsequently, the woman was produced before the court and the matter was referred to the CBI for a thorough investigation.

The CBI found out that the woman had cheated many individuals by utilising her closeness with some police officials.

In one case, she was accused of taking Rs.1 lakh from a financier in Karur after impersonating as a former police officer and in another case, the woman had allegedly taken Rs.2 lakh from an individual under a false promise of getting a job for his daughter in the police department.

The third case against the woman related to taking 16 sovereigns of jewellery from a shop without payment of money and pledging it with a private banking firm.

She was also booked for not paying Rs.16,385 to another jeweller in Madurai after purchasing some jewels in 2003.

Phrasing a new coin: The new INR symbol

July 18, 2010

Finally, the Indian rupee has got an identity of its own. As India is becoming a hot destination for investors across the world, the new icon for

Indian currency is likely to create a brand around 1.2 trillion dollar economy of the nation.

Once the union cabinet gave its nod to the selection of IIT-Mumbai alumnus D Udaya Kumar’s creation of the symbol—a mix of Devanagri ‘Ra’ and Roman ‘R’—history was scripted. The rupee has now entered into the elite club of currencies such as US dollar, Euro, British Pound Sterling and Japanese Yen which have distinct identities. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee whose ministry championed the cause, was one of the first persons to react to this historic development when he said Indian currency would now have an internationally recognisable identity.

According to plans, the symbol will be included in the Unicode Standard for representation and processing of text ensuring that it could be easily displayed or printed both in electronic and print media. While praising the symbol, deputy chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia emphasised on the need to ensure its fast entry into computers and typewriters.

Once the symbol is encoded in the Unicode Standard and National Standard, Nasscom, the software industry association, is likely to approach software development companies for incorporating it in their operative software. The branding exercise will be meaningful only if computer users around the world have an access to the symbol even though it is not on their keyboards. But keyboards being used in India, which do not have the Euro or Yen symbols, will invariably have the new rupee symbol prominently.

The Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology, the hardware industry body, will take the leadership in making the requisite changes in the production processes. But that can take place only after the symbol gets notified as a keyboard standard by Bureau of Indian Standards. Yet, the symbol will gain ground domestically only if it’s printed on currency notes, but that may take a while as it needs to follow a certain procedural mechanism. By the time, professional agencies could be engaged to brand the symbol nationally and internationally.

When Euro came into being in January 2002 as a common currency in most European nations, it was a Herculean task for the EU to brand the new

currency and its symbol, as common citizens were emotionally attached to their old respective currencies. But Euro finally won the battle.

The European Central Bank office, located in German city of Frankfurt, now houses a giant Euro sculpture symbolising prestige of the new currency. Critics may argue that it has turned out to be a symbol of greed and not prestige in the backdrop of the recent Eurozone crisis, but the giant sculpture has succeeded in capturing the strength of a brand that has become a challenge even to the US dollar.

So, why can’t the RBI headquarters in Mumbai’s Mint Road build a similar sculpture of the new symbol of Indian rupee? The Indian Central bank too should house a shop where tourists can buy the ‘Rupee’ coffee mugs and rupee gift-sets in the same way as it is done in European Central Bank.

But mere branding of a symbol will achieve nothing if India fails to march ahead in its financial reform agenda including full convertibility. The brand rupee will gain currency once money kiosks on the streets of London, New York and Tokyo prominently display the rupee symbol along with global biggies.

Six countries give I-T dept data on NRI black money

July 18, 2010

NEW DELHI: India's efforts at retrieving the black money its corrupt citizens have stashed abroad are being helped by some countries. The Income Tax

has made a list of 135 individuals and entities, who received payments of more than Rs 1 crore from companies abroad, and sent it to the Director General of Investigation in cities where they are supposed to be residing for further investigation.

The information has been culled out from data received from US, Finland, Japan, Korea, Denmark and New Zealand on entities in these countries having made payments to Indians.

The payments were in the form of dividends, interests, royalties, salaries and wages, fees, pensions, etc, some of which the department believes are merely a cover-up and could be linked to money laundering.

The data was received as part of the information exchange agreement with the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, though not all of them have been cooperating with India at present. For instance, Switzerland and many of the tax havens have refused to share any information.

The directorate general of I-T Intelligence in Delhi, which was entrusted with the job of analysing this information, had till May 2010 received 25 CDs in two lots from these six countries out of which 14 were returned to the finance ministry for want of passwords to open them.

Of the 11 CDs, the directorate prepared a list containing names of 9,500 individuals and entities whose addresses could not be located. All such cases have now been sent to source country for more details.

Besides the 135 entities which are being investigated, the DG Intelligence has forwarded a list of more than 5,000 names who were beneficiaries of foreign remittances to the tune of Rs 1 lakh and above but below Rs 1 crore. These names have been referred to the chief commissioners in different cities for identification and further probe.

The data received from Australia and Japan do not carry details such as father's name, address, PAN card or date of birth. Though in some cases Indian addresses were available, they were later found to be incomplete.

India has, meanwhile, informed the foreign authorities to send any future data with complete information containing PAN, date of birth, father's name of the person to whom payments have been made, etc.

The department is already working on a database on shell companies operating out of foreign jurisdictions used by some of the Indian corporates and corrupt public servants for the purpose of tax evasion.

The government has set up two Income Tax Overseas Units (ITOUs) within Indian missions in Singapore and Mauritius to facilitate exchange of information and has plans to constitute more units in eight other countries -- USA, UK, Netherlands, Japan, Cyprus, Germany, France and the UAE.

These form part of the effort to widen the tax-base which has been almost stagnant at 3.5 crore though the number of PAN cards issued are above 9 crore and the department believes that there are many entities which are not filing returns even when they are eligible and at times engaged in money laundering.

The I-T department through Annual Information Returns (AIR), Central Information Branches (CIB) and other sources is using information on high value transactions to get back at tax evaders.

Gurgaon airhostess found dead, husband detained

July 18, 2010

Gurgaon: The jobless husband of a 25-year-old airhostess was detained on Sunday after the woman was found shot dead in their residence in Gurgaon, Haryana.

Ruchi, who worked with a private airline and had a five-month-old child, was found dead by neighbours who rushed to her house after hearing two gunshots at Acharaya Puri Colony. Ruchi had a bullet injury on her forehead and was immediately taken to a hospital where doctors declared her dead.

Police officials said Ruchi had married Gaurav Chauhan against her parents' wishes two years ago. Chauhan has told police Ruchi shot herself after quarreling with him.

Officials claimed the couple had a strained relationship because Chauhan couldn’t find a job.

SC clears air on dowry after knot

18 July 2010

 New Delhi, July 17: A demand for money even after marriage amounted to dowry-related cruelty, the Supreme Court has said, convicting a man who kept harassing his wife for Rs 5,000 for starting a new business.

A two-judge bench convicted Ashok Kumar under a clause that treats a woman’s unnatural death within seven years of marriage as a dowry-related death, unless shown otherwise, as it made clear that a demand for dowry needn’t only be before or during marriage.

However, customary payments in connection with the

birth of a child or other ceremonies didn't fall within the ambit of the word "dowry", the court clarified in its judgment on July 8, 2010.

Kumar, whose wife Rekha died of burn injuries within two years of their marriage in October 1986, sold vegetables and wanted to open a shop for which he needed cash.

Rekha's father Harbans Lal had given her as much dowry as he could for her marriage but her husband, brother-in-law Mukesh and mother-in-law Lajwanti kept harassing her for more and even beat her up. Among their demands were a refrigerator and a television set.

A week before she died, Rekha, who had a son, went to her father in Haryana's Kaithal village and told him that her husband wanted to set up a new business for which he needed Rs 5,000.

Her father said he couldn't rustle up the amount.

After Rekha returned emptyhanded, her husband and inlaws allegedly poured kerosene on her and set her on fire.

She died on May 16, 1988.

In January 1989, a trial court held all three -Kumar, Mukesh and Lajwanti -guilty of causing the dowry death of a woman under Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code.

The court jailed them for 10 years and ordered each to pay a fine of Rs 1,000. If they failed to pay the fine, they would have to serve another three months.

Kumar and the others then filed an appeal before Punjab and Haryana High Court. The high court acquitted Mukesh and Lajwanti but upheld Kumar's conviction.

Kumar then moved the top court.

Kumar argued that every demand by a husband or his family couldn't be termed a "dowry demand" under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

So his wife's death couldn't be termed a "dowry death".

The court said it was accepted law that cases, where a wife dies after being harassed by her husband who has failed to get his father-inlaw to cough up money , wou ld be treated as dowry deaths.

Kumar tried to fall back on an earlier Supreme Court judgment that said demand for money to meet a financial need or urgent domestic expenses couldn't be termed a dowry demand.

The court rejected his argument, saying in this case there was proof to show the harassment and torture followed the demand for money .

The bench said a reasonable link between a wife's death and dowry-related harassment was enough to convict a man under the dowry law.

Justices B.S. Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar, however, reduced Kumar's sentence to seven years on humanitarian grounds.

Drunk husband sets wife, self on fire

June 23, 2010

Bangalore: A 31-year-old man in Bangalore poured four litres of kerosene on his wife and set her ablaze before hugging her to set himself on fire.

N Manjunath married Amruta five years ago. The couple would often quarrel because of Manjunath's drinking problem..

When Manjunath returned home drunk on Tuesday night, he and his wife got into yet another argument.

"I saw burning bodies and rushed out with water to save them. We then rushed the couple to Victoria Hospital," said Muniswamy Gouda, a neighbor.

Sources at the Victoria Hospital said the couple was in a critical condition. Amruta had sustained 80 per cent burn injuries, while Manjunath's body was burnt 65 per cent.

"The whole incident must have happened because of Manjunath's drinking habits. They have fought on several occasions and I have played peacemaker before. I pray that God saves my sister," said Rajanna, Amruta's brother.

Harassed for dowry, Bangalore teen kills self

June 30, 2010

Bangalore: A newly married girl in Bangalore committed suicide on June 29 after she was allegedly harassed by her husband and in-laws for dowry.

Nineteen-year-old M Nandini married Mohan G, a cabbie in Mysore, three months ago.

However, during the engagement, Mohan allegedly demanded 200 grams of gold and a bike as dowry. Nandini's parents offered 180 grams of gold and requested Mohan to wait for a while for the bike.

Mohan refused initially, but later agreed. When Nandini reached Mysore, her husband and in-laws subjected her to mental and physical torture for the bike.

 Unable to bear the harrassment, Nandini asked her parents to arrange a two-wheeler within a fortnight.

Nandini's father gave Mohan Rs 30,000 and asked for a month's time to arrange for the remaining amount. This irritated Mohan, who subjected Nandini to more torture.

Fed up with the humiliation, Nandini committed suicide after writing a letter stating how her husband and in-laws tortured her.

Kyataraju J, assistant PSI, Amrutahalli police station, said, "From the suicide note, it's clear that the girl committed suicide following harassment meted by the husband. We have arrested Mohan and are looking for his parents who have gone absconding."

Following alleged torments meted by husband and in-laws, a newly married girl committed suicide in the city on June 29.

The police have arrested the husband, after they found a note that said that the husband and the in-laws were torturing her for dowry.

Ninteen-year-old M Nandini had married Mohan G, a cabbie in Mysore, three months ago.

However, during the engagement, Mohan allegedly demanded 200 gm gold and a bike as dowry. Nandini's parents offered 180 grams of gold and requested Mohan to wait for a while for the bike.

Mohan refused initially, but later he agreed. When she reached Mysore, her husband and in-laws subjected her to mental and physical torture for the bike.

According to the complaint filed by Nandini's father, the couple hadn't even consummate their marriage, as Mohan wanted the bike first.

Unable to bear the torments anymore, Nandini asked her parents to arrange a two-wheeler within a fortnight.

Nandini's father gave Mohan Rs 30,000 and asked for a month's time to arrange for the remaining amount. This irritated Mohan, who subjected Nandini to more torture.

Fed up with the humiliation, she hanged herself. However, before committing suicide, she wrote a letter stating how her husband and in-laws tortured her.

Kyataraju J, Assistant PSI, Amrutahalli police station, said, "From the suicide note, it's clear that the girl committed suicide following harassment meted by the husband. We have arrested Mohan and are looking for his parents who have gone absconding."

NGOs want protection of men in sexual harassment bill

July 17, 2010

NEW DELHI: A group of NGOs working for men's rights on Saturday demanded that the bill on prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace be made gender neutral to also protect men being harassed at the workplace.

The NGOs under the banner of Save Indian Family Foundation said the draft bill, which is likely to be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament starting July 26, should be discarded and a fresh gender neutral draft should be prepared.

The draft bill was prepared by the women and child development (WCD) ministry.

"The sexual harassment at workplace bill must be reviewed and amended immediately to make it gender neutral. The bill in its present form violates Article 15 of the Indian Constitution which prohibits discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion or sex," said Niladri Shekhar Das, general secretary of Save Indian Family Foundation.

The NGOs demanded that corporate bodies like FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) and CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) and a corporate committee comprising equal number of male and female members be included while drafting laws to truly achieve equal opportunity at the workplace.

The proposed bill includes a clause which brings students, research scholars, patients and women in the unorganised sector within the ambit of the proposed law.

According to the government, the legislation will put pressure on the private sector, which has so far not been prompt in taking steps to check harassment of women employees.

The proposed law will ensure that a committee headed by a women is present in every firm to address cases of sexual harassment and a penalty is imposed on those who fail to follow the guidelines.