July 8, 2008
When passions run high, reasoning goes on a sick leave.
How many of us agree to the above adage. I do. My this mail might be like dousing cold water on the fires raging in some of you to file counter cases.
Whenever I meet a victim, the first thing they ask is, what can we do to put them in the dock. Which counter cases can I file? It sometimes make me want to scream on the top of my voice - NOTHING AS OF NOW, GET BAIL FIRST FOR YOUR FAMILY AND YOURSELF. What keeps the tempers in check is the realization that the reactions of yours truly were not very different from these people approaching when he was new to the world of 498a.
But I learnt that "incoming bullet has the right of way", hence first thing I need to do is duck and let the bullet pass. The great strategist Sun Tzu in his book titled 'The Art of War' has stated, 'The warrior who runs away from a certain defeat, survives to fight another day.' Hence, do not worry, if there are certain setbacks, just survive the initial shocks and you would be fine soon. I am telling you guys from the collective experience of many a fellow 498aed people.
When yours truly was new to this, his first reaction was to file some counter case at the earliest. But better sense prevailed (more than that, better counsel prevailed) and the energies were concentrated on getting AB first and making sure that at least few of the family members are discharged from this false and frivolous case. Despite the same, yours truly were looking for ways to file counter cases. His usual pleadings to the counsel was - despite so many of the clear proofs of the complicity of the family members of his bitter half in criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation and the cheating and dishonesty of the lovely 498a wife, why is he not proceeding against them.
The counsel dug his heels and told me nonchalantly that my out-laws (oops in-laws) would provide me sufficient grounds to start the proceedings in due course of time. So I should not hurry up. AB and discharge is the first priority. Challan is second. And then only, if he is sure the cases are sustainable, he would proceed. In the hearts of heart, I had come to respect this person. He surname being a Kapoor helped the matters as well and he became a "Bhaiya" rather than "Vakeel Sa'ab". And soon, I started following his advise despite some disagreements. In almost all of the cases, I let his wisdom prevail.
And now that there are two cases running against me, I being out on bail, challan filed, three people discharged, and the matters reaching level-playing field once again, he finally gave me a go ahead. And to my surprise, he showed me two drafts to choose from. "When did you prepare these?" I asked. "Long back" was the reply. This man knows his trade, I marveled.
He has done and taken some commitments with me. These are very natural and ethical and seemed like conditions of Bail:
1. I won't lie in court in this case or any other case. (Voila!!! I have nothing to hide)
2. I won't ever threaten them of the impending cases (Why would I, in any case?)
3. I won't ever go to her house/ street/ mohalla, even on an invitation.
Enough of singing paigns to my lawyer, now coming back to the counter cases once again, as per my understanding there are multiple cases which you can file.
Tax Evasion Petition: The most potent, but most under utilized tool by most of us. The statement of the girl is a noose in their necks. You just need to pull a little. File the Tax Evasion Petition as soon as you get the list of dowry articles and list of expenses in marriage. Anything above 10 Lacs and they are doomed. The loss might just be financial to them, but enough to give you a lot of breathing space. Also it may help you as an evidence in your defense.
Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 seems to be the favorite of almost all of us, specially ever since the Judgment of Hon'able S N Dhingra about the same.
But first see your own charge-sheet, have you been booked under DP Act 3/4. The are some chances that you are not. The reasoning is simple, in most states One year from the last incident is the time limit for filing DP Act. Now, when in your state one year is the time limit for filing DP Act, how can you file a counter-case under the same act. I have seen dozens of FIRs by now. The common ploy in all these FIRs is that the last day when they allege to have given dowry is more than one year away from the date of filing of the complaint. This cannot be a chance, they are definitely by design obviously someone had read his law correctly at some point of time and most other have copied it diligently.
But, thankfully for some of us and woefully for others, this time limit has been set aside by state amendments in certain states. If you are lucky to be living in one such state where there is no time limit to file DP Act. See, the FIR/ Complaint closely, is there a specific allegation that some part of dowry was given in the jurisdiction of the state where there is no time limit. Only, if you meet these conditions, you can file a counter case. But to what avail, D/P Act, 1961 is bailable in most of the states. Again State amendments comes to the rescue of some of us, but very few.
What other cases one want to file:
120A/ B: Criminal Consipracy, What is the evidence that a conspiracy was hatched against you. Do you have a recording where they are shown hatching a conspiracy? Do you have some witness who has seen that they were plotting against you and gone ahead and taken some action?
191: Giving False Evidence
192: Fabricating False Evidence
199: False statement made in declaration which by law is recieved as Evidence
200. Using as true such declaration knowing it to be false
203. Giving false information respecting an offence committed
209. Dishonestly making false claim in Court
211. False charge of offence made with intent to injure
How can the above be done, without Evidence being done in your case.
321. Voluntarily causing hurt
Prove the same without being discharged. Can you?
380. Theft in dwelling house, etc
Did you institute the complaint, before she lodged a complaint, otherwise your complaint is a counter blast
403: Dishonest misappropriation of property
405: Criminal breach of trust
Again did you institute the complaint, before she lodged a complaint, otherwise your complaint is a counter blast
500: Punishment for Defamation:
Again valid only when you are discharged, though the application may lie before you get discharged too, but no proceedings would be allowed.
503: Criminal Intimidation
504: Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace
What are the proofs for the same, any previous litigation? Or is it just a counter blast.
182: Giving False information to public servant:
On discharge naturally.
Then there are other cases, which might apply in very particular cases, and can be 307/ 323/ 377 etc., but without basis and unsubstantiated, it does not appeal to my sensibilities.
ANOTHER THING WHICH I ALWAYS SUGGEST, IS IF YOU HAVE A CASE, LET THE STATE FIGHT IT OUT FOR YOU. REMEMBER THAT IN 498A SHE CAN SIT AND RELAX, WHILE THE STATE FIGHTS FOR HER. GIVE HER THE TASTE FOR HER OWN PILL.
Hence my dear friends, let's not try to bring cart before the horse or try to cross the bridge before we come to it. First priority should be to get AB/ Regular Bail for all family members. Then wait for challan/ charge-sheet and then till you get a chance to file other cases.
One thing which I have noticed that at the start of the case against us, we are all fired up to file a counter case. And once the case ends and we win, what do we do? How many of us know of people filing 499/ 500 or 182 or any such other case. How many of us have given press release to stop other bitter-halves from filing false and frivolous cases?
How many of us have written to the DGP of our state citing the circular of Delhi Police and SC Judgment of Joginder Singh with a request to give similar direction in our state. How many of us have filed RTI to get data from the government? I am sure to such people, the statement of Jai is intended to (To whom I must apologize, as I myself got carried away). If you are not happy with the state of affairs, it is time to get started and do something to change it. Not by violent or un-lawful means but within the statutes of law and gentle persuasion.
Are not we the same people, who did not vote and now complain of having a good-for-nothing government? If yes, let's keep mum and let things be as they are. We have no right to object, comment or criticize the government if we have not fulfilled our duty of voting. And we should not build air-castles, if we have no intention of taking things to there logical end.
The strength of the man is not in his words but in his actions. If you have it in you, get started, help others, file a PIL, an RTI, shoot letters to every possible place and educate people about menace. Your time would come to get even.
PS: Just another mooring - GET EVEN, DON'T GET CROSS.