Mobile View
Main Search Advanced Search Disclaimer
Cites 42 docs - [View All]
The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
The Indian Penal Code
Section 498A in The Indian Penal Code
The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
Section 320 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973

View the actual judgment from court
User Queries
Law Commission Report
243Rd Report On Section 498A Ipc
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA



LAW

COMMISSION

OF

INDIA




Section 498A IPC




Report No.243




AUGUST 2012
 ii
                                Section 498A IPC
                                     INDEX

Sl. No.                               Title                               Page Nos
1.        Introduction                                                      1-3
2.        Judicial decisions                                                3-8
3.        Some data regarding Prosecutions u/s 498-A                        9-10
4.        Arguments: Pro & Contra                                          10-11
5.        The Triple Problem                                               12-13
6.        View of National Commission for Women                             13
7.        The Approach and views of the Commission broadly                 14-16
8.        Compounding the Offence                                          16-19
9.        Domestic Violence Act                                            19-21
10.       Responses - an overview                                          21-23
11.       Diagnosis of the problem and reasonable solution                 23-25
12.       Power of Arrest - a balanced approach                            25-27
13.       Analysis of the provisions relating to arrest and the duty of    27-33
          police
14.       Certain guidelines / prescriptions to mitigate misuse            33-35
15.       Home Ministry's advisory and further action to be taken          35-37
16.       Amendment of Section 41 Cr.PC by the addition of sub-             37
          section (3)
17.       S, 358 of Cr.PC - raising the compensation limit                 37-38
17-A      Punishment for misuse - no specific provision necessary.          38
18.       State's obligation to take care of estranged women in            38-40
          distress
19.       Summary of Recommendations                                       40-43
          Annexure - I                                                     44-50
          Annexure - II                                                    51-57
          Annexure - III                                                   58-73
          Annexure - III-A                                                  74
          Annexure - III-B                                                 75-81
          Annexure - III-C                                                 82-85




                                        iii
                                    Section 498A IPC

1.       Introduction

1.1      Keeping in view the representations received from various quarters and

observations made by the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the Home

Secretary, Government of India through his D.O. letter dated 1st September,

2009 requested the Law Commission of India to consider suggesting

amendment, if any to s.498A of Indian Penal Code or other measures to check

the alleged misuse of the said provision. Thereafter, in the case of Preeti Gupta

vs. State of Jharkhand, (2010) the Supreme Court observed that "serious re-

look of the entire provision is warranted by the Legislature. It is a matter of

common knowledge that exaggerated versions of the incident are reflected in a

large number of complaints. The tendency of over-implication is also reflected

in a very large number of cases". Copy of the Judgment has been directed to

be sent to the Law Commission and Union Law Secretary for taking appropriate

steps.    The Law Commission of India after intense deliberations released a

Consultation Paper-cum-Questionnaire which is attached to this report as

Annexure-I.

1.2      S.498A was introduced in the year 1983 to protect married women from

being subjected to cruelty by the husband or his relatives.       A punishment

extending to 3 years and fine has been prescribed. The expression 'cruelty' has

been defined in wide terms so as to include inflicting physical or mental harm

to the body or health of the woman and indulging in acts of harassment with a

view to coerce her or her relations to meet any unlawful demand for any


                                        1
 property or valuable security.   Harassment for dowry falls within the sweep of

latter limb of the section. Creating a situation driving the woman to commit

suicide is also one of the ingredients of 'cruelty'. The offence under s.498A is

cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable. The section is extracted

below:

             498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to
      cruelty-Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a
      woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punishable with
      imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also
      be liable to fine.

            Explanation.-For the purpose of this section, "cruelty" means-

            (a)    any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to
                   drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or
                   danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of
                   woman; or
            (b)    harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a
                   view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any
                   unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is
                   on account of failure by her or any person related to her to
                   meet such demand."


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
                                       2
 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.

2.        Judicial decisions

2.1       In the case of Preeti Gupta Vs. State of Jharkhand1 (supra) decided in

2010, the Supreme Court observed that a serious relook of the provision is

warranted by the Legislature. The Court said:           "It is a matter of common

knowledge that exaggerated versions of the incidents are reflected in a large

number of complaints". The Court took note of the common tendency to

implicate husband and all his immediate relations.             The Supreme Court

directed the Registry to send a copy of judgment to the Law Commission and

Union Law Secretary so that appropriate steps may be taken in the larger

interests of society. In an earlier case also - Sushil Kumar Sharma Vs. UOI2

(2005), the Supreme Court lamented that in many instances, complaints under

s.498A were being filed with an oblique motive to wreck personal vendetta and

observed.         "It may therefore become necessary for the Legislature to find out

ways how the makers of frivolous complaints or allegations can be



1
    AIR 2010 SC 3363
2
    2005 6 SCC 281

                                            3
 appropriately dealt with".        It was also observed that "by misuse of the

provision, a new legal terrorism can be unleashed".

2.2       Various High Courts in the country have also noted that in several

instances, omnibus        allegations are made against the husband and his

relations and the complaints are filed without proper justification. The need to

exercise caution in the case of arrest of the husband and his relatives has been

stressed while observing that by such a step, the possibility of reconciliation

becomes remote and problematic. In some of the cases, directions were given

by the High Courts for regulating the power of arrest and for taking necessary

steps to initiate conciliatory effort at the earliest point of time. Reference may

be made in this context to the decision of Delhi High Court in Chandrabhan Vs.

State (order dated 4.8.2008 in Bail application No.1627/2008) and of the

Madras High Court in the case of Tr. Ramaiah Vs. State (order dated 7.7.2008

and 4.8.2008 in MP No.1 of 2008 in Crl. O.P. No.10896 of 2008). In the former

case, it was observed that "there is no iota of doubt that most of the complaints

are filed in the heat of the moment over trifling fights and ego clashes. It is also

a matter of common knowledge that in their tussle and ongoing hostility, the

hapless children are the worst victims". The following directions were given to

the police authorities:

   i)       "FIR should not be registered in a routine manner.
   ii)      Endeavour of the police should be to scrutinize complaints carefully
            and then register FIR.
   iii)     No case under section 498-A/406 IPC should be registered without
            the prior approval of DCP/Addl. DCP.
   iv)      Before the registration of FIR, all possible efforts should be made for
            reconciliation and in case it is found that there is no possibility of


                                          4
             settlement, then, necessary steps should, in the first instance, be
            taken to ensure return of sthridhan and dowry articles to the
            complainant.
   v)       Arrest of main accused be made only after thorough investigation has
            been conducted and with the prior approval of the ACP/DCP.
   vi)      In the case of collateral accused such as in-laws, prior approval of
            DCP should be there on the file."




         The other directions given were :-


         The Delhi Legal Services Authority, National Commission for Women,

NGOs and social workers working for upliftment of women should set up a

desk in Crime Against Women Cell to provide them with conciliation services,

so that before the State machinery is set in motion, the matter is amicably

settled at that very stage. The need to explore the possibility of reunion and

conciliation when the case reaches the Court was also stressed. In conclusion,

it was observed that in these matters, the parties themselves can adopt a

conciliatory approach without intervention of any outside agency.


2.3      In an earlier judgment of Delhi High Court in the case of "Court on its

own in Motion vs. CBI", reported in 109 (2003) Delhi Law Times 494, similar

directions were issued to the police and courts regarding arrest, grant of bail,

conciliation etc. It appears that these procedural directions issued by the High

Court are being followed in Delhi as stated by senior police officers of Delhi,

though according to the version of some lawyers, there are many instances of

violation at the police station level. It is to be mentioned that after the order in

Chander Bhan's case, (supra), the Commissioner of Police of Delhi issued


                                          5
 Standing Order No.330 of 2008 compiling the "Guidelines for Arrest" as laid

down by the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court. The judgments relevant to

Section 498-A and the directions issued therein were referred to in the

Standing Order. It is learnt that the practice of obtaining the permission of

ACP/DCP level officers before effecting arrest of husband/relatives is being

followed in Delhi.   In many States, according to information received by the

Chairman of this Commission, there are no systemic guidelines and there is no

regular monitoring of this type of cases by the higher officials.       Ad-hoc

practices and procedures are in vogue.

2.4   The directives given by the Madras High Court in the case of Tr. Ramiah

are as follows:


      i)     Except in cases of dowry death/suicide and offences of
             serious nature, the Station House Officers of the All Women Police
             Stations are to register F.I.R. only on approval of the Dowry
             Prohibition Officer concerned.
      ii)    Social     workers/mediators      with     experience     may    be
             nominated and housed in the same premises of All Women Police
             Stations along with Dowry Prohibition Officers.
      iii)   Arrest in matrimonial disputes, in particular arrest of
             aged, infirm, sick persons and minors, shall not be made by the
             Station House Officers of the All Women Police Stations.
      iv)    If   arrest   is    necessary    during    investigation,  sanction
             must be obtained from the Superintendent of Police concerned by
             forwarding the reasons recorded in writing.
      v)     Arrest can be made after filing of the final report
             before the Magistrate concerned if there is non-cooperation and
             abscondance of accused persons, and after receipt of appropriate
             order (Non-Bailable Warrant).
      vi)    Charge sheet must be filed within a period of 30 days
             from the date of registration of the F.I.R. and in case of failure,
             extension of time shall be sought for from the jurisdiction
             Magistrate indicating the reasons for the failure.
      vii)   No weapon including lathis/physical force be used while
             handling cases at the All Women Police Stations.
                                         6
       viii)   Complainants/victims should be provided with adequate
              security/accommodation at Government Home and interest of the
              children must be taken care of.
      ix)     Stridana properties/movables and immovable to be restored
              at the earliest to the victims/complainants and legal aid may be
              arranged for them through Legal Services Authority for immediate
              redressal of their grievances."


2.5   Pursuant to this order, the Director-General of Police, Tamil Nadu,

issued a circular to the effect that the said orders of the Court should be

strictly followed. In the further order dated 4.8.2008, the Court observed that

when the I.O. seeks remand of the accused, the Magistrate must examine the

necessity therefor and the remand should not be ordered mechanically on the

mere request of the I.O.     The Magistrate should be satisfied that sufficient

grounds exist for directing remand. Further, the Court deprecated the practice

of conducting lengthy panchayats in police stations.

2.6   As regards the decisions of Delhi and Madras High Courts referred to

above, there are a few comments which we consider appropriate to make. The

decisions make the offence practically         bailable by    reason   of various

qualifications and restrictions prescribed. The decision of Madras High court

goes to the extent of saying that arrest can be made only after filing of the final

report before the Magistrate and on the basis of non-bailable warrant issued by

the Magistrate.    Whether this judicial law-making based on experience and

expediency of restraining the power of arrest in matters arising out of

matrimonial problems, is legally sound is one question that arises. Secondly,

whether the registration of FIR can be deferred for sometime i.e., till initial

investigation and reconciliation process is completed, is another point that
                                         7
 arises.        In Bhajan Lal's case3, the Supreme Court observed, "It is therefore,

manifestly clear that if any information disclosing a cognizable offence is laid

before an officer in charge of a police station satisfying the requirements of

Section 154(1) of the Code, the said police officer has no other option except to

enter the substance thereof in the prescribed form, that is to say, to register a

case on the basis of such information."

2.7        However, in a recent case of Lalita Kumari v. State of Uttar Pradesh 4, the

question whether a police officer is bound to register the FIR when a cognizable

offence is made out or he has the discretion to conduct some kind of

preliminary inquiry before registration of FIR, has been referred to a larger

bench of Supreme Court in view of the apparent divergence in views. The law

on this point is therefore in an uncertain state. In this situation, the police in

various States have to follow the law laid down or directives issued by the

respective High Courts in regard to registration of FIR till the law is settled by

the Supreme Court. Shri Amarjit Singh, ld. Member of the Commission has

suggested that except in cases of physical violence, the FIR need not be

registered instantaneously without any enquiry being made. Whether there

should be a legislative provision in this regard specifically with reference to

F.I.Rs under S, 498-A is a matter on which a fresh look could be taken after

the Supreme Court interprets the relevant Sections in the above case.




3
    State of Haryana v. Bhajan Lal, AIR 1992 SC 604
4
    AIR 2012 SC 1515

                                                      8
 3.    Some data regarding Prosecutions u/s 498-A

3.1   The complaint of over-implication noticed by the Courts is borne out by

the statistical data of the cases under S,498A.      According to informations

received from the Hon'ble High Courts (during the year 2011), 3,40,555 cases

under Section 498-A IPC were pending trial in various courts towards the end

of 2010. There were as many as 9,38,809 accused implicated in these cases.

This does not include cases pertaining to Punjab and Haryana (statistics not

available). The implication of the relatives of husband was found to be

unjustified in a large number of decided cases. While so, it appears that the

women especially from the poor strata of the society living in rural areas rarely

take resort to the provision, though they are the worst sufferers.     However,

according to Delhi Police officials, with whom the Commission had interacted,

women from poor background living in slums are also coming forward to file

complaints.

3.2   According to the statistics published by National Crime Records Bureau

for the year 2011 (Table4), 3,39,902 cases under S,498A were pending trial in

various courts at the end of the year and 29,669 cases under S,304-B of IPC.

The conviction rate in S,498A cases is 21.2% and in S,304-B cases, it is 35.8%.

Number of cases reported under S,498A in the year 2011 are 99,135 and

during the two previous years, they were 94,041 and 89,546. Thus, there is

slight increase (about 5%) in the reported cases every year. As stated earlier,

many cases go unreported. The statistics relating to reported incidents may

not therefore furnish a reliable comparative indicator of the actual incidence of


                                        9
 crimes in the States.     For instance, when compared to other cities, the

percentage share of incidents reported under S, 498-A is the 2nd highest in

Delhi. It may be because that the percentage of reporting is apparently high.

The dowry-death cases (S,304-B) reported during the years 2009-11 are: 8,383,

8,391 and 8,618.    There is a view-point that if the offence under S,498A is

made bailable or non-cognizable, it will cease to be a deterrent against cruelty

inflicted on married women and the dowry-deaths may increase.

3.3   As noticed earlier, the conviction rate in respect of the cases under

s.498A is quite low - it is about 20%.         It is learnt that on account of

subsequent events such as out-of-court settlement, the complainant women do

not evince interest in taking the prosecution to its logical conclusion. Further,

ineffective investigation is also known to be one of the reasons for low

conviction rate.

4.    Arguments: Pro & Contra

4.1   The arguments for relieving the rigour of s.498A by suitable amendments

(which find support from the observations in Court judgments and Justice

Malimath Committee's report on Reforms of Criminal Justice System) are:

      The harsh law, far from helping the genuine victimized women, has
      become a source o blackmail and harassment of husbands and others.
      Once a complaint (FIR) is lodged with the Police under s.498A/406 IPC, it
      becomes an easy tool in the hands of the Police to arrest or threaten to
      arrest the husband and other relatives named in the FIR without even
      considering the intrinsic worth of the allegations and making a preliminary
      investigation. When the members of a family are arrested and sent to jail,
      with no immediate prospect of bail, the chances of amicable re-conciliation
      or salvaging the marriage, will be lost once and for all. The possibility of
      reconciliation, it is pointed out, cannot be ruled out and it should be fully
      explored.    The imminent arrest by the Police will thus be counter-
      productive. The long and protracted criminal trials lead to acrimony and
                                        10
       bitterness in the relationship among the kith and kin of the family.
      Pragmatic realities have to be taken into consideration while dealing with
      matrimonial matters with due regard to the fact that it is a sensitive family
      problem which shall not be allowed to be aggravated by over-
      zealous/callous actions on the part of the Police by taking advantage of
      the harsh provisions of s.498A of IPC together with its related provisions in
      CrPC. It is pointed out that the sting is not in s.498A as such, but in the
      provisions of CrPC making the offence non-compoundable and non-
      bailable.


4.2   The arguments, on the other hand, in support of maintaining the status

quo are briefly:

      S.498A and other legislations like Protection of Women from Domestic

Violence Act have been specifically enacted to protect a vulnerable section of

the society who have been the victims of cruelty and harassment. The social

purpose behind it will be lost if the rigour of the provision is diluted.      The

abuse or misuse of law is not peculiar to this provision.        The misuse can

however be curtailed within the existing framework of law.      For instance, the

Ministry of Home Affairs can issue 'advisories' to State Governments to avoid

unnecessary arrests and to strictly observe the procedures laid down in the law

governing arrests.    The power to arrest should only be exercised after a

reasonable satisfaction is reached as to the bona fides of a complaint and the

complicity of those against whom accusations are made. The "Crime Against

Women Cells" should be headed by well trained and senior lady police officers.

These steps would go a long way in preventing the so-called misuse. Side by

side, steps can be taken to effect conciliation between the spouses in conflict

and the recourse to filing of a charge-sheet under s.498A shall be had only in

cases where such efforts fail and there appears to be a prima facie case.
                                        11
 Counselling of parties should be done by professionally qualified counsellors

and not by the Police.   These views have been echoed among others by the

Ministry of Women and Child Development.

4.3   Further, it is pointed out that a married woman ventures to go to the

Police station to make a complaint against her husband and other close

relations only out of despair and being left with no other remedy against

cruelty and harassment.     In such a situation, the existing law should be

allowed to take its own course rather than over-reacting to the misuse in some

cases. There is also a view expressed that when once the offending family

members get the scent of the complaint, there may be further torture of the

complainant and her life and liberty may be endangered if the Police do not act

swiftly and sternly. It is contended that in the wake of ever increasing crimes

leading to unnatural deaths of women in marital homes, any dilution of Section

498-A is not warranted. Secondly, during the process of mediation also, she is

vulnerable to threats and harassment.      Such situations too need to be taken

care of.

5.    Thus, the triple problems that have cropped up in the course of

implementation of the provision are:(a) the police straightaway rushing to

arrest the husband and even his other family members (named in the FIR), (b)

tendency to implicate, with little or no justification the in-laws and other

relations residing in the marital home and even outside the home, overtaken by

feelings of emotion and vengeance or on account of wrong advice, and (c) lack




                                      12
 of professional, sensitive and empathetic approach on the part of the police to

the problems of woman under distress.

6.    View of National Commission for Women

6.1   The view point of National Commission for Women represented by

Member-Secretary placed before the Parliamentary Committee on Petitions

(Rajya Sabha) (report presented on 07.09.2011) has been summarized in the

report of the Committee as follows:

      (i)     Section 498A, IPC, provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961
              and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005
              have an element of commonality and need to be harmonized and
              uniformly implemented;
      (ii)    Police should in the interest of the protection of the constitutional
              rights of a citizen ensure that no arrest should be made without a
              reasonable satisfaction after some investigation as to the
              genuineness and bonafide of a complaint and the need to effect
              arrest;
      (iii)   Creation of Mahila Desks at police station and Crime Against
              Women (CAW) Cell, at least at the district level which would
              specifically deal the complaints made by women. When a wife
              moves to file a complaint to a women cell, a lot of persuasion and
              conciliation is required. The Legal Service Authorities of the States
              / UTs, National Commission for Women, NGO and social workers
              should set up a desk in CAW Cell to provide conciliation services to
              the women so that before the state machinery is set in motion the
              matter is amicably settled at that every stage;
      (iv)    In case of matrimonial disputes, the first recourse should be
              effective conciliation and mediation between the warring spouses
              and their families and recourse of filing charges under Section
              498A, IPC may be resorted to in cases where such conciliation fails
              and there appears a prima facie case of Section 498A of IPC and
              other related laws; and
      (v)     Counseling mechanism envisaged under the PWDVA should be
              implemented by State Governments and counseling of parties
              should be done only by professionally qualified counselors and not
              by the police. The police may consider empanelling professional
              counselors with CAW Cells.




                                         13
 7.    The Approach and views of the Commission broadly


7.1   The Commission is of the view that the Section together with its allied

Cr.PC provisions shall not act as an instrument of oppression and counter-

harassment and become a tool of indiscreet and arbitrary actions on the part of

the Police. The fact that s.498A deals with a family problem and a situation of

marital discord unlike the other crimes against society at large, cannot be

forgotten.   It does not however mean that the Police should not appreciate the

grievance of the complainant woman with empathy and understanding or that

the Police should play a passive role. S.498A has a lofty social purpose and it

should remain on the Statute book to intervene whenever the occasion arises.

Its object and purpose cannot be stultified by overemphasizing its potentiality

for abuse or misuse. Misuse by itself cannot be a ground to repeal it or to take

away its teeth wholesale.    The re-evaluation of Section 498-A merely on the

ground of abuse is not warranted. Besides that, while courts are confronted

with abusive dimensions, sometimes very visibly in Section 498A prosecutions,

we cannot close our eyes to a large number of cases which go unprosecuted for

a variety of reasons.

7.2   Section 498-A has to be seen in the context of violence and impairment

of women's liberty and dignity within the matrimonial fold. Mindless and

senseless deprivation of life and liberty of women could not have been dealt

with effectively through soft sanctions alone. Even though values of equality

and non-discrimination may have to gain deeper roots through other social



                                       14
 measures, the need to give valuable protection to vulnerable sections of women

cannot be negated.

7.3   While the Commission is appreciative of the need to discourage

unjustified and frivolous complaints and the scourge of over-implication, it is

not inclined to take a view that dilutes the efficacy of s.498A to the extent of

defeating its purpose especially having regard to the fact that atrocities against

women are on the increase. A balanced and holistic view has to be taken on

weighing the pros and cons. There is no doubt a need to address the misuse

situations and arrive at a rational solution - legislative or otherwise, while

maintaining the efficacy of law. While we acknowledge diverse points of view,

some with extreme emphasis and connotations, the point to be noted is that

the value to be attached to the rights of women are no less than the value to be

attached to the family as a unit and vice-versa.       The challenge before the

community is to ensure the promotion of both values. The emphasis should

therefore be on wise moderations without overlooking the need and relevance of

the retention of penal sanctions necessary to protect and promote women's

rights and interests.

7.4   There is also a need to create awareness of the provisions especially

among the poor and illiterate living in rural areas who face quite often the

problems of drunken misbehavior and harassment of wives.          More than the

women, the men should be apprised of the penal and other provisions of law

protecting the women against harassment at home.            The easy access of

aggrieved women to the Taluka and District level Legal Service Authorities


                                        15
 and/or credible NGOs with professional counsellors should be ensured by

appropriate measures.         There should be an extensive and well-planned

campaign to spread awareness on right lines.      Presently, the endeavour in this

direction is quite minimal.       Visits to few villages once in a way by the

representatives of LSAs, law students and social workers is the present

scenario.

7.5   There is an all-round view that the lawyers whom the aggrieved women

or their relations approach in the first instance should act with a clear sense of

responsibility and objectivity and give suitable advice consistent with the real

problem diagnosed.        Exaggerated and tutored versions and unnecessary

implication of husband's relations should be scrupulously avoided. The correct

advice of legal professionals and the sensitivity of Police officials dealing with

the cases are very important, and if these are in place, undoubtedly, the law

will not take a devious course.     Unfortunately, there is a strong feeling that

some lawyers and police personnel have failed to act and approach the problem

in a manner ethically and legally expected of them.


8.    Compounding the Offence


8.1   There is preponderance of opinion in favour of making the offence under

S,498-A compoundable with the permission of the court. Even those

(individuals, officials and organizations) who say that it should remain a non-

bailable    offence,   have   suggested   that   the   offence   should   be   made

compoundable, subject to the permission of court.           Some States, for e.g.,


                                          16
 Andhra Pradesh have already made it compoundable. The Supreme Court, in

the case of Ramgopal v. State of M. P. in SLP (Crl.) No. 6494 of 2010 (Order dt.

July 30, 2010), observed that the offence under S, 498-A should be made

compoundable.       However, there is sharp divergence of views on the point

whether it should be made a bailable offence. It is pleaded by some that the

offence should be made bailable at least with regard to husband's relations and

in respect of the cases failing under second part of the Explanation Clause (b)

to Section 498-A.

8.2   As regards compoundability, the Commission has given a comprehensive

report (237th Report) under the title of "Compounding of IPC Offences". The

Commission recommended that the offence under Section 498A should be

made a compoundable offence with the permission of Court. The Commission

has suggested the inclusion of the following sub-section in S,320 Cr.PC:


            After the application for compounding an offence under S.498A of
      Indian Penal Code is filed and on interviewing the aggrieved woman,
      preferably in the Chamber in the presence of a lady judicial officer or a
      representative of District Legal Services Authority or a counsellor or a close
      relation, if the Magistrate is satisfied that there was prima facie a
      voluntary and genuine settlement between the parties, the Magistrate shall
      make a record to that effect and the hearing of application shall be
      adjourned by three months or such other earlier date which the Magistrate
      may fix in the interests of Justice. On the adjourned date, the Magistrate
      shall again interview the victim woman in the like manner and then pass
      the final order permitting or refusing to compound the offence after giving
      opportunity of hearing to the accused. In the interregnum, it shall be open
      to the aggrieved woman to file an application revoking her earlier offer to
      compound the offence on sufficient grounds.


      The relevant part of Commission's report is furnished in Annexure-II.



                                        17
 8.4   In the 154th Report of the Law Commission also, there was a clear

recommendation to make the offence compoundable.                  Justice Mallimath

Committee on Criminal Justice Reform also recommended that it should be

made compoundable as well as bailable.           The Committee of Petitions (Rajya

Sabha) in the report presented on 7.09.2011, observed thus at para 13.2 under

the heading "Making the offence under Section 498A IPC compoundable":

              "The Committee notes that the offence under Section 498A IPC is
      essentially a fallout of strained matrimonial relationship for which there
      might be various considerations. Since there can be various causes
      leading to an offence under Section 498A, IPC and parties to the marriage
      could be responsible for the same in varying degrees, it would be
      appropriate if the remedy of compromise is kept open to settle a
      matrimonial dispute. In this context, the Committee feels that in case of
      any marital discord which has reached the stage of a complaint under
      Section 498A, IPC, it would be better if the parties have the option of a
      compromise whereafter they can settle down in their lives appropriately for
      a better future rather than diverting their energies negatively by pursuing
      litigation. The Committee recommends to the Government to consider
      whether the offence under Section 498A, IPC can be made compoundable."


8.5   These   observations    and      recommendations       of   the   Parliamentary

Committee reinforces the view taken by the Law Commission in 237th Report

which is annexed herewith (Annexure II).              In the 111th report of the

Department related Standing Committee on Home Affairs on the Criminal Law

Amendment     Bill,   2003   (report   of    2005),   the   Committee    categorically

recommended that the offence under Section 498-A should be made

compoundable. The Committee of Petitions (Rajya Sabha), recommended that

the offence under Section 498A should continue to be cognizable and non-

bailable while "strongly recommending" that "the ill-effects and miseries of the

provision should be checked." The Committee observed further: "the Committee
                                            18
 fears that failure to do so may leave no option except to dilute the law by making

the same non-compoundable and bailable." Certain measures to check misuse

were suggested which will be referred to at the appropriate juncture.

9.    Domestic Violence Act

9.1   In the context of the issue under consideration, a reference to the

provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (for short

PDV Act) which is an allied and complementary law, is quite apposite.         The

said Act was enacted with a view to provide for more effective protection of

rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the

family.    Those rights are essentially of civil nature with a mix of penal

provisions. Section 3 of the Act defines domestic violence in very wide terms. It

encompasses the situations set out in the definition of 'cruelty' under Section

498A. The Act has devised an elaborate machinery to safeguard the interests of

women subjected to domestic violence.        The Act enjoins the appointment of

Protection Officers who will be under the control and supervision of a Judicial

Magistrate of First Class. The said officer shall send a domestic incident report

to the Magistrate, the police station and service providers.      The Protection

Officers are required to effectively assist and guide the complainant victim and

provide shelter, medical facilities, legal aid etc. and also act on her behalf to

present an application to the Magistrate for one or more reliefs under the Act.

The Magistrate is required to hear the application ordinarily within 3 days from

the date of its receipt. The Magistrate may at any stage of the proceedings

direct the respondent and/or the aggrieved person to undergo counseling with


                                        19
 a service provider. 'Service Providers' are those who conform to the

requirements of Section 10 of the Act. The Magistrate can also secure the

services of a welfare expert preferably a woman for the purpose of assisting

him. Under Section 18, the Magistrate, after giving an opportunity of hearing to

the Respondent and on being prima facie satisfied that domestic violence has

taken place or is likely to take place, is empowered to pass a protection order

prohibiting the Respondent from committing any act of domestic violence

and/or aiding or abetting all acts of domestic violence. There are other powers

vested in the Magistrate including granting residence orders and monetary

reliefs. Section 23 further empowers the Magistrate to pass such interim order

as he deems just and proper including an ex-parte order.          The breach of

protection order by the respondent is regarded as an offence which is

cognizable and non-bailable and punishable with imprisonment extending to

one year (vide Section 31).     By the same Section, the Magistrate is also

empowered to frame charges under Section 498A of IPC and/or Dowry

Prohibition Act. A Protection Officer who fails or neglects to discharge his duty

as per the protection order is liable to be punished with imprisonment (vide

Section 33). The provisions of the Act are supplemental to the provisions of any

other law in force. The right to file a complaint under Section 498A is

specifically preserved under Section 5 of the Act.

9.2   An interplay of the provisions of this Act and the proceedings under

s.498A assumes some relevance on two aspects: (1) Seeking Magistrate's

expeditious intervention by way of passing a protective interim order to prevent


                                        20
 secondary victimization of a complainant who has lodged FIR under s.498A. (2)

Paving the way for counseling process under the supervision of Magistrate at

the earliest opportunity.

10.   Responses - an overview

10.1 As many as 474 persons, organizations/institutions and officials (listed

in Annexure-III) have sent their responses to the Consultation Paper-cum-

Questionnaire. A broad analysis of these replies are given in Annexure III-A.

Some of the important and typical responses are compiled in Annexure III-B.

As many as 244 Judicial Officers from various States including Registrars and

Directors of Judicial Academies and Officials (most of them are Police Officers)

and members of legal academia have sent their responses. 100 of them

suggested that the offence should be made bailable. However, 119 of them have

clearly   stated   that   it   should   remain   non-bailable.   Among   the   24

organizations/institutions, 12 of them pleaded for bailability and 5 have

expressed the view that it should remain non-bailable. Among the individuals,

a vast majority of them suggested that it should be made bailable. Some have

expressed an extreme view that the Section should be repealed or it should be

made gender neutral.           There are three Non-Resident Indians among the

representationists - two of them individuals and the other an organization.

They consider it as a harsh law against husbands and it shall be revisited.

The tales of woes and harassment caused on account of false complaints have

been narrated in many representations while pleading that the complainant

woman should be made accountable for such false and frivolous complaints.


                                          21
 Some State Governments and Union Territories also gave their suggestions.

Their views are compiled in Annexure III-C. Most of the respondents including

those who are not in favour of change emphasized the need for verification of

facts by way of preliminary/initial investigation and not to rush through the

process of arrest. The need to facilitate reconciliation through counseling and

mediation at the earliest stage has been stressed by a large number of

respondents.    The active participation of Legal Service Authorities as a

facilitator of conciliation and mediation processes and the need for closer

coordination between the police and LSAs in this regard has also been pointed

out by many of them. It is also stated that LSAs can play a greater role in

spreading awareness in the rural areas.


10.2 The Chairman of the Commission in the company of Vice-Chairman and

other ld. Members and officials of the Commission had occasions to interact

with Judicial Officers of various ranks (including lady judges).       In such

Conferences, the general consensus was that the offence under Section 498-A

should be made compoundable with the permission of the Court and it should

continue to remain non-bailable.     At the same time, they expressed some

concern over complaints filed with false allegations or over implication and

stressed on the duty of Police to act with sensitivity and responsibility in

matters of this nature. So also, the plight of the aggrieved women who go to the

Police Stations and who in a state of emotion and confusion tend to file

complaints with exaggerated versions has been highlighted.        Senior Police

Officers in Delhi have stated that the percentage of misuse is minimal and

                                       22
 most of the complaints are quite genuine though at times the complaints are

instigated to make some exaggerated and untrue allegations. They gave details

of the practices that are being followed by Delhi Police especially in regard to

conciliation by qualified counselors. They have also highlighted the problem

caused by NRI women filing dual complaints i.e., in Delhi under S, 498-A as

well as the relevant laws in force governing domestic violence in the country

where they last resided with the accused husband.          In regard to misuse

dimensions, there were different versions from the Police Officers in some other

States. There was a divided opinion among the lawyers and judges (who

attended the Conferences) at Visakhapatnam (A.P.), Chennai, Aurangabad and

Bengaluru on the question whether it should remain non-bailable. However,

the lawyers, both men and ladies in one voice stated that it should be made

compoundable and reconciliation process should be put in place without loss

of time. The same was the opinion expressed at the conferences in Judicial

Academies in several States.


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


                                        23
 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. At the same time, the

Commission feels that misuse arising from exaggerated versions and over

implication should not by itself be a ground to dilute the provision by making

it bailable. Depriving the police of the power to arrest without warrant in order

to have proper investigation would defeat the objective of the provision and may

be counter-productive. The element of deterrence will be irretrievably lost, once

it is made bailable. It is to be noted that the misuse did not flow from the

section itself but the roots of misuse were grounded on the insensitive police

responses and irresponsible legal advice. The victim/complainant deprived of

her cool and objective thinking, quite often, unwittingly signs a complaint

containing such exaggerated or partially false allegations.      By the time she

realizes the implications thereof, it would be too late.


11.2 In the Commission's       view, the misuse could be minimized by taking

such measures as would ensure the strict observance of the law governing

arrest as evolved in D.K. Basu's case and incorporated in the statute i.e., in

Chapter-V of Cr. P.C. The police at present either overact or adopt indifferent

attitude in many a case. They are expected to act with due sensitivity and

with the realization that they are dealing with an alleged offence arising out of

strained matrimonial relations and that nothing should be done to disrupt the

chances of reconciliation, or to cause trauma to the children.   While launching

of investigation - preliminary or otherwise, without delay is desirable, the

                                         24
 arrest     and such other drastic measures should not close the doors for

reconciliation and amicable settlement.      The Law Commission has already

recommended that the offence under Section 498-A should be made

compoundable.      This is the minimum that could be done to promote the

restorative, not merely penal goal of the law. It may be noted that even under

the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, a specific provision is enacted

providing for conciliation at the earliest on the intervention of Magistrate.


12.      Power of Arrest - a balanced approach


12.1 Power of arrest vested with the Police Officer in a cognizable offence is no

doubt a potent weapon to enforce the penal provision. However, this weapon

should be sparingly drawn out of its sheath and wielded only if necessary. It

shall not be used at the whim and fancy of the I.O. or be treated as a panacea

for checking such offences. The attitude to arrest first and then proceed with

the rest is despicable. Mechanical, casual and hasty application of the power

of arrest is counter-productive and negates the fundamental right enshrined in

Art. 21. Such attitude is at the root of misuse of S. 498A. The provisions in

Cr.PC regulating and channelizing the power of arrest should act as guiding

star to the police and their spirit and purpose should be foremost in their

minds. Overreach is as bad as inaction. The need for caution in exercising the

drastic power of arrest in the context of cases u/s 498-A has been emphasized

time and again by the Courts and the parliamentary Committee. Similarly, the

need to keep the doors for reconciliation open and to restore the family ties if


                                        25
 possible has also been highlighted in many judgments and even in statutory

provisions dealing with matrimonial disputes and domestic violence. Arbitrary

and indiscriminate arrests are an anathema to the rule of law and values of

criminal justice. In the context of Section 498-A complaints, it tends to become

a handy tool to the police officers who lack sensitivity or act with oblique

motives.    The objective of the provision is not better subserved by viewing

arrest as the most effective tool.   Arrest   pending investigation or thereafter

should never be viewed as a well deserved punitive measure and it should be

exercised on an objective appraisal of the statutorily laid down conditions and

criteria.


12.2 The value of proportionality permeates the newly introduced provisions

relating to arrest. If these provisions are scrupulously followed, the potential

for arbitrary action on the part of police is minimized.     Needless to say that

the power of arrest is coupled with the duty to act reasonably. S. 498-A admits

of various degrees of cruelty which can be broadly categorized as less serious

and more serious. Uniformity of approach in exercising the power of arrest is

bound to result in undue hardship and unintended results.


12.3 It is apposite at this juncture to recall the following significant

observations made in Joginder Kumar's case: "The horizon of human rights is

expanding. At the same time, the crime rate is also increasing. Of late, this Court

has been receiving complaints about violation of human rights because of

indiscriminate arrests. How are we to strike a balance between the two?          A


                                        26
 realistic approach should be made in this direction. The law of arrest is one of

balancing individual rights, liberties and privileges, on the one hand, and

individual duties, obligations and responsibilities on the other; of weighing and

balancing the rights, liberties and privileges of the single individual and those of

individuals collectively; of simply deciding what is wanted and where to put the

weight and the emphasis; of deciding which comes first the criminal or society,

the law violator or the law abider; of meeting the challenge which      Mr. Justice

Cardozo so forthrightly met when he wrestled with a similar task of balancing

individual rights against society's rights".


12.4 The need to balance personal liberty with law enforcement has been

stressed in Nandini Satpathy's case5 by quoting Lewis Mayers: The paradox has

been put sharply by Lewis Mayers: "To strike the balance between the needs of

law enforcement on the one hand and the protection of the citizen from

oppression and injustice at the hands of the law-enforcement machinery on the

other is a perennial problem of statecraft. The pendulum over the years has

swung to the right".


13.       Analysis of the provisions relating to arrest and the duty of police


13.1 Now, let us analyse the provisions relating to arrest in Chapter-V and

evolve some guidelines as to how the police is expected to act when a FIR

disclosing an offence u/s 498-A is received.



5
    AIR 1978 SC

                                          27
 13.2 Section 41, Cr. P.C., as recast by Act 5 of 2009, lays down certain

conditions and restrictions for arresting a person without an order from the

Magistrate and without a warrant. There are three situations dealt with by

Section 41. Clause (a) speaks of a person committing a cognizable offence in

the presence of a police officer. He can be arrested straight away. We are more

concerned with clauses (b) and (ba). Clause (ba) relates to power of arresting a

person against whom credible information has been received that he has

committed a cognizable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which

may extend to more than seven years or with death sentence. Thus, the more

serious cognizable offences are within the ambit of clause (ba). The conditions

for arrest without warrant as set out in clause (ba) are (i) receipt of credible

information of cognizable offence; and (2) on the basis of such information, the

police officer 'has reason to believe' that the such person has committed the

offence. The preceding clause (b) governs cognizable offences punishable with

imprisonment for a term extending to seven years6. More stringent conditions

for arrest have been laid down in Cl.(b). A reasonable complaint' or 'a credible

information' or 'a reasonable suspicion' that a person has committed a

cognizable offence triggers the application of this part of section 41. In such a

case, the power of arrest is subject to two conditions which operate

cumulatively.           First the police officer should have 'reason to believe' on the

basis of such complaint, information, or suspicion that a person has

committed the offence.                Apart from the condition of formation of reasonable


6
    The punishment prescribed by S,498A is imprisonment extending to three years and fine.

                                                        28
 belief on the basis of the complaint or information, the police officer has to be

satisfied further that the arrest is necessary for one or more of the purposes

envisaged by sub-clauses (a) to (e) of clause (ii) of section 41(1)(b). For ready

reference, the said sub-clause (ii) is extracted hereunder:-


                (ii) the police officer is satisfied that such arrest is necessary -

                 (a) to prevent such person from committing any further offence; or
                 (b) for proper investigation of the offence; or
                 (c) to prevent such person from causing the evidence of the
                     offence to disappear or tampering with such evidence in any
                     manner; or
                 (d) to prevent such person from making any inducement, threat
                     or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case
                     so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court
                     or to the police officer; or
                 (e) as unless such person is arrested, his presence in the court
                     whenever required cannot be ensured,
                     and the police officer shall record while making such arrest,
                     his reasons in writing.

         These conditions are in the nature of mandatory prescriptions to be

followed by the police officer before resorting to the drastic power of arrest. The

conditions in other clauses of Section 41 are not relevant for our purpose and

hence not discussed.

13.3 When a suspect is arrested and produced before a Magistrate for

extension of police custody, the Magistrate has to address the question whether

specific reasons have been recorded for arresting the person and if so, prima

facie, those reasons are relevant and secondly a reasonable conclusion could at

all be reached by the police officer that one or the other conditions stated above

are attracted. To this limited extent, there could be judicial scrutiny at that

stage.    If this scrutiny is there, the wrong committed by the police officer -

                                           29
 intentionally or unwittingly, could be reversed at the earliest. In Section 498-A

cases, it is not too easy to reach the satisfaction that one or more of the clauses

in Section 41 are attracted. What could be achieved by custodial interrogation

could very well be achieved by interrogating the accused in the course of initial

or preliminary investigation.   The husband and other male relations can be

called upon to appear before the I.O. on the specified date as laid down in

Section 41-A. The I.O. cannot proceed on the assumption straightaway that

arrest is the best way to extract truth, especially in matrimonial offences. He

must always bear in mind that arrest is not the rule and it should be resorted

to only on the satisfaction of the conditions statutorily prescribed. There are

reports that many arrests in S. 498-A cases are made by police on extraneous

considerations or without proper application of mind. At the same time, there

are also reports that the complaints under section 498-A do not receive serious

attention of police and the victim is always viewed with suspicion. Such police

inaction too has to be disapproved.

13.4      The Explanation to Section 498-A which defines cruelty is in two

parts.   Clause (a) of the Explanation deals with aggravated forms of cruelty

which cause grave injury. Firstly, wilful conduct of such a grave nature as is

likely to drive the woman to commit suicide falls within the ambit of clause (a).

The second limb of clause (a) lays down that willful conduct which causes

grave injury or danger to    life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of

the woman is to be regarded as 'cruelty'. Dowry related harassment is within

clause (b) of the Explanation. When the FIR coupled with the statement of the


                                        30
 victim woman discloses cruelty of grave nature falling within clause (a), the

police officer has to act swiftly and promptly especially if there is evidence of

physical violence. In the first instance, proper medical aid and the assistance

of counselors shall be provided to the aggrieved woman and the process of

investigation should start without any loss of time. The need for arresting the

husband may be more demanding in such a situation in a case of cruelty

falling under clause (b). We are adverting to this fact in order to make it clear

that our observations earlier do not mean that under no circumstances, the

power of arrest shall be initially resorted to or that the I.O. should invariably

postpone the arrest/custodial interrogation till the reconciliation process

comes to close. We would like to stress that the discretion has to be exercised

reasonably having due regard to the facts of each case.          Of course, the

conditions subject to which the power of arrest has to be exercised       should

always guide the discretion to be exercised by the police officer. While no hard

and fast rule as to the exercise of power of arrest can be laid down, we would

like to point out that a balanced and sensitive approach should inform the

decision of the I.O. and he shall not be too anxious to exercise that power.

There must be good and substantial reasons for arriving at the satisfaction that

imminent arrest is necessary having regard to the requirements of clause (ii) of

Section 41(1)(b) of Cr. P.C. In this context, the Commission would like to stress

that the practice of mechanically reproducing in the case diary all or most of

the reasons contained in the said clause for effecting arrest should be

discouraged and discontinued.     The Head of Police department should issue


                                       31
 necessary instructions in this regard which will serve as a safeguard against

arbitrary arrests in S,498-A cases.


13.5       The investigating officers should remind themselves of the pertinent

observations made by the Supreme Court in Joginder Kumar vs. State of U.P.7.

After referring to the 3rd report of National Police Commission, the Supreme

Court placed the law of arrest in a proper perspective by holding:


           "The above guidelines are merely the incidents of personal liberty
           guaranteed under the Constitution of India. No arrest can be made
           because it is lawful for the police officer to do so. The existence of the
           power to arrest is one thing. The justification for the exercise of it is quite
           another. The police officer must be able to justify the arrest apart from his
           power to do so. Arrest and detention in police lock-up of a person can
           cause incalculable harm to the reputation and self-esteem of a person. No
           arrest can be made in a routine manner on a mere allegation of
           commission of an offence made against a person. It would be prudent for a
           police officer in the interest of protection of the constitutional rights of a
           citizen and perhaps in his own interest that no arrest should be made
           without a reasonable satisfaction reached after some investigation as to
           the genuineness and bona fides of a complaint and a reasonable belief
           both as to the person's complicity and even so as to the need to effect
           arrest. Denying a person of his liberty is a serious matter. The
           recommendations of the Police Commission merely reflect the constitutional
           concomitants of the fundamental right to personal liberty and freedom. A
           person is not liable to arrest merely on the suspicion of complicity in an
           offence. There must be some reasonable justification in the opinion of the
           officer effecting the arrest that such arrest is necessary and justified.
           Except in heinous offences, an arrest must be avoided if a police officer
           issues notice to person to attend the Station House and not to leave the
           Station without permission would do. Then, there is the right to have
           someone informed. That right of the arrested person, upon request, to have
           someone informed and to consult privately with a lawyer was recognised
           by Section 56(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, 1984 in England".

13.6 In Siddaram Satlingappa vs. State of Maharashtra8, it was observed:


7
    AIR 1994 SC 1349; (1994) 4 SCC 260
8
    AIR 2011 SC 312 (Para 123)

                                              32
               "The arrest should be the last option and it should be restricted to
       those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative in the
       facts and circumstances of that case".

14.    Certain guidelines / prescriptions to mitigate misuse

14.1   Certain Dos and Don'ts to the police personnel by the Head of the police

dept. in order to inculcate the sense of responsibility and sensitivity is the need

of the hour.   The abuse of the provision by resorting to the power of arrest

indiscriminately    should    be   checked     at   all   cost.   The    following

prescriptions/guidelines shall be kept in view by the I.Os and be incorporated

in the Circular to be issued by the Head of Police Department.


14.2 The FIR has to be registered as per law if it discloses an offence and the

Police Officer has reason to suspect the commission of offence (as laid down in

Section 157). However, on the point of registration of FIR, the police officials

have to necessarily follow the decisions/directives of High Court on the point.


14.3 On receiving the FIR, the police officer should cross-check with the

complainant the correctness of the contents and whether she voluntarily made

all the allegations.   For this purpose, she may be interviewed/questioned

preferably in the presence of a lady official or a respectable lady or a Counsellor

attached to a reputed NGO.


14.4 Then, without delay, the police officer must initiate the process of initial

investigation by visiting the house of the husband and have a first hand

account of the version of husband and other relations and take such measures

as may be necessary to ensure that the accused do not indulge in acts

                                        33
 calculated to endanger the safety and liberty of the complainant. Both sides

should be counseled not to precipitate the situation. Thereafter, steps should

be taken to refer the matter to the Mediation Centre if any or District Legal aid

Centre or a team of Counselors/conciliators if any attached to the Police

District. In the absence of professional counsellors, the SP of the District or the

DCP can form a team or panel of mediators/counselors. It may consist of IAS

or other Civil Service Officers (preferably lady officers) and lady IPS Officers

(unconnected to the case) or respected members of media, legal or other

professions.   If   the   parties   choose   to   have   specified   persons    as

mediators/conciliators, they must be referred to such persons. The police may

obtain the report of mediators or conciliators within a maximum period of

thirty days and then, depending on the outcome, they may        proceed further in

the matter. If the situation demands, investigation shall be completed and at

that stage, if custodial interrogation is found necessary for the relevant reasons

to be recorded in writing, the husband and others can be arrested on taking

the permission of DCP/SP level officer. Then I.O. shall also take such action as

is necessary to restore the valuable belongings of the complainant woman.


      These rules or guidelines if followed would prevent misuse while fostering

a valued based approach.


14.5 In the case of Non-Resident Indians, it is reported that the passports are

seized when they come to India at the stage of investigation or they are sent to

the Passport Officer for passing an order of impounding. During the pendency


                                        34
 of the case in the Court, the prosecutor often requests the Court to direct

depositing of the passport as a condition for granting bail. This should not be

done in all cases mechanically as it will cause irreversible damage to the

husband/accused and he will be exposed to the risk of losing the job and the

visa being terminated. Ultimately, there may be amicable settlement and/ or

quashing of proceedings or acquittal/discharge but the damage has already

been done. The prospect of the accused remaining unemployed would not be in

the interests of both as the loss of earnings will have a bearing on the

maintenance claims of the wife, apart from depriving him of the means of

livelihood. The proper course would be to take bonds and sureties for heavy

amounts and the prosecution taking necessary steps to expeditiously complete

the trial. This aspect should also be brought to the notice of concerned police

officers by means of circulars issued by the DGPs.


15.   Home Ministry's advisory and further action to be taken


15.1 In the Commission's view, the approach of Ministry of Home Affairs in

the Advisory issued by it in No.3/5/2008-Judl.Cell dt. 20th October, 2009 is

the correct approach and the instructions issued therein need to be reiterated

after convening a conference of DGPs of every State so that follow up circulars

will be issued by them for guidance of police officials within their jurisdiction.

This is what the Home Ministry said in the said Circular:


      "To comply with the procedure as laid down In D.K. Basu's case, the
      Hon'ble Supreme Court in its judgement dated 18.12.96 in CRL CWP
      No.539/86 - DK Basu vs. State of West Bengal has stated that the power

                                        35
          of arrest without warrant should be exercised only after a reasonable
         satisfaction is reached, after some investigation as to the genuinness and
         bonafides of a complaint and a reasonable belief as to both the person's
         complicity as well as the need to effect arrest. Therefore, in any
         matrimonial dispute, it may not necessary in all cases to immediately
         exercise the powers of arrest. Recourse may be initially taken to dispute
         settlement mechanism such as conciliation, mediation, counseling of the
         parties etc."

15.2 The views of the National Commission for Women (extracted in 140th

Report of the Rajya Sabha Committee on Petitions) substantially accords with

the instructions issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the advisory issued

by it.


15.3 We have indicated earlier what the police is expected to do (vide paras 13

supra).     These   aspects   should   also    form   the   subject   matter   of   the

Circular/Standing order to be issued by the DGPs/Police Commissoners

for the guidance of the police personnel. A mechanism to monitor the

observance of the guidelines/instructions should be put in place. Regular and

dedicated supervision by high level officers would go a long way in ensuring

enforcement of this provision on right lines.


15.4 In some States, as noticed earlier, there are directives of the High Courts

as to how the police should handle the complaints under Section 498-A. Based

on these directives, it is noticed that certain instructions have already been

issued by the DGPs. It is needless to state that the High Court's directives are

binding and a fresh circular cannot be issued by the DGP superseding the

instructions based on the High Court's judgment.            In such a situation, the

proper course would be to apprise the High Court of the decision taken at the

                                          36
 conference of DGPs and to request the High Court to modify the directions

appropriately in the light of the decision taken so that there will be uniformity

in approach all over the country.


16.   Amendment of Section 41 Cr.PC by the addition of sub-section (3)


16.1 At the same time, in the interest of uniformity and certainty, it is

desirable that the essential guidelines are placed within legislative framework,

to the extent necessary.   We therefore suggest that    sub-section (3) may be

added to Section 41 of Cr.PC on the following lines:


             (3): Where information of the nature specified in clause(b) of sub-
      section(1) of Section 41 has been received regarding the commission of
      offence under section 498-A of Indian Penal Code, before the police officer
      resorts to     the power of arrest, shall set in motion the steps for
      reconciliation between the parties and await its outcome for a period of 30
      days, unless the facts disclose that an aggravated form of cruelty falling
      under clause (a) of Explanation to S, 498-A has been committed and the
      arrest of the accused in such a case is necessary for one of the reasons
      specified in clause (b) of Section 41.

16.2 We would like to add that this proposed sub-section is not something

materially different from the existing law and perhaps its utility lies in making

explicit what is really implicit in light of the peculiar problems related to

enforcement of S, 498-A. It is a procedural amendment which may act against

inappropriate use of provision while at the same time not diluting the

importance of life and liberty protection to women.




                                       37
 17. S, 358 of Cr.PC - raising the compensation limit


17.1 Another legislative change which the Commission recommends to

discourage false and frivolous     complaints leading to the       arrest   and

prosecution of the suspect/accused is to amend Section 358 of Cr.PC so as to

raise the compensation from rupees one thousand to rupees fifteen thousand.

The words "not exceeding one thousand rupees" shall be substituted by the

words "not exceeding fifteen thousand rupees". This amendment is necessary

to check to some extent the false and irresponsible FIRs/complaints in

general, not merely confined to S, 498A. This is without prejudice to the

Provision in IPC (Section 211) under which falsely charging a person of an

offence is punishable.


17-A. Punishment for misuse - no specific provision necessary


     The suggestion of some respondents (in some Articles also, such a

suggestion was made) that there must be a specific provision to punish women

who file complaints for extraneous reasons is rather misconceived. There is

no reason why only for S,498A cases, such a special provision shall be made.

In any case, the existing provisions, viz. S,182, 211 of IPC and S,250 of Cr.PC

can take care of malicious accusations etc, apart from Section 358 Cr.PC.


18. State's obligation to take care of estranged women in distress


     One more important aspect on which attention should be bestowed by

the states and Union Territories is providing necessary aid and assistance to


                                      38
 the hapless women who having gone to the Police Station with a genuine

grievance and in a state of distress do not venture to go back to marital home

or even unable to stay with relatives. Either they do not have parents who can

take care of or maintain them during the period of trauma or there is

reluctance on the part of even close relations to allow her to stay with them

without hassles.   The process of reconciliation and compromise may take

some time and there is no knowing what will be its outcome. Further, the

victim woman in distress would need immediate solace in the form of medical

assistance and a temporary abode to stay, apart from proper counseling. In

the   circumstances   in   which   she    is   placed,   only   the   State   or   its

instrumentalities can take care of her immediate needs. At present, even in

cities, there are no Hostels and Shelter Homes worth mentioning which are

catering to the welfare of victimized women. Even if there are a few, no proper

facilities are in place. There are no Crisis Centres attached to Women Police

Stations even in major cities (excepting few) which can immediately provide

succour and relief to the women in distress. The Commission would therefore

like to emphasize the obvious      that every Government should treat it as a

paramount obligation on their part to cater to the immediate needs of

victimized women leaving the matrimonial home and not in a position to stay

with their relatives for various reasons.      The women who are worst hit if

assistance is not provided are those from the poor and middle class

background. The States should consider this problem on a priority basis and




                                         39
 initiate necessary steps to alleviate the suffering of women in need of help as a

part of the welfare goal ingrained in our Constitution.


19.   Summary of Recommendations

19.1 Misuse of Section 498-A in many cases has been judicially noticed by the

apex court as well as various High Courts. This has also been taken note of by

Parliamentary Committee on Petitions (Rajya Sabha).       However, misuse (the

extent of which is not established by any empirical study) by itself is not a

ground to abolish S,498-A or to denude the Section of its teeth. The social

objective behind the Section and the need for deterrence should be kept in view

while at the same time ensuring that the complaints filed with false or

exaggerated allegations out of ulterior motives or in a fit of emotion should be

curbed.

19.2 The need to spread awareness of the provision and available remedies

especially in rural areas both among women and men is necessary and in this

regard the District and Taluka Legal Services Authorities, the media, the NGOs

and law students can play a meaningful role.

19.3 All endeavours shall be made for effecting reconciliation at the earliest

with the help of professional counsellors, mediation and legal aid centres,

retired officials/medical and legal professionals or friends and relations in

whom the parties have faith. An action plan has to be drawn up for forming

the panels in every district as well as extending necessary help to he aggrieved

women. The I.O. should refrain from participating in the conciliation process.



                                       40
 19.4 The law on the question whether registration of FIR could be postponed

for a reasonable time is in a state of uncertainty. Some High Courts have been

directing that FIR shall not be registered under S, 498A (except in cases of

visible violence, and the like) till the preliminary investigation is done and

reconciliation process is completed.   The issue has been referred to a larger

Bench of Supreme Court recently. In this regard, the police has to follow the

law laid down by the jurisdictional High Court until the Supreme Court decides

the matter.

19.5 The offence under S, 498-A shall be made compoundable, with the

permission of Court and subject to cooling off period of 3 months, as already

recommended by this Commission in 237thReport. The preponderance of view

is to make it compoundable.

19.6 The offence should remain non-bailable. However, the safeguard against

arbitrary and unwarranted arrests lies in strictly observing the letter and spirit

of the conditions laid down in Sections 41 and 41-A of Cr. PC relating to 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

harassment.

19.7 The Home Ministry's Advisory dated 20th October 2009 on the subject of

"Misuse of Section 498-A of IPC" as well as the guidelines / additional

precautions set out in para 14 of this Report should be compiled and at a


                                        41
 conference of DGPs specially convened for this purpose by the Home Secretary,

they must be apprised of the need to follow the said principles and guidelines

and to issue circulars / standing orders accordingly. There should be a

monitoring mechanism in the police Dept. to keep track of S, 498A cases and

the observance of guidelines.

19.8 Without prejudice to the above suggestions, it has been recommended

that as set out in para 16 above, sub-section (3) shall be added to Section 41

Cr. PC to prevent arbitrary and unnecessary arrests. The legislative mandate

which is not materially different from the spirit underlying Sections 41 and 157

Cr. PC should be put in place in the interests of uniformity and clarity.

19.9 The compensation amount in Section 358 of Cr. PC shall be increased

from one thousand rupees to fifteen thousand rupees and this proposed

change is not merely confined to the Section under consideration.

19.10 The women police stations (under the nomenclature of Crimes Against

Women Cell) should be strengthened both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Well trained and educated lady police officers of the rank of Inspector or above

shall head such police stations.   CWCs should be established in every district

with adequate trained personnel. Panels of competent professional counsellors

and respected elders / professionals who can counsel and conciliate should be

maintained by SP/SSP for every district. There shall be separate room in the

police stations for women complainants and the accused women in S, 498-A

related cases.




                                        42
 19.11 Hostels or shelter homes for the benefit of women who would not like to

go back to marital homes should be maintained in cities and District

headquarters with necessary facilities. The assistance given to them shall be

treated as a part of social welfare measure which is an obligation of the welfare

State.

19.12 The passport of non-resident Indians involved in Section 498-A cases

should not be impounded mechanically and instead of that, bonds and sureties

for heavy amounts can be insisted upon.



19.13 Above all, the need for expeditious disposal of cases under section 498A

should be given special attention by the prosecution and Judiciary.




                         [Justice (Retd.) P. V. Reddi]
                                   Chairman




 [Justice (Retd.) Shiv Kumar Sharma]                           [Amarjit Singh]
         Member                                                    Member



New Delhi
29 August 2012




                                       43
                                                               Annexure - I
                                               [refer para 1.1of the Report]

                         LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA

     Consultation Paper-cum-Questionnaire regarding Section 498-A
                     of Indian Penal Code

1.      Keeping in view the representations received from various quarters
and observations made by the Supreme Court and the High Courts, the
Home Ministry of the Government of India requested the Law
Commission of India to consider whether any amendments to s.498A of
Indian Penal Code or other measures are necessary to check the alleged
misuse of the said provision especially by way of over-implication.
2.      S.498A was introduced in the year 1983 to protect married women
from being subjected to cruelty by the husband or his relatives. A
punishment extending to 3 years and fine has been prescribed. The
expression 'cruelty' has been defined in wide terms so as to include
inflicting physical or mental harm to the body or health of the woman
and indulging in acts of harassment with a view to coerce her or her
relations to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable
security.    Harassment for dowry falls within the sweep of latter limb of
the section. Creating a situation driving the woman to commit suicide is
also one of the ingredients of 'cruelty'. The offence under s.498A is
cognizable, non-compoundable and non-bailable.
3.      In a recent case of Preeti Gupta v. State of Jharkhand, the
Supreme Court observed that a serious relook of the provision is
warranted by the Legislature. "It is a matter of common knowledge that
exaggerated versions of the incidents are reflected in a large number of
complaints. The tendency of over-implication is also reflected in a very
large number of cases".      The Court took note of the common tendency
to implicate husband and all his immediate relations. In an earlier case
also - Sushil Kumar Sharma v. UOI (2005), the Supreme Court lamented
that in many instances, complaints under s.498A were being filed with
an oblique motive to wreck personal vendetta. "It may therefore become
necessary for the Legislature to find out ways how the makers of
frivolous complaints or allegations can be appropriately dealt with", it
was observed.      It was also observed that "by misuse of the provision, a
new legal terrorism can be unleashed".
4.      The factum of over-implication is borne out by the statistical data
of the cases under s.498A. Such implication of the relatives of husband
was found to be unjustified in a large number of decided cases. While
so, it appears that the women especially from the poor strata of the
society living in rural areas rarely take resort to the provision.
5.      The conviction rate in respect of the cases under s.498A is quite
low. It is learnt that on account of subsequent events such as amicable
                                 44
 settlement, the complainant women do not evince interest in taking the
prosecution to its logical conclusion.
6.     The arguments for relieving the rigour of s.498A by suitable
amendments (which find support from the observations in the Court
judgments and Justice Malimath Committee's report on Reforms of
Criminal Justice System) are: Once a complaint (FIR) is lodged with the
Police under s.498A/406 IPC, it becomes an easy tool in the hands of the
Police to arrest or threaten to arrest the husband and other relatives
named in the FIR without even considering the intrinsic worth of the
allegations and making a preliminary investigation. When the members
of a family are arrested and sent to jail without even the immediate
prospect of bail, the chances of amicable re-conciliation or salvaging the
marriage, will be lost once and for all. The possibility of reconciliation, it
is pointed out, cannot be ruled out and it should be fully explored. The
imminent arrest by the Police will thus be counter-productive. The long
and protracted criminal trials lead to acrimony and bitterness in the
relationship among the kith and kin of the family. Pragmatic realities
have to be taken into consideration while dealing with matrimonial
matters with due regard to the fact that it is a sensitive family problem
which shall not be allowed to be aggravated by over-zealous/callous
actions on the part of the Police by taking advantage of the harsh
provisions of s.498A of IPC together with its related provisions in CrPC.
It is pointed out that the sting is not in s.498A as such, but in the
provisions of CrPC making the offence non-compoundable and non-
bailable.
7.     The arguments, on the other hand, in support of maintaining the
status quo are briefly:
              S.498A and other legislations like Protection of Women from
       Domestic Violence Act have been specifically enacted to protect a
       vulnerable section of the society who have been the victims of
       cruelty and harassment. The social purpose behind it will be lost if
       the rigour of the provision is diluted. The abuse or misuse of law
       is not peculiar to this provision.      The misuse can however be
       curtailed within the existing framework of law. For instance, the
       Ministry of Home Affairs can issue 'advisories' to State
       Governments to avoid unnecessary arrests and to strictly observe
       the procedures laid down in the law governing arrests. The power
       to arrest should only be exercised after a reasonable satisfaction is
       reached as to the bona fides of a complaint and the complicity of
       those against whom accusations are made. Further, the first
       recourse should be to effect conciliation and mediation between the
       warring spouses and the recourse to filing of a chargesheet under
       s.498A shall be had only in cases where such efforts fail and there
       appears to be a prima facie case. Counselling of parties should be
       done by professionally qualified counsellors and not by the Police.


                                  45
 7.1 These views have been echoed among others by the Ministry of
Women and Child Development.
7.2 Further, it is pointed out that a married woman ventures to go to
the Police station to make a complaint against her husband and other
close relations only out of despair and being left with no other remedy
against cruelty and harassment. In such a situation, the existing law
should be allowed to take its own course rather than over-reacting to the
misuse in some cases.
7.3 There is also a view expressed that when once the offending family
members get the scent of the complaint, there may be further torture of
the complainant and her life and liberty may be endangered if the Police
do not act swiftly and sternly. It is contended that in the wake of ever
increasing crimes leading to unnatural deaths of women in marital
homes, any dilution of Section 498-A is not warranted. Secondly, during
the long-drawn process of mediation also, she is vulnerable to threats
and torture. Such situations too need to be taken care of.
8.     There is preponderance of opinion in favour of making the said
offence compoundable with the permission of the court. Some States,
for e.g., Andhra Pradesh have already made it compoundable. The
Supreme Court, in a recent case of --*---, observed that it should be
made compoundable. However, there is sharp divergence of views on the
point whether it should be made a bailable offence. It is pleaded by some
that the offence under s.498A should be made bailable at least with
regard to husband's relations.*Ramgopal v. State of M. P. in SLP (Crl.)
No. 6494 of 2010 (Order dt. July 30, 2010.
8.1 Those against compoundability contend that the women especially
from the rural areas will be pressurized to enter into an unfair
compromise and further the deterrent effect of the provision will be lost.
9.     The Commission is of the view that the Section together with its
allied CrPC provisions shall not act as an instrument of oppression and
counter-harassment and become a tool of indiscreet and arbitrary
actions on the part of the Police. The fact that s.498A deals with a family
problem and a situation of marital discord unlike the other crimes
against society at large, cannot be forgotten. It does not however mean
that the Police should not appreciate the grievance of the complainant
woman with empathy and understanding or that the Police should play a
passive role.
10. S.498A has a lofty social purpose and it should remain on the
Statute book to intervene whenever the occasion arises. Its object and
purpose cannot be stultified by overemphasizing its potentiality for abuse
or misuse. Misuse by itself cannot be a ground to repeal it or to take
away its teeth wholesale.
11. While the Commission is appreciative of the need to discourage
unjustified and frivolous complaints and the scourge of over-implication,
it is not inclined to take a view that dilutes the efficacy of s.498A to the
extent of defeating its purpose especially having regard to the fact that
                                 46
 atrocities against women are on the increase. A balanced and holistic
view has to be taken on weighing the pros and cons. There is no doubt a
need to address the misuse situations and arrive at a rational solution -
legislative or otherwise.
12. There is also a need to create awareness of the provisions
especially among the poor and illiterate living in rural areas who face
quite often the problems of drunken misbehavior and harassment of
women folk. More than the women, the men should be apprised of the
penal provisions of law protecting the women against harassment at
home. The easy access of aggrieved women to the Taluka and District
level Legal Service Authorities and/or credible NGOs with professional
counsellors should be ensured by appropriate measures. There should
be an extensive and well-planned campaign to spread awareness.
Presently, the endeavour in this direction is quite minimal. Visits to few
villages once in a way by the representatives of LSAs, law students and
social workers is the present scenario.
13. There is an all-round view that the lawyers whom the aggrieved
women or their relations approach in the first instance should act with a
clear sense of responsibility and objectivity and give suitable advice
consistent with the real problem diagnosed. Exaggerated and tutored
versions and unnecessary implication of husband's relations should be
scrupulously avoided. The correct advice of the legal professionals and
the sensitivity of the Police officials dealing with the cases are very
important, and if these are in place, undoubtedly, the law will not take a
devious course.      Unfortunately, there is a strong feeling that some
lawyers and police personnel have failed to act and approach the
problem in a manner morally and legally expected of them.
14. Thus, the triple problems that have cropped up in the course of
implementation of the provision are:(a) the police straightaway rushing to
arrest the husband and even his other family members (named in the
FIR), (b) tendency to implicate, with little or no justification, the in-laws
and other relations residing in the marital home and even outside the
home, overtaken by feelings of emotion and vengeance or on account of
wrong advice, and (c) lack of professional, sensitive and empathetic
approach on the part of the police to the problem of woman under
distress.
15. In the context of the issue under consideration, a reference to the
provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (for
short PDV Act) which is an allied and complementary law, is quite
apposite.     The said Act was enacted with a view to provide for more
effective protection of rights of women who are victims of violence of any
kind occurring within the family. Those rights are essentially of civil
nature with a mix of penal provisions. Section 3 of the Act defines
domestic violence in very wide terms. It encompasses the situations set
out in the definition of 'cruelty' under Section 498A. The Act has devised
an elaborate machinery to safeguard the interests of women subjected to
                                  47
 domestic violence.     The Act enjoins the appointment of Protection
Officers who will be under the control and supervision of a Judicial
Magistrate of First Class. The said officer shall send a domestic incident
report to the Magistrate, the police station and service providers. The
Protections Officers are required to effectively assist and guide the
complainant victim and provide shelter, medical facilities, legal aid etc.
and also act on her behalf to present an application to the Magistrate for
one or more reliefs under the Act. The Magistrate is required to hear the
application ordinarily within 3 days from the date of its receipt. The
Magistrate may at any stage of the proceedings direct the respondent
and/or the aggrieved person to undergo counseling with a service
provider. 'Service Providers' are those who conform to the requirements
of Section 10 of the Act. The Magistrate can also secure the services of a
welfare expert preferably a woman for the purpose of assisting him.
Under Section 18, the Magistrate, after giving an opportunity of hearing
to the Respondent and on being prima facie satisfied that domestic
violence has taken place or is likely to take place, is empowered to pass a
protection order prohibiting the Respondent from committing any act of
domestic violence and/or aiding or abetting all acts of domestic violence.
There are other powers vested in the Magistrate including granting
residence orders and monetary reliefs.        Section 23 further empowers
the Magistrate to pass such interim order as he deems just and proper
including an ex-parte order.       The breach of protection order by the
respondent is regarded as an offence which is cognizable and non-
bailable and punishable with imprisonment extending to one year (vide
Section 31). By the same Section, the Magistrate is also empowered to
frame charges under Section 498A of IPC and/or Dowry Prohibition Act.
A Protection Officer who fails or neglects to discharge his duty as per the
protection order is liable to be punished with imprisonment (vide Section
33). The provisions of the Act are supplemental to the provisions of any
other law in force. A right to file a complaint under Section 498A is
specifically preserved under Section 5 of the Act.
15.1 An interplay of the provisions of this Act and the proceedings
under s.498A assumes some relevance on two aspects: (1) Seeking
Magistrate's expeditious intervention by way of passing a protective
interim order to prevent secondary victimization of a complainant who
has lodged FIR under s.498A. (2) Paving the way for the process of
counselling under the supervision of Magistrate at the earliest
opportunity.
16. With the above analysis and the broad outline of the approach
indicated supra, the Commission invites the views of the
public/NGOs/institutions/Bar Associations etc. on the following points,
before preparing and forwarding to the Government the final report:




                                 48
 Questionnaire
     1) a) What according to you is ideally expected of Police, on receiving the
        FIR alleging an offence u/s 498A of IPC? What should be their
        approach and plan of action?
        b) Do you think that justice will be better meted out to the aggrieved
        woman by the immediate arrest and custodial interrogation of the
        husband and his relations named in the FIR? Would the objective of
        s.498A be better served thereby?
     2) a) The Supreme Court laid down in D.K. Basu (1996) and other cases
        that the power of arrest without warrant ought not to be resorted to in
        a routine manner and that the Police officer should be reasonably
        satisfied about a person's complicity as well as the need to effect
        arrest. Don't you agree that this rule applies with greater force in a
        situation of matrimonial discord and the police are expected to act
        more discreetly and cautiously before taking the drastic step of
        arrest?
        b) What steps should be taken to check indiscriminate and
        unwarranted arrests?
     3) Do you think that making the offence bailable is the proper solution
        to the problem? Will it be counter-productive?
     4) There is a view point supported by certain observations in the courts'
        judgments that before effecting arrest in cases of this nature, the
        proper course would be to try the process of reconciliation by
        counselling both sides. In other words, the possibility of exploring
        reconciliation at the outset should precede punitive measures. Do
        you agree that the conciliation should be the first step, having regard
        to the nature and dimension of the problem? If so, how best the
        conciliation process could be completed with utmost expedition?
        Should there be a time-limit beyond which the police shall be free
        to act without waiting for the outcome of conciliation process?
     5) Though the Police may tender appropriate advice initially and
        facilitate reconciliation process, the preponderance of view is that the
        Police should not get involved in the actual process and their role
        should be that of observer at that stage? Do you have a different
        view?
     6) a) In the absence of consensus as to mediators, who will be ideally
        suited to act as mediators/conciliators - the friends or elders known
        to both the parties or professional counsellors (who may be part of
        NGOs), lady and men lawyers who volunteer to act in such matters, a
        Committee of respected/retired persons of the locality or the Legal
        Services Authority of the District?
        b) How to ensure that the officers in charge of police stations can
        easily identify and contact those who are well suited to conciliate or
        mediate, especially having regard to the fact that professional and
        competent counsellors may not be available at all places and any
        delay in initiating the process will lead to further complications?
                                       49
 7) a) Do you think that on receipt of complaint under S.498A,
immediate steps should be taken by the Police to facilitate an
application being filed before the Judicial Magistrate under the PDV
Act so that the Magistrate can set in motion the process of
counselling/conciliation, apart from according interim protection?
b) Should the Police in the meanwhile be left free to arrest the
accused without the permission of the Magistrate?
c) Should the investigation be kept in abeyance till the conciliation
process initiated by the Magistrate is completed?

8) Do you think that the offence should be made compoundable (with
   the permission of court)?
   Are there any particular reasons not to make it compoundable?
9) Do you consider it just and proper to differentiate the husband
   from the other accused in providing for bail?
10)       a) Do you envisage a better and more extensive role to be
   played by Legal Services Authorities (LSAs) at Taluka and District
   levels in relation to s.498A cases and for facilitating amicable
   settlement? Is there a need for better coordination between LSAs
   and police stations?
   b) Do you think that aggrieved women have easy access to LSAs at
   the grassroot level and get proper guidance and help from them at
   the pre-complaint and subsequent stages?
   c)Are the Mediation Centres in some States well equipped and
   better suited to attend to the cases related to S,498-A?
11)       What measures do you suggest to spread awareness of the
   protective penal provisions and civil rights available to women in
   rural areas especially among the poorer sections of people?
12)       Do you have any informations about the number of and
   conditions in shelter homes which are required to be set up under
   PDV Act to help the aggrieved women who after lodging the
   complaint do not wish to stay at marital home or there is none to
   look after them?
13)       What according to you is the main reason for low conviction
   rate in the prosecutions u/s 498A?
14)       (a) Is it desirable to have a Crime Against Women Cell (CWC)
   in every district to deal exclusively with the crimes such as
   S.498A?          If so, what should be its composition and the
   qualifications of women police deployed in such a cell?
          (b) As the present experience shows, it is likely that wherever
   a CWC is set up, there may be substantial number of unfilled
   vacancies and the personnel may not have undergone the requisite
   training.      In this situation, whether it would be advisable to
   entrust the investigation etc. to CWC to the exclusion of the
   jurisdictional Police Station?
                                 ---

50 Annexure - II [refer para 8.3 of the Report] Extracts from the 237th Report of the Law Commission of India on 'Compounding of (IPC) Offences'

5. Compoundability of Certain Offences 5.1 Now, we shall consider the question of compoundability of certain specific offences.

Section 498A, IPC 5.2 Whether the offence specified in Section 498A should be made compoundable, and, if yes, whether it should be compoundable without or with the permission of the Court, is the two-fold question.

5.3 Section 498A penalizes the husband or the relatives of the husband for subjecting a woman to cruelty. The definition of cruelty as given in the Section is in two parts: 1) Willful conduct of such a nature that is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (mental or physical), 2) Harassment of the woman with a view to coercing her or her relatives to meet an unlawful demand for any property or valuable security. Thus the dowry related harassment as well as violent conduct on the part of the husband or his relations by causing injury or danger to her life, limb or health, are comprehended within the scope of Section 498A. Quite often, the prosecution under Section 498A IPC is coupled with prosecution under Sections 3 and 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 as well.

5.4 Normally, if the wife is prepared to condone the ill-treatment and harassment meted out to her either by reason of change in the attitude or repentance on the part of the husband or reparation for the injury caused to her, the law should not stand in the way of terminating the criminal proceedings. However, the argument that is mainly advanced against the compoundability is that the dowry is a social evil and the law designed to punish those who harass the wives with demand of dowry should be allowed to take its full course instead of putting its seal of approval on the private compromises. The social consciousness and the societal interest demands that such offences should be kept outside the domain of out-of-court settlement, it is argued. There can be no doubt that in dealing with this aspect, the impact of the crime on the society and the degree of social harm that might result, should be duly considered. At the same time, undesirable consequences that follow if compounding is not allowed, ought to be kept in view because the social harm or societal interest cannot be considered in vacuum. A holistic and rational view has to be taken. While no impediments shall be placed against 51 the effective operation of law enacted to curb a social evil, it should not be forgotten that the society is equally interested in promoting marital harmony and the welfare of the aggrieved women. A rational and balanced approach is all the more necessary for the reason that other avenues are open to the reconciled couple to put an end to the criminal proceedings. One such course is to file a 'quash' petition under Section 482 of CrPC in the High Court. Whether it is necessary to drive them to go through this time consuming and costly process is one pertinent question. If a wife who suffered in the hands of the husband is prepared to forget the past and agreeable to live amicably with the husband or separate honourably without rancor or revenge, the society would seldom condemn such move nor can it be said that the legal recognition of amicable settlement in such cases would encourage the forbidden evil i.e. the dowry. Section 498A should not be allowed to become counter-productive. In matters relating to family life and marital relationship, the advantages and beneficent results that follow from allowing the discontinuance of legal proceedings to give effect to a compromise or reconciliation would outweigh the degree of social harm that may be caused by non-prosecution. If the proceedings are allowed to go on despite the compromise arrived at by both sides, either there will be little scope for conviction or the life of the victim would become more miserable. In what way the social good is achieved thereby? We repeat that a doctrinaire and isolated approach cannot be adopted in dealing with this issue. The sensitivity of a family dispute and the individual facts and circumstances cannot be ignored. Hence, the Commission is not inclined to countenance the view that dowry being a social evil, compounding should not be allowed under any circumstances. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that many offences having the potentiality of social harm, not merely individual harm, are classified as compoundable offences. Further, the gravamen of the charge under Section 498-A need not necessarily be dowry- related harassment. It may be 'cruelty' falling only within clause (a) of the Explanation and the demand of dowry is not an integral part of that clause. 5.5 Another argument against compoundability is that the permission to compound would amount to legal recognition of violence against women and that the factum of reconciliation cannot be a justifiable ground to legally condone the violence. The acceptance of such an argument would imply that the priority of law should be to take the criminal proceedings to their logical end and to inflict punishment on the husband irrespective of the mutual desire to patch up the differences. It means - reconciliation or no reconciliation, the husband should not be spared of the impending prosecution and the punishment if any; then only Section 498A would achieve its objective. We do not think that the objective of Section 498A will be better achieved by allowing the prosecution to take its own course without regard to the rapprochement that has taken place between the couple in conflict. As observed earlier, a balanced and holistic approach is called for in handling a sensitive issue affecting the family and social relations. Reconciliation without compounding will not be practically possible and the law should not ignore the important 52 event of reconciliation. The emphasis should not be merely on the punitive aspect of the law. In matters of this nature, the law should not come in the way of genuine reconciliation or revival of harmonious relations between the husband and estranged wife. Wisdom behind all prosecutions and punishments is to explore a judicious mix of deterrence, deprivation of liberty and repentance and reformation. Any emphasis on one aspect alone, as has been found in the working of harsh and cruel punishment regimes, may become a pigeonhole model.

5.6 The other argument which is put forward against compounding is that hapless women especially those who are not much educated and who do not have independent means of livelihood, may be pressurized and coerced to withdraw the proceeding and the victim woman will be left with no option but to purchase peace though her grievance remains unsolved. However, this argument may not be very substantial. The same argument can be put forward in respect of compoundable offences wherever the victims are women. The safeguard of Court's permission would, by and large, be a sufficient check against the possible tactics that may be adopted by the husband and his relations/friends. The function of the Court in this matter is not a mere formality. The Judicial Magistrate or Family Court Judge is expected to be extra-cautious and play an active role. In this regard, the judge can take the assistance of a woman lawyer or a professional counselor or a representative of Legal Services Authority and the woman concerned can be examined in his/her chambers in the presence of one of them. Alternatively, the assistance of a lady colleague can also be sought for examining a woman victim in the chambers. Normally the trial Magistrates/Judges are sensitized in gender- related issues in the course of training at the Judicial Academies. In cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai etc. competent and trained mediators are involved in the process of bringing about an amicable settlement in marital disputes. Though the Court is expected to act with due care and caution in dealing with the application for compounding the offence under Section 498A, we are of the view that it is desirable to introduce an additional safeguard as follows:-

After the application for compounding an offence under S.498A of Indian Penal Code is filed and on interviewing the aggrieved woman, preferably in the Chamber in the presence of a lady judicial officer or a representative of District Legal Services Authority or a counselor or a close relation, if the Magistrate is satisfied that there was prima facie a voluntary and genuine settlement between the parties, the Magistrate shall make a record to that effect and the hearing of application shall be adjourned by three months or such other earlier date which the Magistrate may fix in the interests of Justice. On the adjourned date, the Magistrate shall again interview the victim woman in the like manner and then pass the final order permitting or refusing to compound the offence after giving opportunity of hearing to the accused. In the interregnum, it 53 shall be open to the aggrieved woman to file an application revoking her earlier offer to compound the offence on sufficient grounds.

5.7 Accordingly, it is proposed to add sub-section (2A) to Section 320 CrPC. The proposed provision will ensure that the offer to compound the offence is voluntary and free from pressures and the wife has not been subjected to ill- treatment subsequent to the offer of compounding. Incidentally, it underscores the need for the Court playing an active role while dealing with the application for compounding the offence under Section 498-A.

5.8 The other points which deserve notice in answering the issue whether the offence under Section 498A should be made compoundable, are the following:-

th 5.8.1 The Law Commission of India in its 154 report (1996) recommended inclusion of S. 498A in the Table appended to Section 320(2) so that it can be compounded with the permission of the Court. The related extracts from the Report are as follows: "Of late, various High Courts have quashed criminal proceedings in respect of non-cognizable offences because of settlement between the parties to achieve harmony and peace in the society. For instance, criminal proceedings in respect of offences under Section 406, IPC, relating to criminal breach of trust of dowry articles or Istridhan and offences under section 498A, IPC relating to cruelty on woman by husband or relatives of husband were quashed in Arun Kumar Vohra v. RituVohra, Nirlap Singh v. State of Punjab."

th 5.8.2 In continuation of what was said in the 154 Report, we may point out 11 that the apex court, in the case of B.S. Joshi vs. State of Haryana , has firmly laid down the proposition that in order to subserve the ends of justice, the inherent power under Section 482 CrPC can be exercised by the High Court to quash the criminal proceedings at the instance of husband and wife who have amicably settled the matter and are desirous of putting end to the acrimony. The principle laid down in this case was cited with approval in Nikhil Merchant 12 13 vs. CBI . However, a coordinate Bench doubted the correctness of these decisions and referred the matter for consideration by a larger Bench. According to the referring Bench, the Court cannot indirectly permit compounding of non-compoundable offences.

th 5.8.3 The recommendation of the Law Commission in the 154 Report th regarding Section 498A was reiterated in the 177 Report (2001). The Commission noted that over the last several years, a number ofrepresentations had been received by the Law Commission from individuals and organizations to make the said offence compoundable.

5.8.4 Further, Justice Malimath Committee's Report on Reforms of Criminal Justice System strongly supported the plea to make Section 498 A a compoundable offence. The Committee observed:

54

"A less tolerant and impulsive woman may lodge an FIR even on a trivial act. The result is that the husband and his family may be immediately arrested and there may be a suspension or loss of job. The offence alleged being non-bailable, innocent persons languish in custody. There may be a claim for maintenance adding fuel to fire, especially if the husband cannot pay. Now the woman may change her mind and get into the mood to forget and forgive. The husband may also realize the mistakes committed and come forward to turn over a new leaf for a loving and cordial relationship. The woman may like to seek reconciliation. But this may not be possible due to the legal obstacles. Even if she wishes to make amends by withdrawing the complaint, she cannot do so as the offence is non- compoundable. The doors for returning to family life stand closed. She is thus left at the mercy of her natal family...

This section, therefore, helps neither the wife nor the husband. The offence being non-bailable and non-compoundable makes an innocent person undergo stigmatization and hardship. Heartless provisions that make the offence non- bailable and non-compoundable operate against reconciliations. It is therefore necessary to make this offence (a) bailable and (b) compoundable to give a chance to the spouses to come together."

Though this Commission is not inclined to endorse the entirety of observations made in the above passage, some of them reinforce our conclusion to make it compoundable.

5.8.5 The views of Malimath Committee as well as the recommendations in the th 154 Report of Law commission were referred to with approval by the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its th 111 Report on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2003 (August 2005). The Standing Committee observed thus: "It is desirable to provide a chance to the estranged spouses to come together and therefore it is proposed to make the offence u/s 498A IPC, a compoundable one by inserting this Section in the Table th under sub-section(2) of Section 320 of CrPC". 5.8.6 The 128 Report of the said Standing Committee (2008) on the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) th Bill, 2006 reiterated the recommendation made in the 111 Report. 5.8.7 The views of Supreme Court and High Courts provide yet another justification to treat the offence under Section 498A compoundable.

The Supreme Court in a brief order passed in Ramgopal vs. State of M.P. observed that the offences under Section 498A, among others, can be made compoundable by introducing suitable amendment to law. The Bombay High Court14, as long back as in 1992, made a strong suggestion to amend Section 320 of CrPC in order to include Section 498A within that Section.

15

In the case of Preeti Gupta vs. State of Jharkhand , the Supreme Court, speaking through Dalvir Bhandari, J. exhorted the members of the Bar to treat every complaint under Section 498A as a basic human problem and to make a 55 serious endeavour to help the parties in arriving at amicable resolution of that human problem. The Supreme Court then observed that the Courts have to be extremely careful and cautious in dealing with these complaints and must take pragmatic realities into consideration. Further, it was observed: "Before parting with the case, we would like to observe that a serious relook of the entire provision is warranted by the legislation. It is also a matter of common knowledge that exaggerated versions of the incident are reflected in a large number of complaints. The tendency of over implication is also reflected in a very large number of cases". The Supreme Court then made these observations: "It is imperative for the legislature to take into consideration the informed public opinion and the pragmatic realities in consideration and make necessary changes in the relevant provisions of law. We direct the Registry to send copy of this judgment to the Law Commission and to the Union Law Secretary, Government of India who may place it before the Hon'ble Minister for Law & Justice to take appropriate steps in the larger interest of the society".

5.9 Yet another factor that should be taken note of is the policy of law in laying stress on effecting conciliation between the warring couples. The provisions in Section 9 of the Family Courts Act, 1984 Section23 (2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Section 34(2) of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 impose an obligation on the court to take necessary steps to facilitate re-conciliation or amicable settlement.

5.10 It is worthy of note that in Andhra Pradesh, the State Legislature made an nd amendment to Section 320(2) of CrPC by inserting the following in the 2 Table.

Husband or relative of 498A The woman subjected to cruelty: husband of a woman Provided that a minimum period of subjecting her to cruelty three months shall elapse from the date of request or application for compromise before a Court and the Court can accept a request for compounding an offence under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code provided none of the parties withdraw the case in the intervening period.

The observations made by the High Court in various cases were taken into account while making this amendment. The amendment came into force on 1.8.2003. Our recommendation is substantially on the same lines.

5.11 The overwhelming views reflected in the responses received by the Law Commission and the inputs the Commission has got in the course of 56 deliberations with the members of District and Subordinate Judiciary, the members of the Bar and the law students is yet another reason persuading us to recommend the amendment of law to make the offence under 498A compoundable with the permission of Court. The list of respondents from whom views have been received by the Commission is at Annexure 1-B. An analysis of such views touching on the point of compoundability is furnished at Annexure 1-A. The Consultation Paper-cum-Questionnaire on various aspects of Section 498-A published by the Commission is attached hereto as Annexure-

2

5.12 At the Conference with judicial officers including lady officers, there was almost unanimous opinion in favour of making the offence compoundable. The lady lawyers who were present at the Conferences held in Visakhapatnam, Chennai and Aurangabad did not oppose the move. At a recent Conference held with about 35 Judicial Officers of various ranks at Delhi Judicial Academy, there was unanimity on the point of compoundability. However, some Judges expressed reservation about allowing 3 months gestation period for passing a final order of compounding under Section 320(2) Cr PC. It was suggested that there should be some flexibility in this regard and the 3 months' period need not be strictly adhered to especially where there is a package of settlement concerning civil disputes as well. Keeping this suggestion in view, the Commission has provided that in the interests of justice, the Magistrate can pass orders within a lesser time.

5.13 The Law Commission is therefore of the considered view that the offence under Section 498A IPC should be made compoundable with the permission of the Court. Accordingly, in Table-2 forming part of Section 320(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the following shall be inserted after the entry referring to Section 494 and before the entry relating to Section 500:



Husband or relative of husband of a         498A    The woman subjected to
woman subjecting her to cruelty                     cruelty.

Sub-section (2A) shall be added to Section 320 CrPC, as set out in paragraph 5.6, page 17 supra.

57

Annexure - III [refer para 10.1 of the Report] List of persons, organizations and officials who responded to the questionnaire A LIST OF INDIVIDUALS - RESPONDED TO THE QUESTIONANNAIRE ON SECTION 498A IPC S/Shri/Ms

1. Ms.Swati Goyal, Ahmedabad

2. Neeraj Gupta, Delhi

3. Vivek Srivastav, vivek_srivastav_in@yahoo.co.in

4. Sateesh K. Mishra, Delhi

5. Kalpak shah, Ahmedabad

6. Samir Jha, sk_jha95@yahoo.co.in

7. Kharak Mehra, Nainital

8. Saurabh Grover, sgrover1973@gmail.com

9. Komal Singh, New Delhi

10. Kaushalraj Bhatt, Ahmedabad

11. Alka Shah, Ahmedabad

12. Saumil Shah, Ahmedabad

13. Trilok Shah, Ahmedabad

14. Alpak Shah, Ahmedabad

15. Bhavna Shah Ahmedabad

16. Kaushal Kishor & 27 other residents of Visakhapatnam.

17. iamamit, iamamitb1976@rediffmail.com

18. Vishnuvardhana Velagala, vvrvelagala@gmail.com

19. Hari Om Sondhi, New Delhi

20. Kharak Singh Mehra, Nainital

21. Virag R. Dhulia, Bangalore

22. Ms Kumkum Vikas Sirpurkar, New Delhi

23. Gaurav Bandi, Indore.

24. Gaurav Sehravat, gauravsehravat@gmail.com

25. Ashish Mishra, Lucknow

26. Umang Gupta, Rampur, Balia

27. Avadesh Kumar Yadav, Nagpur

28. T.R. Padmaja, Secunderabad

29. T.C. Raghwan, Secunderabad

30. C. Shyam Sunder, Hyderabad

31. Ms. Shobha Devi, R. R Dt, Hyderabad

32. A Nageshwar Rao, Hyderabad

33. Praveen Chand, Hyderabad

34. R.B. Timma Ready, Hyderabad

35. A. Venu Gopal, kadapa, Hyderabad

36. Aditya, Hyderabad 58

37. B. Y Lal, Hyderabad

38. Subramaniyam Catari, Hyderabad

39. A Sai Kiran, Hyderabad

40. S. Jagannath, Bangalore

41. Prasad Chuilal, Pune

42. Biswadeep Paul, Pune

43. Avinash D. Gune, Pune

44. Damodar Varde, Indore

45. Kedar Ambedakar, Pune

46. Sandesh V. Chopdekar, Pune

47. Devkant Varde, Pune

48. Sanjeet Gupta, Pune

49. Cedric D'Souza, Pune

50. Amandeep Bhatia, Pune

51. Arjun Singh Rawat, Pune

52. N.K. Jain, Ujjain

53. Raj Kumar Jain, Ujjain

54. Shashidhar Rao, Hyderabad

55. Mohammed Hidayatullah, Hyderabad

56. Chandra Shekhar, Hyderabad.

57. P. Sugunavathi, Hyderabad

58. V. David, Hyderabad

59. Reddy Vidyadhar, R.R. District, Hyderabad.

60. Eshwar Lal, R.R. District, Hyderabad.

61. A. Satyanarayana, Hyderabad

62. M.V. Rama Mohan, Hyderabad

63. K.V. Indira, Kerala

64. P. Raju, Bangalore

65. G.R. Reddy, Hyderabad

66. D.S. Nathaniel, Hyderabad

67. K. Sriram, Hyderabad

68. Rajneesh K.V. Hyderabad

69. M. V. Aditya, Hyderabad

70. P. Ranga Rao, Hyderabad

71. T.V. S. Ram Reddy, R.R. District, Hyderabad.

72. R. Rahul, Nizamabad

73. J.P. Sahu, Damoh

74. B. Vinod Kumar, Nizamabad

75. Ponviah Catari, Hyderabad

76. P.K. Acharya, Hyderabad

77. B. Yamuna, Chennai

78. J.Sarat Chandra, Anantpur

79. P.N. Rao, Amalapuram

80. K. Narasaiah, Hyderabad

81. K. Ramakrishna Rao, Rajamundry

82. D.N. Samuel Raj, Hyderabad 59

83. D.N. Lavaney, Hyderabad

84. V. Madhani, Secunderabad

85. R. Rajashekhar Reddy, Hyderabad

86. P. Srirama Murthy, Hyderabad

87. K.L. Swapana, Rajamundry

88. Gauri Sankar, Hyderabad

89. L. Narsinga Rao, Hyderabad

90. Sushil Kumara Acharya, Hyderabad

91. D.N. Kerupavasam, Hyderabad

92. T. Ramesh, Hyderabad

93. P. Satish Kumar, Hyderabad

94. T. Srinivas, Nalgouda

95. M. Satish Kiran, R.R. District, Hyderabad

96. Parthasarathi, Secunderabad

97. Saraswati Devi, Hyderabad

98. A. Rangabyha, Hyderabad

99. T. Annapurna, R.R. District, Hyderabad

100. Saah Ali Ahmed, Secunderabad

101. A.Sai Nath, Hyderabad

102. S. Manasa, Hyderabad

103. Sameer Baksi, Kharagpur, West Bengal

104. Rumi Dey, West Bengal

105. Bhanu Dey, Kharagpur, West Bengal

106. Suman Kr. Dey, Kharagpur, West Bengal

107. Tinni Gaur, Jabalpur

108. Arun Yadav, Jabalpur

109. T. Salgu, Ujjain

110. Ashish Gupta, Ujjain

111. T. M. Kamran, Pune

112. Pushpal Swarnkar, Durg

113. Col. H. Sharma, Noida

114. Rana Mukherjee, Advocate, Hony. Secy, Bar Association, High Court, Kolkata.

115. Nagarathna A., Asstt. Professor Law, NLSIU, Nagarbhavi, Bangalore.

116. Raj Ghosal, Thane (W), Maharashtra

117. Pankaj R. Sontakke, Kandivali (E), Maharashtra

118. Ashish Agarwal, Vikhroli (W), Maharashtra

119. Savio Fernandez, Thane (W), Maharashtra

120. Anand M. Jha, Kalyan (W), Maharashtra

121. Sachchidanand Singh Patel, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra

122. Arghya Dutta, Nerul, Maharashtra

123. Debabrata Bhadra, Jamsedpur, Jharkhand

124. Vikas Jhunjhun wala, Worli, Maharashtra

125. Mukund Jhala, Singh Darwaza, Burdwan.West Bengal.

126. Sandip De, Dombivalli (E), Maharashtra 60

127. Anurag Joshi, Thane (W), Maharashtra

128. Gayatri Devi, Sagar Road, Hyderabad

129. Ramesh Lal, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi.

130. Priyank Prakh, Manchester, USA

131. Katri Ram Venkatesh, Ranga Reddy, Distt.Andhra Pradesh

132. Sarath Chandra P., Panjagutta, Hyderabad

133. Subba Rao P., Panjagutta Hyderabad

134. V. Kamalamma, Chandanagar, Hyderabad

135. Dr. P. Sudhir, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

136. S.N. Kumar, Hyderabad

137. K.V.N.S. Laxmi, Rajamundry

138. Manoj Kumar Sahu, Kanchanbagh, Hyderabad

139. K.S. Ram, Vijayanagar Colony, Hyderabad

140. M. Ram Babu, Janapriya Nagar Colony, Ranga Reddy Distt.

A.P.

141. Ram Prakash Sharma, Rohini, New Delhi

142. Manju Yadav, Jabalpur

143. Teeja Yadav, Adhartal, Jabalpur

144. Chandra Yadav,Adhartal, Jabalpur

145. Santosh Vishvakarma, Adhartal, Jabalpur

146. Ashutosh Yadav,Adhartal, Jabalpur

147. Amitabh Bhattacharya, Wardha Road, Nagpur

148. Krishna R.K. V., aamele.law@gmail.com

149. Milap Choraria, Rohini, New Delhi

150. Anand Ballabh Lohani, Haldwani, Uttarakhand

151. Partha Sadhukhan, Hyderabad

152. Ramesh Kumar Jain, sirfiraa@gmail.com

153. Namadevan N., nama49@yahoo.com

154. Pronoy Ghose, Cachar, Assam

155. Sibi Thomas, Baruch, Gujarat

156. R.S. Sharma, Amity University, Uttar Pradesh

157. T. Gopala Krishna, Chichmagular

158. N.S. Mahesh, Bangalore, Karnataka

159. Shailaja G. Harinath, Bangalore

160. V.V. Lakshmanan, Ambattur, Chennai

161. Jayesh M. Poria

162. P. Rukma Chary, Bangalore

163. Deepak Kesari, Bangalore

164. Rajshekhar C.R., Bangalore.

165. N.H. Shiggaon, Vignan Nagar, Bangalore

166. Ajay M.U. Electronic City, Bangalore.

167. Vardhaman Nair, Bangalore.

168. Krishna Murthy, Bangalore

169. Sashidhar CM, Vinayaka Extn. Bangalore,

170. Narayan Kumar, Bangalore 61

171. Amjad F. Jamador, Belgam, Karnataka

172. Mohd. Arshad, Ranganath Colony, Bangalore.

173. B.A. Pathan, Hubli, Karnatka

174. Pronoy Kumar Ghosh, Cachar, Assam

175. N. N. Suiggaon, Vignan Nagar, Bangalore

176. Radhikanath Mallick, Kolkata, West Bengal

177. Maqsud Mujawar, maqsud_max@rediffmail.com

178. Saroj Bala Dhawan, DLF Gurgaon, Haryana

179. Virag R. Dhulia, C.C. Raman Nagar, Bangalore.

180. Rahmatulla Sheriff, Ganga Nagar, Bangalore

181. Avinash Kumar, Main HSR Layout, Bangalore

182. Ramakrishna, ramkrishna.manpuri@gmail.com

183. Rajkumar, Rohtak.

184. Ritesh Dehia, riteshndehhia@gmail.com

185. Viresh Verma, vermaviresh@gmail.com

186. Sudha Chouranga Chakrabatrti, Hoogly, West Bengal.

187. Mrs. Manisha C. Shinkar

188. Dr. Chandrakant K Shinkar

189. Shri Nagi Reddy Maddigapu (Senior Citizen), Retired A.P.

State Agro Ind Dev. Corpn Emp., Macherla, Dist Guntur

190. Shri Harish Dewan, New Delhi

191. Ms. Sudha Gouranga Chakrabarti, Khirkee Lane, Chinsurah, Hoogly, West Bengal

192. Dr. Mohan Singh Sath, 33, Westholme Gardens, Ruislip, Middlesex, UK (NRI)

193. Shri Hemant Kumar Verma, Sr. Lecturer Civil Engg Govt.

Polytechnic College, Ajmer Rajasthan *Names not mentioned.

62

B. LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS / INSTITUTIONS - RESPONDED TO THE QUESTIONANNAIRE ON SECTION 498A IPC

1. Save India Harmony, (Shri B.K. Aggarwal, President), Vishakhapatnam.

2. SIFFMWB, (Shri S. Bhattacharjee) Kolkata

3. Vigilant Women Munch, (Secretary, Ms Suman Jain), Delhi.

4. National Family Harmony Society President, (Shri P.

Suresh), Karnataka. & 41 others

5. Mothers and Sisters Initiative -MASI, (Mrs. Shalini Sharma), General Secretary

6. Bharat Bachao Sangthan, (Shri Vineet Ruia), President, Kolkata

7. Pirito Purush Porishad, NGO, Kolkata

8. INSAAF, New Delhi.

9. All India Forgotten Women's Association, Hyderabad.

10. Members of Million Women Arrested Campaign (org), FBD, Haryana

11. The Kerala Federation of Women Lawyers, Secretary, (Ms.Aneetha AG), Kerala High Court Bldg, Kochi.

12. Lawyers Collective, (Ms. Indira Jaising), Jangpura Extn., New Delhi.

13. Rakshak Foundation, Shri Sachin Bansal, USA.

14. AWAG, Ila Pathak, Ahmedabad.

15. AIDWA, (Ms Kirti Singh), Legal Convenor, Advocate, Delhi

16. PLD (Partners for Law in Development), Madhu Mehra, Ex.

Director, New Delhi.

17. Bharat Vikas Parishad (Shri Raj Pal Singla, President), Chandigarh, Punjab.

18. Shri S.K. Dulara, All India Muslim Front, "Rahman Plaza"

YMCA Lane, Abids, Hyderabad

19. Md. Abdul Raoof, (retired Distict Judge, Hyderabad), All India Muslim Front, "Rahman Plaza" YMCA Lane, Abids, Hyderabad

20. Bimal N. Patel, Director, GLNU, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

21. Prof. Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi.

22. PMS Narayanan, National Commission for Minority, Khan Mkt, New Delhi

23. Janamithram Janakeeya Needi Vedi, Kerala State Committee, East Kottaparamba, Kozhikode

24. Justice Amarbir Singh Gill, Chairman, Punjab State Law Commission, Chandigarh.

63

C. LIST OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS - RESPONDED TO THE QUESTIONANNAIRE ON SECTION 498A IPC

1. Prabhat Kumar Adhikari, Secretary (Law), A&N Admn., Port Blair.

2. *Pr. Secretary(Law-Legislation), Govt. of Himachal Pradesh.

3. L.M. Sangma, Secretary to Govt. of Meghalaya, Law Deptt.

4. B.K. Srivastava, Secretary in charge, Law Deptt., Govt. of West Bengal

5. Thejegu-U-Kire, Dy. Legal Remembrancer to Govt of Nagaland, Kohima.

6. Arindham Paul, DLR & Dy. Secretary, Law, Tripura.

7. *Home Secreatry, Chandigarh Administration

8. Shri Hari S. D. Shirodkar, Under Secretary, Law Department, Government of Goa.

9. Shri S. G. Marathe, Joint Secretary (Law), Govt. of Goa.

10. Shri Pramod Kamat, Law Secretary, Govt. of Goa

11. Shri D. V. K. Rao, Under Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, GOI

12. Shri G. Rime, Deputy Secretary (Home), Department of Home and Inter State Border Affairs, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar.

13. Shri Harishshankar Vaishya, Addl. Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh * Name not mentioned 64 D. LIST OF JUDICIAL OFFICIALS/ OTHER OFFICIALS - RESPONDED TO THE QUESTIONANNAIRE ON SECTION 498A IPC S/Shri/Ms

1. Chandigarh Judicial Academy, Dr. Virender Aggarwal, Director (Academics), Chandigarh.

2. M. M. Banerjee, Distt Judge, Birbhum, Suri.

3. Abhai Kumar, Registrar, High Court of M.P, Jabalpur.

(on behalf of Judicial officers, Training Institute)

4. Nungshitombi Athokpam, Dy. Legal Rememberancer, Govt.of Manipur.

5. Vijay Kumar Singh, Distt. & Sessions Judge, Jammu.

6. Shrikant D. Babaladi, Distt. Judge Member, Karnataka, Appellate Tribunal, Bangalore.

7. Bijender Kumar Singh, Distt. & Sessions Judge, Gopalgunj, Bihar.

8. R.K. Watel, Distt. & Session Judge, Reasi(J&K)

9. *Principal Distt. & Sessions Judge, Kishtwar

10. S. N. Kempagoudar, Distt. Judge, Member, Karnataka Appellate Tribunal, Bangalore.

11. Udayan Mukhopadhyay, Distt. & Sessions Judge, Purbi Medinapur.

12. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Vaishali, Hajipur.

13. S.H. Mittalkod, Distt. & Sessions Judge, AIG-1, Govt. of Mizoram.

14. Ranjit Kumar Baig, Distt. Judge, Malda, West Bengal.

15. Sanjit Mazumdar, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Malda, West Bengal.

16. Anant Kumar Kapri, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Malda, West Bengal.

17. Kaushik Bhattacharaya, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Malda, West Bengal

18. Subodh Kumar Batabayal, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Malda, West Bengal

19. Shri Gopal Chandra Karmakar, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Malda, West Bengal.

20. Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Malda, West Bengal

21. Sibasis Sarkar, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Malda, West Bengal

22. Sabyasahi Chattoraj, Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.), Malda.

23. Ishan Chandra Das, Distt Judge, Burdwan.

24. L.K. Gaur, Special Judge, CBI-9, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi.

25. M.K. Nagpal, ASJ/Special Judge, NDOS, South & South East Distt., Saket Courts, New Delhi.

26. Dr. Neera Bharihoke, ADJ-V, South Saket Court, New Delhi.

65

27. Sanjeev Kumar, Metropolitan Magistrate, South-Saket Court, New Delhi.

28. Chetna Singh, Metropolitan Magistrate, South- Saket Court, New Delhi.

29. Sandeep Garg, Metropolitan Magistrate, South- Saket Court, New Delhi.

30. Anu Aggarwal, Civil Judge, South- Saket Court, New Delhi.

31. *District & Sessions Judge, Ambala

32. S.S. Lamba, District & Sessions Judge, Rohtak.

33. *District & Sessions Judge, Fatehbad.

34. *District & Sessions Judge, Rewari.

35. R.S. Virk, District & Sessions Judge, Gurgaon.

36. K. C. Sharma, District & Sessions Judge, Panipat.

37. *District & Sessions Judge, Kaithal.

38. * District & Sessions Judge, Jind.

39. Deepak Aggarwal, District & Sessions Judge, Jind.

40. D. N. Bhardwaj, District & Sessions Judge, Jind.

41. Dr. Chander Dass, Judicial Magistrate, Jind.

42. Praveen Kumar, Addl. Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.-cum-Sub-Divn.

Judicial Magistrate), Safidon.

43. Kumud Gungwani, Sub-Divn. Judicial Magistrate, Narwana.

44. Gurvinder Singh, Gill, District & Sessions Judge, Fatehgarh Sahib.

45. Raj Rahul Garg, District & Sessions Judge, Karnal.

46. *District & Sessions Judge, Bhiwani.

47. Narender Kumar, District Judge(Family Court), Bhiwani.

48. Rajinder Goel, Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Bhiwani.

49. Rajesh Kumar Bhankhar, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bhiwani

50. Tarun Singal, Chief Judge (Jr.Divn.), Bhiwani.

51. Narender Singh, Chief Magistrate, Ist Class, Bhiwani.

52. Rajni Yadav, Addl. Civil Judge (Sr.Divn.) cum-Sub-

Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Loharu.

53. Balwant Singh, Civil Judge (Jr.Divn.) cum-Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, 1st class, Bhiwani.

54. Narender Sharma, Sub-Divn. Judicial Magistrate, Charkhi Dadri.

55. A.S. Nayar, Civil Judge (Jr.Divn.), Charkhi Dadri.

56. Parvesh Singla, Civil Judge, Charkhi Dadri.

57. Kuldeep Jain, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Sonepat.

58. Sanjiv Kumar, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Sonepat.

59. Gulab Singh, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Sonepat.

60. Vivek Bharti, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Sonepat.

61. Ritu Garg, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Sonepat.

62. Lal Chand, Civil Judge (Sr.Divn.)-cum-ACJM, Sonepat.

63. Madhulika, C.J.(J.D.)-cum-JMIC, Sonepat.

66

64. Ranjana Aggarwal, Addl. Civil.(Sr.Divn.), Sonepat.

65. Rajesh Kumar Yadav, C.J.(S.D.)-cum-JMIC, Sonepat.

66. Harish Gupta, Addl. Civil.(Sr.Divn.), Ganaur.

67. K.P. Singh, Addl. Civil.(Sr.Divn.), Gohana.

68. Sanjiv Jindal, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Narnaul.

69. Rajneesh Bansal, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Narnaul.

70. Sudhir Jiwan, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court, Narnaul.

71. Praveen Gupta, Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Narnaul.

72. Chander Hass, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Narnaul.

73. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Gurdaspur.

74. Rajesh Kumar Yadav, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, C.J.(JD)-cum-JMIC, Sonepat.

75. * Distt. & Sessions Judge, Chandigarh.

76. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Sirsa.

77. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Jhajjar.

78. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Faridabad.

79. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Yamuna Nagar at Jagadhri.

80. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Panchkula.

81. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Pehowa.

82. Rajinder Pal Singh, Addl. Civil Judge (Sr. Divn.), Pehowa.

83. Gurcharan Singh Saran, Distt. & Sessions Judge, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

84. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Rupnagar.

85. Inderjit Singh, . Distt. & Sessions Judge, Jalandhar.

86. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Ferozpur.

87. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Kapurthala.

88. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Mansa.

89. Amit Kumar Garg, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Kurushetra.

90. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Kurushetra.

91. Manish Batra, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Kurushetra.

92. Harleen Sharma, Civil Judge (Jr. Divn), Kurushetra.

93. Sanjiv Kumar, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Kurushetra.

94. Sanjiv Arya, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Kurushetra.

95. Arun Kumar Singhal, Addl. Distt. & Sessions Judge, Kurushetra.

96. Jagjit Singh, Civil Judge (Sr. Divn), Kurushetra.

97. Amarinder Sharma, Civil Judge (Jr. Divn), Kurushetra.

98. Raj Gupta, Civil Judicial Judge, Kurushetra.

99. Anudeep Kaur Bhatti, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Kurushetra.

100. Akshdeep Mahajan, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Mohindergarh.

101. Narender Pal, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Narnaul.

102. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Hisar.

103. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Amritsar.

67

104. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Patiala.

105. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Hoshiapur.

106. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Ludhiana.

107. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Bathinda.

108. *Distt. & Sessions Judge, Sri Muktsar Sahib.

109. Shri S. Sivaiah Naidu, Registrar General, Government of Andhra Pradesh.

110. Shri J.P. Gupta, Director (JOTRI) High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur

111. *District & Sessions Judge, Kinnaur at Rampur Bushahr, H.P.

112. *District & Sessions Judge, Simaur at Nahan, H.P.

113. *District & Sessions Judge, Kangra at Dharmshala, H.P.

114. *District & Sessions Judge, Una, H.P.

115. *District & Sessions Judge, Hamirpur, H.P.

116. *District & Sessions Judge, Bilaspur, H.P.

117. *District & Sessions Judge, Solan, H.P.

118. *District & Sessions Judge, Kullu, H.P.

119. *District & Sessions Judge, Mandi, H.P.

120. *District & Sessions Judge, Chamba, H.P.

121. *Director, HP Judicial Academy Shimla, H.P.

From Registrar General of Karnataka High Court, Bangalore

122. Shri S. Harish Kumar, Principal Distt. & Sessions Judge, Chitradurga, Karnataka

123. Shri Shivashankar B. Amarannavar, District & Sessions Judge, Bagalkot. Karnataka

124. Shri Lakshman F. Malavalli, VI Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Mysore, Karnataka

125. Shri T.G. Channabasappa, Presiding Officer, Fast Track Court III. Mysore, Karnataka

126. Shri Narendra Kumar Gunaki, District & Sessions Judge, Udupi, Karnataka.

127. Dr. Shashikala MA Urankar, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Bidar, Karnataka

128. Shri John Micheal Cunha, Presiding officer, KSTAT, Bangalore, Karnataka

129. District & Sessions Court, Koppal, Karnataka

130. Shri Pradeep D. Waingakar, Chief Judge, Court of Small Causes, Bangalore.

131. Shri L. Subramanya, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Bijapur.

132. Shri S.V. Kulkarni Presiding Officer & Addl. & Sessions Judge (Ad hoc), Fast Track Court, Jamakhandi, Dist Bagalkot, Karnataka 68 From the Registrar General,High Court of Chattisgarh, Bilaspur

133. Shri R.C. S. Samant, Director, Chhattisgarh State Judicial Academy, Bilaspur

134. Shri Ashok Panda, District Judge, Durg, Chhattisgarh

135. Shri Ashok Kumar Sahu, Addl. District & Sessions Judge, Durg,

136. Shri Kamlesh Jagdalla, Additional Judge, First Class, Durg,

137. Shri Venseslas Toppo, Civil Judge, Class-II, Durg, Chhattisgarh

138. Ms. Chhaya Singh Bagel, Magistrate, First Class, Durg, Chhattisgarh

139. Smt. Swarnlata Toppo, Civil Judge, Class I, Durg, Chhattisgarh

140. Shri Srikant Srivas, Officer, First Class, Durg, Chhattisgarh

141. Shri Thomas Ekka, Civil Judge, class II, Durg, Chhattisgarh

142. Shri Anish Dube, Civil Judge, First Class, Rajhara, Chhattisgarh

143. Shri Vivek Kumar Tiwari, Judicial Magistrate First Class, District Balod, Chhattisgarh

144. Shri Deepak Kumar Kaushal, Judicial Magistrate First Class, Bametara, Dist. Durg, Chhattisgarh

145. Shri Praveen Kumar Pradhan, Judicial Magistrate First Class, Bametara, Dist. Durg, Chhattisgarh

146. Ms. Pushplata Markandey, Civil Judge Class-2, Durg, Chhattisgarh

147. Shri Jitendra Kumar Jain, Chief Judigical Magistrate, Durg, Chhattisgarh

148. Shri Santosh Thakur, Civil Judge Class-2, Durg, Chhattisgarh

149. Shri Manish Kumar Dubey, Civil Judge, Class-2, Durg, Chhattisgarh

150. Shri Abhishek Sharma, Judge class II, Durg, Chhattisgarh

151. Smt. Shyamvati Bharavi, Civil Judge, Class-1, Durg, Chhattisgarh

152. Ms. Mamta Shukla, Civil Judge, Class II, Durg, Chhattisgarh

153. Smt. Sushma Lakda, Civil Judge, Class II, Durg, Chhattisgarh

154. Shri Ashok Kumar Lal, Judicial Magistrate, Class-I, Durg, Chhattisgarh

155. Ms. Yashoda Kashyap, Civil Judge, class II, Durg, Chhattisgarh

156. Shri Jitender Thakur, Judicial Magistrate, Class-I, Durg, Chhattisgarh

157. Shri Sandeep Bakshi, District & Sessions Judge, Raipur, Chhattisgarh

158. Smt. Anita Jha, District and Sessions Judge, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh 69

159. Shri C.B. Bajpai, District and Session Judge, Mahasamund, Chhattisgarh

160. Shri Anil Kumar Shukla, District and Session Judge, Dhamtari.

161. Shri Gautam Chourdiya, District and Sessions Judge, Janjgir, Champa, Chhattisgarh

162. * District and Sessions Judge, Sarguja, Ambikapur, Chhattisgarh

163. Smt. Vimla Singh Kapoor, District and Session Judge, Korea, Bakunthpur Chhattisgarh

164. Shri I.S. Ubojeba, District and Session Judge, Bastar, Jagadalpur, Chhattisgarh

165. Smt. Satyabhama Ajay Dubey, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Uttar Bastar, Kanker, Chhattisgarh

166. Shri N.S. Patel, Judicial Magistrate Class-I, Bhanupratap Pur, Kanker, Chhattisgarh

167. Shri J.S. Patel, Judicial Magistrate, Class-I, Dist N.B. Kanker, Chhattisgarh

168. Shri Shiv Mangal Pandey, District and Session Judge, Raigar, Chhattisgarh

169. Shri Prabhat Kumar Shastri, District & Sessions Judge, Jashpur, Chhattisgarh

170. Shri M.P. Singhal, District and Session Judge, Rajnadgaon, Chhattisgarh

171. *District and Sessions Judge, Korba, Chhattisgarh

172. Shri A.K. Bek, JFMC (South Bastar Dantewada), Chhattisgarh

173. Smt. Anita Dharia, Addl. JFM, Dantewada, Chhattisgarh

174. Shri Ramjivan Devgan, Civil Judge, class I, Bijapur, Chhattisgarh

175. Shri V.K. Chanakya, Chief Judicial Magistrate, South Bastar, Dantewada, Chhattisgarh

176. Smt. Yogita Vinay Wasnik, Judicial Magistrate, Class-I, South Bastar, Dantewada

177. Shri Yashwant Wasnik, Civil Judge, Class I, Sukma , Chhattisgarh

178. Shri Balram Kumar Devagan, District Magistrate, Class-II, Bacheli, Dantewada

179. Shri Amrit Kerkatta, Civil Judge, class ISouth Bastar District, Konta, Chhattisgarh

180. Smt. Anuradha Khare, District and Sessions Judge, Kabeerdham, Chhattisgarh From High Court of Jharkhand, Ranchi (Jharkhand)

181. Shri Anil Kumar Choudhary, District and Session Judge, Bokaro, Jharkhand 70

182. Md. Mushataque Ahmed, District and Session Judge, Chatra, Jharkhand

183. Shri Rajesh Kumar Dubey, District and Session Judge, Singhbhum at Chaibasa, Jharkhand

184. Shri Amitav Kumar Gupta, Principal District and Session Judge, Deoghar, Jharkhand

185. Shri Satyendra Kumar Singh, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Dhanbad, Jharkhand

186. *Principal District & Sessions Judge I/C, Dhumka, Jharkhand

187. Shri Shiv Narayan Singh, District & Sessions Judge, Garhwa, Jharkhand

188. Shri Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, District & Sessions Judge, Giridih, Jharkhand

189. Shri Kamesh Mishra, I/c District & Sessions Judge, Godda, Jharkhand

190. Shri Om Prakash Pandey, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Gumla, Jharkhand

191. Shri Deepak Kumar, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

192. Shri Brijesh Bhadur Singh, Secretary, DLSA, Civil Courts, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

193. Shri S.S. Prasad, Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

194. Shri K.K. Srivastava, Registrar/Judge-in-Charge-cum-J.M., Class-I, Civil Court, Jamshedpur, , Jharkhand

195. Smt. Sanjeeta Srivastava, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

196. Smt. Kashika M. Prasad, Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

197. Shri Rakesh Kumar Singh, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

198. Shri Taufique Ahmed, Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

199. Shri Arun Kumar Dubey, Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

200. Shri Anil Kumar Ray, Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

201. Shri Dinesh Kumar, Judicial Magistrate 1s Class, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

202. Shri Sachindra Nath Sinha, Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

203. Shri Suraj Prakash Thakur, Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand

204. Shri Goutam Mahapatra, District and Sessions Judge, Jamtara 71

205. Shri Ajit Prasad Varma, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Koderma, Jharkhand

206. Shri Naveen Kumar, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Lohardaga, Jharkhand

207. Shri Vishnu Kant Sahay, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Palamau, Daltonganj, Jharkhand

208. Shri Binay Kumar Sahay, District and Sessions Judge, Pakur, Jharkhand

209. Shri Rajesh Kumar Vaish, District & Sessions Judge, Sahibganj, Jharkhand

210. Shri K.K. Srivastava, Principal District & Sessions Judge, Seraikella-Kharsawan, Jharkhand

211. Shri Narendra Kumar Srivastava, District & Sessions Judge, Simdega, Jharkhand

212. Shri Dhirendra Kumar Mishra, Admn. Officer, Judicial Academy Jharkahand, Ranchi From the High Court of Kerala

213. *Kasargod District Judge Kerala

214. *Wayanad District Judge, Kerala

215. Shri M.J. Sakthydharan, Addl. District Judge

216. *District and Sessions Judge, Manjeri, Kerala

217. Shri P.Ubaid, District Judge, Palakkad, Kerala

218. * Addl. District Judge, Alappuzha

219. Shri K. Ramakrishnan, District Judge, Thodupuzha

220. Shri N. Revi, District Judge, Pathanamthitta

221. Shri Thomas Pallickaparampil, District and Sessions Judge

222. * Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kasaragod, Kerala

223. Shri K.P. John, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kozhikode, Kerala

224. Shri S. Satheesachandra Babu, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Manjeri, Kerala

225. * Chief Judicial Magistrate, Palakkad, Kerala

226. Shri P.S. Antony, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thrissur, Kerala

227. Shri K. A Rajamohanan, Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, Kerala

228. *Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate(EO), Ernakulam, Kerala

229. Shri B. Vijayan, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, Kerala

230. Shri P.C. Paulachen, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thodupuzha, Kerala

231. Ms. Indukala.S., Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pathanamthitta, Kerala

232. * Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kollam, Kerala List of Police officials replied to questionnaire

233. Renchamo P. Kikon, IPS, DIG, Nagaland, Kohima, 72

234. Mrinalini Srivastava, Supdt. Of Police, CID, Gangtok, Sikkim.

235. *Dy. SP(HQ), O/o DGP, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Port Blair.

236. Shri Deepak Purohit, Supdt. Of Police, D&NH, Silvasa.

237. P.C. Lalchhuanawama, AIG-1 (for DGP), Govt. of Mizoram, Aizwal.

238. S. R. Dass, Asstt. I.G. Police(Pers), Govt. of Tripura, Agartala.

239. *Inspector General of Police (HQ), Bihar, Patna.

240. *Suptd. Of Police, Panaji, Goa.

241. *Addl. DG of Police (Crime), Punjab Chandigarh.

242. Shri Mangesh Kashyap, DCP (HQ), Office of the Commissioner of Police, Delhi

243. Shri T. Pachuau, IG of Police (Adm), Police Department, Government of Manipur.

244. Inspector General of Police, UT, Chandigarh *Names not mentioned.

73

Annexure - III-A [refer para 10.1 of the Report] Broad Analysis of 474 replies to questionnaire on Section 498-A IPC regarding bailability Individuals* Organisations/ Government Officials/ Grand Institutions** Officials Judicial Total officials Bailable 83 14 3 100 200 Non-Bailable 4 5 8 109 126 Partial bailable 3 3 1 23 30 Repeal 74 0 1 1 76 No Comments 29 2 0 11 42 Total 193 24 13 244 474 * Two NRIs ** One organization from USA 74 Annexure - III-B [refer para 10.1 of the Report] Some of the responses received - Gist Sri Justice (Retd.) A.S. Gill, Chairman, Punjab State Law Commission expressed the view that there is no need to exercise the power of arrest of husband and his family members as it will result in breakdown of family. Recourse may be initially taken to dispute settlement mechanism such conciliation, mediation and counselling. The process of making effort for reconciliation is to be initiated even at the Police Station level by taking the aid of respectable persons named by both parties. The counselling mechanism under Domestic Violence Act can also be availed of by taking the assistance of professionally qualified counsellors appointed by State Government. The offence should be made bailable and compoundable. Bailability will not become in any way counter-productive. There is every need to sensitize the police in these matters and only an experienced officer should be entrusted with investigation. Compounding should be allowed subject to the permission of Court. The main reason for low conviction rate in the prosecution under Section 498-A is due to the fact that the allegations are exaggerated and beyond facts. Crime against Women Cell (CWC) should consist of persons who are well educated and experienced and have orientation to deal effectively with marital dispute.

National Commission for Minorities:

The issue can be best addressed by educating public through awareness programmes, also designed for minorities.

Members of National Commission for Minorities (Dr. H.T. Sangliana & Shri K.N. Daruwala) Police should have open and balanced approach. In all cases, straightway the case need not be registered. The decision to register a case may be taken by the Inspector level officer. Cases under 498A to be handled with utmost care. Only after satisfying with the genuineness of the complaint, an arrest should be made and not in a routine manner. Formal investigation can be kept in abeyance until the conciliation attempt is completed which should not be more than three weeks. Right mediators can be identified through NGO nets and retired officials from Police and judiciary. In Karnataka, women's help centres are available in the compound of Commissioner of Police. The fourth parties agreed to compromise after registration, Court's permission may be taken to compound. If no death is involved, it may be made bailable. Bail should be granted to the accused of his/her age is above 60 and if no direct involvement is established. Free legal aid cell will be useful to butt availability of such help when required is 75 doubtful. Long pendency of cases discourages the complainants from pursuing the matters further.

Shri Daruwala:

A detailed inquiry before arrest is necessary. However, the physical security of the women must be ensured. Arrest should be made normally with warrants. Police must record reasons for arrest without warrant. The offence could be made bailable though the bail has to be granted sparingly. There should be Police and anti-dowry cell in every district manned by trained woman police. The two processes, conciliation and investigation can proceed side by side. Offence could be made compoundable. Women do not have easy access to LSAs at grass root level. Measures to spread awareness should be taken though media and even it can be made part of school curricula.

Dr. Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor (on behalf of NLU Delhi) - There is enough evidence to suggest that this Section has been misused in many ways. However, the misuse did not flow from the principle and intention on which this law is based. Robust effort should be made to implement the law so that the social objective of the law does not suffer. The misuse or false implications could be minimised by insisting on strict observance of the law of arrest as evolved in D.K. Basu case [(1997) 1 SCC 416)]. Secondly, the mandate of this law should be shifted from penal to restorative purpose. The recourse to mediation and conciliation in the first instance is the best idea. The arrest and other drastic legal measures should begin when all the options of restoration have failed. Registering the case is the legal obligation of the Police but they need not act in undue haste to effect the arrest. They should be guided by the spirit of Section 157 Cr. P.C. It would be worthwhile to divide the offence under Section 498-A in two categories depending on the gravity of the act of cruelty alleged. The offence can then be categorised as bailable or non- bailable. Offence of milder degree may be treated as family discord and be addressed with an approach of reconciliation. Awareness building programmes involving statutory bodies and NGOs should be organised. The officers manning women Police Stations must be given adequate training.

Dr. Bimal Patel, Director, GNLU, Gandhinagar, Gujarat - The Police should investigate the case and only on satisfaction of commission of offence under 498-A they should think of arrest. Making the offence bailable solves the problem to certain extent, though there are divergent views. The recourse can also be taken to Section 437 Cr. P.C. The offence can be made compoundable with the permission of Court. There should be better coordination between the LSA (Legal Services Authority) and Police. CWC should be under the control of Inspector level woman officer.

76

Judicial Officers Training Institute, (JOTRI), Jabalpur -

1. Police has to register the criminal case on receiving FIR alleging commission of offence under Section 498A, but they should commence investigation keeping in view the two conditions contemplated under Section 157 Cr.PC.
Having regard to the nature of dispute, preliminary investigation should be done instead of straightway arresting the husband or other relatives named in the FIR. Immediate arrest of the husband and other close relatives will destroy the possibility of amicable resolution of dispute forever.
2. Police officer may commence investigation but before taking harsh measures by way of arrest etc., there should be a process of reconciliation with the help of counseling centres run by reputed NGOs or Govt. mediation centres. The concerned police officer should contact the DLSA or TLSA so that the authority may take steps to arrange the task of conciliation.
3. Offence should remain non-bailable with cautious approach of the police in making arrest. Misuse or over-implication cannot be a ground of making the offence bailable as this will defeat the objective of Section 498A.
4. Counseling/mediation procedures should be completed preferably within two months from the date of appearance of husband and wife. If the husband does not respond to the notice from family counseling centre or does not cooperate in the process of counseling, then only, the I.O. should proceed against the erring party according to law after receiving the report from the counselors/mediators. After amicable settlement, further investigation of the criminal case shall be stopped and the case be closed.
5. Police should not get involved in the actual process of conciliation. Family counseling courts should be established in every district with professional counselors. Mediation Centres are also helpful in resolving matrimonial disputes.

Director, H.P. Judicial Academy, Shimla - Make 498-A IPC gender neutral. 498-A should be removed from criminal case as it is a family matter and because of this many adverse consequences will follow. The filing of Police report after FIR must be completed in three months and court proceedings should be completed within one year thereafter.

Dr. Neera Bharihoke, ADJ, Delhi - No immediate arrest and it should be the last resort. Make it bailable and compoundable. There should be a supervisory body over CWC. LSA must spread awareness.

77

Dr. Neera Gupta: Offences under Section 498A to be made non- cognizable, bailable. Persons who misuse the provision shall be penalized on completion of trial by the very same court. Separate provisions should be introduced for this purpose. Heavy fine of Rs.10 lakhs should be there. Persons who use women-protection laws for settling personal scores should be punished. The Section must be made gender neutral. Police should keep away from counselling.

Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India - Law according protection to women should be not be tinkered with; however, if some set procedures are followed, misuse can be curtailed. No arrest should be made on a mere allegation. In matrimonial disputes, it may not be necessary to immediately exercise the power of arrest in all cases. First recourse should to settlement mechanism. Counselling of parties should be done by professional qualified counsellors and police should empanel such persons Mahila desks to be set up at Police Stations and CAW Cells.

Lawyers Collective (Ms. Indira Jaisingh, Sr. Advocate, New Delhi) - Police should take action as per the existing laws and the procedure specified under Cr. P.C. Let it remain non-bailable and non-compoundable. Need to strengthen coordination between LSA and Police Station. Transparency of action and accountability can act as safeguards. Under-staffed and untrained CAW Cell cannot be helpful for these cases. Police force needed to be infused with basic human values and made sensitive to the constitutional ethos.

Ms. Nagaratna A., Asstt. Professor of Law, NLSIU, Bangalore - Offence should be made bailable and compoundable with the permission of Court. The Police soon after recording FIR must commence investigation and find out the existence of prima facie case. At no point Police shall have the power to arrest the accused without warrant of a Magistrate. Aged parents and sisters of the husband and other relatives must be spared from the ill-effects of unnecessary arrest. For the purpose of arrest, the offence should be made non-cognizable; but, for the purpose of investigation, it shall remain cognizable so that the I.O. can commence the investigation without waiting for permission by a Magistrate like in a non-cognizable offence. Secondly, the I.O. shall have the power to arrest only after fulfilling the conditions laid down under the amended Cr.P.C. CWCs shall be headed by well-qualified and trained women Inspectors. LSA can play a role for conciliation at pre-investigation and pre- trial stage.

AIDWA (Ms. Keerti Singh, Delhi) Police failure in taking timely action and in investigating the case on proper lines commented upon. Police should act according to the existing law and they do not need any directions to be cautious about these complaints as they are already taking long time even to register the FIR. If the woman complaints of physical violence, she should be immediately provided medical aid and the husband/in-laws should be stopped from committing further acts of violence, if necessary by arresting 78 him. Custodial interrogation could yield good results. The police has to help the victim woman by providing medical counseling and/or sending her to a shelter home. Crisis centres should be set up at the block and district level.

The seriousness of the crime should not be diluted by making it bailable and compoundable. Making it compoundable even with the permission of the Court will only result in the woman facing more pressure to compromise. In any event, if a compromise is reached, it gets recognition from the court to quash criminal proceedings. Reconciliation should not be thrust upon the woman. It would be wrong to first try to reconcile both the parties. Conciliation by a trained counselor should be resorted to only if it can be carried out without compromising the rights and position of the woman and only if the woman wants the return of dowry/streedhan to settle the matter.

It would not be advisable to entrust the investigations to the CWCs to the exclusion of regular Police Stations. The experience shows that CW Cells have not been positive. The number of Police Stations should be increased and personnel properly trained. CWCs should be headed by a lady DSP.

KFWL (President, Ms. K. Devi, Advocate), Kochi - It should remain non- bailable but shall be made compoundable with the permission of Court. Immediate arrest to be made only if offence is grave and affected the life, limb or health of the victim. There should be better coordination between LSA and Police. Crime against Women Cell in every district is desirable and should be headed by an IAS Officer. Nominees from local bodies, NGO, LSAs, mental health specialists apart from Police personnel should be the members thereof.

Rakshak Foundation (Shri Sachin Bansal, Santa Clara, USA) - Make it bailable and compoundable. No arrest before investigation. There should be better coordination between LSA and Police. Fast Track Courts to dispose of cases within a time bound schedule shall be opened.

Shri Priyank Parekh, Manchester, USA - Police to thoroughly investigate and not to arrest immediately, make it bailable and compoundable. CWC with well trained Police officer is desirable.

Dr. Virender Aggarwal, Director (Academics) Chandigarh - Make it non- bailable. It should remain non-bailable and non-compoundable. On receiving FIR, Police should make preliminary inquiry through relatives, neigbours etc. to find out the genuineness of the case before taking any action. LSA can decide whether to deal with case as criminal matter or in the realm of matrimonial civil law. CWC should only help the regular investigation agencies.

Shri Sivaiah Naidu, Registrar General, High Court of A.P. - Efforts for conciliation should be made on receipt of complaint. Immediate arrest should not be resorted to unless there is immediate danger to the victim or the husband is about to leave the jurisdiction of Indian Courts. Make the offence bailable and compoundable. Conciliation between the parties before effecting arrest is desirable and such conciliation can take place through the institution of LSA. The panel of mediators may consist of family welfare experts and trained counselors. LSAs in Taluka and District levels should play a more active role. There should be CAW Cell at District 79 Headquarters and it shall be headed by Dy.SP rank officer. The woman police deployed in this cell should have ample experience in life and proper awareness of laws related to woman.

Shri Abhay Kumar, Registrar, High Court of M.P., Jabalpur - No immediate arrest but register the case and start preliminary investigation. It shall remain non- bailable but compoundable. Family counseling centres should be opened all over the State.

Additional Chief Judl. Magistrate (E.O.), Ernakulam - Simultaneous with the registration of a case under Section 498-A, the Police should intimate the matter to the Protection Officer and cause an application to be filed before the Judl. Magistrate under the Domestic Violence Act so that the possibility of conciliation could be explored under judicial supervision. Arrest should be resorted to only after getting permission from the Magistrate. Do not make the offence bailable but make it compoundable. There should be regular meetings between LSA at the District level and SHO of Police Stations to take stock of the cases under 498-A.

Shri Thomas Pallickparampil, District Judge, Kerala - Do not make offence bailable but make it compoundable. Interrogation without arrest will be ideal situation. LSA may be assigned better and extensive role. Pre-litigation adalats ought to be organized. However, LSAs should not be constrained to coordinate with Police Stations. Need for specially trained senior woman police officer in CWC.

Shri Narender Kumar, District Judge (Family Courts)- Bhiwani - Make it bailable and compoundable. On receiving FIR, definite conclusion based on history of family life, root cause for lodging FIR should be arrived at. Proper training should be given to women police officials. To spread awareness by making it mandatory for TV channels to show protective penal provisions and civil rights available to women.

Shri R.R. Garg, District Judge, Karnal - No immediate arrest. First, matter to be sent to Conciliation Board or Counseling/mediation centres. It should remain non- bailable but compoundable. Need to spread awareness through print and electronic media. CWC to be headed by woman police officer of the rank of S.P.

Ms. Renhcamo P. Kikon, DIG of Police, Nagaland, Kohima - It should remain non-bailable but compoundable. Initially preliminary investigation and steps for reconciliation/mediation to be taken. If efforts fail, then the case to be registered under Section 498-A. Women Cell should be headed by Inspector rank lady officer. LSA should educate women and help them at grass root levels.

I. G. of Police - Union Territory, Chandigarh - Before registering the FIR, police should adopt a conciliation process with the help of competent counselors and should act as an observer in order to avoid unwarranted arrest. A time limit of 45 days is already being followed in this process. Offence to remain non-bailable but compoundable with the permission of Court. CWC should be established in every District with experienced and well trained women police officials.

80

Shri Mangesh Kashyap, DCP (HQ), Delhi: Section 498(A) of IPC is certainly needed in its unadulterated form. Some procedural improvements could be made before registering FIR. In order to ensure that the facts are not exaggerated, the aggrieved woman should be asked to write an application after few sessions of interactions with a Counsellor. In case the complaint is found exaggerated benefit of doubt should be given. All possible efforts should be made through counselling and mediation to keep the woman and her children in the matrimonial home. Make it non-bailable. Case registered under 498A should be investigated by officer in the rank of Sub Inspector or above. They should be supervised regularly by an ACP once in a fortnight and DCP / ADCP once in a month.

Shri D.V.K. Rao, Under Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Delhi: On receipt of complaint, police should immediately register a FIR and conduct investigation into the matter. However, immediate arrest of husband should not be resorted to unless the alleged act of cruelty is prima facie very serious and calls for such arrest. Mediation and counseling process should be undertaken but the police should exercise restraint in making arrest of relatives. It should remain non-bailable and non-compoundable. Appropriate reconciliation effort as a first step should be undertaken. Mediation should be done by trained professionals and should be completed within two months. Legal Services Authorities should play a more extensive role in facilitating the conciliation. Crime against women cell should be established in every District and should consist of personnel who have been trained and sensitized to deal with cases of violence against women.

Shri T. Pachuau, IG of Police, Manipur - It should remain non-bailable but compoundable with the permission of the Court. Immediate arrest and custodial interrogation of husband and relatives should be avoided. Action to be taken to examine the victim and the accused soon after filing of FIR. Legal Services Authority (LSA) of the District or professional counselors will be ideally suited to process conciliation.

81

Annexure - III-C [refer para 10.1 of the Report] REPLIES OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS TO THE QUESTIONANNAIRE ON SECTION 498A IPC

1. Secretary, Law Department, A&N Admn., Port Blair No immediate arrest without relevant evidence and efforts of reconciliation. Make it Non-bailable and compoundable. Better co- ordination between legal services and police is required for amicable settlement. CWC should handle the matter since beginning till its logical conclusion.

2. *Pr. Secretary(Law), Govt. of Himachal Pradesh No immediate arrest before making proper investigation and enquiry with relatives and neighbours. Make it bailable and compoundable. Better co-ordination between legal services and police is required for amicable settlement. No need of CWC.

3. Government of Meghalaya (Law Department) Make it bailable and compoundable.

4. Govt. of West Bengal (Law Department) No immediate arrest before making proper investigation and enquiry with relatives and neighbours. Make it non-bailable and compoundable. Better co-ordination between legal services and police is required for amicable settlement. CWC should be set up in every district comprising 82 of a District Judge, Distt. Social Welfare Officer and a Woman Social worker working in the specified field.

5. *Home Secretary, Chandigarh Administration No immediate arrest. After FIR initially preliminary investigation be done with relatives and neighbours. Make it Non-bailable and compoundable. LSA & police station should work for amicable reconciliation. CWC should have lady police officers who can handle domestic problems and pre-complaint counseling. They should be given training time to time about amendments in criminal laws and latest judgement of courts in such cases.

6. Law Department, Tripura.

Insert Section 154-A in the Cr.P.C. as "Special Law" by way of amendment to prescribe the procedure for arrest and detention in order to check misuse of Sec.498-A of IPC.

7. Law Department, Govt. of Goa Make it compoundable with the permission of court. Make it bailable only for husband's relatives not staying with him. Otherwise, it should remain non-bailable.

The police, on receiving the complaint under section 498-A of IPC, is required to find out whether there is any prima facie case reflected in the complaint. No immediate arrest should be made but if alleged offence is a grave /en only immediate arrest and custodial interrogation of husband and his relatives named in the FIR could be made.

83

Investigation is to be completed in three months. Efforts should be made by police first to send the parties for conciliation / settlement by the appropriate authority appointed under the "Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005." The conciliators / mediators or professional counsellors (who may be part of NGOs) or the friends or elders known to both the marital parties; lady and men lawyers only who volunteer to act in such matters or District Legal Service Authority may be invited in conciliation/counseling process. There is need for coordination between LSAs and the Police Station. It is desirable to have a separate CWC in every District to deal exclusively with such cases. Women police Cell should be headed by a Lady DySP,

8. Department of Home and Inter State Border Affairs, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar.

Before a regular case is registered, preliminary enquiry should be mandatory during which both sides should be heard and efforts be made for mediation and reconciliation. It should not be made bailable. Reconciliation through counseling should be the first step prior to registration of the case and a limit time of 90 days for the counseling process is recommended. Keep it non-bailable and non-compoundable. Investigation by CWC to the exclusion of the jurisdiction of the police station is not advisable.

9. Government of Madhya Pradesh Before arresting the accused, the first step is to mediate and opt for compromise as far as possible within one month's time. The mediators can include experienced, respectable citizen or even police officers. Make it bailable so that it cannot be misused. Try to compromise the matter 84 between the a aggrieved parties within one month with the help o Police Officer or respectable citizens i.e. NGOs.

10. Dy. Legal Remembrancer, Government of Nagaland. No comments as misuse allayed is not prevalent in this State.

11. Some replies of States (enclosed to Home Ministry's letter) Chattisgarh: shall be made bailable and compoundable with permission of Court.

Uttarakhand: Bailable, cognizable and compoundable NCT of Delhi - Compoundable with permission of Court. Preliminary enquiry to be made before registration of FOR.

Chandigarh Admn. Bailable, non-cognizable and compoundable.

Rajasthan - bailable and compoundable 85