Petition to Conduct CBI Enquiry into Murder of Dr J A Mathan

Friday, 27 February 2009

The mother's kiss of death: Mom's kiss killed 11-day-old Newborn baby

The mother's kiss of death: Mom's kiss killed 11-day-old Newborn baby 
28 Feb 2009
LONDON: An 11-day-old baby girl died after her mother unwittingly infected her with the virus which causes cold sores, probably through a kiss or breastfeeding, a coroner ruled. 

An inquest on Thursday found newborn Jennifer Schofield died from Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Her mother Ruth, 35, probably caught it late into her pregnancy, the coroner said, most likely for the first time in her life, meaning she had not developed immunity and nor had her child. 
The virus attacked the baby’s major organs and she died within days. 

Schofield fell ill with flu-like symptoms a few days before giving birth, and was treated for several mouth ulcers. Her daughter subsequently became unwell and was admitted to hospital because she was sleepy and not feeding. 

Coroner James Adeley said no one could be blamed for failing to identify the virus. 

Schofield is now campaigning to raise awareness of the condition which she said kills six babies a year in Britain. “I have been left totally devastated and heartbroken by the death of Jennifer. It’s more than a year since she died but the pain has not lessened,” she said.

Romeo and Julian: Gay twist to 'Romeo & Juliet' triggers row in UK

Picture: Romeo and Juliet's balcony in Verona
Gay rights activists in UK staged a play "Romeo and Julian" (a re-work of "Romeo and Juliet") to demonstrate political correctness. What next? "Adam and Steve" instead of "Adam and Eve"?

Romeo and Julian: Gay twist to 'Romeo & Juliet' triggers row in UK
LONDON: A school in Britain that staged a gay version of Romeo and Juliet – called Romeo and Julian – has been accused of “mind-blowing” political correctness. 

The play, which was performed by teenagers at a school in London to coincide with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) History Month, has caused a stir in parliament. Drama teacher Jo Letson reworked Shakespeare’s play to challenge ‘homophobia and homophobic bullying’. 

Calling for a debate on political correctness during questions on upcoming Commons business, Tory MP Philip Davies said, “This is mind-blowing. Anyone with an ounce of sense would want their children to be learning Romeo and Juliet rather than Romeo and Julian.” 

The MP added: “Romeo and Juliet is one of the greatest works ever written. It is a play that every child should study. It is very worrying that this literary masterpiece is being used for such a politically-correct purpose.” 

However, Commons leader Harriet Harman rebuked him, saying, “I seem to remember that in Shakespearean times, boys would play girls and girls would play boys and the whole point was trying work out which was which.”

Muslim parents marry adopted Hindu girl to Hindu groom


Muslim parents marry adopted Hindu girl to Hindu groom
27 Feb 2009


GHAZIABAD: A childless 55-year-old  Muslim furniture shop owner adopted a Hindu Brahmin’s daughter 18 years ago, brought her up as a Hindu, and Gudiya's Muslim parents married off their only 'child' with full Hindu rites on Thursday night, married Gudiya off to a Brahmin business executive from South Delhi. 

In what may sound as a fairy tale, Gudiya’s Muslim parents married off their only ‘child’ with full Hindu rites, in a ceremony as grand as they could afford

And, as they bid a tearful farewell to Gudiya, now called Rakhi, who hung on to the couple as though she would never leave, the neighbors and invitees were amazed at the intensity of the bond between parents and child. 

Gudiya left with her husband, a multi-national corporation executive, Ranjit Sharma, leaving her ‘father’, Shabir Khan, behind. “Who will we now celebrate Holi with? No Eid will be the same without her. She is more our child than a natural one would be,” he said. 

It all started 18 years ago, when Shabir Khan used to live in Vinod Nagar in East Delhi. The couple had no child of their own. And, one Sharma, a neighbor and close friend, had 6 daughters. Sharma agreed that Khan could adopt one of his daughters, which Khan did. 

Then, some years later, Khan moved to Rahul Vihar in Ghaziabad, where his shop in Pratap Vihar was doing well. 

“I thought it was my daughter’s arrival that brought us luck. And, since she joined us, she has been a sort of reason for our existence. “Aaj mujhe lagta hai jaise mere dil ka ek tukra chala gaya  (Today, I feel like a peace of my heart has departed from me.) 

When Khan adopted Gudiya, he had a separate pooja ghar (prayer room) for her, where she could pray to the Hindu deities. The family celebrated Diwali with as much gusto as they did Eid. 

Gudiya completed her 10+2 examination from a Central Board of Secondary Education affiliated school. “We are a little conservative, as is the groom’s family. And, they thought that, to be a housewife, she needed only to have passed school,” the father said. 

From Slumdog millionaire to Slapdog Zero: Child actor beaten by father for refusing to leave shack and face onlookers




From Slumdog Millionaire to Slapdog Zero: Child actor beaten by father for refusing to leave shack and face onlookers
27th February 2009
The brutality of his slum life came back with a vengeance today for Slumdog Millionaire actor Azharuddin Mohammed when he was beaten by his father.

The ten-year-old boy who was tired from yesterday's long-haul flight from Los Angeles and had wanted to be left alone refused his father's request to leave the shack and face curious onlookers.




Just days ago as one of the movie's child stars he'd walked the Oscars red carpet in glamorous clothes but now back in the slums he was being kicked and slapped around the face.
t is a bitter irony that he stars in a film which highlights the brutality endured by many children who live in India's slums.

The ugly scenes lasted no more than 30 seconds despite the child's mother, who is blind in one eye, begging Ismail, 45, to stop the physical punishment.

Yelping as he tried to evade the flailing hands and feet he cowered in the corner of the ramshackle tent, that serves as the family home.

At one point Azharuddin grabbed his face in pain and finally ran off to cry after Ismail, who is infected with TB,  was pulled off by neighbours.

Later on the father apologised for striking his son in front of neighbours and passersby.

'I was very sorry that I did what I did,' he said. 'I was so confused and stressed by my son's homecoming that I did not know myself for a minute. I love my boy and I am very happy to have him home.'
In stark contrast to yesterday's triumphant return to the slums when his father lifted him up and paraded him like a trophy for the expectant crowds, this scene was witnessed by only a few at the slum in which they live.

'Azharruddin's father was upset that he was asking to be left alone because he was tired,' said one shocked onlooker.

'He didn't attend school today so that he could recover from his long flight from LA and simply wanted all the attention to stop.

'However, when Azharuddin put his foot down and said that was it and there was to be no more talking, Ismail just flipped. It was like a scene out of Slumdog Millionaire.'

With the massed media long gone and the euphoria of returning home ebbing away, the reality of life in the slums seems to be hitting the child hard.

Having paraded down the red carpets of Hollywood only six days ago and enjoyed the luxury of five-star hotels, returning to the slums and must come as a something of a shock.

However, the families of Azharuddin and his co-star Rubina Ali, eight, have each been promised a flat each from the city in recognition of the honour they have brought to Mumbai. Details on their location and size are not yet known.

Talking only moments before the father's attack, Azharuddin spoke of his tiredness due to the long flight.

'I do not want to speak today to any reporters,' he said.

His father, aware that his son could be his ticket out of the slums, has insisted his son poses for pictures and gives interviews to the foreign media.

He has also claimed that Slumdog director Danny Boyle and the producers of the eight Oscar-winning film have not done enough for him and his family.

Child abuse indelibly marks and changes genes, affects ability to cope: CANADIAN Study


Child abuse indelibly marks and changes genes, affects ability to cope: Canadian Study

Child abuse can indelibly mark and alter genes in its young victims leaving them less able to cope with stress later in life, according to new Canadian research.

A Montreal team has discovered large numbers of "chemical marks," which inhibit a key mechanism for dealing with stress, in the brains of young men who were physically or sexually abused as children and later committed suicide.

"It's almost as if there is an imprint left," says Michael Meaney at McGill University, who heads the team that has already toppled many long-held views of how early experience impacts behaviour and genes.

Their new study, published Sunday in Nature Neuroscience, is seen as the most convincing evidence yet that childhood abuse permanently modifies genes.

"Here is a mechanism by which significant adverse experience becomes inscribed in our brains," says neuroscientist Dr. Steven Hyman, provost of Harvard University, who reviewed the paper for Nature. Not only has the Montreal group shown abuse can cause specific changes in the brain, but also a change in expression of an important gene, Hyman said in an interview.

Abuse is believed to be prevalent with as many as 10 to 15 per cent of children physically or sexually abused, says Meaney. "It's tragic," he says.

The new findings point to how insidious the impact can be. They also provide clues for better understanding the neurological impacts and devising treatments to reverse the damage, says Meaney.

He has been making plenty of headlines lately. Last week one of his projects to identify Canadian children at risk of serious cognitive and behavioural disorders was held up as an example of the type of research Ottawa is no longer willing to fund. The work is, however, considered so important internationally that Meaney was asked to establish a similar program in Singapore, with almost eight times the $4 million he had received from the Canadian government, which did not renew the project last year.

Meaney and his colleagues have long been intrigued with resiliency, and how genes and environmental factors interact. They specialize in "epigenetics" which explores how the genes we inherit from our parents are altered and turned on and off by exposures and experiences through life.

"Obviously genes aren't everything," says Meaney, noting how identical twins often have very different lives. If one twin develops schizophrenia, he says the chance the other twin developing the disorder is only 45 per cent even though they have identical genes.

He says the new study tries to tease out how one of life's most profound experiences - the quality of parental care and family life - can "literally affect the genome and its operation."

It grew out of the McGill group's research which showed parental care in rats impacts not only behaviour but also the genes of their offspring. Baby rats that were licked more - the rodent equivalent of hugs and good care - grew up to be more assertive and confident than unlicked pups. The researchers showed that neglect altered an important stress regulation gene in the rat brain, a change that lasted into adulthood.

They have now found a similar genetic change in men who were abused. The men had suffered "major instances" of physical and sexual abuse as youngsters and committed suicide in their 30s, says Meaney.

Working with brain tissues from the Quebec Suicide Brain Bank, the researchers looked at the DNA of the 12 men who committed suicide and had been abused in childhood, 12 men who died of suicide and were not abused, and 12 men who died accidentally.

The looked for differences in chemical marks on a gene involved in stress response. Such marks are laid down early in life and are thought to be a sensitive to one's environment. They punctuate DNA and program it to express genes at the appropriate time and place.

The researchers found that the men who had been abused as children had substantially more chemical marks, or flags, along the glucocorticoid receptor gene involved in the brain's stress response. The marks, which are "methyl groups" containing carbon and hydrogen, were three to four times more common on the genes of the abused men. "It's quite significant," says Meaney.

They have also shown excess marks impact the functioning of the gene, reducing the amount of protein produced in the brain's stress response pathway. This would have hampered the men's ability to cope with stress, and could have contributed to their suicides, says Meaney.

Extra genetic marks were not however found in the 12 men who committed suicide but were not abused. Meaney noted that abuse is just one of many factors linked to suicide.

The researchers are now trying to figure if other genes and behaviours are affected by abuse. "Individuals who are abused are also more likely to develop obesity," says Meaney, who wonders if that too may be linked to genes being turned on or off in response to early trauma or abuse.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Sex addiction: Effects on Parenting Style and Children

Sex addiction which is demonstrated in front of Children affects the psyche of the Children. Undue addiction to sex (if within a marriage) makes parents to neglect their responsibilities as parents and family members. 

Sex addicts will shirk their parental responsibilities many times by putting the onus of parenting on third parties, and placing their children in boarding schools. The vicious cycle of Abuse, Negligence and Violence will off-set related problems in the next generation.

Issues of Indecency, Censorship is described in the Book "Not In Front of Children". Sexual behaviour of affectionate couples should be "censored" in front of their parents and children. 

More of indecency and the impact on Children later.............


The Consequences of Sex Addiction

It is clear that addiction to sex and pornography are having a huge negative impact on families and relationships.

Are You Addicted?
If you are wondering if porn or sex have taken over your life, honestly answer the following questions, adapted from the Fires of Darkness Web site:

Do you act out sexually despite serious consequences and repeated attempts at control?
Do you feel unable to stop looking at porn or acting out sexually, despite adverse consequences, with frequent use of denial, rationalization, and minimization to hide both the problem and the underlying shame?
Do you neglect or sacrifice of important social, family, occupational, or recreational activities because of sexual behavior?
Do you have an ongoing desire or effort to limit sexual behavior?
Do you spend an inordinate amount of time obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experience?
Do you find yourself taking risks to satisfy your desire for sex or porn?
Do you feel that you are living a double life?
Have you felt a decrease in your spiritual or religious life?
Do you experience constant violation of your value system and the resultant feelings of shame or failure?
Have you endangered your professional and family life as a result of your desire and acting out?

If you have experienced some of these symptoms, it is time for you to create an action plan for overcoming this addiction.

Pornography and sex addiction have huge negative impacts of families and society. Among the consequences are:

Loss of intimacy in relationships
As the porn or sex addict immerses himself or herself in this material, he or she receives false messages about other people. Contrary to the myths of porn, the lives of healthy people do not revolve around sex. Sex is an important part of life, but it is auxiliary to families, to careers and to spirituality. The sex addict loses his or her perspective about sex as a subset of intimacy.

Tendency to act out
It is clear from the clinical research that extended exposure to pornography tends to lead an addict to act out sexually. What is kept and nurtured in the mind tends to eventually be acted out in life. Acting out can range from more porn to masturbation to introducing sex acts from porn into your marriage relationship to having an affair.

Escalation
As with any addiction, what used to satisfy the user no longer brings him or her the rush they experienced before. The desire for the same rush tends to lead to escalation. An addiction to soft-core leads to hard-core, and hard-core to real life experience in strip clubs or with prostitutes, or with a co-worker or friend. The addiction can also move into harder core porn such as bestiality, sado-masochism and violence.

The Messages Sent
An addiction to porn sends some very hard messages to our spouses. "Wasn't I good enough for you?" is a common feeling among addicts' spouses. "I feel so lonely and betrayed" is a response to the loss of intimacy and the violation of trust. Many spouses feel that sex addiction is as much a violation as an affair would be.

If you or someone you love is addicted to porn or sex, it is a ray of hope to know that there are ways out of the compulsive cycle. But, like breaking any addiction, it is one of the greatest challenges of life.

An action plan to overcome pornography addiction must include actions that both "clean the leaves" (deal with the effects of the addiction on others) and "strengthen the tree" (make the addict stronger so he or she is no longer the victim of temptation).

The following components of an action plan to overcome sex addiction are vital.

Destroy the cache
An addict who hopes to be successful must eliminate porn and sex addiction and their results from their lives. That means deleting and destroying computer files, games, pictures, videos and stories. It means throwing out magazines, videos, DVD's and books. It means getting rid of old emails, chat transcripts, letters, and other communications. It probably means getting rid of Instant Messenger, changing your email address and maybe your phone number. Destroying the cache of pornography is an important early step in the process. And you must be ruthless.

Get it in the open
Like many addictions, the addiction to lust, sex and porn thrives in the dark. Turn the spotlight on. This means confessing to your spouse and to a religious leader if there is one in your life. Move your computer into a room where anyone walking by can see what you're doing and what is on the screen.

Set you own roadblocks
If Internet porn or cybersex is your challenge, get a good filter or an ISP that filters from the server side, and let your spouse set the password. If you are tempted by the neighborhood strip club or adult bookstore, change you routes to work so you don't pass by. Establish some meaningful limits in your behavior.

Find your triggers
Every addict has some feelings, thoughts or experiences that preceded acting out. Identify yours and find ways to minimize them or to react differently to them. For example, if one of your triggers is boredom, commit that when you are feeling bored, you'll get up and walk for ten minutes around the office or the block. If a trigger is rejection, then turn to an affirmation like "I am a person of infinite worth" and repeat if several times out loud.

Be accountable
Perhaps the most important thing is to have an accountability partner-someone to whom you report daily (or more often) about your successes and your failures. Join a 12-step Sexaholics Anonymous group or a similar support group. Or use a close and trusted friend or religious advisor. But have someone to whom you will account and who will check up on you if you don't check in.

Set up a bank
Several therapists recommend that you give your accountability partner a large sum of cash that will be returned to you if you have 100 days without acting out. If not, the cash will be donated to charity. This can be a great motivator.

Eve-teasing and Immoral Policemen in our Homes, Communities and Societies

Eve-teasing and Immoral Policemen in our Homes, Communities and Societies
In many societies, Immoral men turn a blind eye to the Child abuse and Domestic Violence perpetrated on Women in their Homes and Families. And worse, they become Instigators and Accomplices of Such Abuse, Negligence and Violence!

This behaviour extends to Societies when these immoral men become self-styled Immoral Policemen of Social behaviour.

SPEAK UP AGAINST EVIL, AND BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION (NOT THE PROBLEM)!
What makes some immoral/amoral people be mute spectators of Abuse? What makes others react and speak up against evil?

Visit the Blog dedicated to eve-teasing in India
It's header reads thus:

>>You saw it happen
you walked away

You saw it happen
you intervened

you might have seen someone else experience
street sexual harassment/ violence/ or being 'eve teased'
did you support the survivor?
or did you walk away?
what made you react?
what made you indifferent?
<<
PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF BEING A SPECTATOR TO STREET SEXUAL HARASSMENT OR 'EVE TEASING'

2 Major-Generals face corruption charges for acts of commission and omission

What do Armed Forces personnel in Acts of Commission and Omission do after getting Court-martialled and Discharged Dishonourably?

Of course, Continue in the path of deception, abuse, deprivation, negligence and domestic abuse in their Homes and Families. 

It is in the best interests of society that crime and corruption in Armed Forces is dealt with strongly and followed up by punishment in Civil Courts.

2 Major-Generals face corruption charges for acts of commission and omission
27 Feb 2009
NEW DELHI: In yet indicator of the declining standards of probity and discipline in the armed forces, two Major-Generals from the Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) are now in the dock for their alleged acts of commission and omission
Both the Maj-Gens are facing courts of inquiry (CoI), which will establish whether there is enough prima facie evidence to try them through court martial, in separate cases. 

The first, Maj-Gen Anand Swaroop, officiating commandant of College of Materials Management (Jabalpur), is facing charges of irregularities in purchase of items for a unit headed for a UN peace-keeping mission. 
The second, Maj-Gen S P Sinha, ordnance chief at the Western Army Command at Chandimandir, in turn, is accused of irregularities in purchase of general stores for ordnance depot at Choeki. Both officers, on their part, have refuted the charges against them. 
This comes after the case of yet another senior AOC officer, Maj-Gen A K Kapur, who is facing a CBI probe after raids led to the discovery of property worth around Rs 5.3 crore in his or his family's name in late-2007. The CBI, however, is yet to file a chargesheet in the case. 

With the three seniormost AOC officers facing corruption charges, even if they have not been proved so far, the post of director-general of ordnance services at the Army HQ continues to remain vacant. 

Both AOC and Army Service Corps (ASC) have been embroiled in such controversies in recent years, with senior officers jostling for top posts, often levelling accusations against each other. 

The ASC, for instance, witnessed a bout of controversy some time ago with two Lt-Gens, S K Sahni and S K Dahiya, also having to face legal proceedings. The names of Sahni, Dahiya, four Maj-Gens, nine Brigadiers, a Navy Commodore, two Commanders, a Lt-Commander, an IAF Group Captain and a Coast Guard DIG had figured in a list of 21 senior officers facing corruption charges tabled by defence minister A K Antony in Parliament. 

The corruption charges ranged from selling military liquor in civilian markets to financial bungling in purchase of cereals, petrol and the like in the armed forces. 

A Maj-Gen had faced the music for even sexual harassment last year. The court martial against Maj-Gen A K Lal, who was removed as commander of the strategically-located 3 Infantry Division at Leh in September 2007 after a woman officer accused him of "misconduct'' and "misbehaviour'', held that he should be dismissed from service. 

Many of these officers, including Maj-Gen Lal, however, have appealed in high courts against the court martial verdicts against them.

Real-life 3 year old abandoned girl-child, Russian 'Mowgli' girl cared for by dogs

Real-life 3 year old abandoned girl-child, Russian 'Mowgli' girl cared for by dogs
26 Feb 2009
A Russian toddler has been cared for by dogs after being left to fend for herself by her mother.

Madina, now aged three, was reportedy raised by animals like Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli character after her alcoholic mother Anna was incapable of caring for her.

Now taken into care by authorities in Ufa, in central Russia, she is recovering from her unusual upbringing. She was discovered by social workers at her mother's home on all fours and gnawing on bones with dogs.
Police said that her mother had ignored her for most of her life, allowing her to eat on the floor while she ate at the kitchen table.
A social worker alleged: "The child is angelic but she has been deprived of love and care, except from the dogs."
"When her mother was angry she used to run away, but no child played with her in the playground.
"She hardly knew a single word, and fought with everyone.
"So dogs became her best friends. She played with them, and slept with them when it was cold in winter.'
When police took Madina into care, her mother is reported to have said: "I do look after my daughter."

Doctors are reported to have said that the Madina is mentally and physically healthy despite her experiences, although her vocabulary is limited to "yes" and "no".
Madina's father walked out on the family shortly after she was born.

Shotgun wedding: Forced marriage, shotgun wedding, compensation marriage

A Forced marriage is different from an Arranged Marriage. The 'Force' used may be used on the 'man', the woman's family or the man's family. The items used for the force may be 'coercion', threats, sickles, shotguns or threats of violence.
Shotgun weddings, anyone?
Read previous blogpostings:
Forced marriage is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or more of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, in which both parties consent to the assistance of their parents or a third party (such as a matchmaker) in identifying a spouse. The practice of forced marriage was very common amongst the upper classes in Europe until the 1900s, and is still practiced in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Forced marriages now in Western Europe and North America are generally committed within these migrant communities. In most but not all forced marriages, it is the female (rather than the male) who is the involuntary spouse.

Forced marriages are generally made because of family pride, the wishes of the parents, or social obligation.

Western society and the United Nations view forced marriage as a form of human rights abuse, since it violates the principle of the freedom and autonomy of individuals.

A shotgun wedding is a variety of forced marriage that is arranged to avoid embarrassment due to an unplanned pregnancy, rather than out of the desire of the participants. The phrase is an American colloquialism, though it is also used in other parts of the world, based on a supposed scenario (usually hyperbole) that the father of the pregnant daughter, almost by accepted custom, must resort to using coercion (such as threatening with a shotgun) to ensure that the man who impregnated her follows through with the wedding.

The use of duress or violent coercion to marry is no longer common in the U.S., although many anecdotal stories and folk songs record instances of such coercion in 18th- and 19th-century America.
Often a couple will arrange a shotgun wedding without explicit outside encouragement, and some religious teachings consider it a moral imperative to marry in that situation.

One purpose of such a wedding can be to get recourse from the male for the act of impregnation; another reason is to ensure that the child is raised by both parents. In some cases, as in early America and in the Middle East, a major objective was the restoring of social honor to the mother. The practice is also a loophole method of preventing the birth of legally illegitimate children or, if the marriage occurs early enough, to conceal that conception occurred before marriage. In some societies the stigma attached to pregnancy out of wedlock can be enormous, and coercive means (in spite of the legal defense of undue influence) for gaining recourse are often seen as the prospective father-in-law's "right", and an important, albeit unconventional, coming of age event for the young father-to-be.

The phenomenon has become less common as the stigma associated with out-of-wedlock births has declined and the number of such births has increased.
Sometimes a woman who marries while pregnant, regardless of the situation, is simply referred to as a "shotgun bride".

Compensation marriage is the traditional practice of forced marriage of women and girl children in order to resolve tribal feuds in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A shotgun wedding is the matrimonial equivalent of gunboat diplomacy. The father of the baby will do the honorable thing and attend a hastily arranged marriage ceremony. Any questions or concerns may be addressed by Smith and Wesson.

The idea of a forced wedding in order to preserve the honor of a pregnant bride and her family is not a new one, although the image of a shotgun-toting father appears to be uniquely American. The original shotgun wedding phenomenon may have involved actual weaponry, but many historians believe the actual number of marriages performed under such duress were not unusually high.

India Supreme Court to Hear Legal Challenge to Law Banning Later-Term Abortions

India Supreme Court to Hear Legal Challenge to Law Banning Later-Term Abortions
New Delhi, India 

The India Supreme Court will hear a challenge to a 36-year-old national law that bans later-term abortions. The provision prevents the abortions including in cases of protecting the life of the mother. 
A Mumbai doctor, Nikhil Datter, wants to extend the 20-week abortion limit to 26 weeks claiming other nations allow abortions that far into pregnancy. Bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam heard a petition challenging the ruling of the Bombay High Court disallowing the extension of the abortion limit. 
Last year, the high court denied a request from a couple to allow an abortion 24 weeks into pregnancy because of a physicial disability the unborn child had. In his lawsuit, Datter seeks to amend the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971. He contends congenital heart disease can be detected in an unborn child only after the 20th week of pregnancy. 
Abortion is a touchy subject in India because it is used so frequently to kill unborn children who are girls because the of cultural preference for boys. Although the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994 was passed to check misuse of pre-natal screening technology, the study's findings have shown the legislation to be ineffective.

3 booked for forcing 13 year old minor to marry 35 year old married man

3 booked for forcing 13 year old minor to marry 35 year old married man
26 Feb 2009
PUNE: The Airport police have booked three people, including two women, for allegedly forcing a 13-year-old girl to marry a 35-year-old man residing at Khulewadi at Lohegaon. The victim's mother Sangita Valhekar has filed a complaint in this regard with the police. 

According to the police, Valhekar collects materials in Yerawada for a living. For the last two years, her daughter has been staying with her sister-in-law's place. She told the police that last Friday, her daughter was forced to marry 35-year-old Ramesh Shinde, father of two and the son of her sister-in-law, in a temple in Alandi. The incident came to light when Valhekar got to know about her daughter's marriage from a friend. She notified the police about it after which a complaint was lodged. 

Sub-inspector M G Balkotgi of the Airport police said along with Shinde, the police have also booked Janabai Sukhdev Jandane and Mangal Nivgire in this regard. "No one has been arrested so far," Balkotgi said. 

The accused have been booked under Sections 3, 5, 6 and 7 of the Child Marriage Act and under section 366 (A) of Indian Penal Code for kidnapping and abducting, Balkotgi added. 
Also read earlier blog-posts:

Fake caste certificates: 620 Govt employees lose jobs

There are many fraudsters who milk the system dry by their evil schemes; they will be Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes by day to benefit from QUOTAS from Government Jobs and School enrolment; and a HIGHER CASTE by night for Social Status and prestige.

The real poor suppressed people who need to use these benefits are cheated by this Crime of fraud and deceipt.

See my earlier blog-postings:

Fight Caste System: Amartya Sen

Father and Sons mock Caste system Quotas

Fake caste certificates: 620 Govt employees lose jobs
26 Feb 2009
Bangalore : The police have booked cases against 620 persons, mostly government employees, on charges of manipulating caste certificates to get government jobs and other benefits. 

"We received over 1,500 allegations. After investigation, we told the police to file cases against 620 people for securing government jobs by submitting fake caste certificates," home minister V S Acharya said in the legislative council on Wednesday. 

To a question by B K Patil, Acharya replied that those who got appointed through fake caste certificates will be removed from service after proper investigation.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Newborn girl abandoned by parents

Newborn girl abandoned by parents
25 Feb 2009
LUCKNOW: Has Lucknow, which is widely known for its tehzeeb, lost all its sensitivity? One was forced to ask this after seeing a sweet little girl with bright eyes lying in bed number 12 of the paediatrics ward of the Balrampur Hospital on Tuesday. Found abandoned in Dubagga under the Kakori police station in the morning, the two-day old baby is suffering from neonatal septicimia and a thigh fracture, suffered apparently after she was tossed in bushes by her heartless parents who were unwilling to accept her. 

What makes the incident more serious is that the girl is 24th infant to be found abandoned in the city in last one year. Of all infants recovered so far, 19 have been girls. While four of them were disabled, including two visually challenged, one of them died earlier due to a similar infection from which this baby is suffering. The doctors, however, said that though the child was serious but her condition was improving. She was bottle fed and put on IV fluids with antibiotics. The swelling in the thigh is suspected to be a fracture but the X-ray to confirm it will be done once she is out of danger. 

"The baby caught the infection apparently through the umbilical chord because of exposure to filth and unhygienic conditions after being thrown in the bushes. The impact might have also led to fracture. But, she took the milk being fed from the bottle which is a good sign. We hope that she will recover soon," said Dr GK Singh, who is looking after the baby in the hospital. 

Thirty-three per cent of neonatal deaths are attributed to septicemia, which is caused due to bacteria and their toxins in the blood. The umbilicus can facilitate the movement of bacteria into the blood and cause various diseases, including multiple organ failure. 

The baby was spotted by a villager, Noor Jahan. She took the infant to a local police outpost. Later, with the help of childline (1098) volunteers the baby girl was hospitalised. "She is lucky to have survived. We will take her to the child protection home after treatment," said childline volunteer Dharmendra. All those who saw the child couldn't resist themselves from slamming the insensitive parents. "They (parents) could have even left her at a safe place," people said, lamenting the "inhumanity which has crept into the society". 

While doctors and medical staff in the hospital are taking care of the girl, this reporter saw that young childline volunteers - Amit, Naresh and Reshu - were looking after the girl with utmost compassion and care. Surely, there is still some sensitivity left in the city, at least in the youth.

Mother sells newborn for Rs 6000 to pay Govt hospital bill of Rs 2000

Mother sells newborn to pay hospital bill
24 Feb 2009
HYDERABAD: In a heart-rending incident, a young poverty-stricken single mother in Andhra Pradesh sold her newborn son to a childless couple for Rs 6,000 rupees so that she could pay her medical bill in a government hospital. 

"My financial position is really bad," a distraught looking Rajitha (20) who could not afford the Rs 2,000 hospital fee said from her bed at the government area hospital in Kothagudem in Khammam district today. 

She delivered the baby by Caesarean section last week and the infant changed hands within 24 hours. 

Police said they would take action against the hospital which also faces an inquiry whether its doctors took any money as bribe from the woman. 

"Buying and selling a baby is an offence, so we will be booking cases," Kothagudem revenue division officer P Rajaram said. 

According to reports, a rickshaw driver friend gave the single mother Rs 6,000 for the baby, which he planned to bring up with his wife. The couple have no children. 

The incident occurred in the parliamentary constituency of Union minister of state for women and child development Renuka Chowdhury. 

"At least, she is safe and at least the child is not dead and not killed. I think they are the most important things that we need to look at," Chowdhury said.

Man convicted to life imprisonment for raping minor daughter

Man convicted to life imprisonment for raping minor daughter
25 Feb 2009
Ahmedabad : A fasttrack court in the city on Tuesday sentenced a person to life imprisonment for raping his minor daughter twice. Judge Rekha Patel convicted Ramesh Sharma, a resident of Odhav, and punished him with jail term after concluding that he was responsible for the crime. In March last year, Sharma's wife lodged a complaint against him at Odhav police station for raping their minor daughter. 

Sharma's wife approached police after the couple had a scuffle following the little girl's complaint to her mother. Police probed the case thoroughly and filed a detailed chargesheet in the court. 

However, during the trial, both the mother and daughter turned hostile and retracted their statements made before the investigating officer as well as in the FIR. But, the court found enough evidence in the medical reports and the FSL report to hold Sharma responsible for the offence.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Teen fixes widow mother's second marriage

Teen fixes widow mother's second marriage
23 Feb 2009
KOLKATA: Widow remarriage in the 21st century is nothing to talk about. But a 17-year-old girl taking the lead to get her mother married to her uncle, overcoming social stigma, is something unique indeed. 

On Sunday afternoon, Deepa Varma, a widow in her mid-30s, married her brother-in-law Shambhunath at Kalighat in a simple ceremony. Deepa's daughter Shilpa couldn't attend the wedding because of social norms and her ensuing board exams, but was at home to welcome her newly-wed mother. 

Deepa's husband and Shambhu's elder brother, Pradip, died three years ago. Living in a joint household with the remaining four brothers, their wives and children, Deepa might have led a life of austerity. But her daughter had other plans. 

"Ever since my father's death, my uncle (Shambhu) has been looking after us. My father died the year when I was to take Madhyamik. It would not have been possible to give the exams without his (Shambhu's) support," said Shilpa, now preparing for higher secondary exams. 

The family stays at Saha Lane near Ram Mandir. Shambhu (40), who runs a tailoring unit, wasn't married. On the other hand, Shilpa was worried about what would happen to her mother once she got married. 

"Other family members would keep talking about what would happen to me when my daughter left. It would hurt a lot. I couldn't imagine who would support me in my old age. At that point, it was suggested that I marry my brother-in-law. If he hadn't agreed, I would never have remarried," said Deepa. 

Shilpa herself took the initiative and spoke to the rest of the family, making them accept the match. Shambhu, however, said there was no opposition from any quarter. 

The family, though, decided to keep the wedding a low-key affair. Except for the immediate family, no one was invited. The wedding ceremony was held at the temple and the couple returned home for the feast. 

"I am happy for my mother. Kakababu has always been by our side and I'm sure he will remain so in the years to come," Shilpa said.

Kate Winslet hit in Facebook phoneys war: "Facebooking" and Cybercrime

There are many people who defame using Social networking sites. There are envious persons who slander popular personalities on Social networking sites, by using private mails of direct slander (e.g. These persons want to become rich overnight by defaming, etc, etc.). 

Kate Winslet became the latest victim of 'fake' Facebook identity and slander.

Kate Winslet hit in Facebook phoneys war
February 22, 2009
THE final straw was Kate Winslet calling Angelina Jolie, her fellow Oscar nominee, a “fat-lipped crazy cow”. That was when the monitors employed by Facebook, the social networking website, abruptly closed her account.
The real Winslet would have known nothing of the insult. Instead, the British actress had become the latest victim of the trend known as “Fakebooking”. In the past few days, as bookmakers reduced the odds against her taking home the best actress statuette at tonight’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Winslet has received the unwelcome accolade of having the most sites devoted to her by internet pranksters.

False sites in her name have overtaken the number created for Britney Spears, the pop star, Sarah Palin, the colourful Republican former vice-presidential candidate, and President Barack Obama.

On Friday there were still a dozen Facebook sites claiming to have been set up by Winslet, several with nude photographs illegally lifted from her Oscar-nominated film The Reader. But they were mild versions of the dozens of often libellous sites that have been removed since last weekend.
In one, Winslet appeared to be engaged in a war of words with Jolie, calling her a “blood-sucking vampire” – and nastier. A fake Jolie responded: “Now I know why you pretended to forget my name at the Golden Globes, bitch. I’m getting out my favorite [sic] blade and I’ll be waiting for you on the red, red carpet.”

There is no bad blood between the two actresses, although Winslet had trouble recalling that Jolie had also been nominated in her tearful acceptance speech at the Golden Globes awards ceremony last month. Neither actress uses Facebook.
Facing claims that up to 40% of its 70m sites are fake, Facebook has tried to clean itself up by “deauthorising” thousands of entries, in the process managing to excise a handful of genuine celebrity sites, including David Beckham’s Los Angeles Galaxy account.

Lindsay Lohan, the American actress whose account was also closed, was upset. Writing on MySpace, she declared: “Wow! I was in shock. Here I am going onto Facebook to talk to some of my friends, and they’re thinking I’m the fake of myself.”

Facebook says it can be difficult to trace Fakebookers, but warns that penalties for identity theft can be severe. Last year Mathew Firsht, a businessman, won £22,000 compensation after a former friend created a site in his name that made false claims about his sexuality and finances.

On Friday a document leaked on the internet suggested that Winslet will win an Oscar and Slumdog Millionaire, the British film, will get three. Organisers declared this, too, was a fake, while Winslet was said to be amused by her Fakebooking elevation.

11-YEAR-OLD BOY KILLS DAD'S PREGNANT LOVER IN USA, CHARGED AS ADULT FOR HOMICIDE OF MOTHER AND FETUS

The impact of live-in relationships with the offsprings of previous marriages needs more study. 

11-YEAR-OLD BOY KILLS DAD'S PREGNANT LOVER IN USA
February 21, 2009
http://www.nypost.com/seven/02212009/news/nationalnews/cops__11_year_old_pa_boy_kills_dads_preg_156288.htm
An 11-year-old Pennsylvania boy killed his father's pregnant girlfriend with a kiddie shotgun - and then hopped on the bus to school, authorities said today.
Jordan Brown allegedly shot Kenzie Houk, 26, at close range in the back of the head as she lay in her bed in the family home in Wampum, Pa. - a rural area about 45 miles from Pittsburgh - Friday at around 8 a.m.
The fifth-grader then took a school bus to Mohawk Elementary, leaving the victim, who was eight months pregnant, to die, according to New Castle State Police Lt. Steve Ignatz.

Houk's 4-year-old daughter, who was eating breakfast and watching cartoons as the bloodshed unfolded, made the startling discovery about an hour later.

The terrified child ran outside in her pajamas and told tree-trimmers her mom was dead.

Houk's unborn child - a 7-pound, 4-ounce boy - died minutes after his mom from lack of oxygen, said Lawrence County Coroner Russell Noga.

Brown was yanked out of school at 11 a.m. and questioned by Pennsylvania State Police, said Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo.

Initially, the boy told police he'd seen a suspicious black truck on the property, sending investigators on a wild goose chase for several hours.

But the story fell apart when police re-interviewed Houk's 7-year-old daughter, who was also at home at the time of the shooting.

The girl said she "heard a loud bang" and saw Brown with what she thought was a shotgun, according to Bongivengo.

A "youth"-sized 20-guage rifle, a model designed for children that does not need to be registered, was later found in the home, investigators said.

At about 3:30 a.m., Brown was arrested and charged as an adult with two counts of criminal homicide, officials said.

The horrific shooting baffled family members, who told The Post today that Houk lived happily with Jordan and his dad, Chris Brown.
"Kenzie loved [Jordan]," said Alaina Kraner, Kenzie's sister-in-law. "She was a part of the family. We've all gone camping together and he wasn't a bad kid or anything.

"Kenzie never had problems with Jordan. Everybody got along with Kenzie, especially kids."

But another relative, Asia Kraner, said of Jordan, "Obviously he has some issues, some problems."

The suspect's attorney, Dennis Elisco, said there was no indication that Brown had prior problems with Houk.

"I believe Jordan did not do this and I'm looking forward to seeing the physical evidence to see if it matches with what I think happened," Elisco said last night.

Brown's father was mum today, but Elisco said the man was "a mess. He's in a state of actual shock and disbelief. This is a tragic, extremely tragic situation."

Fight caste system: Amartya Sen

Fight caste system: Amartya Sen
22 Feb 2009
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Fight-caste-system-Amartya/articleshow/4166819.cms

PATNA: "Bihar is not only for Biharis; it is for the world," said Nobel laureate Amartya Sen while delivering a lecture on `Bihar: Past, present and future' here on Saturday.

Sen, however, lamented Bihar is often seen as a backward state. Ironically, it is backward in those areas in which it was once a pioneer -- like literacy, medical care, infrastructure and socio-economic equality. "Now it is known for higher level of illiteracy, lack of medical care, sharp economic and social inequality, low development of infrastructure and high incidence of social disorder," he said.

"Why can't we overcome the disadvantages and build a glorious future? We should learn a lesson from the achievements of Bihar and seek inspiration from the past. It will help us address and conquer the persistent disadvantages," Sen said.

The past of this exceptional region of India offers both inspiration and guidance, he said amid applause from the audience which consisted of, among others, chief minister Nitish Kumar, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and a host of bureaucrats and intellectuals.

Sen at the lecture played more a historian than an economist. "The unity of India was first established under Mauryan empire," he said and added the only higher educational institution was established in Nalanda. He also threw light on the development of education during and after Buddha period and the pioneering work by Aryabhatta, the mathematician from Kerala who moved to Patna. During Buddha period the basic focus was on elementary education and Lord Buddha preferred colloquial Pali language to Sanskrit.

He said the caste system just destabilises the society and nothing will be more pertinent than to fight and conquer the caste system. "Many of the later rebellions against traditional hierarchy in India have also originated in Bihar," he added.
Anjan Mukherjee of JNU chaired the function jointly organized by the government of Bihar, ADRI and Sen's NGO Pratichi. Earlier, Shaibal Gupta of ADRI said the lecture will become a policy guideline for Bihar. He also said Pratichi, currently working in West Bengal and Jharkhand, is likely to add Bihar on its agenda.

Voices and views from the margin of society

Voices and views from the margin of society
22 Feb 2009
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Pune/Voices-and-views-from-the-margin/articleshow/4167483.cms
PUNE: Today, when globalisation seems to have taken over every form of art and culture everywhere in the world, there's still one form of writing that thrives on being different, driving home the idea that every country, and every local community within that country, has different cultures and different histories. These marginalised cultures which flourishes away from the mainstream, were called subaltern' by Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci.

Starting February 25, writings from the subalterns will be the focus of attention at a two-day national seminar on Indian Writing in English (IWE) and in English Translation organised by the Department of English, University of Pune (UoP).

"By focusing on subaltern expressions in Indian writing in English, the seminar not only makes a case for subaltern literature and its rise in the second half of the 20th century, but also emphasises how this enables turning away from white western supremacy in literature towards embracing the new subaltern voices that have recently emerged," says professor B S Korde, head of the department of English UoP.

Usually, mainstream literature has a pre-existing, pre-compiled traditional literary history in the form of major written and oral traditions from ancient times, and latter-day writers, artists, and critics depend on these forms.

"However, if you talk about tribal literature, folk literature, Dalit literature or Dalit women literature, which form the major part of subaltern literature, these literatures need to create their own philosophical base. Nothing is given' to these literatures," says professor G Manoja from Andhra Pradesh, one of the participants of the seminar.

Thus, subaltern literature, unlike Marxist literature, does not talk about the class struggle between the rich and the poor, but the struggle between castes, seen from the point of view of the lower caste, the have-nots, the minority, the marginal, the subaltern. "The entire ideology of subaltern literature revolves around this," says Rahul Pungaliya, lecturer of English at the Abasaheb Garware College. Initially, subaltern literature concentrated on the study of peasant and tribal insurgency in South Asia. "Their main argument was that colonial, nationalist and Marxist historiography of this region had ignored the importance of such insurgencies," Pungaliya adds.

In recent times, during discussions about Indian society and history, the idea of subaltern has been represented in a more modern form. But, whether subaltern literature should be created by those belonging to the oppressed backward communities or whether it should be about them, is the question that needs to be addressed first.

Says Pungaliya, "Authentic subaltern literature will be written by those who have suffered the marginalisation. It can be studied by all but created only by the subaltern class itself." He substantiated the argument by citing a few examples from Indian Writing in English. "If you look at Mulk Raj Anand's novel Coolie' or Raja Rao's writings, it is about the suffering of the Dalit and the downtrodden, penned by the upper caste writer. That's why it lacks perspicacity and authenticity. There is a charitable attitude towards the suffering of the oppressed class, instead of pain and anger, which you find in regional Dalit literature."

"Like the pulsating, robust and yet angst-driven African-American literature in the US, Dalit writing is characterised by a new level of subaltern pride, militancy, creativity and above all, the use of the pen as a weapon," says Arpita Mukhopadhyay, a participant from Kolkata. On her paper in the seminar, Mukhopadhyay is going to stress on social exclusion as reflected in Dalit woman writing.

This Dalit literature, which looks at history and current events from a Dalit point of view, has come to occupy a niche in the body of Indian literary expression, says Anil Adagale, a lecturer of English at the Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce.

Similarly, tribal literature has also chipped in to lend a new subaltern perspective to literature. Explaining its contribution in subaltern literature, Pungaliya says, "If we consider poetry of adivasi poet Waharu Sonawane or the prose of adivasi novelist Anjubai Gavit, they have used for the first time tribal languages creating alternative to the standard Marathi. Even though their work is yet to be translated into English, they still prove to be radically new voice in literature."

However, despite all this progress in subaltern literature, it still continues to face challenges from different quarters.

For R Raj Rao, professor at the department of English, UoP, this form of literature does not often find space in the academic syllabus. "While we at the university are making an effort to bring about an awareness and promote it, I do not see this happening as much across the country. Academically, the challenge is to compete for space in the syllabus with English literature. I think the challenge is to create awareness. Organising seminars and workshops will definitely help. I also feel there is resistance among the faculties in the English departments too. Professors do not want to teach what is new mainly because they do not have the material or whatever reason it might be."

Korde added, "Writers in subaltern literature of any form are often criticised. A lot of writers have been discouraged for such writing in the past. But I believe, criticism should be taken in the right spirit and in no way should it oppress the writer and their thoughts. Writers should only take encouragement from the criticism and with a tough mind, should move on."

Kanyadhan (Gift of the virgin bride): A Dowry system which involves the dowry involving a Virgin bride who pays for entire wedding. ANTI-DOWRY LAWS.

Kanyadhan: The bride is sitting on her father's lap Bride's mother is pouring the gangajal

Sources: 


Kanyadhan:Giving away the bride (MARRY HER OFF!)

Amidst the chanting of 'mantras' (Vedic chants), the 'pujari' ignites the sacred fire. The groom is gifted a 'muhurtha veshti' (a 4 metre long silk dhoti) and a 'pattu' (a 2 metre long silk fabric to be used as a stole). The bride is seated on her father's lap for the 'kanyadhan'. 
The bride and groom together hold a coconut dipped in turmeric, while the bride's mother pours water onto the coconut. This is the actual ritual of 'kanyadhan'.
-------------------------
In many families, Kanyadhan has got twisted whereby the BRIDE (and her family) is forced to spend the entire spendings of the wedding.

The misuse of Kanyadhan was the element which inspired the Government of India to make the Anti-Dowry Laws in India.

Giving or receiving Dowry in India is illegal. Please report any Dowry transactions to the website links below.
------------------------
The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

Written by Govt. of India   
Saturday, 20 May 1961 00:00
(Act no. 28 of 1961)

Preamble
(28 OF 1961)
(20th May, 1961)
An Act to prohibit the giving or taking of dowry

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twelfth Year of the Republic of India as follows:-

INTRODUCTION

The ancient marriage rites in the Vedic period are associated with Kanyadan. It is laid down in Dharamshastara that the meritorious act of Kanyadan is not complete till the bridegroom was given a dakshina. So when a bride is given over to the bridegroom, he has to be given something in cash or kind which constitute varadakshina. Thus Kanyadan became associated with varadakshina i.e. the cash or gifts in kind by the parents or guardian of the bride to the bridegroom. The varadakshina was offered out of affection and did not constitute any kind of compulsion or consideration for the marriage. It was a voluntary practice without any coercive overtones. 
In the course of time, the voluntary element in dowry has disappeared and the coercive element has crept in. it has taken deep roots not only in the marriage ceremony but also post-marital relationship. What was originally intended to be a taken dakshina for the bridegroom has now gone out of proportions and has assumed the nomenclature 'dowry'. The social reformers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have striven hard for the abolition of various social evils including the evil of dowry system. 
Long before India gained independence, the then provincial Government of Sind passed an enactment known as "Sind Deti Leti Act, 1939" with a view to deal effectively with the evils of dowry system but the enactment had neither any impact nor could create the desired effect. During the last few decades the evils of dowry system has taken an acute form in almost all parts of the country and in almost all the sections of society. In a bid to eradicate this evil from the society, the State Governments of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh enacted "The Bihar Dowry Restraint Act, 1950" and "The Andhra Pradesh Dowry Prohibition Act, 1958" for the respective States, but both these enactments failed to achieve the objectives for which they were enacted.
The evil of dowry system was assuming enormous proportions and the minds of right thinking persons both outside and inside the State Legislatures and the Parliament were shattered. The matter was raised in the Parliament in very first session of the Lok Sabha. Many proposals for restraining dowry were placed in the Parliament in the form of Private Members Bills. During the course of discussions on a non-official Bill in the Lok Sabha in 1953, the then Minister of Law gave an assurance to the House that a bill on the subject would be prepared in consultation with the State Governments. In pursuance of the assurance, a Bill was subsequently submitted for consideration of the Cabinet. The Cabinet then decided that the proposal might be held in abeyance till the enactment of the Hindu Succession Act. After the enactment of the Hindu Succession Act in 1956, the Government felt that a separate legislation to prohibit dowry was not a matter of urgency. As the problem continued to increase the issue was against and again agitated in the Parliament as well as in State Legislatures. On account of pressure both at political and social levels, the Government finally decided to process the legislation. On 24th April, 1959 the dowry Prohibition Bill, 1959 was introduced in the Lok Sabha. After some discussion, the Bill was referred to a Joint Committee of both the Houses of Parliament. The Joint Committee presented its report with some amendments in the Bill. Both the Houses of Parliament did not agree with the amendments as reported by the Joint Committee and ultimately the Bill was considered at the Joint Sittings of both the Houses of Parliament held on 6th and 9th May,1961. 

ACT 28 OF 1961 
The Dowry Prohibition Bill was passed in the Joint Sittings of both the Houses of Parliament and it became an Act - The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961) and it received the assent of the President on 20th May, 1961.

LIST OF AMENDING ACTS
1. The Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1984.
2. The Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1986.

1. Short tile, extent and commencement - (1) This Act may be called the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) It shall come into force on such date (Note: It came into force on 1st July, 1961) as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.

2. Definition of ‘dowry’.- In this Act, "dowry" means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly
(a) By one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage, or
(b) By the parent of either party to a marriage or by any other person, , to either party to the marriage or to any other person,
At or before [(Note: Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec.2) or any time after the marriage] [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.2) in connection with the marriage of the said parties, but does not include] dower or mahr in the case or persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applied.
(Note: Explanation I omitted by act 63 of 1984, sec.2).
Explanation II- The expression "valuable security" has the same meaning as in section 30 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

COMMENTS

(i) "Dowry" in the sense of the expression contemplated by Dowry Prohibition Act in a demand for property of valuable security having an inextricable nexus with the marriage i.e. it is a consideration from the side of the bride's parents or relatives to the groom or his parents and/or guardian for the agreement to wed the bride-to-be. But where the demand for property or valuable security has no connection with the consideration for the marriage; it will not amount to a demand for dowry. The demand for valuable presents made by the appellants on the occasions of festivals like Deepavali is not connected with the wedding or marriage and these demands will not constitute dowry as defined in section 2 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; Arjun Dhondiba Kamble v. State of Maharashtra, 1995 AIHC 273. 
(ii) Any property given by parents of the bride need to be in consideration of the marriage, it can even be in connection with the marriage and would constitute dowry; Rajeev v. Ram Kishan Jaiswal, 1994 Cri L.J. NOC 255 (All).
(iii) The definition of dowry is wide to include all sorts of properties, valuable securities etc. given or agreed to be given directly or indirectly. Therefore the amount of Rs.20,000/- and 1.5 acres of land agreed to be given at the time of marriage is dowry, even though the said land was agreed to be transferred in the name of the deceased as 'pasupukumkuma' by executing a deed; Vemuri Venkateswara Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1992 Cri L.J. 563 AP HC.
(iv) There had been no agreement between either parties to give any property or valuable security to the other party at or before or after the marriage. The demand of T.V., refrigerator, gas connection, cash of Rs. 50,000/- and 15 tolas of gold are not demand of dowry but demand of valuable security in view of section 2; Shankar Prasad Shaw v. State, I (1992) DMC 30 Cal.
(v) While dowry signifies presents given in connection with marriage to the bridal couple as well as others, stridhan is confined to property given to or meant for the bride; Hakam Singh v. State of Punjab, (1990) I DMC 343.
(vi) Dowry, means, any property given or agreed to be given by the parents of a part to the marriage at the time of the marriage or before marriage or at any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage. So, where the husband had demanded a sum of Rs. 50,000/- some days after the marriage from his father-in-law and on not being given became angry, tortured the wife and threatened to go for another marriage, it was held that the amount was being demanded in connection with the marriage and it was a demand for dowry though it was demand after the marriage; Y.K. Bansal v. Anju, All L.J. 914. 
(vii) The furnishing of a list of ornaments and other household articles such as refrigerator, furniture, electrical appliances etc. at the time of the settlement of the marriage amounts to demand of dowry within the meaning of section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act,1961; Madhu Sudan Malhotra v.K.C. Bhandari; 1988 BLJR 360 (SC).
(viii) A sum of money paid by a Mohemdan in connection with his daughter's marriage toprospective bridegroom for the purchase of a piece of land in the joint name of his daughter and would-be son-in-law in not 'dowry' within the meaning of the Act; Kunju Moideen v. Syed Mohamed, AIR 1986 Ker 48. 
(ix) Where the demand was made after the marriage  for the purchase of a car, it was held that it did not fall within the definition; Nirdosh Kumar v. Padma Rani, 1984 (2) Rec. Cr. R. 239.
(x) Where the demand was made at the time when marriage ceremony was in progress and was repeated after the marriage, it was held that it fell within the definition of dowry; L.V. Jadhav v. Shankar Rao, (1983) 2 Crimes 470.
(xi) Traditional presents and other articles given at the time of the marriage are the individual property of the Hindu wife. She is the absolute owner of the property and can own it in her own right, Vinod Kumar v. State of Punjab, AIR 1982 P &H 372: 1982 HLR 327: 1982 PLR 337.

3. Penalty for giving or taking dowry.- [(Note: Section 3 re-numbered as sub-section (1) thereof by Act No.63 of 1984, sec.3) (1)] If any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than [(Note: Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, Sec.3) five years, and with fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more:] Provided that the Court may, for a adequate and special reasons to be recorded in he judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of a term of less than [(Note: Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, Sec.3) five years.]
(2) [(Note: Ins. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.3) Nothing is sub section (1) shall apply to, or in relation to, - 
(a) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without any demand having been made in that behalf).
(b) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bridegroom (without any demand having been made in that behalf).
Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with the rules made under this Act.
Provided further that where such presents are made by or on behalf of the bride or any person related to the bride, such presents are of a customary nature and the value thereof is not excessive having regard to the financial status of the person by whom, or on whose behalf, such presents are given.

COMMENTS

(i) Section 3 does not contravene articles 14, 19, 21 and 22 of the Constitution and therefore this section is not ultra vires of the said articles; Indrawati v. Union of India, I (1991) DMC 117 (All).
(ii) The offence is founded in the relationship of the property demanded as abettor with the nature of demand. It should not bear a mere connection with marriage; Madan Lal v. Amar Nath, (1984) 2 Rec Cr. 581.
(iii) Abetment is a preparatory act and connotes active complicity on the part of the abettor at a point of time prior to the actual commission of the offence; Muthummal v.Maruthal, 1981 Cr. LJ 833 (Mad).

4.  Penalty for demanding dowry.- If any person demands, directly or indirectly, from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees. Provided that the Court may, for a adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.]

COMMENTS
(i) Demand of dowry under section 4 is not a continuing offence but every demand of dowry whenever repeated constitutes another offence and the date of commission of offence under section 4 would be when the demand was made initially and also when the said demand was repeated afresh. The offence of demanding dowry stood committed even before the marriage was performed and also when the demand was repeated again and again after the performance of marriage in respect of the same items of dowry; Harbans Singh v. Smt. Gurcharan Kaur alias Sharan Kaur, 1993 Rec. Cr. R 404 (del). 
(ii) The deceased had before being set on fire by her in-laws had written a letter to her father that she was being ill-treated, harassed and threatened of dire consequences for non-satisfaction of demand of dowry. Thereby proving that an offence of demanding dowry under section 4 had been committed; Bhoora Singh v. State, 1993 Cri LJ. 2636 All. 
(iii) There had been not agreement between either parties to the marriage nor their relations to give any property or valuable security to the other party at or before or after the marriage. Held that the demand of TV, refrigerator, gas connection, cash of Rs.50,000/- and 15 tolas of gold will not amount to demand of dowry but demand of valuable security and the said offence does not attract section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act; Shankar Prasad Shaw v. State, I (1992) DMC 30 Cal.
(iv) Furnishing of a list of ornaments and other household articles at the time of settlement of marriage amounts to demand of dowry and accused are liable to be convicted under section 4; Raksha Devi v. Aruna Devi, I (1991) DMC 46 (P&H). 
(v) Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act is not ultra vires nor does it contravene any articles 14, 19, 21, 22 of the Constitution; Indrawati v. Union of India, 1 (1991) DMC 117 All.

4A. Ban on advertisement .- If any person -
(a) Offers through any advertisement in any newspaper, periodical, journal or through any other media, any share in his property or of any money or both as a share in any business or other interest as consideration fore the marriage of his son or daughter or any other relatives.
(b) Prints or published or circulates any advertisement referred to in clause (a), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extend to five years, or with fine which may extend to fifteen thousand rupees.
Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.

5. Agreement for giving or taking dowry to be void - Any agreement for the giving or taking of dowry shall be void.

6. Dowry to be for the benefit of the wife or her heirs – 
(1) Where any dowry is received by any person other than the woman in connection with whose marriage it is given, that person shall transfer it to the woman-
(a) If the dowry was received before marriage, within [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.5 for "one year") three months] after the date of marriage, or
(b) If the dowry was received at the time of or after marriage, within [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.5 for "one year") three months] after the date of its receipt, or
(c) If the dowry was received when the woman was a minor, within [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.5 for "one year") three months] after she has attained the age of eighteen years. And pending such transfer, shall hold it in trust for the benefit of the woman.

(2) [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.5) If any person fails to transfer any property as required by sub section (1) within the time limit specified therefore, [(Note: Ins. by Act 43 of 1986, sec.5) or as required by sub section (3)] he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extended to two years or with fine [(Note: Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec.5) which shall not be less than five thousand rupees, but which may extend to ten thousand rupees] or with both. 

(3) Where the woman entitled to any property under sub section (1) dies before receiving it, the heirs of the woman shall be entitled to claim it from the person holding it for the time being.
[(Note: Ins. by Act 43 of 1986, sec.5) Provided that where such woman dies within seven years of her marriage, otherwise than due to natural causes, such property shall,-
(a) If she has no children, be transferred to her parents, or 
(b) If she has children, be transferred to such children and pending such transfer, be held intrust for such children.

(3A) [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.5) Where a person convicted under sub section (2) for failure to transfer any property as required by sub section (1) [(Note: Ins. by Act 43 of 1986, sec.5) or such section (3)] has not, before his conviction under that sub section, transferred such property to the woman entitled thereto or, as the case may be [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.5 for "one year") her heirs, parents or children] the court shall, in addition to awarding punishment under that sub section, direct , by order in writing that such person shall transfer the property to such woman or, as the case may be, [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.5 for "one year") her heirs, parents or children] within such period as may be specified in the order, and if such person fails to comply with the direction within the period so specified, an amount equal to the value of the property may be recovered from him as if it were a fine imposed by such court and paid to such woman or, as the case may be, [(Note: Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.5 for "one year") her heirs, parents or children.] 

(4) Nothing contained in this section shall effect the provisions of section 3 or section 4.

COMMENTS

(i) Since the woman had died issueless, the articles constituting dowry are to be returned to her parents and not to her husband; Rajeev v. Ram Kishan Jaiswal, 1994 Cri. LJ NOC 255 (All).
(ii) The wife had died within less than three months of her marriage, therefore not leaving behind any issue and the contention of the husband that be was the heir of the dowry articles was negatived and dowry articles were transferred to the parents of the wife; Prithichan v. Des Raj Bansal, II (1990) DMC 368 P & H; See also Manas Kumar Dutt v. Alok Dutta, II (1990) DMC 115 (Ori).
(iii) Dowry items are required to be transferred to the parents and not to husband of the deceased; Pradeep Kumar v. State of Punjab, 1990 (1) CC Cases 594. 

7. Cognizance of offences – 
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),-
(a) No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence under this Act.
(b) No court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act except upon-
(i) Its own knowledge or a police report of the facts which constitute such offence, or
(ii) A complaint by the person aggrieved by the offence or a parent or other relative of such person, or by nay recognized welfare institution or organisation.
(c) It shall be lawful for a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class to pass any sentence authorised by this Act on any person convicted of an offence under this Act.

Explanation - For the purpose of this sub section, "recognized welfare institution or organisation" means a social welfare institution or organisation recognized in this behalf by the Central or State Government.

(2) Nothing in Chapter XXXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) shall apply to any offence punishable under this Act.

(3) [(Note: Ins. by Act 43 of 1986, sec.6) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, a statement made by the person aggrieved by the offence shall not subject such person to a prosecution under this Act.]

COMMENTS

(i) The point of time at which the legality of cognizance is to be judged is the time when cognizance is actually taken; M.L. Sethi v. R.P. Kapur, AIR 1967 SC 528.
(ii) The expression 'to take cognizance' has not been defined in this Act nor in the Criminal Procedure Code. The word 'Cognizance' is however, used in the Code to indicate the point when the Magistrate takes judicial notice of an offence. It is a word of indefinite import and is perhaps not always used in exactly the same sense; Darshan Singh v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1971 SC 2372.
(iii) Taking cognizance is a judicial action taken with a view eventually to prosecution and preliminary to the commencement of the inquiry or trail; Food Inspector v. Laxmi Narayan, 1969 Cut LT 863.
(iv) If a Magistrate has no jurisdiction to try an offence, he is not barred from taking cognizance of the offence; Jaddu v. State, AIR 1952 All 873. 8. Offence to be cognizable for certain purpose and to be non bailable and non-compoundable- 

(1) The Code of Criminal Procedure,1973 (2 of 1974) shall apply to offences under this Act as if they were cognizable offences-
(a) for the purpose of investigation of such offences, and
(b) for the purpose of matter other than -
(i) matters referred to in section 42 of that Code, and
(ii) the arrest of a person without a warrant or without an order of a Magistrate.

(2) Every offence under this Act shall be [(Note: Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec.7) non-bailable] and non-compoundable.]

COMMENTS

The original section provided that the offences under the Act be non-cognizable, bailable and non-compoundable. The Amendment Act, 1984 made the offences cognizable and the provisions of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 is made applicable subject to the exceptions spelt out under the section. Further by the Amendment Act, 1986, the offences under the Act are made non-bailable also.

8A. Burden of proof in certain cases - 
(1) Where any person is prosecuted for taking or betting the taking of any dowry under Section 3, or the demanding of dowry under section 4, the burden of providing that he had not committed an offence under these section shall be on him.

8B. Dowry Prohibition Officers - 
(1) The State Government may appoint as many Dowry Prohibition Officers as it thinks fit and specify the areas in respect of which they shall exercise their jurisdiction and powers under this Act.

(2) Every Dowry Prohibition Officer shall exercise and perform the following powers and functions, namely:-
(a) To see that the provisions of this Act are complied with,
(b) To prevent, as far as possible, the taking or abetting the taking of, or the demanding of, dowry,
(c) To collect such evidences as may be necessary for the prosecution of persons committing offences under the Act, and
(d) To perform such additional functions as may be assigned to him by the State Government, or as may be specified in the rule made under this Act.

(3) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, confer such powers of a police officer as may be specified in the notification on the Dowry Prohibition Officer who shall exercise such powers subject to such limitations and conditions as may be specified by rules made under this Act.

(4) The State Government may, for the purpose of advising and assisting Dowry Prohibition Officers in the efficient performance of their functions under this Act, appoint an Advisory Board consisting of not more than five social welfare workers (out of whom at least two shall be women) form the area in respect of which such Dowry Prohibition Officer exercise jurisdiction under sub section (1).

9. Power to make rules -
(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purpose of this Act.

(2) [(Note: Ins. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.8) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for -
(a) The form and manner in which, and the person by whom, any list of presents referred to in such section (2) of section 3 shall be maintained and all other matters connected therewith, and
(b) The better co-ordination of policy and action with respect to the administration of this Act.
[(Note: Sub-section (2) renumbered as sub-section 3 thereof by Act 63 of 1984, sec.8) (3)]
Every rule made under this section shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made before each House of Parliament while it is in session for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two successive sessions, and if before the expiry of the session in which it is so laid or the session immediately following both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be, so however that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule. 10. 

Power of State Government to make rules - 

(1) The State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely :-
(a) The additional functions to be performed by the Dowry Prohibition Officers under sub section (2) of Section 8B.
(b) Limitations and conditions subject to which a Dowry Prohibition Officer may exercise his functions under sub section (3) of section 8B.
(3) Every rule made by the State Government under this section shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made before the State Legislature.

References: