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Thursday, 11 February 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Announcing filing of cases for giving dowry, on wives and in-laws, by husbands.

PRESS RELEASE: Announcing filing of cases for giving dowry, on wives and in-laws, by husbands.
This press release is being issued by Shri Mithun Kumar, Shri. Tarun Kumar Dass and Shri Arun Dash for announcing a new social trend they have started. For the first time in the state of Odisha, cases of “Dowry Giving” have been filed by husbands against their wives and in-laws. We are sincerely thankful to our advocate Mr. Siddhartha Kumar Das, for extending all the legal help and making a choice to stand by us in the hour of crisis.

Brief Background of each case:

Mithun Kumar: Married to Sasmita Das from Jatni, Khurda Road as an inter-caste arranged marriage registered under the Special Marriage Act on 17th Feb 2007, in Bhubaneswar. Husband and Wife lived together for around 6 months along with Mithun’s parents in Bangalore. But soon after the marriage, Sasmita started to force Mithun, the only son of his parents, to separate from them, and leave them on their own. But as the old and ailing parents are completely dependent on him, he denied separating from them. Seeing that her tricks of taking control were not working Sasmita left her husband’s house and came back to her father’s house in August’07 and then filed a false case at Mahila Police Station, Bhubaneswar u/s 498a IPC and 4 of DP Act in Oct’07, for which the Mahila Police arrested Mithun and his parents from Bangalore in Nov’07. Due to the ongoing Advocates Strike in Bhubaneswar at that time, he and his parents had to face a very tough and traumatising time to secure a Bail from the Honb’le SDJM Court, Bhubaneswar.
The fact that he and his parents were falsely implicated and were being persecuted despite being innocent, notwithstanding, he started to increase his knowledge of the related laws and legal Acts. Therein, he came to know that as per Section 3 Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Dowry Giving is as much a criminal offence as Dowry Taking. Thus he has filed the case before the Honb’le SDJM, Bhubaneswar on 16th December 2009.
Tarun Kumar Dass: He was married to Kabita Mohapatra as per Hindu Rituals on 18-01-2000, in Berhampur. After marriage Tarun found that his wife never menstruated since adolescence. On Medical examination after a few years, it was revealed that Kabita was born without ovaries. On confronting about this, Tarun was shocked to learn that her parents were aware of this fact very well and concealed it to get her married to an unsuspecting Tarun. After this confrontation, she left her in laws residence to stay with her father after picking up quarrel with her husband and in laws. She also stole valuables, foreign currency and important documents from her in-laws house. When Tarun filed a case of a divorce on the above grounds of cheating and harassment, Kabita retaliated with a false dowry case against Tarun and his entire family on 04-09-2008, for which the Mahila police arrested and illegally detained Tarun and his old ailing mother in the police station whole day and night before forwarding them to the Honb’le SDJM Court with a frivolous memo. The court in turn sent them to jail for 14 days without verifying any facts. After getting Bail from the fast-track Court, Tarun also gained knowledge about the laws that made him suffer like this without any fault of him or his family. In this course, he learnt the fact that giving dowry is as much a crime as per the DP Act, as asking or taking. Thus he has filed the case before the Honb’le SDJM, Bhubaneswar on 26th December 2009.
Arun Dash: His was also an arranged marriage with Monalisa Mishra as per Hindu rites and customs which took place on 30-Nov-2007. After a few days of their marriage, as the husband and wife were living together in Mumbai, Monalisa started insisting that Arun should leave his job and both of them should come and live with her parents in Bhubaneswar, cutting relations with all his family members including his parents. As he resisted from becoming a “Ghar Jamai” at her parents’ house, she started threatening to file false atrocity case. As Arun did not heed to her unjustified and arrogant demands, she left him and started living alone in Kolkata. She then filed a false case u/s 498a and other sections of IPC against Arun and his family at the Mahila Police Station, Bhubaneswar in July’09. When Arun and his aged parents came to know about the registration of false FIR, they went into a shock. Arun filed for an anticipatory bail petition in the Orissa HC. By the time it got disposed off, he had incurred heavy loans to pay off the legal expenses, and was in hiding, lest the police would arrest him irrespective of the fact that he has committed no crimes whatsoever. After more than seven months of physical, financial and social ordeals and severe mental agony he finally surrendered before the Honb’le SDJM, Bhubaneswar recently and was enlarged on bail by the Honb’le Sessions Court, Khurda at Bhubaneswar on the same day. Having undergone all this trauma and stress, Arun too started reading about the laws that he got falsely implicated in, and got to know of the provision of section 3 of the DP Act, wherein Giving Dowry is a punishable offence. Thus he has filed the case before the Honb’le SDJM, Bhubaneswar on 28th December 2009.
Legal Aspects:

The cases that we have filed focus on the “Confessional Admissions” of our wives in the complaints lodged against us under section 498A of the India Penal Code. All the complaints invariably mention that our respective wives and their parents have given dowry to us. From basic common sense it is evident that for any entity to be taken by someone, it has to be given by someone, i.e. “Giving” precedes “Taking”. In the event that both “Dowry Giving” and “Dowry Taking” are equal crimes as per law, the police should have first initiated action against our wives and in-laws for their confession of the crime.

Our wives and in-laws have walked into the police stations carrying their confessions of “Dowry Giving” in form of complaints of dowry harassment against us and our parents. And the police, instead of taking cognizance of their admission of a crime and apprehending them, arrested us and our old parents on uninvestigated allegations fuelled by stereotypic assumptions.

We were forced to undergo torture and harassment at the hands of the police and our old, sick and dependent parents were traumatized whereas the real criminals were allowed to misuse the available legal provisions and unleash “Legal Terrorism” on us. The Honorable Supreme Court, in its landmark judgment of Sushil Kumar Sharma vs. The Union of India has termed the misuse of Section 498A as “Legal Terrorism” and the police by admitting false cases under section 498A of the IPC against us has allowed “Legal Terrorism” to be unleashed on us.

Even the Honorable High Court of Delhi, in its landmark judgment of Neera Singh vs. NCT of Delhi has opined that cases of dowry giving should be initiated against “Dowry Givers”. Nowadays a lot of frivolous and exaggerated claims of dowry being given are made by girls and their parents and these complaints form the basis of false dowry cases against innocent men and their families. In order to check the growing and ongoing misuse of dowry laws it is imperative that suitable legal action be initiated against those people who admit to giving dowry or make false/exaggerated claims of dowry being given by them.

Taking note of the above observations and the fact that the current law also provides for suitable legal action to be taken against dowry givers, we have initiated these complaints along with legal assistance from our counsel Mr. Siddhartha Das. We first approached the police, however, the police did not co-operate with us at all. Rather they put a lot of difficulties in our path by rejecting our complaints and by not replying to applications filed under the Right to Information Act, 2005 for seeking information related to our cases.

The apathy and lackadaisical attitude of the police led us to knock the doors of courts. The Honorable judge, after hearing our arguments, legal standing and the facts of the case, took cognizance of the matter and ordered the police to investigate and submit the report.

However, the Mahila Police, instead of following the court order, rejected back the applications citing “No Jurisdiction”. The question we are asking the civil society by way of this press release is, “Is the Mahila Police above the law and order?” “Is the Mahila Police above the courts to overrule cognizance taken by the courts?”

Social Aspects:

Misuse of dowry laws and false cases of dowry harassment against innocent husbands by greedy wives and in-laws is no longer an exception. It is a well admitted fact that the dowry laws are being rampantly misused. Even the Honorable President of India, Her Excellency, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil has admitted that Section 498A is being rampantly misused. The Honorable Chief Justice of India Shri K. G. Balakrishnan has said, “Section 498A is the most abused law of India”.

More often than not, it is found that Section 498A is used as a convenient tool to extort money from husbands by implicating them in false cases of dowry harassment with exaggerated amounts being claimed as dowry given. And this trend has caught up with the country because the people who misuse the provisions are neither punished for the lies they speak nor for the fact that they are admitting that they have given dowry.

At the same time, the rampant misuse of Section 498A is not only ruining the social fabric, it is also contributing largely to,

the crumbling of the institution of marriage,
skyrocketing suicides of men,
increased elder abuse
to name a few. Realizing our social responsibility, we have committed ourselves to take a stand against this rampant injustice going on against men in particular and families in general. We have filed these complaints not only to teach our wives (who have rampantly misused the available protection) a lesson but also to set a precedent so that more and more men who are silently suffering and tolerating the inhuman injustice can gather strength to come out and stand for themselves and their rights.

We are issuing this press release to create awareness about this growing trend. We request our media friends to help us spreading the message so that the suffered lot can benefit from the same.

Thanks and Regards

Mithun Kumar (09880763790)

Tarun Ku. Dass (09853216066)

Arun Dash (09820625497)

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