Sunday, 23 December 2012

Guideline for Arrest in 498a IPC-Delhi High Court


Guideline for Arresting in 498a IPC by Delhi High Court.


Guidelines given by Justice Kailash Gambhir Delhi High Court in dowry Case u/s 498a IPC.

1. Social workers/NGO

There is no iota of doubt that most of the complaints are filed in the heat of the moment over trifling fights and ego clashes. It is also a matter of common knowledge that in their tussle and ongoing hostility the hapless children are the worst victims. Before a wife moves to file a complaint with the Women Cell, a lot of persuasion and conciliation is required.
(a) The Delhi Legal Service Authority, National Commission for Women, NGOs and social workers working for upliftment of women should set up a desk in crime against women cell to provide them with conciliation services, so that before the State machinery is set in motion, the matter is amicably settled at that very stage. But, if ultimately even after efforts put by the social workers reconciliation seems not possible then the matter should be undertaken by the police officials of Crime against Women cell and there also, serious efforts should be made to settle the matter amicably.

2. Police Authorities:

(a) Pursuant to directions given by the Apex Court, the Commissioner of Police, Delhi vide Standing Order No. 330/2007 had already issued guidelines for arrest in the dowry cases registered under Sections 498-A/406 IPC and the said guidelines should be followed by the Delhi Police strictly and scrupulously.
(i) No case under Section 498-A/406 IPC should be registered without the prior approval of DCP/Addl. DCP.
(ii) Arrest of main accused should be made only after thorough investigation has been conducted and with the prior approval of the ACP/DCP.
(iii) Arrest of the collateral accused such as father-in-law, mother- in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law etc should only be made after prior approval of DCP on file.
(b) Police should also depute a well trained and a well behaved staff in all the crime against women cells especially the lady officers, all well equipped with the abilities of perseverance, persuasion, patience and forbearance.
(c) FIR in such cases should not be registered in a routine manner.
(d) The endeavor of the Police should be to scrutinize complaints very carefully and then register FIR.
(e) The FIR should be registered only against those persons against whom there are strong allegations of causing any kind of physical or mental cruelty as well as breach of trust.
(f) All possible efforts should be made, before recommending registration of any FIR, for reconciliation and in case it is found that there is no possibility of settlement, then necessary steps in the first instance be taken to ensure return of stridhan and dowry articles etc. by the accused party to the complainant.

3. Lawyers:

Lawyers also have a great responsibility in this regard.
(a) While drafting pleadings/complaints, the lawyers should not unnecessarily suggest incorporation of wild allegations, or in character assassination of any of the parties or their family members whatever the case may be.
(b) Lawyers are also to endeavor to bring about amicable settlement between the parties as they are expected to discharge sacred duty as social engineers in such cases instead of making them target for monetary considerations by multiplying their cases.

4. Courts:

Subordinate courts, be it trying civil or criminal cases concerning bail, maintenance, custody, divorce or other related matters shall in the first instance, in every case where it is possible so to do consistently with the nature and circumstances of the case, to make every endeavour to bring about reconciliation between the parties.
a) The first endeavor should be for possible reunion and restitution of the parties and as a last endeavor to bring about peaceful separation.
b) If possible extra time should be devoted to such matters to restore peace in the lives of rival parties be it by re-uniting them or even in case of their parting ways.
c) Conciliatory proceedings by the court should preferably be held in camera to avoid embarrassment.
d) Wherever, the courts are overburdened with the work, necessary assistance of Mediation and Conciliation cells should be sought.
Apart from above directions it would not be out of place to ask parties also to themselves adopt a conciliatory approach without intervention of any outside agency and unless there are very compelling reasons, steps for launching prosecution against any spouse or his/her in-laws be not initiated just in a huff, anger, desperation or frustration.

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