Separation of trials: Key legal and practical issues

Separation of trials: Key legal and practical issues


Absconding accused persons are the worst problem for investigating agencies and courts alike. In case the accused person is absconding from an ongoing trial, the law provides that such person's trial may be separated, and the others be tried. But this presents practical and legal problems, which are examined in this essay. 


I. Introduction 


The Indian judicial system is one of the most robust amongst the various judicial systems of the world. However, one of the key challenges it faces is the inordinate delay in completion of proceedings, and one of the factors responsible for such delay is that the criminal proceeding (or, the trial) has to happen together for all persons accused of having committed a crime. This is because of procedural law based on principles of natural justice. This problem becomes even more pronounced in cases involving economic offences, where numerous persons are named as accused and when some of such persons do not appear in the court (or are declared absconding), the trial gets stuck. 

Several reports of the Law Commission of India (for instance, the 177th and 239th Reports), have echoed the problem of absconding accused and have declared it as one of the biggest obstructions in the criminal justice system. This is also the main and primary reason why trial courts are not very liberal in granting bail, since they have the apprehension of the accused absconding from the trial. The cases which have hit the headlines in recent years are not the only ones in which the accused has absconded but there are plenty of other such cases where the trial suffers due to the reason that the main (or, some other) accused is absconding. (In fact, in case of certain economic offences, there is now a special law viz. Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, which lays down a procedure to counter this situation). 


II. Legal provisions 


Generally, the rule is, when the facts of the case show that the accused persons have committed the offences with which they were charged and that those offences were committed in the course of same transaction, they should consequently be charged and tried together. Where the offence is alleged to have been committed not just by one person but multiple persons, all these persons can be jointly tried in respect of such offence. 

The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (‘Cr.P.C’) provides scenarios where multiple persons may be charged and tried jointly – for instance, persons accused of the same offence may be tried together, or a person who has abetted an offence may be tried with the person who has committed such offence, or persons accused of having committed different offences but in the course of the same transaction may also be tried together (refer to section 223 of Cr.P.C.). Thus, in the interest of procedure, time, and natural justice, in case of multiple persons who are so closely connected to each other qua the offence, the court would prefer to try them jointly. 

As a part of the procedure, next comes section 273 of the Cr.P.C. This section makes it obligatory that all evidence, either for the prosecution or the defence, should be taken in the presence of the accused. This section is, again, based on the philosophy that all things and events that take place in the court (the most crucial of which is the admission of evidence) should be done in the presence of the accused. 

Now, reading the above two sections together, we are presented with a situation that if multiple persons are accused in an offence, they would be tried together and jointly, and all evidence would need to be admitted in the presence of ‘all’ of them. This, as any layman would guess, would more often than not, stall the process, and in some cases make it reach a complete deadlock. 

Though section 299 of the Cr.P.C provides an exception to the above, such section is not a complete remedy. Section 299 states that the prosecution evidence can be recorded in the absence of the accused and can be used against him, in case the witnesses, who had earlier deposed, has died by the time the accused was arrested, or such witness has now become incapable of giving evidence. This section is, thus, a safeguard against the loss of crucial prosecution evidence which may arise because of the absconding of the accused person. However, it is obvious that this section has a very limited applicability. 

Considering the above situation and involving a complete stalling of the proceeding courts resort to section 317 of the Cr.P.C. This section, inter alia, empowers the courts to proceed with the trial in the absence of the accused person if the court feels that his personal attendance is not necessary in the interests of justice. The court would necessarily have to record reasons for doing so. Later on, if and when the court desires, the personal attendance of such accused person may be required by the court. It is to be noted that the term ‘interests of justice’ is to be widely interpreted and includes a scenario where the trial is getting stuck or stalled because of the accused person absconding and not participating in the trial. 


III. Practical scenarios when courts may order separation of trial 


(i) Absconding Persons: The Madras High Court in the case of H. Aarun Basha V. The State 2018 SCC OnLine Mad 12845 issued certain guidelines which have to be kept in mind while dealing with the cases of absconding accused. These guidelines inter alia provided that:

‘When there are several accused persons in a case and only some of them have appeared before the court and if the court is satisfied that that the presence of other accused cannot be secured, the court may split up the case if it satisfied that such splitting up will cause no prejudice either to the prosecution or to the accused who are in attendance. Before splitting up of the case, the Magistrate Court shall follow the same procedure mutatis mutandis just like any other criminal case. After splitting up of the case, information regarding split up case shall be given to the Sessions Court, and it shall assign a new number to the split-up case and communicate the same number to the Magistrate Court. If the absconding accused appears before the court, the Magistrate Court shall comply with section 207 or 208 of Cr.P.C’.


(ii) Persons residing outside the country and there is no legal means available (e.g., no treaty or an uncooperative jurisdiction) to service processes upon them: Section 105 of the Cr.P.C, provides for reciprocal arrangements to be made by Central Government with the foreign governments with regard to the service of summons / warrants / judicial processes. Under this provision, India has entered into several treaties (e.g., Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties). In respect of other countries, the Ministry attempts to serve the judicial papers by giving an assurance of reciprocity. However, despite the government’s best efforts the summonses and other judicial processes get delayed for various reasons and there is no other legal means available to service processes upon the people residing in other countries. In such situations, therefore, to ensure that the trial is not stalled, the court may order for the trial to be separated in case of persons who are residing outside India and who cannot be duly served with the process. As explained above, the courts may separate or split up the trial in the interests of justice. However, it is now pertinent to take note of certain key issues that arise due to such splitting up or separation. 


IV. Key problems in separating trials 


(a) Admission and examination of evidence in the court may have to be done multiple times: 

If the trial is separated, the admission of each and every evidence will have to be done multiple times causing delay in the process of the court. It is to be noted that the entire evidence law in India (i.e., primarily the Evidence Act, 1872) carefully lays down the procedure for the admission of various kinds of evidence, and such procedure has to be scrupulously followed to ensure the admissibility, reliability, and testing of such evidence. Consider the following: if the trial was initially a joint trial for multiple persons, it would have been so because such persons would be interrelated to each other qua the offence(s) or the transaction. This means that the evidence in relation to such offence(s) or transaction would necessarily be the same. Separating itself therefore means that the evidence would have to be given multiple times. 


(b) If the transactions involved in the commission of the offence are interconnected and the roles of the various persons are to be examined together and are closely related to each other: 

In very many cases, where either the various steps or the various offences in the same transaction are so intrinsically connected to each other that they comprise an indivisible whole, the real truth cannot be discovered if the trial is separated. For instance, in economic offences, the nature of enquiry and subsequent investigation is complex and different than the investigation of other crimes like murder and robbery. The evidence in these cases is generally documentary in nature, and all the documents have to be read and understood together to figure out the real essence of the transaction. Due to this reason the trial of these offences is complicated in itself as various persons and steps are closely related to each other and are to be examined together for the purpose of finding out different offences which these persons have committed during the conduct of such transactions or offences. 

Once the application of separation of trial of these kinds of offences gets accepted, it would become impossible to determine the true role of each and every person involved in such kind of offence. It would be similar to the famous six blind men and the elephant in the dark room story, and it would be rather impossible to unravel the complete truth. 

One of the problems in these type of offences is that it becomes difficult to determine that who will be responsible while the offence is done at the decision making level of the firms or companies, because in many cases it can be seen that decision making is fragmented and not there in the hands of a single person, besides, the persons who are making the decision can practice some concerted ignorance so that they can shield themselves from the criminal liability. 


V. Conclusion

In India, separation of trial is not frequently ordered by the courts during the trial of the cases due to which the number of trials pending in country is on rapid rise. Although the trial courts have been given this power of separation under section 317 of the Cr.P.C, it appears that section 317 Cr.P.C is also not exhaustive of all circumstances in which a direction for separation of trial can be made. It only enumerates some of the circumstances in which separate trial of one or more accused from that of the rest can be ordered. Hence, a wide interpretation of this section must be made while separating the case of the absconding accused to overcome the problem of delayed, stalled, and consequently pending trials in India. 


Any matter which is expressed described on any substances by means of letters, figures or remark or by more than nearby & which can be used for recording the matter is considered as a "document".

The evidence which is confined to the words spoken by mouth is the oral evidence. If oral evidence is worthy of credit, it's sufficient to prove a fact or a title without any documentary evidence but where there forms need to supplement the contention with support of any material evidence which can be produced in court in form of else but statement, anything that is where the documentary evidence steps in.

Documentary evidence is in many respects considered
better than the evidence furnished by witnesses, about there has always been a certain amount of suspicion Documentary Evidence differs considerably from the evidence
of witnesses & is dealt with under special rules.


Section 65 (A), 65 (B) in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 has been added by Information  Technology Act, 2000. Section 65 (A) lays down the contents of electronic records may be proved with the provisions. laid down in the Section 65 (B), Section 65 (B) (Admissibility. of electronics records) states that any Information contained in electronic records which is printed on a paper, stored, recorded or copied in optical or magnetic media produced by computer shall also be deemed to be a document if the conditions mentioned in this Section are satisfied in relation to the information & computer in question of shall be admissible in proceedings, without any further proof or production of the original.
The document produced before the court as evidence are the documentary evidence & there must primary or secondary evidence to prove the contents of the documents Digital evidence or electronic evidence is any probrative Information Stored or transmitted in digital form that a party to a court case may use at trial. Before accepting digital evidence a count will determine if the evidence is relevant, whether it is authentic, if it is hearsay & whether a copy is acceptable or the original is required.

Defining Electronic Evidence:

As per section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 defines evidence as "Evidence" means & includes: all documents including electronic records produced for the inspection of the court. Such documents are called documentary evidence.

As per section 2 (t)  of the Information Technology Act, 2000. "Electronic record" means data, record, data generated, image or Sound stored, received or sent In an electronic form or micro film or computer generated micro fiche.

The condition of section 65 (B):

Information was produced during the regular course of activities by the person having or lawful control over the computer's use. Information has been regularity fed into the computer in the ordinary course of said activities.
Throughout the material part of the said period, the computer was operating properly or the improper operation as not such as to affect the electronic record of the accuracy of its content. Information contained in the electronic records reproduces or is derived from such Information fed into the computer in the ordinary course of activities.

The Primary purpose is to sanctify proof by secondary. This facility of evidence proof by secondary evidence would apply to any computer, output, such output being deemed as a document. A computer output is a deemed document for the purpose of Proof.
Where the information was processed or fed into the computer on inter linked computers or one computer after. the other in succession all the computers so used shall be treated as one single computer. Sec. 65 B also lays down that for the purpose of evidence, Certificate identifying the electronic records containing Statement & describing the manner in which it was produced by a computer & the satisfying the conditions mentioned above & signed by a officer in charge of the operation or management of the related activities Shall be the evidence of any matter stated in the Certificate. It shall be sufficient for the matter to be stated to the best of the knowledge & belief of the person stating.
Any information to be taken to be supplied to a computer. if it is done in any appropriate form whether directly with or without human intervention by means of any appropriate equipment, or any information supplied by any official in the course of his activities with a view of storing or processing it even if he Computers being operated outside those activities.

Case laws:

1.  Anvar P. V V/ P.K. Basheer
     2014 (10) SCC 473.

2.  Sanjay sinh Ramnao Chavan V/s Dattatray Gulabrao Phalke & ors.
       2015 (3) SCC 123

3.  Abdul Rahanan Kunji V/s State of Bengal
        2016 Cr. L.J 1159.

4.  Vikram V/s state of Punjab.  
        2017 (8) SCC 518.
5.   Sony V/s State of Haryana.
       2017 (8) SCC 570.

6.    Shafhi Mohd. V/s State of U.P
      2018 (1) SCC (Cri) 860.

7.    State of karnataka  Lokayukta Police Station, Bengaluru V/s Hiremath

(2019 SCC online (SC) 734.)


The admissibility of the Secondary electronic evidence has to be adjusted within the parameters of Section 65 (B) of the Evidence Act & the Proportion is clear & explicit that if the secondary electronic evidence is without a certificate u/s 65 (B) of Indian Evidence  Act, it is not admissible & any opinion of the forensic expert & the deposition of the witness in the court of law cannot be looked into by the court. However there are court few which are still unresolved as what would be the fate of the
secondary electronic evidence seized from the accused.

Wherein the certificate u/s 65 (B) & the Indian Evidence Act cannot be taken & the accused cannot be made witness against himself (OR) No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself.

498a and PWDVA 2005 Introduction

There are many laws in India. These can be divided into constitutional law, civil law, criminal law, family law, patents law, property law, law of torts, and many other varieties of law. Usually married life and its problems are covered by family law. But certain actions conducted (or alleged to have been conducted) within the bounds of marriage by the husband and his parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and other relatives except children and the wifes natal family are deemed to have criminal nature. These actions are governed by some parts of the criminal law family of law, and by some laws which have a criminal as well as a civil colour.
The most commonly used of these laws and acts are some sections of the Indian Penal Code, including but not limited to IPC 498a, IPC 406, IPC 34. IPC 498a refers to cruelty committed on daughter-in-law / wife by parents-in-law / husband. Such cruelty should normally be in relation to a dowry demand to attract this section. In rare cases this section can be invoked even in the absence of a dowry demand, if the cruelty committed has been of a a nature which would lead a psychologically normal bride/wife to attempt suicide due to extreme demoralisation, OR which would injure her seriously in the physical and/or mental sense of the word injury. The bare text of IPC 498a is as follows—
498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty– Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.
1. Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, cruelty means—
(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
(b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.
IPC 406 refers to criminal breach of trust. In case of stridhan misappropriation, real or fictitious, it can be invoked in dowry related complaints. IPC 34 refers to common criminal intention.
Another commonly used act is the PWDVA 2005 (Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act). This act is not limited to wives alone. PWDVA can be used by sisters against brothers or sisters and mothers against sons also. This Act also allows action against daughters-in-law by mother-in-law also. (Such action may be taken especially in cases where crooked sons and their wives conspire to spoil the life of aged parents. It is not always easy to get such complaints (by mothers-in-law against daughters-in-law) accepted by the police, and an application may have to filed before a magistrate for the same.)
However, the husband and his other relatives have no such right. This is one reason why the Ministry for Women and Child Welfare is called the Ministry for Wives and Child Welfare by a section of men's rights activists. However, one saving grace in this Act is that a mother-in-law cannot be evicted from her own house (while males can be). These days the legal trend is to go easy on all family members of the main accused/respondent –that is to say, the husband– in all sorts of cases including those where civil liability is invoked. PWDVA mostly contains civil elements, with the exception of one or two criminal provisions. Such criminal provisions are also to be invoked only in the case of non-performance by the respondent(s) postcourt directions. Common reliefs sought by wives against their in-laws under PWDVA include right to residence, maintenance, and/or protection orders against violent husbands.
There is a popular misconception that the wife and her parents, brothers, sisters, bhabhi, jija etc. are immune to criminal liability for any and all of their actions. This is not true. Actions committed by the wife's natal family such as cheating, filing false cases, exaggerating facts, lying in front of police and court, giving false evidence, etc. are punishable under the law. A sufficiently litigatious husband, who has good legal counsel, can bring his wife to book for such acts. Even in heinous crimes like rape and murder, false allegations are sometimes –howsoever rarely– punished. So false allegations under laws which relate to lesser crimes (or alleged crimes, as is the case in this context) should be relatively easier to bring to book. The logic behind my assertion is that makers of serious allegations are given very strong legal protection in the twisted Indian legal system, even if they are false allegations. Witness the protection granted to rape accusers, who cannot even be named, even if their story is found to be totally fabricated from A to Z. But there are ways to achieve legal revenge even in such cases, as any really good lawyer will tell you. Murder cases are easier for defendants, quite incredibly if seen from a logical perspective but understandably if viewed through the prism of public perception especially in a country like ours. Dowry allegations are not so serious, and are not in the category of heinous or even serious crimes if there is no death involved. Hence the above assertion.
One commonly observed phenomenon in the litigation filed by wives against husbands is that a lot of it gets settled out of court finally, and very few cases reach the Supreme Court. Also there is an observation that only about 1 percent of complaints result in conviction. This has led to widespread allegations that the law is very often misused. Even the Supreme Court has said that 498a is often used as "legal terrorism". A lot of high courts have made adverse observations about women filing false cases, and some state including notably Andhra Pradesh have even made the offences committed or alleged to have been committed under the IPC Section 498a compoundable. Momentum is building up against malfeasant wives. You might just be able to make your contribution to it.

Stridhan and IPC Section 406

The cases filed at the CAW cell or the SPUWAC are not one-dimensional, which is to say that they do not have only one complaint in them. The most common ingredient of the CAW cell complaint is to accuse the husband and the in-laws of cruelty in relation to a demand or some demands for dowry. The specific details which validate or claim to validate theseallegations are varied in nature, and differ from complaint to complaint. This portion is covered by IPC 498a (Dowry Cruelty).
Another common feature is that the wife accuses the husband of misappropriating her jewellery or clothes or personal effects. All such items are known as Stridhan. This includes all the gifts given by the husband to his wife before they becomehusband and wife, that is to say before their wedding; gifts given by the husband (groom) and his family, other guests or persons, and the wife's parents to the wife at the time of wedding, and any gifts given to her after the wedding by anyone including her parents, the husband and his family, or anybody else. This may include jewellery, apartments, cars, anything. Stridhan is the exclusive property of the wife according to the Hindu Marriage Act, and this definition is by most accounts accepted by judicial authorities for other purposes too. This appears to be very unfair, and is indeed unfair unless you try to define fairness in your own terms as most people are wont to do.
Misappropriation of Stridhan by the husband's side is a crime punishable by the provisions of IPC Section 406 (Criminal Breach of Trust). There are conflicting views regarding that component of the Stridhan which has been gifted by the husband's side. Some experts say that taking back such gifts attracts only civil liability, while others maintain that this attracts IPC 406 (Criminal Breach of Trust), which is a criminal provision.
If criminal liability is attracted by the action described above, then we should all be extremely worried, because it implies that one can be jailed as a fairly direct consequence of one's own generosity and/or expression of love towards ones wife/daughter-in-law. Such an interpretation also renders 406 more dangerous than 498a for the accused, because your house can never be raided as a consequence of dowry allegations, but it can in theory be raided if somebody makes cognisable allegations of misappropriation of movable property against you before law enforcement authorities. This did happen in earlier days, especially when the media fed 'anti-dowry' frenzy was at its peak. These days though one does not hear about houses being raided by the police in dowry cases.
On the other hand, any gifts given by the wife's side to the husband's side are to be returned if and when the marriage collapses. If these gifts are deemed by the court to have been given "in consideration of marriage" (as a price for marriage), then this is considered as dowry, and the husband's side is liable under the Dowry Act for imprisonment and fine for demanding this or accepting this.
The way out of this problem lies at the beginning of the marriage. Take no gifts and give no gifts, and get this fact recorded by a minimum of four witnesses. After the wedding also, keep a record of all gifts given by you or your family to your wife, and do not give too many gifts until you are sure that she is a permanent member of your family and that she has started considering the joys and sorrows of your family as her own joys and sorrows.
However, in these days, when divorces are happening after even 20 years of marriage, it is very difficult to make a correct assessment as to when the wife finally becomes a permanent and loving member of her in-laws' family, and when she starts considering their joys and sorrows as her own joys and sorrows.
The other provision that commonly is included in complaints at the CAW cell or the SPUWAC is Section 34 of IPC (Common Criminal Intention). The husband's family is accused of having a common intention in commitment of crimes under Section 498a and Section 406 IPC.
The wife who makes allegations under all three sections of IPC has to prove irrefutably in all the four courts from the Trial Court to the Supreme Court that all her allegations are true, to get legal relief. The same is the case if she makes allegations under one or two sections only. The husband also has to prove that the wife is making nonsensical claims if he wishes to get legal relief.

Typical Wives who make 498a Complaints

Many wives make 498a complaints. There are many types of wives who make the complaints in the police departmentscalled SPUWAC or CAW cell. Some of these types are described below.
The first type of wife who makes a 498a complaint is the genuine sufferer. This type is put in the first position by us because this type of wife deserves the most sympathy, and not because such complainants are the most numerous. Such wives come to the CAW cell to seek justice, and if they can prove their case in court, then they can secure the conviction of their husband or in-laws or both. To be considered a real victim by the law for the purpose of this section, a woman must needs have suffered cruelty which is directly related to a dowry demand, or cruelty of a narrowly defined variety. Good luck to her.
The second type of wife who makes a 498a complaint is the narcissistic wife, a selfish wife. She only cares about her own feelings, and has no respect for the feelings of her husband or in-laws, and wants to send them to jail. The complaint that this woman makes, the charges that this woman lays are usually false. There is a possibility that she believes that her charges are true, because sufferers of NPD (see next paragraph) often believe their own version of the truth ardently. The greed for money is so powerful that she forgets about her anger if she is offered the right price and in the end wants to extract money from the man who she had taken marriage vows with once upon a time or not very long ago. She can fake injuries to make her case stronger.
Her parents may be equally narcissistic (selfish) and they also want to extract money from the son-in-law to whom they had gifted their daughter by calling him their closest relative or by calling him the avtaar of lord Vishnu at the seven pheras. They do not mind if their son-in-law is forced to spend some time in police custody, or is harassed by police, courts, lawyers, and his own wife. This is the example of legal terrorism. It may be quite possible that the whole family of the bride suffers from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).
Very often such people are accused of suffering from BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). But this is not true. BPD patients are needy (and victims), not callous (and victimisers). The situation is confusing because the same person may suffer from both NPD and BPD. There is a very high comorbidity in these personality disorders, which is to say that they occur very often in the same person. But in some people the borderline traits are subsidiary and narcissistic traits are dominant. While in other people the reverse is true.
Another type of patient is one in whom the BPD and NPD traits emerge alternately. Such a person may have attempted suicide, and in the same life may have driven someone to attempt suicide, depending upon whether they were in a relationship with an emotionally stronger or weaker person.
The type of person who is commonly called the high functioning BPD patient is actually an NPD patient. They like to makefalse accusations. It is in their nature. The dual-morbid person can be often recognised by the fact of having undergone more than two or three career changes, while the pure BPD patient is likely to have undergone long periods of unemployment.The NPD sufferer never waits for their partner to signal to them that their relationship is finished before starting a simultaneous relationship with another person. They may also 'love' one person and marry another. They are highly prone to extra-marital relationships. It is almost axiomatic. The NPD also says often that he needs his or her space in a relationship, and may make false stalking accusations.
Another thing about NPD is its possible comorbidity with AsPD (Antisocial Personality Disorder), which is the disorder which criminals suffer from, which sends its patient to jail if the law acts quickly or efficiently. NPD and AsPD are highly comorbid (they affect the same person) because the main defining trait in both the disorders is the same, which is a blatant disregard for the feelings of others. So if a person or a family suffers from narcissism / selfishness, you can justifiably suspect that he/she is a criminal or that they are criminals.
Here the definition of a criminal is not that they have committed a crime which violates some section of the IPC, but that they have no regard for the feelings of their own relatives. If you want to argue that only people who violate some section of the IPC are criminals, then consider the fact that making false accusations is a violation of many sections of IPC, and that abetment to making false allegations is also a violation of one section of the IPC.
For confirmation of AsPD or/plus NPD diagnosis (selfish and/or criminals) ask the following questions. Give one point for each answer. Do they own a gun or a gun license? What is the opinion of their respected and long-standing neighbours about them (socially rejected by those who know them best)? How do they treat their employees (exploitative tendencies)? Do they have a history of extra-marital affairs (callousness)? Are they very intelligent people who lose their temper whenever they see you (persistent irritability)? Do their longstanding employees or subordinates confirm the answer to the previous question as "yes"? Do they suddenly have no longstanding employees? How did they treat their daughter's previous husband (using people)? Do they pay taxes on all their income and assets? Do they have assets disproportionate to known sources of income (signs of a feeling or a belief that they can get away with anything)? Have they made absurd or unproveable allegations in their criminal complaint, which may rebound upon them (carelessness and stupidity)?
Have they systematically conspired to trap you in the 498a net (criminal mind)? Do they belong to some cult or exclusive club or Primary Social Group which looks down upon 'outsiders', and/or is secretive or mysterious (group narcissism)? What is the opinion of their close relatives about them (social rejects)? Did they invite all their close relatives to the wedding? Do they have a penchant for buying houses or car license plates with specific or special numbers or mobile telephones with specific or special numbers in order to create an aura of exclusivity around themselves (false aura of high status)? Do they pay peanuts to their employees but love to spend millions of rupees on luxury cars or luxury goods or branded items or expensive holiday packages (stupidity combined with exploitative and selfish tendencies)? Do they display (even the mildest) road rage tendencies (feeling of entitlement combined with short temper)? Do they get into parking related quarrels? Do they have a history of occupying space by bullying or beating up others (excessive territoriality)? Do they boast about their connections or their status (feeling of entitlement)? Do they like to surround themselves with sycophants (narcissistic supply)? Did anyone say to you in hindi about them "yehkisikesageynahihain" "they are not faithful to anyone" (lack of respect for societal norms)?
There is a more than ninety percent chance that a person who suffers from one personality disorder suffers from two or three or four DSM Axis ii personality disorders, often one each from cluster A, cluster B, cluster C, and one not-specified. Personality disorders are not usually curable by medication. Some of them are treatable by talking to the patient about his or her problem. It is a cinch under Indian law to get divorce from personality disordered spouses because they are impossible to live with due to their psychiatric condition.
Who is the typical sufferer of Narcissistic Personality Disorder? It is the person who has a swollen ego. He or she thinks that he or she deserves special treatment. This thought occurs due to real or imagined special treatment experienced in life. He or she may have received special treatment in childhood or in teenage, and most commonly in youth because of physical appearance, position of self or of their father or mother, high rank, a lot of money, no experience of failure in life, or because of foolish members of the opposite gender who run after physical beauty, high rank or status, or money. He or she may never have suffered the negative consequences of poor academic performance or of plagiarising other people's ideas or of criminal behaviour. She or he may have escaped such negative consequences as a result of special or favourable treatment. It might be mentioned in passing that wives get special treatment at the CAW cell.
The thing about the NPD or AsPD sufferer is that he or she never goes to a psychiatrist voluntarily. The prognosis is also very poor for these disorders, which is to say that they are rarely curable without punishment, which is the best amongst methods of persuasion according to Lord Krishna in the Geeta.
If you are suffering from BPD, you may well be a NPD magnet. This is the same as saying that if you are needy, then you will run into selfish people all the time, because you will make even ordinary people feel special and needed all the time, giving them a swollen ego.
Another kind of wife at the CAW Cell is the one who makes a complaint because of oblique motives. Her reason for coming to the CAW cell is to get divorce from her husband who may be refusing it. When the husband sees the threat of a criminal case, he usually gives in and gives divorce. This is one simple way for wives to get divorce without the direct route of a divorce petition, which is the civil route, but via a criminal complaint. This is not the person for whom this law was made, but this person is fairly common. Legally speaking, she may deserve to be subjected to criminal charges.
Another related kind of 498a wife is the honest one who is willing to take the civil route to get divorce and compensation, but who is too poor to hire a lawyer and too ignorant to know that she can get free legal aid for her divorce case. Due to incorrect counselling by friends and relatives, and poor scrutiny at the CAW cell, she takes this route. Good luck to her too.
Another type of wife who makes such complaints is the one who has suffered cruelty, but not dowry related cruelty.

Typical Husbands who get 498a Complaints against them

There are many types of husbands who get 498a complaints made against them. Some of them are criminals who deserve to go to jail. A lot of them are victims of false allegations. A lot of them are NRIs or techies. A lot of them have more money than their wives. A lot of them are people whose families gave a lot of gold to the bride during the wedding or after it. Some of them are husbands of possibly adulterous wives. Some of them are NPD patients, and many of them have wives who are NPD patients (see wives page for explanation of NPD). Many of them are fools suffering from self-defeating tendencies.
Husbands who get complained against come from all strata of society. I myself have talked to a book binder, a shop employee, and a call centre employee who had dowry harassment complaints against them. There are also many who come from prosperous families, too. Examples like Prince Tuli, Arjun Singh's grandson, Raghunath Mohanty's son, and the southern actor Prashanth come to mind. It is quite likely that the rich ones are victims of their own success in one out of two different ways. They may exhibit selfish or criminal tendencies because of their money, or they may be facing legal extortion attempts.
Some husbands who face such litigation are selfish jerks. I know this because scores of them have taken advice from me on the phone or on chat or on comments for over more than a few years now, and a significant percentage do not even say thank you at the end of such private conversations. Many even give missed calls, expecting me to call them back to find out their problem and then hopefully solve it. Once it happened that my correspondent started abusing me in his emails for unclear reasons. In the cases of such husbands it just happens that they run into an even more selfish wife who wishes to benefit from biased laws. Some people might say that it is befitting that such men get the royal treatment from their wives, the police, lawyers, and courts.
Many husbands do not stop desiring their wives even after they face fabricated allegations. Such men are at great danger of even more severe self-inflicted suffering than this. They need to get a grip on themselves and on reality. It is not love if a wife files a set of baseless allegations against her husband and his parents. Far from it. There is no possibility of conciliation after such a complaint if the man in question is sane. The only way out of such a situation is divorce.
Some husbands commit suicide or violent acts when they face such situations. This is understandable to a limited extent; I have used the qualifier 'limited extent' because the fact that such behaviour is understandable does not make it correct or beneficial. Why should families have to face death or injury inflicted by their own child on himself? Attacking the wife and/or her parents or near and dear ones also does not solve anything. It complicates matters further and leads to addition of more charges and fresh cases. The original case also gets strengthened by such actions, due to the creation of a bias in the minds of some observers who may be in a position to influence the case.

"What is to Fear in a 498a case?"

Most of the questions that men who are accused of dowry harassment by their wives ask the people around them are triggered by the fears that they have suddenly started to have. It is natural to be concerned somewhat if you have police proceedings against you and your family. More so if you are a person who has never faced criminal charges in your whole life. Ninety nine percent of the men who face 498a charges are the type of men who have never been accused of any crime in their life. Their aged parents are even more innocent than them.
Further fears are created by the powerful social forces and vested interests which stand to benefit from fearful defendants. There is a whole 498a industry consisting of lawyers, feminists, corrupt law enforcement officers, media, and of course wives and their parents. These people have a vested stake in scaring men accused of cruelty by their wives. The second thing that you must remember is that the more you get scared, the more money these vested interests will make. The first thing to remember is that the aim of your 'wife' and 'in-laws' is not to send you to jail. They wish to profit from your fears and your desire to mitigate the harassment which you are facing, and are afraid of facing for a prolonged period.
What are the fears that men accused under section 498a/406/34 usually have? Such men are usually afraid that they will have to go to jail, or that they will have to spend a few days in police custody, or that their homes will get raided by the police. They fear that their elderly parents will suffer health problems due to the stress inflicted by the running around, worrying, and the fear of an uncertain future. They fear beatings or torture at the hands of the police during interrogation. They fear that people will start looking down upon them. Bad publicity in the media is another worrisome thing. And they fear mental torture by a public which is sympathetic to women's causes (read wives' causes). They are also afraid that the judiciary is biased in favour of wives, and that they may fail to get anticipatory bail, or may have to spend years in jail.
They also start to realise pretty soon that learning the ropes of the legal rigmarole is an expensive process littered with unexpected expenses, and spoiling of relations with the people who they expect to help them. They also fear, and wish to avoid harassment by their lawyer, and fear that the lawyer will not have their best interests at heart, or that he may be secretly supporting the other side. It is impossible to make a general statement regarding the validity of such fears. It is also difficult to say whether such fears are justified in particular cases without looking at them in detail, and sometimes even after doing so.
What men trapped in dowry cases do as a result of their fears Many men lose their jobs in such a situation due to an inability to concentrate on work. Almost all of them lose their mental health. They start smoking or drinking or other forms of substance abuse. They stand the risk of falling ill due to neuropsychiatric or psychosomatic reasons (physical harm caused to the body due to poor mental health). They also make compromises and pay large amounts of money in order to get their cruel wives off their backs, and to bring the nightmare to an early end. They also end up losing money to exploitative lawyers due to stress-induced impairment of judgement. They worry about their parents, and their parents worry about them, and all of them lose their peace of mind as a result. In extremely bad cases the husband's family witnesses a suicide or more than one suicide amongst its members.

Are these fears justified?
No. They are not justified. The fact that you are afraid is (in itself) the worst punishment which you will have to undergo. And it is in your hands to a large extent to start fearing less, acting a little more, and relaxing a lot more. The lawmakers and the media may be blind to your needs or to the demands of justice, but the public, the people at the police station, the judiciary, your neighbours, and the growing men's rights movement are in your favour. Just as you will lose old 'friends' in this situation, you will gain new friends too, and you will grow as a result of both processes.
You will not be beaten by the police, and they will give you a chair to sit every time you visit them. Your house will not be raided unless you are one of the rarest of rare cases, but remember not to accept any jewellery from your next wife (in case you do decide to marry again) and to sell off all your mother's jewellery before you get married again. Jewellery can bring nothing but trouble to an Indian husband.
You will get anticipatory bail if you are one of the overwhelming majority of 498a accused. Your lawyer is your friend. Do not mistrust him/her unless you chose him carelessly without conducting due diligence. Jail is not going to happen very soon, if it happens at all. It will take 15 years for your case to get settled if you fight till the final appeal, AND the other party has the stamina and desire to keep fighting for this length of time. Make sure that you select your lawyer carefully. Do not select your lawyer in a hurry just because you have an irrational fear of being arrested without warning.
That person called a woman and your wife (while being neither as a matter of fact) is not a mind-reader and is unlikely to go all the way or to not settle for anything less than what she is asking today.
Dowry and domestic violence related laws have already become a laughing stock amongst the police and the judiciary in this country, due to their rampant misuse. Rape and sexual violence related laws appear to be headed that way too. The making of such laws is grave disservice to –and a crime against– members of both genders.

What is the Procedure for Anticipatory Bail or Stay on Arrest?

The criminal prosecution procedure in India follows the CrPC or Criminal Procedure Code of India. This procedural code specifies exactly the powers and duties of courts, lawyers, police, accused, and complainants. Amongst other things, it details out how somebody may be arrested, when he or she may be arrested, under what circumstances arrests are to be made, what procedure is to be followed at the time of arrest, and which officers have the power to authorise arrest. It also details out where the arrested person is sent after being arrested, whether to police custody (lockup in a police station), or judicial custody (jail). In cases u/s 498a/406/34 the accused may rightfully fear arrest.
Bail is another subject which is dealt with by the CrPC. Bail is a way in which an accused person may get temporary freedom until his case is finally disposed of. Depending upon the seriousness of the allegations, a person may be able to avoid arrest altogether, may be able to spend time only in police custody or only in judicial custody, or may not be able to get bail at all, until the disposal of his case. The CrPC lays out how a person may be granted bail, and the various types of bail.
Anticipatory Bail can be said to be superior to interim bail because the former is permanent unlike the latter. It is also superior to bail after arrest because unlike post-arrest bail, the accused does not have to spend even a single day in custody –until his case gets decided– if he gets an AB order in his favour. Indeed it may be argued that AB is the best legal relief for accused persons out of all types of bail. This applies to all criminal cases including dowry cases.
This bail is applied for in anticipation of arrest. If you have reason to believe that you may be arrested for a crime which you did not commit, then you have the right to apply for this type of bail. Such belief may come to your mind if you learn about a criminal complaint made to the police by your wife, or by any threats made by her family against you and your family (this second one should not always be taken seriously, but the first one should be).
As soon as you learn about the police complaint against you under section 498a/406/34, contact a good lawyer to apply for pre-arrest notice or notice bail, and anticipatory bail. These are two separate things but they are the same thing. Let me explain. Your lawyer will draft an anticipatory bail application mentioning your version of the facts of the case, and will apply at the appropriate district court. The matter will come up for hearing, and you should try to send somebody to be there with your lawyer when it comes up. The court will have sent a notice to the CAW cell or Mahila Thana or Women Cell, and their officer will appear on this date, along with a lawyer who represents the government, usually called a public prosecutor or a government pleader.
The public prosecutor will talk to the police officer, and he will tell the judge that since no FIR has been registered as yet, therefore there is no grounds for granting bail. The judge will seemingly agree with the PP, and will ask your lawyer what he has to say about this. Your lawyer will verbally withdraw the anticipatory bail application and will make an oral prayer for seven days' pre-arrest notice in case the police formulate an intention to arrest you or your family at some later date. The judge will grant this plea, and will pass an order telling the police to give you written notice seven days before they intend to arrest you, or your parents, or you and your parents separately. This is called notice bail commonly —however note that there is no definition of notice bail in the CrPC, nor any section of the CrPC which deals specifically with this type of relief.
If this bail application is rejected, then you can apply in the high court. If the High Court also rejects, then you can apply in the Supreme Court. Usually High Court grants this relief. You may have read somewhere that "bail is the rule, jail is the exception". What this means is that courts (read judges) have a bent of mind towards giving bail to all such accused who are not likely to be able to influence witnesses if set free during the pendency of their respective cases. The criminal prosecution procedure in India follows the CrPC or Criminal Procedure Code of India. This procedural code specifies exactly the powers and duties of courts, lawyers, police, accused, and complainants. Amongst other things, it details out how somebody may be arrested, when he or she may be arrested, under what circumstances arrests are to be made, what procedure is to be followed at the time of arrest, and which officers have the power to authorise arrest. It also details out where the arrested person is sent after being arrested, whether to police custody (lockup in a police station), or judicial custody (jail). In cases u/s 498a/406/34 the accused may rightfully fear arrest.
Bail is another subject which is dealt with by the CrPC. Bail is a way in which an accused person may get temporary freedom until his case is finally disposed of. Depending upon the seriousness of the allegations, a person may be able to avoid arrest altogether, may be able to spend time only in police custody or only in judicial custody, or may not be able to get bail at all, until the disposal of his case. The CrPC lays out how a person may be granted bail, and the various types of bail.
Anticipatory Bail can be said to be superior to interim bail because the former is permanent unlike the latter. It is also superior to bail after arrest because unlike post-arrest bail, the accused does not have to spend even a single day in custody –until his case gets decided– if he gets an AB order in his favour. Indeed it may be argued that AB is the best legal relief for accused persons out of all types of bail. This applies to all criminal cases including dowry cases.
This bail is applied for in anticipation of arrest. If you have reason to believe that you may be arrested for a crime which you did not commit, then you have the right to apply for this type of bail. Such belief may come to your mind if you learn about a criminal complaint made to the police by your wife, or by any threats made by her family against you and your family (this second one should not always be taken seriously, but the first one should be).
As soon as you learn about the police complaint against you under section 498a/406/34, contact a good lawyer to apply for pre-arrest notice or notice bail, and anticipatory bail. These are two separate things but they are the same thing. Let me explain. Your lawyer will draft an anticipatory bail application mentioning your version of the facts of the case, and will apply at the appropriate district court. The matter will come up for hearing, and you should try to send somebody to be there with your lawyer when it comes up. The court will have sent a notice to the CAW cell or Mahila Thana or Women Cell, and their officer will appear on this date, along with a lawyer who represents the government, usually called a public prosecutor or a government pleader.
The public prosecutor will talk to the police officer, and he will tell the judge that since no FIR has been registered as yet, therefore there is no grounds for granting bail. The judge will seemingly agree with the PP, and will ask your lawyer what he has to say about this. Your lawyer will verbally withdraw the anticipatory bail application and will make an oral prayer for seven days' pre-arrest notice in case the police formulate an intention to arrest you or your family at some later date. The judge will grant this plea, and will pass an order telling the police to give you written notice seven days before they intend to arrest you, or your parents, or you and your parents separately. This is called notice bail commonly —however note that there is no definition of notice bail in the CrPC, nor any section of the CrPC which deals specifically with this type of relief.
If this bail application is rejected, then you can apply in the high court. If the High Court also rejects, then you can apply in the Supreme Court. Usually High Court grants this relief. You may have read somewhere that "bail is the rule, jail is the exception". What this means is that courts (read judges) have a bent of mind towards giving bail to all such accused who are not likely to be able to influence witnesses if set free during the pendency of their respective cases.

The Importance of Anticipatory Bail in 498a

Have you ever read in your readings about 498a on internet forums that getting anticipatory bail is like winning half the battle? As a matter of fact it is more like winning the whole battle, as I will explain forthwith. Before explaining, however, it is necessary to remind the reader that every bail order is a final order, and usually the only way to challenge an order granting bail is to apply for cancellation of granted bail.
Anticipatory bail enables an accused in a criminal case to remain free while fighting his case. Bail is usually given in most cases except the ones which are very serious. Even in murder cases bail can be given as can be seen in the Aarushi Talwar murder case. While bail usually comes after the stigma and the trauma of being arrested, anticipatory bail helps the accused person to avoid police custody and jail altogether. Anticipatory bail is fairly common in 498a cases, provided you satisfy certain criteria and can be said to be the norm in these.
The usual additional charges which are pressed by the police in 498a cases are IPC 406, (criminal misappropriation of stridhan or criminal breach of trust), and IPC 34 (common criminal intention). The maximum length of time in jail by which 498a is punishable is 3 years. For IPC 406 also this period is 3 years, and for IPC 34 it is 1 year.
You are one hundred percent guaranteed to get your anticipatory bail deemed as regular bail at the point in the proceedings against you where you get chargesheeted (i.e. it is automatic full bail).
First of all, the chances of conviction in 498a cases are very low as you probably know. This does not mean that you will definitely escape punishment (even if you are actually guilty), but that the statistics are in your favour, and that you can consider yourself at risk of conviction only if your case is very serious. So in all likelihood you will not be convicted by the lowest court.
If the lowest court does not convict you, then the police may decide not to appeal in a higher court. Remember that it is usually the police and the prosecution which decides whether or not to appeal an acquittal in a higher court. The opinion of the complainant matters very little in this decision. Only in high profile cases like the Sajjan Kumar case have the complainants managed to appeal an acquittal without the concurrence of the prosecuting agency, which may be Delhi Police, or CBI, or some state police. The prosecuting agency is deemed to act on behalf of the state, and the state is operatively the offended party in criminal cases.
In case the state decides not to appeal your acquittal, you are a free man, and your anticipatory bail has enabled you to remain free all the while right up till the dismissal of the case against you.
In case the state decides to appeal your acquittal, your bail gets automatically extended by the court of appeal in the first hearing itself, and the whole process starts again. Chances of a higher court overturning a lower court verdict are not too high, and you can be fairly certain of being acquitted again. Also note that you can continue to live life as normal while you are defending yourself in court.
If and when you get acquitted again, the prosecuting agency will not have the will to appeal again. This stage is quite likely the end of your troubles.
In case the lower court convicts you, you will be sentenced to time in prison. Let us assume for the sake of argument that you get the maximum possible sentence under all three sections. This sounds like three plus three plus one which is equal to seven years in prison. But this is not the case. In India prison sentences are almost invariably given as concurrent sentences, which is to say that all the three sentences start simultaneously from your first day in jail. So you will be effectively sentenced to three years in jail in case you get the maximum time.
But hold on, let us not talk about jail yet. You have the right to appeal your conviction in a higher court. In Indian criminal law, anybody who gets sentenced to up to three years in jail is entitled to a continuation of his bail pending the disposal of his appeal. So your bail will get extended again. One possibility is that the prosecution may decide to petition the court for cancellation of your bail in order to force you to live in jail while your appeal is being decided. Courts rarely entertain such petitions by prosecutors in a positive way. The complainant will quite likely lose her morale after the lame victory provided to her by the lower court conviction and will start seeking a compromise. If not at this stage then at the next stage she is likely to give up.
You may think that fast track courts which are being proposed will enable women to prosecute men faster. This is not true. 498a cases are notorious in the judiciary for being composed mostly of false allegations. Everyone from the CAW Cell to the Law ministry to the Chief Justice of India is aware of this problem. So they are unlikely to create fast track courts for these disgruntled wives. This is especially true in the context of the much more serious suffering which is undergone by people who get killed, raped, or maimed during crimes, and they are the ones who will get the first benefit of fast track courts. Also remember that when God takes away with one hand, he gives something with the other. If proceedings are made quicker then the suffering of 498a accused will be shortened, and their chances of coming out of this ordeal will improve considerably.
Remember, in 498a cases there is negotiation and compromise possible at any stage in the proceedings right from the initial CAW Cell stage to the Supreme Court SLP stage. Foolish complainants compromise after wasting a few years. Wise ones compromise immediately, take their money, and run. So your anticipatory bail will ensure that you get to spend zero time in prison or in police custody.

Criteria for Anticipatory Bail in 498a

When you apply for anticipatory bail after receiving notice of arrest, as described in the detailed article about anticipatory bail procedure in 498a cases, you will have to let your lawyer draft the bail application in a manner similar to the application which was drafted for notice bail.
An acceptable definition of anticipatory bail is "bail obtained before being formally arrested". Such bail is granted under section 438 [1] of the CrPC of India.
Note that all pre-arrest bail is "bail obtained before being formally arrested", but not all pre-arrest bail is anticipatory bail. Section 437(1) of CrPC can be used by courts which constitute the lowest rung of the judiciary to grant pre-arrest bail under certain circumstances (see long quote below this paragraph), but an AB application does not precede such pre-arrest bail.
It can be granted only if the judge is satisfied that all the conditions which are necessary for such relief have been met by you. This is not a very steep requirement for a law abiding citizen, and if you have a good lawyer and you are good at managing your lawyer then you do not need to worry at all.
Section 437(1) of CrPC: When bail may be taken in the case of non-bailable offences: [2]
(1) When any person accused of, or suspected of, the commission of any non- bailable offence is arrested or detained without warrant by an officer in charge of a police station or appears or is brought before a Court other than the High Court or Court of Session, he may be released on bail, but-
(i) such person shall not be so released... ...and gives an undertaking that he shall comply with such directions as may be given by the Court.
Section 438 of the CrPC too gives one amongst the several in vogue definitions of anticipatory bail in its title, to wit, anticipatory bail is a "Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest". Section 438 is reproduced hereunder.
Section 438 of CrPC: Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest: [3]
Where any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested on accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence, he may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction under this section that in the event of such arrest he shall be released on bail; and that Court may, after taking into consideration, inter-alia, the following factors, namely-
the nature and gravity of the accusation; the antecedents of the applicant including the fact... ...he shall be released on bail, and if a Magistrate taking cognizance of such offence decides that a warrant should issue in the first instance against that person, he shall issue a bailable warrant in conformity with the direction of the Court under Sub-Section.
It would however be a good idea to remain present at the lawyer's office in order to provide your valuable inputs while the bail application is drafted, Also make sure that you keep in touch with your lawyer and that he informs you about the date of hearing of your bail application as and when he learns about it. It is a good idea for you to go to the court on the appointed day, just to be present while the lawyer makes his arguments, and to make sure that the lawyer is actively pursuing your case.
The judge will see how sharp and active your lawyer is. He may also read your bail application and may note the pertinent points, but very often judges do not bother to read the application in detail for small matters. A 498a anticipatory bail application is not a major matter for the judge with whom you are going to deal, because such applications can only be made to judges of sessions courts or high courts, and these judges are VIPs, especially High court judges, who deal with ministers and industrialists as a matter of routine.
The judge will consider whether you are a person who has some social standing. If you are a loafer or illiterate or a person with a bad reputation, then he will not give you anticipatory bail. There is a popular Hindi saying that it is worse to be considered a bad person than to just be a bad person. Do not think that you will get away in a situation where you are considered by your neighbours or by society to be a layabout just because the judge does not know you personally. In innumerable cases wives hire their own lawyers to assist and reinforce the prosecution, and this lawyer will do his best to make the judge feel that you are good for nothing.
Anticipatory bail cannot be granted to a person who has previously been convicted of an offence which carries a punishment which may exceed 7 years. Please note that this definition is slightly different from one involving an offence whose minimum punishment is 7 years or whose minimum punishment is more than 7 years. The bar is much lower than you would be comfortable with in case you have been convicted in a criminal case previously.When you apply for anticipatory bail after receiving notice of arrest, as described in the detailed article about anticipatory bail procedure in 498a cases, you will have to let your lawyer draft the bail application in a manner similar to the application which was drafted for notice bail.
An acceptable definition of anticipatory bail is "bail obtained before being formally arrested". Such bail is granted under section 438 [1] of the CrPC of India.
Note that all pre-arrest bail is "bail obtained before being formally arrested", but not all pre-arrest bail is anticipatory bail. Section 437(1) of CrPC can be used by courts which constitute the lowest rung of the judiciary to grant pre-arrest bail under certain circumstances (see long quote below this paragraph), but an AB application does not precede such pre-arrest bail.
It can be granted only if the judge is satisfied that all the conditions which are necessary for such relief have been met by you. This is not a very steep requirement for a law abiding citizen, and if you have a good lawyer and you are good at managing your lawyer then you do not need to worry at all.
Section 437(1) of CrPC: When bail may be taken in the case of non-bailable offences: [2]
(1) When any person accused of, or suspected of, the commission of any non- bailable offence is arrested or detained without warrant by an officer in charge of a police station or appears or is brought before a Court other than the High Court or Court of Session, he may be released on bail, but-
(i) such person shall not be so released... ...and gives an undertaking that he shall comply with such directions as may be given by the Court.
Section 438 of the CrPC too gives one amongst the several in vogue definitions of anticipatory bail in its title, to wit, anticipatory bail is a "Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest". Section 438 is reproduced hereunder.
Section 438 of CrPC: Direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest: [3]
Where any person has reason to believe that he may be arrested on accusation of having committed a non-bailable offence, he may apply to the High Court or the Court of Session for a direction under this section that in the event of such arrest he shall be released on bail; and that Court may, after taking into consideration, inter-alia, the following factors, namely-
the nature and gravity of the accusation; the antecedents of the applicant including the fact... ...he shall be released on bail, and if a Magistrate taking cognizance of such offence decides that a warrant should issue in the first instance against that person, he shall issue a bailable warrant in conformity with the direction of the Court under Sub-Section.
It would however be a good idea to remain present at the lawyer's office in order to provide your valuable inputs while the bail application is drafted, Also make sure that you keep in touch with your lawyer and that he informs you about the date of hearing of your bail application as and when he learns about it. It is a good idea for you to go to the court on the appointed day, just to be present while the lawyer makes his arguments, and to make sure that the lawyer is actively pursuing your case.
The judge will see how sharp and active your lawyer is. He may also read your bail application and may note the pertinent points, but very often judges do not bother to read the application in detail for small matters. A 498a anticipatory bail application is not a major matter for the judge with whom you are going to deal, because such applications can only be made to judges of sessions courts or high courts, and these judges are VIPs, especially High court judges, who deal with ministers and industrialists as a matter of routine.
The judge will consider whether you are a person who has some social standing. If you are a loafer or illiterate or a person with a bad reputation, then he will not give you anticipatory bail. There is a popular Hindi saying that it is worse to be considered a bad person than to just be a bad person. Do not think that you will get away in a situation where you are considered by your neighbours or by society to be a layabout just because the judge does not know you personally. In innumerable cases wives hire their own lawyers to assist and reinforce the prosecution, and this lawyer will do his best to make the judge feel that you are good for nothing.
Anticipatory bail cannot be granted to a person who has previously been convicted of an offence which carries a punishment which may exceed 7 years. Please note that this definition is slightly different from one involving an offence whose minimum punishment is 7 years or whose minimum punishment is more than 7 years. The bar is much lower than you would be comfortable with in case you have been convicted in a criminal case previously.

Conditions which may be imposed by an AB or Bail Order

Any judge who grants you (or anyone else) bail has –when passing his order granting bail– the power to impose certain restrictions upon you (or upon the person in question) with respect to your behaviour during the period in which you are free on bail, while your 498a/406/34 trial (or criminal trial under any other section(s) of the IPC or under any other law) goes on in any (other) court. Let me rephrase that. The judge who grants you bail has the power to impose absolutely any lawful conditions which he / she deems fit.
This power has been given to judges by various provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code; notably by section 437 and 438. For the limited purpose of this current discussion we can say that while the latter section deals with accused persons who have applied for and obtained anticipatory bail, the former pertains to those people who manage to obtain bail after they have spent some time in custody, which in other words is to say that it pertains to people who have not managed to obtain anticipatory bail. This section (437 of the Criminal Procedure Code of India) may be adjudged as having been shoddily drafted, for reasons explained below.
Critique of Possible Bail Conditions u/s 437 of CrPC
Top of Page Section 437 lays down certain conditions which are compulsory in the event of bail being granted by any judge in the case of offences against the state (the offences and punishments pertaining to the offences listed under Chapter 6 of IPC), offences against the human body (the same items mutatis mutandis vis-à-vis Chapter 16 of IPC), and offences against property (the same items mutatis mutandis vis-à-vis Chapter 17 of IPC). Such conditions are also compulsory if a person is accused of attempting to, or conspiring to, or abetment of these offences. The conditions are also compulsory in the case of offences which are punishable by a sentence which may extend to 7 years or more in jail. The judge has no power to refuse to impose these conditions.
These conditions are three in number.

The first condition is that the person who is bailed out needs to follow all the conditions which are mentioned in the bail bond executed by him under the relevant chapter. This expression "bail bond executed by him under this chapter" is confusing, and can be interpreted as being meaningless insofar as providing for the imposition of any specific set of conditions which are either not to be found or are not imposable in bail bonds executed under any other chapter (of the IPC) is concerned. (The confusion arises because of the reference to the various chapters of the IPC in the paragraph 437(3) of the CrPC. A better drafted law would have stated clearly "bail bond executed by him under this chapter of the CrPC" (which is to say, Chapter 33 of the CrPC) instead of "bail bond executed by him under this chapter".) Let me restate this in a simpler fashion. Conditions in a bail bond do not depend upon the chapter of the IPC (or of the CrPC for that matter) under which any specific offence pertaining to the bail application is to be found, or vice-versa. They are mostly the reasoned requirements (or whims and fancies) of courts and policemen. Due to this, this condition purports to be a fixed condition while in essence it gives the judge the power to set any legally permissible condition whatsoever. It is therefore a carte blanche to the judge (and to a limited extent to the police), and not really a fixed (in the sense of being a limited) condition.
The second condition which is compulsory under section 437 is that "such person (the person who is being granted bail) shall not commit an offence similar to the offence of which he is accused, or suspected, of the commission of which he is suspected". The phrase "of the commission of which he is suspected" is superfluous and confusing in this clause. Basically all they needed to say in this second condition was that the person should not commit a fresh offence, and this too would have needed to have been said only in case they were being fastidious. To need to tell someone that they will lose their freedom if they commit a crime –similar or dissimilar to the one which they are accused of– is all good, and makes sense, if the person who you are talking to is a child. Not otherwise.A funny but not so funny thing about this clause, which many falsely accused men will note, is that this is a dangerous clause because the person who has been bailed out after being falsely accused can land in prison again upon a second false accusation. This is where section 437 and 438 come to the limited rescue of the accused person, insofar as he can use them to try to obtain bail in case he has not been convicted of certain types of offence in the past as explained in the article on this page. You can read an article about the procedure for AB on this page.
The third condition, and the only one which makes complete sense is "that such person shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer or tamper with the evidence." This is entirely reasonable and is a welcome provision of law. Indeed, the falsely accused husband can reinforce his credentials in the eyes of the law to a certain extent by following this requirement to a T.
The judge/court has also been specifically given the power to impose additional conditions by section 437(3) of the CrPC by the following words at the end of the three clauses described above, "and may also impose, in the interests of justice, such other conditions as it considers necessary." This is entirely unnecessary since clause (i) of 437(3) already grants this power to the court, as has been explained above in the explanation about that clause.
Remember that IPC 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust) is a provision for punishment for a crime against property, and is a provision of chapter 17 of the IPC. So the judge has no choice but to set the three conditions which are mentioned in section 437 CrPC in case you apply (or are forced by circumstances to apply) for bail after spending some time in custody.
Critique of Possible Bail Conditions u/s 438 of CrPC
Top of Page These, so far described, are the conditions which are set in the case of bail which is not obtained in anticipation. Section 438 of CrPC deals with anticipatory bail, and it lays down the conditions which shall or may be set by any court which awards anticipatory bail to an accused person.
A reading of clause 438 (1b) (iv) gives the impression to the careless reader that all the conditions imposed by section 437 are to be imposed on anybody obtaining anticipatory bail in a 498a case. This clause reads as follows– "(iv) Such other condition as may be imposed under sub-section (3) of section 437, as if the bail were granted -under that section."
Such an impression is incorrect, as is much in the common man's understanding of the law. The critical word in this clause is 'may'. The court has the power to impose any conditions which it deems fit, and this power comes to it via a reading of this clause with the relevant clauses of Section 437, but no condition is rendered compulsory by this clause or such reading.
There are three other (preceding) clauses in this section, none of which is compulsory. This is the reason why anticipatory bail is such a sought after relief, and also explains why it is potentially and usually a superior relief to the accused person than bail after arrest.
These clauses read as follows–
"(i) a condition that the person shall make himself available for interrogation by a police officer and when required;
(ii) a condition that the person shall not, directly or indirectly,- make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the court or to any police officer,
(iii) a condition that the person shall not leave India without the previous permission of the court;"
The second clause here has already been explained above, and is entirely reasonable in this writer's opinion. The first clause also appears to be entirely reasonable, and it may reasonably be wondered why this clause is not compulsory. The answer perhaps lies in the desire of the legislature to minimise discretionary powers of the police.
The third clause is of interest to the considerable number of 498a accused who are NRIs or PIOs. To preclude the possibility of this condition being imposed by the court hearing your AB application, make sure that your lawyer includes –in the prayer section of your application– a request to the court to not impose this condition on you should it decide to grant AB to you.
You may also wish to read an article about the bail circus in India

What Happens after AB?

Any judge who grants you (or anyone else) bail has –when passing his order granting bail– the power to impose certain restrictions upon you (or upon the person in question) with respect to your behaviour during the period in which you are free on bail, while your 498a/406/34 trial (or criminal trial under any other section(s) of the IPC or under any other law) goes on in any (other) court. Let me rephrase that. The judge who grants you bail has the power to impose absolutely any lawful conditions which he / she deems fit.
This power has been given to judges by various provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code; notably by section 437 and 438. For the limited purpose of this current discussion we can say that while the latter section deals with accused persons who have applied for and obtained anticipatory bail, the former pertains to those people who manage to obtain bail after they have spent some time in custody, which in other words is to say that it pertains to people who have not managed to obtain anticipatory bail. This section (437 of the Criminal Procedure Code of India) may be adjudged as having been shoddily drafted, for reasons explained below.
Critique of Possible Bail Conditions u/s 437 of CrPC
Top of Page Section 437 lays down certain conditions which are compulsory in the event of bail being granted by any judge in the case of offences against the state (the offences and punishments pertaining to the offences listed under Chapter 6 of IPC), offences against the human body (the same items mutatis mutandis vis-à-vis Chapter 16 of IPC), and offences against property (the same items mutatis mutandis vis-à-vis Chapter 17 of IPC). Such conditions are also compulsory if a person is accused of attempting to, or conspiring to, or abetment of these offences. The conditions are also compulsory in the case of offences which are punishable by a sentence which may extend to 7 years or more in jail. The judge has no power to refuse to impose these conditions.
These conditions are three in number.
The first condition is that the person who is bailed out needs to follow all the conditions which are mentioned in the bail bond executed by him under the relevant chapter. This expression "bail bond executed by him under this chapter" is confusing, and can be interpreted as being meaningless insofar as providing for the imposition of any specific set of conditions which are either not to be found or are not imposable in bail bonds executed under any other chapter (of the IPC) is concerned. (The confusion arises because of the reference to the various chapters of the IPC in the paragraph 437(3) of the CrPC. A better drafted law would have stated clearly "bail bond executed by him under this chapter of the CrPC" (which is to say, Chapter 33 of the CrPC) instead of "bail bond executed by him under this chapter".) Let me restate this in a simpler fashion. Conditions in a bail bond do not depend upon the chapter of the IPC (or of the CrPC for that matter) under which any specific offence pertaining to the bail application is to be found, or vice-versa. They are mostly the reasoned requirements (or whims and fancies) of courts and policemen. Due to this, this condition purports to be a fixed condition while in essence it gives the judge the power to set any legally permissible condition whatsoever. It is therefore a carte blanche to the judge (and to a limited extent to the police), and not really a fixed (in the sense of being a limited) condition.
The second condition which is compulsory under section 437 is that "such person (the person who is being granted bail) shall not commit an offence similar to the offence of which he is accused, or suspected, of the commission of which he is suspected". The phrase "of the commission of which he is suspected" is superfluous and confusing in this clause. Basically all they needed to say in this second condition was that the person should not commit a fresh offence, and this too would have needed to have been said only in case they were being fastidious. To need to tell someone that they will lose their freedom if they commit a crime –similar or dissimilar to the one which they are accused of– is all good, and makes sense, if the person who you are talking to is a child. Not otherwise. A funny but not so funny thing about this clause, which many falsely accused men will note, is that this is a dangerous clause because the person who has been bailed out after being falsely accused can land in prison again upon a second false accusation. This is where section 437 and 438 come to the limited rescue of the accused person, insofar as he can use them to try to obtain bail in case he has not been convicted of certain types of offence in the past as explained in the article on this page. You can read an article about the procedure for AB on this page.
The third condition, and the only one which makes complete sense is "that such person shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any police officer or tamper with the evidence." This is entirely reasonable and is a welcome provision of law. Indeed, the falsely accused husband can reinforce his credentials in the eyes of the law to a certain extent by following this requirement to a T.
The judge/court has also been specifically given the power to impose additional conditions by section 437(3) of the CrPC by the following words at the end of the three clauses described above, "and may also impose, in the interests of justice, such other conditions as it considers necessary." This is entirely unnecessary since clause (i) of 437(3) already grants this power to the court, as has been explained above in the explanation about that clause.
Remember that IPC 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust) is a provision for punishment for a crime against property, and is a provision of chapter 17 of the IPC. So the judge has no choice but to set the three conditions which are mentioned in section 437 CrPC in case you apply (or are forced by circumstances to apply) for bail after spending some time in custody.
Critique of Possible Bail Conditions u/s 438 of CrPC
Top of Page These, so far described, are the conditions which are set in the case of bail which is not obtained in anticipation. Section 438 of CrPC deals with anticipatory bail, and it lays down the conditions which shall or may be set by any court which awards anticipatory bail to an accused person.
A reading of clause 438 (1b) (iv) gives the impression to the careless reader that all the conditions imposed by section 437 are to be imposed on anybody obtaining anticipatory bail in a 498a case. This clause reads as follows– "(iv) Such other condition as may be imposed under sub-section (3) of section 437, as if the bail were granted -under that section."
Such an impression is incorrect, as is much in the common man's understanding of the law. The critical word in this clause is 'may'. The court has the power to impose any conditions which it deems fit, and this power comes to it via a reading of this clause with the relevant clauses of Section 437, but no condition is rendered compulsory by this clause or such reading.
There are three other (preceding) clauses in this section, none of which is compulsory. This is the reason why anticipatory bail is such a sought after relief, and also explains why it is potentially and usually a superior relief to the accused person than bail after arrest. These clauses read as follows–
"(i) a condition that the person shall make himself available for interrogation by a police officer and when required;

(ii) a condition that the person shall not, directly or indirectly,- make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the court or to any police officer,
(iii) a condition that the person shall not leave India without the previous permission of the court;"
The second clause here has already been explained above, and is entirely reasonable in this writer's opinion. The first clause also appears to be entirely reasonable, and it may reasonably be wondered why this clause is not compulsory. The answer perhaps lies in the desire of the legislature to minimise discretionary powers of the police.
The third clause is of interest to the considerable number of 498a accused who are NRIs or PIOs. To preclude the possibility of this condition being imposed by the court hearing your AB application, make sure that your lawyer includes –in the prayer section of your application– a request to the court to not impose this condition on you should it decide to grant AB to you.

Bail Cancellation

Like most things in life, there is an ever present duality in the criminal justice process. Being Indians, we are aware of Hindu culture and mythology. Hence we can relate to this concept very well. There is a never ending dialectic in legal philosophy between the right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the need of the complainant(s) or victim(s) for a fair trial, uninfluenced by powerful or nasty (or both) accused persons. Bail is a legal provision which has great potential to provide mischievous or criminal elements an opportunity to influence the course of a trial in all the wrong ways. Sometimes people are bailed out and they misuse their freedom. Bail cancellation is the most obvious post facto way in which such abuse can be curtailed.
Different judges and benches have different views and ideologies in terms of their degree of concern for the rights of victims and accused. (All of us are also keenly aware that many forces which try to successfully or unsuccessfully influence judicial outcomes operate in our country legally and illegally.) General trends can also be discerned, arguably. The pendulum keeps swinging from the side of the accused to the side of the complainants. Earlier it was more on the side of the accused due to the absence of any credible checks on corruption in law enforcement. Now accused persons have to work their way through or around a powerful media and public opinion. This is achieved in various ways which are discussed in various other places on this website.
Bail can be cancelled after being granted. Bail cancellation is a provision which is included in sections 437(5) and section 439(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Section 437(5) of CrPC — Any Court which has released a person on bail under sub- section (1) or sub- section (2), may, if it considers it necessary so to do, direct that such person be arrested and commit him to custody. [1]
Section 439(2) of CrPC — A High Court or Court of Session may direct that any person who has been released on bail under this Chapter be arrested and commit him to custody. [2]
This (cancellation of bail already granted) is usually possible only under such circumstances when the conditions which are set by the judge who granted bail have been violated by the accused. However, there can be any number of other circumstances under which this may be done. Such circumstances are not listed down anywhere. This is decided by judges keeping the facts and circumstances related to the crime and its aftermath in mind. Bail cancellation is just another one of an innumerable variety of things which are decided by courts in India by looking at the totality of facts and circumstances in the matter at hand. This is a fairly common legal concept, derivable intuitively by any thinking person.
Bail does not get automatically cancelled if an accused person violates his bail conditions. The prosecution side has to apply for cancellation of bail in the appropriate legal forum for such action. The Supreme Court had earlier taken the view that refusal to grant bail on the one hand, and cancellation of bail already granted on the other hand are two very different things, and should be treated as such. A double bench of the SC (A.S. Anand and M.K. Mukherjee) stated in Dolat Ram vs. State of Haryana, JT 1995 (1) (SC) 127: (1995) 1 SCC 349: (1994) Supp 6 SCR 69: (1994) 4 SCALE 1119 [3] that "Rejection of bail in a non-bailable case at the initial stage and the cancellation of the bail so granted, have to be considered and dealt with on different basis. Very cogent and overwhelming circumstances are necessary for an order directing the cancellation of bail, already granted. The High Court it appears to us overlooked the distinction between the factors relevant for rejecting bail in a non-bailable case in the first instance and the cancellation of bail already granted."(sic)
This view was partly contradicted by another Supreme Court judgement made by Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra in 2011. In a matter related to a fake encounter (Prakash Kadam and ors. vs. Ramprasad Vishwanath Gupta and ors., AIR 2011 SC 1945) [4], Katju authored a judgement laden with emotions and quotes from Shakespeare and Ved Vyas on behalf of the bench of which he was a part. The operative part of the judgement in the present context is as follows, "However, we are of the opinion that that is not an absolute rule, and it will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. In considering whether to cancel the bail the Court has also to consider the gravity and nature of the offence, prima facie case against the accused, the position and standing of the accused, etc. If there are very serious allegations against the accused his bail may be cancelled even if he has not misused the bail granted to him. Moreover, the above principle applies when the same Court which granted bail is approached for cancelling the bail. It will not apply when the order granting bail is appealed against before an appellate / revisional Court." Here, the bench in the present case is referring to the rule laid down by Anand and Mukherjee when they say "we are of the opinion that that is not an absolute rule…". Both judgements are being used as precedents by lower courts today since they were both made by two judge benches.
It is sometimes very difficult for the prosecution or the complainant(s) to obtain cancellation of bail already granted. Lt. Gen. Tejinder Singh has applied for cancellation of bail granted to Gen. V.K. Singh in the criminal defamation case filed by the former [5] [6]. He is unlikely to get a favourable order, since this is a private case and the allegation has not been accepted to be prima facie correct. Sanjeev Nanda's bail in the BMW case was not cancelled inspite of clear misdemeanour by his lawyer R.K. Dewan. Manu Sharma's interim bail was cancelled by the Delhi High Court after one of the prosecution witnesses vanished, but he later managed to get regular bail [7] [8]. This was in the Jessica Lal murder case. The special cell of Delhi Police tried to get Sreesanth's bail in the IPL T20 spot-fixing case cancelled with no success. Shakeel Noorani filed an independent petition for cancellation of bail granted to Sanjay Dutt in the Bombay blasts case [9]. The petition was rejected.
It is worth noting in the Sanjay Dutt case above that a third party which is not a part of the prosecution, nor a complainant may appeal for cancellation of bail in a criminal case. This is one aspect of criminal cases where such interventions are allowed. There are apparent contradictions in Supreme Court judgements in this regard. Justice P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan stated in the above case that Noorani needed to file an FIR if he wished to resolve his financial dispute with Sanjay Dutt, instead of taking this route. They were also reported in the media (The Hindu, Chennai) as having said that “How is the producer involved in this (Mumbai blast) criminal case? You file an FIR. We are dismissing your petition.” On the face of it, this seems to fly against what was said in Rajpal vs. Jagvir Singh, 1979 All Cr Rep 514 [10] (Jai, J.R., Bail Law and Procedure, Universal Law Publishing Company, 2012, Delhi), wherein the Allahabad High Court held that the state was not the only eligible petitioner in any bail cancellation matter. Details of the judgment quoted by him in support of this weighty contention have not been supplied by Jai in his work, but they can be seen at at least one location on the internet [11]. It might be mentioned in the context of Noorani's bail cancellation application that sometimes the motives of litigants are not entirely transparent. This happens in all sorts of cases including PILs.
In R.Rathinam vs State By DSP, District Crime, [(2000) 2 SCC 391 [12]], it was held by a division bench of the Supreme Court that a third party can file an application for cancellation of bail. In such a way the third party is reminding the court of the need to exercise its own power to start suo motu proceedings in this regard. The judges were K Thomas and D Mohapatra. Thus it is now the law that third parties can file such applications.
Sometimes bail cancellation occurs or appears to be likely. You might be aware of the current 2G case in which CBI is trying to get Sanjay Chandra's bail cancelled, after he was allegedly caught discussing his case with the public prosecutor A.K. Singh. There are media reports which suggest that CBI has a bulletproof case in this matter. (It is a different matter that the CBI failed in getting Chandra's bail cancelled in the said matter from a bench led by H.L. Dattu [13], but the case for the prosecution was substantially strengthened.) In the Uphaar cinema case the Ansals were accused of stealing and/or meddling with court documents and their bail was cancelled by the Supreme Court [14] as a consequence (they were later on accused of bench-hunting by the aggrieved parties, when they tried to get their bail cancellation overturned and did things which amounted to seeking a particular bench). Vijay Sai Reddy obtained bail in the Jaganmohan Reddy disproportionate assets case from the CBI trial court. The Supreme Court later cancelled his bail [15]. As recently as the month of May in the current year, R.K. Agrawal's bail in the 2012 Rajya Sabha election cash-for-votes scam (Jharkhand) has been cancelled [16].
Something very different happened to S. Gopalakrishnan and V.S. Prabhakara Gupta in the Satyam Infoway corporate fraud case in which B. Ramalinga Raju is the main accused; the Supreme Court overruled the order of the High Court whereby they had been granted bail. This is different from cancellation of bail, as was explained in the reasoned order passed by P. Sathasivam and B.S. Chauhan. [17]. It must be mentioned however that the position taken by the two learned SC judges seems to be in direct opposition to the legal maxim that every bail order is a final order, and that the only way to challenge a positive bail order is an indirect way, which is to apply for cancellation of bail.
If you manage to get anticipatory bail in your 498a case (u/s 498a/406/34 or as the case may be) then make sure that you follow all the conditions imposed upon you by the court scrupulously. Most important of all, do not contact or try to contact your accuser/accusers directly or indirectly. In fact, do not even mention her/them by name except in legal documents. Also, do not try to contact the public prosecutor at any time whatsoever before, during or after your trial. As far as the investigating officer is concerned, he will contact you himself whenever there is a need to do so. Do not try to initiate contact with him except under extraordinary circumstances. Another thing is that you need to make sure that the IO can contact you at all normal times. Above all remember the principle that an accused person should not try to influence the outcome of the trial in any manner except through his legal defence.
Bail is given in bailable cases as a matter of right. However it can be cancelled if the accused person is found to have tried to unduly influence the course of the case. Note that a magistrate can cancel bail granted by himself in a non-bailable matter, but he has no power to do so in a bailable case. Bail in such matters can only be cancelled by a sessions court or a higher court.
Another thing to be noted is that bail granted by a court can only be cancelled by a court which is equal or superior to it in the judicial hierarchy. This is applicable to all sorts of matters –bailable as well as non-bailable– with the proviso which is mentioned in the previous paragraph. A sessions court cannot cancel bail granted by a high court, and a high court cannot cancel bail granted by the Supreme Court. A single judge of the Supreme Court cannot cancel bail granted by a double bench of the same court. This last is applicable to high courts also.

The Bail Circus in India

If you feel that your dowry case is bad and is causing you to make an unfair number of trips to various courts, have a look at the Jaganmohan Reddy case. God only knows how many bail applications he was forced to make before he finally got bail. Thrice his bail was rejected by the apex court [1] [2] [3]. So we can rightly conclude that he approached the SC four times just to get bail. There was one bail application made by him in the Supreme Court in which 13 lawyers were representing him, with 4 lawyers against. Many of these lawyers are heavyweight lawyers. Still his application was rejected. Many high profile cases have similar histories. Look at the Gopal Kanda [4] [5] [6] case for example, or the slowly unfolding Asaram Bapu case [7] [8] [9].
The principle of res judicata is broadly speaking not applicable to bail applications. This is to say that judicial precedent cannot be used as a tool by a bail applicant to get bail. Every bail application is deemed to have its own fresh set of facts and circumstances which need to be examined by the presiding judge before he gives his considered opinion in the form of a decision one way or the other. An applicant is free to apply for bail at a higher court if his application is rejected by a lower court. Often higher courts tell accused persons to go back to the lower court whence they came, and the accused is forced to make a fresh application (including modifications determined by the higher court order) at the lower court.
If the lower court rejects his application, he goes to a higher court. If it is rejected again at this level, then he goes to the local high court. If the application is rejected here too, he has to apply at the Supreme Court. The applicant may be told to go back to the immediately lower court or to the lowest court to make a fresh and modified application at each of the successive higher stages. This makes for possibly an innumerable quantity of bail applications, and would be sufficient to clog up any legal system.
But our system is not satisfied with this amount of litigation. This whole exercise may produce only an interim bail order at its end. Interim bail is not final bail, as is clear from its name. A final bail order will require another bail application which will need to travel from the bottom to the top of the court system. This is enough fodder for another vexing round of lucrative litigation, which the accused person has no option but to initiate in case he loves his freedom. It needs to be mentioned just to make things clear that the litigation is vexing for one person, and lucrative for another person. This round of applications may finally end in a bail order. For the purpose of this write-up we better assume that it does, lest we keep going around in circles.
However, this is not the end of it. The bail order obtained by the accused is not final. There is in fact no concept of finality in bail orders. The prosecution is free to start appealing for cancellation of bail now. They can start with the court which granted bail, and go right up to the Supreme Court. It is not unheard of that a prosecution filed its petition for cancellation of bail at a court other than the court which had granted bail, only to be told to appeal at the correct forum. Sometimes incompetent or careless or less than alert lawyers file petitions in courts which do not have jurisdiction, and are told to approach the court which has jurisdiction over the matter at hand. This causes further mental torture and wasted time for all concerned. However, applying at the right court does not guarantee a favourable order. This much is axiomatic in litigation. Then the aggrieved party has no other option than either to give up or to approach a higher authority. This shooting match can continue right up to the Supreme Court.It must be mentioned here that often a higher court including and up to the Supreme Court puts an embargo on further bail applications for a limited period bounded by specific events like the filing of a chargesheet, or completion of investigation, or until a certain date defined by the performance or non-performance of a specific action or act. When the time comes, the litigant starts the whole circus all over again, in the process benefitting criminal lawyers by fattening their pension fund. If the investigating agency drags its feet and does not complete the investigation within a reasonable amount of time, the litigant makes a fresh application regardless of and without waiting for such completion.
If a person gets convicted then he has the right to apply for stay of his sentence or for bail pending the decision on his appeal in a higher court. Such persons usually file bail applications, and this phenomenon is especially widespread in 498a cases. This is done under a different section of the CrPC than the original bail application. Incidentally, even anticipatory bail and regular bail are applied for and granted under separate sections of the CrPC. If an accused person files bail applications under different sections of the CrPC then he has to litigate anew at each stage with the same rigmarole ahead of him. I forgot to mention that even notice bail applications are eligible to be litigated till the highest level, and are treated as a different bail application, even though they are filed under the same section of the CrPC which is applicable to anticipatory bail.
Transit bail and interim bail are two kinds of bail which guarantee the need for further bail applications. Yes, sometimes an accused files specifically for interim bail, surprising as it may sound. All bail applications are heard on an urgent basis by all courts. This is a priority which is not even granted to writ petitions, except some specific types of writ petitions, like a habeas corpus petition for example. This includes interim bail extension applications too. All this is done in the name of protecting the accused person's right to life guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution. It is very interesting that the state is not bothered about the violation of the right to life which is suffered by people who are trapped in unhappy marriages or are held to ransom by rogue tenants sitting on property purchased with lawfully earned money, in the sense that people who belong to these categories are commonly forced to litigate for 20 years, 30 years, or more. Is it possible that this is happening because bail applications are a lucrative business for the legal community? Bail applications make up the major part of the practice of most criminal lawyers, and each bail application is more often than not paid for by the client separately from the main criminal trial case.

How to Deal with Lawyers in your 498a / DV / Divorce Battle

There are many variations of a commonly heard saying in India which goes, "Once you start one or more of the following, you can never be sure how much you will end up spending:- hospitalisation, legal proceedings, and house construction." This saying is incorrect on all three fronts for the prudent person. Here we will talk about how to get your lawyer to perform as per your requirements, and within your budget. The only condition (which incidentally goes without saying) here is that it is essential to keep your requirements and budget realistic, lest you put yourself at risk of facing guaranteed disappointment.
Do not give in easily when faced with the threat of a 498a case. Let the other party (your 'wife') work to get their money. Let the lawyer also work for his money. This game is about money, it is not about sending you to jail. It is equally true that you cannot fight this battle alone, and a good lawyer is indispensable for you if you wish to remain sane throughout the ups and downs of your legal war. Do not neglect to conduct some market research and talking on the phone and in person with two or three lawyers before narrowing down your choices and / or settling for one.
Fee Enquiries And Initial Spadework
Top of Page Do not waste time on trying to find out lawyers' fees over the phone. Most of them will insist that they cannot tell you even a rough idea of their fee until you visit their office. Exceptions are possible if they have worked for you before or if they work near your house, i.e the lawyer is your neighbour. At the same time remember that prudent lawyers do not give absolutely any information over the phone except to provide a time for an appointment. This is done by successful lawyers to prevent time wastage and by struggling lawyers to preclude armchair comparison shopping by people who are unlikely to give real paid business to their offices. Another reason for them to do this is to see the potential client face to face in order to judge what kind of person he is. Remember, it is not just the lawyer who becomes an important person for his client for an extended period. The client likewise becomes a constant presence in the life of his lawyer for a long time. Therefore it should not be surprising if a lawyer seeks to know his client very well before starting a long term relationship with him / her / them.
If any lawyer asks for money for even the first consultation, then make enquiries about his reputation before spending money on him. You might even try to find out what he will charge for the case –in case you decide to engage him– before you go for the first meeting, but such efforts do not always yield results. Such is the nature of the Beast. Not that normally only very good lawyers ask for money for the first meeting. This is done to weed out financially unsound clients and clients who are unwilling to pay, and is done at the first stage itself as you can see. Call it a sort of lawyers' substitute for face control. This can be waived by many of them if you go via any of their former clients –the reasoning being that former clients are unlikely to recommend undesirable clients.
The argument that lawyers who do not charge for the first meeting are cheaper usually turns out to be misconceived if you consider the longer run. Lawyers who charge for the very first consultation are less likely to throw wool over your eyes than so called free consultation providers. Allow me to elaborate.
There is a common trend these days of various NGOs and lawyers claiming to provide free consultation. There is a simple test to check their intentions. If they provide free advice on telephone then they are more likely to be genuine than if they insist on a visit to their office for such 'free' advice. They know like everybody else that if a client goes to visit them for any sort of advice then he is forced to skip at least half a day at his job, and to spend five or six hundred rupees on petrol –thereby causing a small financial expenditure. It is common psychology to not waste time on further enquiries because each enquiry costs money and time, and therefore the NGO in question can reasonably expect you to become their client. This can happen in the case of certain types of lawyers also.
Another trick is to promise low fees initially and then to complicate the client's case with a view to extorting more fees and / or prolonging litigation. This is the commonest trick in our country. It is not wrong to blame lawyers for this situation but at least part of the reason for this state of affairs is a general reluctance amongst members of the public to pay unless forced to pay. Read the section about how not to become the client from hell below to learn more about difficult clients.
Qualities Of A Good Lawyer
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Does the lawyer have his own office or does he share a chamber with a senior or a more successful lawyer? As a rule only sign agreements with lawyers who have their own office or chamber because it is foolhardy to engage a lawyer who does not have a permanent work address. Has he graduated from an unknown college? Avoid lawyers who seem to have gone to a degree shop to get their Ll.B. How comfortable is he with the language of litigation? He will be unable to produce good petitions or to argue smoothly in court if he does not have good English.
Does he have any associates? If there is nobody else in his office then it will become impossible for you to get answers to your queries, to get somebody to represent you in court, or to answer any urgent correspondence in his absence. Is his / her practice based on assembly line and / or wholesale rate litigation? It will be impossible to get personalised attention from such a practice.
Does he give an impression of being a sophisticated person? Bargaining for the lowest possible payoff to your disaffected wife is an integral part of most modern day marital litigation, and therefore it always helps to have a shrewd, perceptive ally. Bear in mind that if you end up paying twenty lakh rupees less than her demand to your wife and simultaneously are forced to spend one or two lakhs extra on the kind of lawyer who enables you to clinch the aforementioned bargain then you cannot say that you have overpaid your lawyer. At the same time remember that a fool and his money are easily parted so it is best to not be a fool.
Does the lawyer have a comfortable office? His office will become an oft visited place during your litigation. You probably do not wish to stand in the sun or rain while waiting for your turn. Neither is it enjoyable to sit on uncomfortable chairs or in a non air-conditioned office.
The Cost Of Litigation
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A very common question from readers is to ask about the cost / fees for litigation of various types including inter alia expected legal fees for anticipatory bail, divorce cases, mutual consent cases, criminal trials, civil claims, writ petitions, etc.
There is no fixed answer for such questions but a general rule of thumb can be stated. The greater the competence, knowledge, and experience of a lawyer, the greater the demand for him; the greater the probability of winning, the greater the fee. Lawyers like KTS Tulsi, Mukul Rohtagi, Ram Jethmalani, Harish Salve, Kamini Jaiswal etc. can command fees approaching 25 to 35 lakh rupees per appearance in court. Jolly Ll.b. characters can ask for ten thousand rupees for bail matters and then promptly cause their clients to go to jail. Successful senior lawyers with offices in very good localities can charge anywhere from 2 lakhs to 8 lakh rupees for entire cases and 1 lakh to 3 lakhs for bail / anticipatory bail matters.
Matrimonial litigation packages may cost from 2 lakh rupees to 10 lakh rupees depending not only upon the ability and experience of the concerned lawyer but also upon how much he or she is in demand. Notice bail plus Anticipatory bail matters for dowry and other simple cases for two to three levels of courts may cost from 35 thousand rupees to 1.5 lakh rupees if handled by a decent lawyer, with the upper limit being around ten lakh rupees for any former additional solicitor general. This is the situation as of early 2017.
The Vakalat / Vakalatnama Top of Page Make a clear financial agreement with the lawyer when you make your decision to engage him. Usually such agreements are verbal but they are honoured. This will help you to keep your costs predictable. However, remember that once you have given X amount of money, you cannot get any part of X back. This is true in most countries including especially poor countries like India.
In addition note that when you sign your first vakalatnama with a particular lawyer, he is obliged to submit it to the court. It has seldom been heard that any lawyer backed out after he submitted the vakalatnama to the court, or that any lawyer refused to submit a vakalatnama to the court after getting it signed by a client. You may wish to include a line in the vakalatnama that you have paid the full and final fees. Alternatively, you may request a note from the lawyer saying that he has received the full and final payment for the particular case. This is because legal fees are mostly paid in cash, and lawyers are reluctant to give a receipt for the exact amount received, although exceptions are fairly common.
Some lawyers are allergic to giving you a copy of the vakalatnama, but most of them are not, in this writer's experience. Good lawyers also give you copies of all your case documents upon request. (It is interesting how the legal profession has protected itself. Architects sign an agreement with their clients in which both parties sign. A lawyer does not sign that he has agreed to represent you, even though you are paying him for it. He rather makes you sign that you are agreeing to let him represent you. The law (made by lawyers) permits lawyers to do this.) If you initially started with a per case payment system with your lawyer, consider going in for a package deal for all related litigation as the legal costs start mounting. If you are going in for a package deal, make sure that there is an instalment system for payments. Usually the lawyer takes full payment for each case at the rack rate as soon as the vakalatnama is signed for that particular case, and when the cumulative payments reach the total package amount which was initially agreed, he stops taking further payment.
It may be clarified here that often a client is told that, "You have already paid the rack rate for the first case or first few cases, and I have started work on those cases. The meter for your package deal will start ticking after you sign up for a package deal, and the money paid earlier is gone into my account, and I am not going to count it towards your package." So the package very often is for the cases to be fought AFTER the cases which went by before you finalised a package. Some people (usually lawyers) feel that this is fair, while others (usually clients) don't think so.
One variation of the package deal is that the lawyer agrees to take a lesser amount if the litigation does not escalate beyond a certain quantity, and the full amount if it exceeds that limit.
Another thing to keep in mind is case filing charges, which include court fees and preparing copies of the documents. This is an irritating additional expense, which gets on the litigant's nerves, and the unpleasantness is totally avoidable by including these charges within the initial package agreement. But a surprisingly high percentage of lawyers uses this head to milk the client further. It helps the lawyer that the court does not give any receipt for court fees, which is paid by purchasing and affixing stamps of varying amounts. You may fix a per case (or per case/appeal filing) additional fee under this head, with the amounts being in increasing slabs per case depending upon whether that case is filed in a lower court or a higher court.
In this writer's opinion, any lawyer who charges extra for documentation, photocopying, and/or mailing documents to you is not worth his salt. Make sure you cover this head in your fee negotiation, and that you include a clause that no surprise charges will be demanded at any stage. You may consider agreeing to pay with the condition that no more fees will be payable upto and after all legal options have been exhausted in a particular matter or set of matters.
Many lawyers ask for a lump sum signing amount, and then a per appearance fee. This system works out to be more expensive usually, and the costs are not predictable in this. Further, there is less incentive in this case for the lawyer to bring the litigation to as quick an end as legally possible. Lawyers also sometimes charge for every date on which they reach the court, regardless of the attendance of the opposing lawyer or the judge on that date. This is not a good practice because days on which particular judges are going to stay on leave are invariably announced in advance, more often than not announced on the internet.
Too Many Lawyers? Or Too Few Good Lawyers?
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If you are dealing with a big firm of lawyers, it may not be a bad idea to sometimes slip a note to the youngsters who appear on behalf of the firm on your dates if they do a good job. They are usually underpaid and overworked. Law is a very exploitative profession, just like the rest of professions in India. Remember that the number of lawyers is more than the number of architects, chartered accountants, engineers, and doctors, combined. Almost any tom dick or harry can become a lawyer in our country.
Remember, the legal profession is very competitive, and there is cutthroat competition to get work. Most lawyers are not able to make ends meet, and therefore (theoretically?) the temptation to cheat and to cut corners is very high. Many people say that it is better to hire a lawyer who is successful, and has a brisk if not roaring practice. He is "likely to be scared of losing his reputation and practice, and is practically guaranteed to not fight from both sides at the same time". Others might say that a lawyer can only be judged by his past performance. Such people are likely to prefer established attorneys.
An alternative logic is that the richer a lawyer, the greedier he will be. I personally feel that if a lawyer is needy enough to advertise, then he may be given a chance. There are many forums in which lawyers advertise today, because advertising has been permitted by their bar council.
Suspecting The Motives Of Your Lawyer
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A large number of lawyers are unscrupulous, and they scare their clients to make more money. Sometimes you may encounter two lawyers in the real or virtual world, who may or may not be partners, one of whom scares you and the other calms you down, and soothes your nerves, or offers you a cigarette. The idea here is for you to start trusting the one who calms you down; to pay him for trusting him. It is a surprisingly common phenomenon, with even very good lawyers engaging in this game. It is analogous to the old 'good cop, bad cop' routine. This is a childish attempt to fool you, do not get fooled by this game. Remember, however, that your agenda is to avoid losing too much money, and not to insult or punish the lawyers who indulge in such manoeuvres. Therefore, do not accuse them of cheating to their face. This is not polite. Remember to always be courteous to all the people you meet during the course of your legal battle -even behind their backs. It is bad enough that you wife has become your enemy, and you should not try to add your lawyer to the list.
If you find yourself suspecting your lawyer's behaviour, or if you find yourself suspecting the behaviour of a very large percentage of people who you meet in the course of your legal battle, consider visiting a qualified psychiatrist. It is easy to say that the whole system is corrupt, and that they are all out to cheat you. It is also easy to argue for the opposite of this by saying that you are paranoid, and nobody is out to get you except your wife. Some people may even quote the postmodern saying that just because you are paranoid, it doesn't mean that they are not out to get you (in an attempt to confuse you, or because they themselves are confused). The bottomline is that if you are seriously disturbed then you need to meet a psychiatrist, before things get out of hand and you or someone close to you makes any stupid or dangerous attempt.
Sacking Your Lawyer
Top of Page Never fear that dismissing your lawyer may lead to your going to jail. If you and your family are convinced that the lawyer is not doing his job well, then sack him immediately, and tell twenty people. The law gives tremendous protection to you from any attempt by your former lawyer to send you to jail. However, lawyers can also be criminals. He may try something stupid. But he may very well find himself behind bars if he attempts something stupid. The worst you can expect in more than 99 percent of such cases is a civil dispute. Even this is practically unheard of, as who will hire a lawyer who is known to have sued his own former client.
According to the Bar Council rules, you cannot change you lawyer unless the first lawyer gives you a certificate stating that his dues have been cleared. This rarely works in this manner. Even in the famous rape case, the defendants switched back and forth between two lawyers at will. Just give a vakalatnama to a new lawyer, and inform the old one if you feel like informing him. Any prudent lawyer will not prolong his professional embarrassment by litigating for small amounts of money in such situations.
A slightly more Sophisticated Way to Sack Your Lawyer
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Another way to sack your lawyer is to appoint an additional lawyer for your case without sacking the first one. You can continue to talk to the first lawyer or to start ignoring him totally. Also it is entirely up to you whether you want the both of them to appear on your behalf on various court dates. How much instruction you provide to each of them is also your prerogative. This method is recommended for that type of client who is a stickler for rules and feels that a no objection certificate from a sacked lawyer is essential if he is to be replaced. This method is also useful if a client falls into the clutches of a lawyers' mafia –something which is seen all too commonly in our country.
A Client's Role In Fighting His Own Case Top of Page A client invariably needs to contribute to drafting of petitions unless and until he engages a stratospherically expensive lawyer. Many many lawyers are good at courtroom tactics and oral arguments if they are briefed well, and are given a well prepared petition. However, very few are able to do both the drafting of the petition and the courtroom part well. If you are poor enough to need to read this article in minute detail, then you are probably not rich enough to afford a lawyer who will draft all your petitions, applications, replies, rejoinders, notices, agreements, and MoUs competently without requiring heavy contribution from your side.
Most lawyers are too busy or too incompetent to draft your petitions and applications themselves. Since you are going for a lawyer who is successful and affordable at the same time, do not expect him to have time to draft these documents. Expect to spend your time and energy in this effort. Or you may ask a friend who can write well to do this for you. All the same, make sure that your lawyer goes through the petition before it is finalised. There is also normally at least one person whose main job is to draft petitions in any medium sized lawyers' office. Give a chance to this person also to contribute to the drafting, although he will usually be working in an assembly line fashion. Get suggestions from your parents and really trusted people also.
Remember to call the lawyer's office before the hearing date, and to talk to whoever is going to appear on your behalf. Brief this person well, and tell him any details which are important for you, but which you feel are too nuanced or sensitive to deserve a place in the written petition.
If phone companies had to rely on outgoing calls by lawyers to make their money, they would pretty quickly go out of business. Most lawyers never call their clients. Most of them don't even return your calls. A huge percentage of successful ones are very difficult to raise on a phone in any manner which may be called satisfactory. If you meet a lawyer who calls you or even returns your calls, consider yourself lucky, and give him additional points for this courtesy.
Some lawyers are very particular about not wanting to hear anything extraneous to the litigation from you. (This is usually the sign of a good lawyer.) Some of them are even chary of letting you tell them why you wish to take a particular step –especially when you wish to withdraw your petition or to compromise– and may demand instructions in written form from you in such situations. You may try to discuss each such step with your lawyer –before you make a decision either way– instead of presenting it as a fait accompli, in case you are willing to be persuaded.
The Client From Hell
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Also, try not to become the client from hell, a very common species in India. This person says right up front that he has very little money or no money to pay the lawyer, and then does his best to not pay him in the stages according to the agreement. If you want free legal services then you need to contact the free legal aid cell at the local court, and not go to an independent counsel who is working on retainer basis. Such clients are very common and this is one of the main reasons why most lawyers try to take their whole payment in advance. As an architect I have seen how difficult it is to extract fees from most clients in our country. This is why many professionals concentrate on foreign clients, and this is the reason why lawyers sometimes resort to putting their clients in a bad legal situation in order to scare them into paying them.
Another thing this sort of client does is to mistrust his lawyer almost all the time and thus hinders him on his path to success in the case.
No Surefire Formula For Handling Lawyers Top of Page It appears that clients do not handle lawyers. Rather, lawyers handle clients. It is probably best to somehow try to find a lawyer who has a record of treating his clients well. It must be mentioned here that many men who face dowry charges are really worthless people, and deserve the treatment which their wives give them. But lawyers are sharp and they know who is good and who is bad. They should use this knowledge to treat people accordingly.

How Crooked and Uncouth Lawyers Cheat their Clients

Men who face cruelty from their wives, and then decide to take legal steps to end that cruelty have to follow the path prescribed by law and society. Similarly, men who face criminal charges filed by their wives against them and possibly their parents are left with no option but to defend themselves against such allegations in at least one court of law, and sometimes in a series of courts or several courts simultaneously. Matrimonial litigation is often a combination of civil and criminal litigation. It is also an emotional battle. As such it needs to be dealt with at various fora including courts, police stations, and family.
A litigant's lawyer's office becomes an often visited place for him, and his lawyer becomes a very important person in his life. His freedom and his happiness start to depend upon his lawyer's performance, competence, and bona fide intentions. If a lawyer is incompetent then he should have no right to call himself a lawyer. Sadly, such 'professionals' are very common in our country due to the bar council's uncooperative attitude. If a lawyer is polite and he cheats his clients then he falls in the category of a smooth criminal. If a lawyer is rude on top of being a cheat then he is a practitioner of blatant thuggery. It is difficult to say which kind out of these three is a greater joy, since they all have their own charms. Litigants often realise quite late in the day that such lawyers are very common in our country. As a matter of fact there are many many lawyers who fall in at least two out of these three categories, and many many who meet all three criteria, i.e incompetence, dishonesty, and rudeness.
In other countries also such lawyers are fairly common, as can be made out from the worldwide prevalence of jokes about lawyers which never show them in a positive light. Mario Puzo is not the only man in history who has referred to lawyers as thieves. Thinkers without number have put lawyers in the same category as prostitutes. Every second lawyer will warn you that his profession is chock a block with opportunists and unethical persons. This is but a soft way of calling somebody a criminal. Many people classify lawyers as traitors. This is out of anger at those lawyers who collude with the other party. Yes, it is an open secret that lawyers sometimes cheat their clients in the most detestable way, which is to sabotage their litigation by leaking information to their enemies or rivals. A friend of this writer once said to him that lawyers are one of the two professions where a person cannot succeed if he does not cheat –the other being goldsmithery.
The first time litigant is often an innocent waiting for these gentlemen to pounce upon him. Such a person goes into litigation with the notion that his lawyer will fight the case competently and will do his best to make the courts give him justice. Experienced litigants have often been heard to say that it is the litigant who fights his case, and it is he who wins or loses his case, and not the lawyer. It would have been tolerable if things were bad only to this extent. The fact is that there is no shortage of incompetent lawyers who spoil the cases of their clients due to lack of knowledge of the law. Innumerable lawyers are actually cheats who spoil the cases of their clients. Such lawyers do not come into the public eye because the litigant does not wish to add more litigation to his legal troubles.
Let me clarify this point. In our country a client cannot complain against his lawyer to the bar council in the normal format of a complaint. He actually has to file a petition and to engage a lawyer to fight this case. This is a sad situation. The bar council is not so stupid that it cannot see that a person who has been let down by one lawyer will think a thousand times before engaging another lawyer. This is a provision which has been framed by lawyers to favour lawyers, much like all the laws in our country. India is a republic of the lawyers, for the lawyers and by the lawyers if truth be told. Just see the number of lawyers in parliament and the union cabinet to get a rough assessment of their power in lawmaking, and policy formulation and execution. Even when we decided to give the title 'founding fathers' to some people, we gave it a group of lawyers (I am not challenging their honesty or good intentions here partly because I value my health) like Gandhi, Jinnah, Ambedkar, Patel, Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Lokmanya Tilak, and others. The third part of our polity –the judiciary– is totally composed of lawyers. If Sibal and Chidambaram go out, Jaitley and Ravishanka Prasad come in; if RK Anand goes out, KTS Tulsi comes in; if Narasimha Rao goes out, Pranab Mukherjee comes in. his writer has a reasonable amount of experience in litigation. He has met lawyers who are competent, lawyers who are courteous, and yes, lawyers who are honest. But he is yet to meet first hand any lawyer who meets all three desiderata. If you include the additional requirement of reasonable fees on top of these three then heaven help you. Even within my matrimonial litigation I have had to change lawyers a couple of times.
The thing is that lawyers are highly aware that any man who comes to them is a man who is already neck deep in trouble and/or pain and/or grief, and does not have the energy or the strength to fight back if they harass and exploit him. This is the reason why lawyers are sometimes compared to birds of prey or carrion eaters. I personally have the experience of a firm of lawyers who were handling more than a thousand cases when I engaged them for my matrimonial litigation and they just took my money and then started treating me like an unwanted person, until the day when I was forced to sack them. I remember having the distinct feeling that perhaps they were behaving in an incompetent and rude way to encourage me to sack them. This has an eerie resemblance to the modus operandi of a cheat, but there is nothing much that a litigant can do to such people because he has other problems which are more urgent.
Another thing which many lawyers do is to send their clients on a wild goose chase by misguiding them. In matrimonial litigation, often lawyers fool their clients by telling them that a petition for restitution of conjugal rights will bring some legal benefits to them like making them immune to dowry harassment charges u/s 498a IPC, or saving time, or obtaining a quick divorce. Other ways are to not defend their client using common sense logical arguments in court by providing specious legal arguments in chamber and/or by forcing the client to take devious legal routes. As a matter of fact a large percentage of people face more harassment from their lawyers than their spouses in matrimonial litigation.
A simple question which you need to ask yourself is why will a lawyer try to end litigation quickly if he is benefitting from protracted litigation. This is just like expecting a realtor to get a lower price for you when his payment is tied to the price. People try to avoid such a situation by buying a package from a lawyer. This does not always work, as you have read above.
Another common tactic of lawyers is to scare a litigant, or to fan the fire of needless litigation by invoking the anger, greed, or ego of their clients. I am told that it is not unheard of in lawyers' offices in India that a client has been referred to as a murga(sacrificial chicken). Needless litigation is sometimes called luxury litigation in the legal profession. The bar council rules for lawyers specifically forbid them from encouraging needless or frivolous litigation, but this directive is flouted every day by a huge number of lawyers. This is especially true in matrimonial litigation.
Many lawyers expect their client to address them as 'sir' or 'madam', and in return they only give contempt to their clients, addressing him with the familiar 'you' (tu) in Hindi, and treating them with disdain. My previous lawyers were inveterate practitioners of such rudeness even with clients who were ten years older than them. It is seen very often that such lawyers do not respect their colleagues and juniors also. No junior stays in their office for more than a few months. Everybody needs respect and fair treatment, but this fact is not recognised by such morons.
A very large number of lawyers are over-argumentative. Such lawyers are weak in arguing in front of judges but love to argue with their clients constantly. They are habituated to deriving sadistic pleasure from the helplessness of their clients. Their aim inter alia is to keep the said clients wrongfooted in order that they can keep financially exploiting them in their respective states of confusion. If the victim of such a lawyer tries to argue back with logic the poor fellow discovers to his frustration that the gentleman has perfected the art of being on both sides of every argument, of staying on both sides of every fence, of never taking a stand, and of constantly resiling from his own stated positions. Stay away from such losers who as I have mentioned are legion.

13 Reasons why Lawyers in India should be allowed to Advertise

The Bar Council of India has finally allowed lawyers to advertise their services on the internet in this era of globalization. This move has come late as firms abroad have been advertising their services since more than a decade. This decision was informed by the BCI to the Supreme Court after an affidavit was filed through its secretary Mr. S. Radhakrishnan. However, as decided in the case of V.B. Joshi v. Union of India, where this amendment was made in Rule 36, Section IV, only 5 pieces of information can be advertised on the internet i.e. (1) name of the firm, (2) address, telephone numbers and email id, (3) (a) enrollment number, (b) date of enrollment, (c) name of State Bar Council where originally enrolled, (d) name of the State Bar Council on whose roll name stands currently and (e) name of the Bar Association of which the advocate is a member, (4) professional qualifications and academic qualifications and (5) areas of practice."
According to the newspaper 'Economic Times', "Under the amended rule, advocates can mention in their chosen websites, their names, telephone numbers, e-mail ID, professional qualification and areas of specialisation".
It is interesting that such a vaguely worded statement was filed by the bar council in an affidavit, and the hearing of the case was postponed indefinitely. I think that this means that lawyers can put up banner advertisements on any website showing the permitted information. This is in fact being done on many websites today, including on google, and on a popular web directory which has hired Amitabh Bachchan to appear in its advertisements.
The Bar Council of India states in the rules as laid down in its code of ethics in the section called "An Advocate's duty towards Colleagues" that " An Advocate shall not solicit work or advertise, except through a medium maintained by the Bar Council of India, either directly or indirectly, whether by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications, interviews not warranted by personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or producing his/her photographs to be published in connection with cases in which he/she has been engaged or concerned. His/her sign-board or name-plate should be of a reasonable size. The sign-board or name-plate or stationery should not indicate that he/she is or has been a President or Member of a Bar Council or of any Association or that he/she has been associated with any person or organisation or with any particular cause or matter or that he/she specialises in any particular type of work or that he/she has been a Judge or an Advocate General."
Here it is clarified by the Bar Council that, "Soliciting work or 'advertise' as used in this clause of the Code would not mean and include setting up of a web-site by an advocate or a law firm giving only basic information about the names and number of lawyers in a law firm, the contact details and areas of practice."
If you are a young lawyer reading this, you may feel upset about this and say "Tough luck but rules are rules". If this writer happens to be somewhere around you he would probably say "Really? What rules?" Let me try and list down the number of ways in which I can prove that this rule is totally misconceived, impracticable, and indeed is being violated even as you read these words and try to get a grip on the spirit behind these words.1) Are you telling me that if a lawyer becomes a law minister and does not stop practicing law, knowing that he is getting newspaper comments and headlines about him and his acts every day, this is ethical, and does not violate his duty towards his colleagues? Are you saying that you can call such behaviour ethical and call a 'lesser' lawyer's advertisement on the internet unethical?
1a) Replace 'law minister' with 'additional solicitor general', 'solicitor general', 'science and technology minister', 'governor', 'leader of the opposition', 'Rajya Sabha member', 'chief minister', 'home minister', 'finance minister', and any other title you can think of which has adorned a lawyer who went on to not quit law practice. Then repeat the question which has been asked at the end of point no 1 above.
1b) Does the BCI really feel that if a person does not tell people that he or she has been a judge or an advocate-general people will not come to know this fact? What does it feel about the Supreme Court putting up a list of lawyers on its website and stating loudly and clearly that these people are senior advocates, and that such and such senior advocate is a retired judge, a retired chief justice, or a retired advocate general? Will such information printed on a visiting card amount to more undue publicity than if it is published on the Supreme Court website, (as it has indeed been)?
2) A firm of lawyers describes itself on a website owned or at least operated by it as the oldest law firm in India and goes on to state that it "boasts of an unparalleled legal tradition of being the legal advisor for the East India Company" inter alia, and then goes on to list its achievements –tangible and intangible/unverifiable– on its home page (viewed on 4th October 2013). (interestingly this firm was founded in 1896 according to its own website, and the East India Company was dissolved in 1874 according to the wikipedia page which pertains to that company). Is this self-publicising behaviour not against the word and spirit of the code of ethics of the bar council? If such behaviour can go unnoticed or unpunished then why are young lawyers afraid of advertising on the internet?
2a) Other firms are doing similar things. For example, there is one firm called x and y. It claims on its website (viewed on 4th October 2013) that "The members of the Firm offer its clientele high quality expertise derived from immense transactional experience". Is this not self-praise? Is this not an attempt at advertisement? (Let us assume for a moment here that not all people are aware of the fact that self-praise is no recommendation.)
3) Let us assume that one company makes a website which is totally according to BCI rules. You can look at the website of a company called Trilegal. I think that this website is a clear example of a website which does not even reach the envelope of the BCI rules, leave alone push it. Let us assume that there are other such sites. Now what is there in the BCI rules to stop such a website from spending a crore rupees on search engine optimisation and reaching the first page of Google's results? How can the BCI stop this when there is no agreed definition of what is and what is not search engine optimisation? How can you monitor or detect it even if you can define it?
3a) What about if some lawyer sets up a facebook page, and provides only his name, phone number, educational qualifications, years of experience, and area of practice on it. Now he goes on and spends a crore rupees on a facebook ad campaign to get a couple of million likes. Now he has a captive audience of about 3 to 4 lakh persons. How can the BCI stop this? Is this stoppable?
3b) What about those lawyers who advertise on google? How about if some lawyer does not put ads/links/ads-cum-links to his website on google but puts them on thousands of other websites? This can be done very easily today. How will you monitor the whole internet for such ads?
3c) How about if somebody sets up a website which is for the general public, and appears to be real and useful on the face of it, but is actually a vehicle for an individual practice? There are such sites. I sent a protest to a website called about how unknown people were cutting and pasting my work from my website to their website without my permission. I sent this comment using their contact us form. In reply I got a thinly disguised advertisement for a particular firm of lawyers and a link to their website.
4) What about if some lawyer has a friend who becomes an editor in a weekly supplement in a national newspaper? How can you prove that the weekly advice column which he has been granted by the editors of this paper has not been 'inspired' by him? How do you stop such behaviour?
5) What do you do if there is an internationally famous rape case? Famous to such an extent that the local bar association passes a resolution prohibiting any of its members from accepting the brief of the accused men (for reasons best known to itself). Now comes a man who turns up in court having practically grabbed a brief which others are bound not to accept by the above resolution. Can anybody smell any collusion or illegality here? What do you call the resultant widespread newspaper comments? Inspired comments? Natural publicity?
6) Is not the BCI instruction to lawyers to not put any material on their website other than their names and address in direct conflict with its instruction to lawyers to provide free advice to needy persons?
7) What about those men and women who provide advice on forums on the internet? Do you call these "interviews not warranted by personal relations"? Or do you call this free legal advice to needy persons? How do you expect the lawyers amongst these persons to expect that their advice will be taken seriously if they do not provide their name and contact details?
8) What can a lawyer do if some competitor puts up ads purportedly on his behalf and then complains to the BCI? This is very feasible today, what with proxy IP addresses and extreme levels of professional rivalry. How will the BCI ensure that it is punishing only those who are themselves guilty of advertising for themselves only?
9) Even criminals who get convicted are known to complete the study of law in jail and then practice law. Does it make sense in the light of this fact to punish a lawyers by disenfranchising him for mere advertisement?
10) In fact even the phrase "interviews not warranted by personal relations" is a hangover from the British Raj. This phrase is encountered by other professionals like architects and chartered accountants also. It is a condition which could only have been dreamt up by members of the ruling class in a class ridden society, which is what the United Kingdom was and continues to be. India is pretty much the same due to such restrictions sanctioned by law. This flies in the face of Article 21 of the Constitution and needs to be scrapped urgently.

RCR: Something to Avoid

A common phenomenon during 498a/DV litigation is that the wife leaves her matrimonial home and starts to live in some other place, thus denying her husband of his conjugal rights. Some lawyers will tell you that you should apply for RCR (Restitution of Conjugal Rights), also called Section 9 of Hindu Marriage Act. These lawyers are only trying to entangle you in a fruitless battle which will enrich them at the cost of ruining your life. Avoid such lawyers like the plague. Why this writer thinks so, is explained as follows.
A petition for Restitution of Conjugal Rights is a petition to order the wife to come back to you. This is done supposedly to allow the spouse who wants to save the marriage to save it. Why the lawmakers included this provision in the law on marriage and divorce in India is a mystery –considering the fact that they knew perfectly well that you cannot force an unwilling spouse to cohabit with the willing spouse, even if they are in the same bed.
Further, the slow speed of Indian courts ensures that the marriage is long dead before the aggrieved party is finally able to see his or her effort through to the conclusive stage in the court system. This will occupy many years of your life and lead to the wastage of lakhs of rupees, and in the end, even if you win it, even the Chief Justice of India or the Full Court of the Supreme Court cannot enforce it. Nobody can force your wife to come back to you, even if there is a court order from the highest court.
Your unscrupulous lawyer may say that the RCR petition insulates you from 498a. This is utter hogwash. An RCR petition does not protect you from 498a in any way whatsoever. Remember, it is you who is asking your wife to come back, and she is refusing to come back. She can easily claim that this is due to dowry cruelty by you and your family –and indeed, this is what is invariably done by such wives. Ask yourself, if you force your wife with the aid of a family court to tell why she has left you, and if she is angry at you, then what other route remains for her than to accuse you of harassing or torturing her?
RCR is a horrible, horrible mistake for the criminal side of your battle too. It means in effect that you are declaring that you have forgiven all the cruelties of your wife, and that you do not mind that she has left you; denied you sex and love; filed a DV case against you and your parents; filed 498a against you and your parents; and all other similar actions taken by her. You lose your right to file divorce on the grounds of cruelty the moment you file RCR. You practically lose your right to file for divorce on any grounds whatsoever for months if not years after your RCR has been decided upon by the highest court.
Further, you have to fight your RCR until the highest court, and then you have to fight again from the lowest to the highest court to get the decree enforced. Even at the end of that, it is not enforceable at all.
There is another provision in the HMA that once one party succeeds in getting a positive decree as a result of his/her RCR petition, the parties have to resume cohabitation within a period of one year, failing which, either party can get a divorce decree. This provision renders the whole RCR concept meaningless, because the party which wants a divorce can lead the other party up the garden path by allowing them to win the RCR decree in as short a time period as possible, and then using the same against them. This can be done by not contesting the RCR petition; and, thereafter, not resuming cohabitation within the succeeding year. This eventually results in a divorce decree at the end of that period, and the deserting party gets what they want.
The above passage also explains why the notion that an RCR can dull your wife's divorce petition is foolish. She gets two pathways to divorce in this case, not just one.
Another funny thing which reveals the lopsided interpretation of the law by the judiciary in our country is that the wife can file an RCR and a 498a at the same time. The courts do not interpret her RCR in this situation to mean that she has condoned the putative cruelty of the husband. They permit the 498a to be admitted, and allow the husband to suffer the illogical legal atrocity of a woman trying to send him to jail and to bring him to her bedroom at the same time.
An RCR petition cannot reduce your maintenance expenditure either, as your wife has more than one pathway to get maintenance from you. India is the only country in the world where the wife has at least four legal provisions enabling her to ask for maintenance, and it is impossible to stop all four attacks if she is hell-bent on harassing you. Further, you must note that due to section 24 of HMA she can claim money from you to fight the case against you. And although you can file the RCR case in your city, the record so far overwhelmingly supports the probability that the legal battle will have to be fought in her city

NRIs and PIOs: 498a FAQs

It is fairly common for highly educated men or men with technical qualifications or computer engineers aka techies and their families to get trapped in 498a cases. Many such men go abroad to seek their fortune. They –just like their brethren in India– epitomise the intelligent and educated man who wishes to rise in life through hard work and perseverance in his chosen field; the man who has no room in his life for lying or stealing to make money. It is therefore ironical –and very distressing for any justice loving person– that such men and their parents are accused of trying to get rich quick through the dowry route by the kind of women whose main common aim at the time of choosing such men is to get a comfortable life without hard work.
The usual pattern in NRI and PIO marriages is for the woman –be she India based or foreign based– to come to India on some harmless pretext, or after creating a scene as soon as she realises that this man is not going to be her puppet. When she reaches India, she approaches any unscrupulous lawyer and gets a dowry complaint drafted with a mixture of truths, half-truths, misrepresentations, and outright lies. She makes accusations of dowry torture against her husband, pertaining to the short period when they were together in India. She also adds plenty of masala about the time spent abroad.
There is also a particularly vicious kind of wife, who feels great pleasure in embellishing the vanilla dowry charges with other, wilder accusations. This may also be seen as an evolving trend in the 498a industry (read the note below about the Prince Tuli case). Such a woman may choose a few allegations out of assault, criminal intimidation, causing hurt, unnatural sex, bigamy, cheating, rape, attempted murder, outraging of modesty and domestic violence.
The illogicality of her accusations does not concern her. Sadly, society takes a very lenient view of women making outlandish accusations against the men in their lives. Very commonly it is mentioned in court judgements in India that the charges were dismissed because the judge discovered that the wife made the accusations in a fit of rage. Interestingly, men are quite often given the death penalty for crimes committed in anger. Similarly placed women usually get away scot-free despite the fact that making baseless accusations is a serious crime.
Then she approaches the local police and files the complaint.
The police write to the NRI husband's parents in India. When the NRI husband learns about the complaint, he feels amazed and shocked at the outright lies, and he starts suffering from various fears and anxieties related to his job, his parents, his eligibility to continue travelling freely between countries, and police procedures. Some of the major fears concern being declared a proclaimed offender; a red corner notice being issued by interpol against the husband; being extradited; being able to get bail and to join work in his country of usual residence. Here this writer tries to explore some of these questions –a dissertation which is doomed to be superficial due to restrictions of length to maintain readability. These questions are, in reality, legal themes requiring extensive treatment which can and does span several tomes.The short answer is no. If you are a citizen of the country where you are living, then your government has the power to extradite you only in cases where you have committed a crime which is recognised by both countries as a crime. No country other than India considers dowry harassment a crime. A variation to this rule is found in certain countries which never extradite their own citizens, regardless of the charges against them. This of course does not take into account situations where the country which wants the accused starts bombing the country which is sheltering him in his capacity as its citizen.
If the government of India wishes to extradite you from your country for other crimes mentioned in the FIR, then they have to follow a legal procedure in which the local national government has to prove to the local courts that the charges against you are prima facie true. It is a major diplomatic step for the Government of India to mobilise the engagement of lawyers in another country to plead before the local courts essentially on behalf of our sovereign state.
Further, if the result of the court proceedings is negative for the Government of India, then deterioration in diplomatic relations is pretty much inevitable, because our country suffers tremendous loss of face in such a situation. Witness the deterioration in India-Denmark entente due to the rejection of the Danish government petition in the Purulia arms drop accused Kim Davy extradition trial.
Such a risky endeavour will not be undertaken just to bring a man accused of certain marital crimes by his wife, to India. Not even if she accuses him of unnatural sex. Unless there is a media uproar here subsequent to the unnatural sex allegations. Then all bets are off. But you can count on a long long stay in that country before they are forced to send you back, because your free legal aid lawyers will raise at least ten legal points pertaining to Indian, local, and international law, which the government of that country will not be able to counter easily.
(A note on allegations of unnatural sex against husband by wife: This is a very interesting thing which this writer noted in the news recently. A former miss world accused her husband (Prince Tuli) of unnatural sex. The husband is a frequent world traveller, and has a home in at least one other country apart from India. The nature of the allegation is worth examining in a little detail. The allegation pertains to a crime which is covered under a different section of the IPC than rape. Since marital rape is not a crime in India, the Government of India will not extradite any man accused of that crime.
However, an IPC section which covers what is commonly considered to be a crime in India even if committed by a husband against his wife takes care of a number of things. Needless to mention, sexual assault of any variety is considered to be a crime in many countries even if committed by a husband against his wife, and hence extraditable. The complainant wife may be counting on a media scandal, and may have decided to cover the possibility of her husband going offshore to avoid or to prolong proceedings. She may have been advised that the man will be extradited in such a situation, since it is a crime in India as well as in a number of other countries. It is possible that such allegations against husbands may become more common in the future. This allegation, if made against a man resident in India, may be being used as a ruse to take advantage of the anonymity guaranteed by law to sexual assault complainants. The bride will be doing this with a view to avoid social ostracism which will be inevitable consequent to publicised dowry allegations.)
Red Corner Notices and related questions
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If you are a foreign citizen living in a country which is not your own country (i.e. a third country) OR planning to arrive in such a country, then that government has the right to extradite you to the country which got the red corner notice issued, but normally will not start extradition proceedings unless there is a red corner notice duly issued by interpol in your name. A red corner notice is a guarantee to instant global notoriety or fame, and rest assured that if the Government of India manages to get one issued for your arrest, then your name will be taken in the same breath as Hafiz Saeed, Ottavio Quattrochi, and Julian Assange.
Letters Rogatory in Marital Disputes
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A letter rogatory may be organised by your wife against you if she is extremely influential within India, and has made allegations pertaining to her stay with you in your country of residence. This sort of letter is a formal request or a set of requests made by India to that country to prosecute you or to take your deposition or to gather material / evidence against you. Each of these requests made under any particular LR have to be in consonance with Indian procedure, Indian law, commonly accepted international procedure OR procedure as established over time between the two countries, international law, the law of that country, and the procedure of that country in order to cause legal action against you. On top of all this there is the interference and procedural delays of the two foreign ministries of the countries involved. Plus there are all the levels of courts where you can appeal in that country, and all the levels of courts where the Indian government can appeal against your wife's petition in India, if it so desires, and if it is not a co-petitioner with her. An attempt by her to organise an LR in order to hurt you is pretty much a futile exercise except if she wishes to generate publicity against you. Even in that situation she faces the risk of her being laughed out of court, and the subsequent media humiliation.
Extradition of Indian Citizens to India in Marital Disputes
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If you are a citizen of India, then the government of India cannot extradite you in situations where it cannot extradite non-citizens. However, it can cancel or revoke your passport and get you sent back home if you are in a country where the government can exert diplomatic pressure. India has the second largest diplomatic corps in the world, and many of them are very professional, with a reputation that matches their skills. However, the Gulshan Kumar / Nadeem Saifi case shows that even Indian citizens may be able to successfully resist extradition. Readers might also be aware that Lalit Modi and Sangeeta Richard (the maid in the Khobragade case in America) have both had their passports cancelled by the Government of India in separate bids to extradite them. Both the actions resulted in varying amounts of bad publicity, with the latter case in particular boomeranging in an exceptionally strong manner on the Khobragade woman –who still cannot make out what hit her, by all accounts.
Proclaimed Offender Status
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If an accused person does not come to India, or does not surrender before the court or the police even after getting repeated summonses or warnings to do so, then a competent court may declare such a person a proclaimed offender. Getting proclaimed offender status is a surefire guarantee that such a person will find it impossible to get bail after being caught and arrested if he ever decides to return to India. A red corner notice means that the P.O. is internationally recognised as such.
Deportation of Proclaimed Offenders to India
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Another thing that has happened sometimes is that a person has been deported to India by the local authorities on some pretext, without waiting for the local judiciary to scrutinise the extradition request. This writer is not aware of the different ways in which local citizens, citizens of India, and foreigners have been historically treated or classified for the purpose of differential treatment in such situations, although logic and international law dictates that a foreigner should be deported to his own country, not to India.
Lookout Notice/Alert
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Lookout notices or alerts are issued to airports and various points of entry at international borders to arrest a particular person who may or may not be a proclaimed offender upon an attempt to enter or to leave India. Or to not permit a particular person to enter or to leave India. Husbands accused in 498a cases do not normally need to worry about this sort of treatment, unless they refused to come to India for a long time after being accused.
Do not get confused if you see the acronym LOC in the context of lookout notices. It means Look-Out Circular –a circular being the same thing as an internal notice or a memo. This language is used due to the limited circulation of some such notices, which is to say that the notice may not be publicised to the general public in certain cases and may be viewable only by a limited audience.
In Conclusion
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Further note that the number of accused persons extradited from the rest of the world to India in the last 10 years –including foreign citizens as well as Indians– is not more than 40 to 50.

Deconstructing IPC 304b (Dowry Death): The Insolence Inherent in Legislating Logic

There is a provision in law which is called "dowry death". This provision is described in and as IPC Section 304b. The text of this section is as follows­–
1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called" dowry death", and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death. Explanation.- For the purposes of this sub- section," dowry" shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961 ).
2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.]"
This provision was enacted at the same time as the insertion of a new section numbered 113b to the Indian Evidence Act. This section states the following–
“When the question is whether a person has committed the dowry death of a woman and it is shown that soon before her death such woman had been subjected by such person to cruelty or harassment for or in connection with any demand for dowry, the court shall presume that such person had caused the dowry death.”
The first thing which any literate person notices in these enactments is the phrase "soon before". This shows in very clear terms the degree of shoddiness with which laws in India are drafted. "A little before" or "just before" or "some time before" or "shortly before" or "before did not occur to the person who wrote this law (leave alone "upto six months before" or "upto a year before"). He/she insisted on using the expression "soon before".
Things can happen soon after something, but how something can happen soon before something is a mystery to this writer, as I am sure it is to all English speaking people who do not own a time machine.
This also reveals a fact which is obvious to those who see lawmaking in India with a critical eye. Parliament is just a rubber stamp for the leader of the ruling party. Whatever the leader decides is implemented. The members do not really bother to read the text of the bills which are brought in for passing by the national legislature.
This is not surprising. Laws are made in English. Members of Parliament are ten times more comfortable with their own languages than with English. Sixty-six years after independence the number of people who have a good grasp of the language which is used to govern our country is microscopically small in proportion to the total number of literate people in the country –and negligible in proportion to the total population of our country.
But is this enough justification? Were there no men or women in Parliament who knew the English language well enough to remove an incorrect phrase from the wording of the law when the law was being examined? Have there been no influential persons in the 27 years since the enactment of this section of the Indian Penal Code who have read this section and wondered how the greatest democracy in the world can tolerate incomprehensible language in its criminal law? This is dangerous. For the word of the law is the law, unless it runs into mavericks like Katju and Sinha who famously said about another law that it is unhappily worded, and reiterated the well settled jurisprudential convention that absurd interpretations of law cannot be countenanced. I refer to the Batra versus Batra verdict in a case involving a significant provision of the PWDVA 2005.
(Section 113b was in fact blunted by a bench of Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly in 2009. But the phenomenon which afflicts the legislature –and is being discussed in this article– is persistent.)
And this begs another, more important question. If the tall men and women who enacted this law did not notice a linguistic error in the law, can we not be absolutely certain that they did not bother to delve into the reasoning behind the law and the possible damage that it could cause in the future (and indeed would)?
The other interesting and objectionable phrase here is "Whoever commits dowry death". How can somebody commit death? I know you can kill someone, and commit murder (or culpable homicide, to stretch the rubric) thereby, but really, committing death? This uncomfortable language springs from the insolent dictated assumption that "the husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death". Whichever way you try to wrap your head around this statement, the meaning that can be extracted here is always that of a homicide accusation.
The honest but stupid accuser here would say that the husband is guilty of murder. The cunning accuser will say that the husband is "responsible for the wife's death", because he knows that although you can (as things stand today) legislate illogical 'logic' into the Indian Penal Code or the Indian Evidence Act, you simply cannot equate harassment with murder (or even culpable murder) in so many words, without risking accusations of monumental stupidity. The accuser/schemer who is incredibly sneaky will use the expression that the husband is "guilty of causing dowry death". This is because he knows that you cannot use the word murder for such an offence (for the reason mentioned above), AND you cannot justify life imprisonment just for culpable homicide. So he has invented a new category of offence in the class of offences which deal with unintentional or intentional violation of the right to life, in terms of a life being extinguished. This category of offence is not just an implausible or counter-intuitive category. It is purely intellectual claptrap dignified to the level of a national law.
Also relevant is the question, how can you tell someone what he shall or shall not assume? How can you legislate compulsory assumptions? Are our judges not thinking men and women? Do they not have consciences which will erupt if they see a man getting away with the systematic violation of a woman's right to life? On the other hand, why do you want them to remain powerless to do justice in the face of a law advocating presumption of guilt? The philosophical basis of law in a functioning democracy is justice for all and justice for everyone. It is not justice for certain classes of people, and revenge from certain classes of people for the past actions of other members of their class.
The reasons for the enactment of this law and other unjust laws are not difficult to deduce. Let us go back to the early 80s in India. The aggressively pushed growth of the television medium was being propelled by the desire to achieve most effectively the sole aim of publicising the daily routine of one person. Media barons were as concerned about the public as they are today. They were directing the editorial actions of their businesses as ruthlessly as they do today. Diversionary campaigns were being launched on the front pages of the (broader then than now) broadsheets. The salaries of newspaper employees were as fantastic as they are today. Peanuts were being paid to generate armies of you know who. Political gossip was being touted as hard news. The process that led to this helped the simians to curry favour, too.
To increase circulation was the sole imperative and motive, for this would help tremendously in bringing in the big bucks at the right times, before sending them out west by north-west. (Massive diversionary campaigns are organised by major newspapers today also; the Nirbhaya campaign was blown up to 'iconic proportions' to quote a recently retired CJI. The aim –as far as this writer can make out– was to increase viewership of certain newspaper websites in western countries in order to get more advertising revenue. The result did help the country indirectly, but there are more genuine ways of achieving such objectives.) The newspapers of record were busy telling the government to stop paying out pensions in the interest of reducing 'wasteful' revenue expenditure. This was being done to get talent –which might go to the public sector in the normal course– to agree to their terms in a more pliant fashion. It might be hazarded that capital expenditure was effective at some level close to 10 paise to the rupee, since that was the figure –pronounced at a later date– by the late PM who knew the workings better than anyone by virtue of his position.
Many senior editors were congratulating themselves in time-honoured fashion for their sensible Faustian bargains. Irani and Chitra Subramaniam were yet to swing into action –their cause for action was to arise around this time. Zombie mobs were yet to start making their appearance at the walls if I remember correctly, but the royal classes were keenly aware that placebos had to be given to this class regularly.

Hindu Marriage: Origin and Persistent Traits

Hinduism is widely accepted as the oldest religion in the world. The proto Hindu people did not identify themselves by the title 'Hindu'. They referred to themselves as the 'Arya' people –a word which can be translated into English as 'Aryan'. Their name for their religion was 'Dharma', which means 'Duty'. They used this word because the concept of religion in a generic sense did not exist at that time, since theirs was the only religion in existence.
The concept of a family is older than Hinduism, older than civilisation, and indeed older than the species itself. Hindus inherited this concept from their forefathers who had not followed any religion, and practiced it in its purest natural form, permitting polygamy, monogamy and polyandry depending upon the location and circumstances.
Social structures in mythology are invariably a reflection of the extant social structures at the time and place of myth creation. As such, we can make out that polygamy, monogamy, and polyandry were familiar phenomena around the time when the Mahabharata and the Ramayana were written, though it may perhaps not be wise to conjecture as to how common each of these systems was just on the basis of this evidence. One thing, however, which can be observed from an analysis of this body of literature is that only men and women of high social standing were able to have more than one spouse. Monogamy was the lot of the rest of society –or its good fortune, call it what you will.
Although gods and kings would usually have more than one wife, the role of one of these ladies in their lives was usually recognised as being predominant by most observers, and their historical and mythical descriptions dwelled more on this consort. Rishis were usually shown as having only the one wife, or none at all. Shiv-Parvati, Vishnu-Lakshmi, Brahma-Saraswati, Indra-Shachi, Ram-Sita, and Vashishtha-Arundhati are all married pairs recognised and respected by more than a billion Hindus.
It was considered a worthy aim –deserving prolonged efforts– to meet and marry a good member of the opposite sex. Even the Lord of Lords Himself, Shiva is but shava (corpse) without Shakti, according to oft quoted sastric sources. So don't think that you are a lesser human being because you are missing your nightly dose, or are slowly withering away for this reason. The other side of this is that women are almost totally dependent upon men for providing them security. In Hindu mythology, women usually derived their identity from their husbands or other men. Even a powerful figures like Draupadi was powerful due to Lord Krishna's affection for her. Sita ji was also King Janak's daughter. It is said about Janak that Kuber himself was envious of this king's wealth. This is not to deprecate the tremendous force that Sita ji was. She was indeed the embodiment of Adi Shakti herself. But what can be surmised from the fact that there is practically no notable adult female in this body of work who is not married, while such men are aplenty?
It is instructive to read about the life of Maharishi Kardam / Kardama to get a glimpse into the Hindu view of marriage and the good that it can bring to individual persons and/or society. It may be stated that this story shows many facets of the Hindu view on life itself, and not just marriage, if marriage can indeed be justifiably prefixed with the word 'just'.Kardama Rishi is no small figure in the Hindu pantheon. He is recognised as a son of the Creator, Lord Brahma himself. He is the father of Sage Kapil –avatar of Lord Vishnu and as the most perfect of beings according to Lord Krishna in the Mahabharat/Gita ("Amongst perfect beings I am the Sage Kapila").
Kardama is also the father-in-law of nine great rishis, each of whom is recognised as a powerful and venerated figure by Hindus. Five of them are especially notable, namely Atri, Vashishtha, Bhrigu, Pulastya, and Angiras or Angira. The other four are no less in their penance and powers, although not mentioned as often in the scriptures as the other five. These are Marichi, Pulaja or Pulah, Kratu, and Atharva. It is interesting to note that at least eight of these men (this writer cannot be bothered to research the background of Atharva at this point in time) are sons of Brahma, just like their father-in-law Kardama. These rishis are amongst the ten sons considered to have been born from either the mind or various parts of the body of Brahma, whereas Kardama is the only one who is considered to have been born from the shadow of Brahma.
Rishi Kardama conducted penance on the banks of the Saraswati river for ten thousand years, following the advice of his father to propitiate Lord Vishnu in order to obtain an ideal woman. This shows the extent to which a Hindu man is expected to go in order to win a fair maiden. Indeed, the effort which a modern day man puts into obtaining education and reaching a satisfactory place in his career is substantially directed towards attracting a worthy woman.
The Lord appeared before him and asked him his desire. This is a concept which is engrained in the Hindu mind, and has been put into words by the poet,
"Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle
Khuda bande se ye poochhe bata teri raza kya hai"
i.e. the worshipper forces God Himself to come to him and ask his desire.
Sage Kardama requested the Lord to give him a wife to "fulfill my lustful desires". The great rishi phrases his desire for noble progeny in such language! This is reflective of the man's humbleness, and shows the self-deprecation that every Hindu is expected to practice, as a part of his religious duty to be humble. Incidentally, this writer has observed that people belonging to oppressed classes in his country –or coming from such a background– are (taught (by the government, judiciary, and industrialist-owned media) to be) self-deprecating to such an extent that their behaviour and values amount to self defeating personality disorder. This leads to them being oppressed perpetually by themselves and by narcissists, individually as well as as a class. This phenomenon can commonly be seen amongst farmers in India, and has been depicted deliberately or sub-consciously in popular culture by Bimal Roy and Mehboob Khan in their movie tours de force, Do Bigha Zameen, and Mother India.
he lord told Rishi Kardama that Swayambhuv Manu and Shatrupa will come to him themselves and offer their daughter Devahuti, who was renowned for her beauty, and upon seeing whom from his aircraft, a gandharva got hypnotised and fell to the ground. Pleased to hear such words from the Lord, Kardama prostrated himself at His feet.
Swayambhuva Manu and Shatrupa were both children of Brahma, but it would perhaps not be correct to call them brother and sister since they were born out of two Brahmas (google it(I am talking to you, not to myself))(should I tell them (now (nice beer (Saturday and Tuborg, great combination(!)) I am talking to myself) that it was actually two halves of Brahma?). Well actually, they were born out of two halves of Brahma. They were created after the Lord felt that his ten sons were perhaps not upto the job of populating the universe, and he hit upon the idea of sexual propagation of species.
Narad Muni –another son of Brahma and a great devotee of Lord Vishnu who was born as Lord Hanuman in the Treta Yuga– had already done the work of a mediator by going to Swayambhuv Manu's palace and meeting Devahuti. Narad's stellar description of Kardama's coruscant personality had captured Devahuti's imagination, and the chaste princess was well and truly lovestruck.
Narad's role as a mediator here shows the importance of the mediator in traditional Indian marriages. A mediator could become a mediator even without meeting any of the parties –and this still happens in many parts of Indian society. They just need to be a person of good social standing who is directly or indirectly known to both parties. Alternatively, there can be two mediators who are known to each other, one from each side. In villages in northern India, barbers used to play the role of mediators in marriages. Many Indians of two generations ago will tell you that their marriage was fixed by a barber from their village. Even today, even law enforcement authorities try to talk to the mediator when something goes wrong in a marriage and the matter is brought to their notice.
Devahuti's status as a chaste bride who is enamoured by just the description of a prospective mate, and –as the perceptive observer will note– by the fact that the person who is being described is a prospective mate shows that the high value placed in Indian society upon virginity of a woman before marriage is not misplaced, if making wives fall in love with their husbands is one of the aims of marriage. This writer would disagree with Mario Puzo's (derisive?) comment about virginity being prized in primitive societies (Sicily episode) if he could nail the definition of primitive society. Let it be mentioned here that in the three cultures apart from India which this writer has seen from close quarters, bridal virginity is highly valued by certain sections of society.
Narada's visit to Swayambhuv Manu and Shatrupa shows the role of the parents of the prospective bride in making a decision which is one of the most important decisions in her life. His meeting with Devahuti shows the importance of getting the girl's consent. The girl herself is the final decision maker within her family, and the boy is invariably of a higher social standing. The girl's guardians visit the boy's home after getting her consent and the boy normally insists upon having the final word. This is very logical, because unless the woman falls in love with the man first, and then vice-versa, the marriage is doomed to fail. In earlier days, the boy used to give his consent after meeting the girl's guardians. Later the system changed to adapt to the need of the boy to see the girl once before consenting. Today people live-in together for a few months or years and then get married, but still the divorce rate is shooting up.
Swayambhuv Manu and Shatrupa approached Kardama Rishi and requested him to accept their daughter's hand. Kardama graciously agreed. The chaste Devahuti was married to him, and he conjured up a great aircraft which was bigger than a city, and had many palaces and pleasure gardens, and thousands of handmaidens and manservants to obey every desire of Devahuti. The handmaidens gave Devahuti the ancient equivalent of the full beauty treatment, and the newly married couple set off on their pleasure tour across the universe. They flew for ten thousand years, and then after they came back they had nine daughters.
This episode shows the importance of the honeymoon in ancient India. Newly married couples need to spend time with each other in order to well and truly fall in love with each other, and to create a strong bond between them. The appearance of children only after their return to Earth seems to be unusual, but what is not possible for the son of the Creator Himself? Perhaps he decided to not impregnate his wife until the time came to return.
Later on, Sage Kardama set off again on his penances after making Devahuti pregnant with the sage Kapila or Kapiladeva, an avtar of Lord Vishnu. Devahuti learnt the secrets of the Vedas from her son, and they all ascended to Vaikunth Lok ultimately.
This shows the importance of Sanyas Ashram in the Hindu system. Many of us have seen the various ashrams of a man's life described in a humorous fashion in the modern classic film Padosan.
It is shown in the above story that a couple can attain salvation if they fulfill all their household and religious duties.

Hindu Marriage: Earliest Codification - Manu and Manu Smriti

Marriage systems and traditions were established in ancient India over an extended period of sustained imbibing and processing –and gradual codification– of social mores by scholars and thinkers. The codification may have taken hundreds of years, or it may have occurred relatively quickly. It may have been passed on orally initially –like the Vedas– or may have been rendered in written form ab initio. Commentaries made by many savants are available to this day. As is well known, the Puranas and the Upanishads are a major source of Hindu recorded wisdom. There is also a series of books known as smritis which are rich sources of Hindu tradition.
Two important lawgivers in these traditions were Manu and Yagyavalkya or Yajnavalkya. They were as important to the Aryans of Aryavart as Hammurabi was to the Sumerians of Mesopotamia. Manu was the more ancient of the two, and he propagated many ideas, some of which would have led to serious criminal charges being laid against him in modern day India. These ideas relate to the position of what were called the lower castes in those times. Today there is serious opposition to Manu's ideas from the traditionally oppressed classes which are now known as dalits in India. Interestingly, many leaders of the dalits continue to refer to the former so called upper castes as upper castes. These leaders include a lady who has been and continues to be a major state level and national leader.
Yagyavalkya was the more evolved of the two (himself and Manu), but he too was not entirely sinless as far as his attitude towards the so-called lower castes was concerned. More about him later. For now we will concentrate on Manu, and his Manu Smriti.
(It is also interesting to note that though Manu has been disowned and discarded by the powers that be in our democracy, his smriti continues to provide a large portion of the bases and philosophical grounds for various provisions in marriage law for Hindus. This may be considered distressing in view of the fact that Manu has been repudiated precisely because of his smriti. Social mores have also progressed, and the homogeneity that existed in those times has been atomised and coloured in lakhs or crores of hues seen over lakhs or crores of pixellated and amorphous social formations.)
Manu Smriti is vast in its scope. It purports to explain all of the cosmos, the nature of human beings, and the path that men and women should follow, amongst a host of other things. It goes from the beginning of creation to its end. It proclaims the law on behaviour and conduct of all the four Varnas, the process of Creation, the various sacraments (sanskaars) of a Hindu from conception to birth, life, death, and beyond. It also lays down the rules to be followed by a student vis-à-vis his studies and his guru –the equivalent of a modern university's ordinances or calendar, and more.
It declares the norms for relationships between men and women and men and men; the law governing bachelors, married men, retired persons, and renunciation; the law regarding rightful livelihood; the law on marriage; the ways to obtain salvation (moksha). It describes the provenance of intermediate or mixed castes; the way of administering justice; the laws of various lands; the law about gambling; the ways to remove obstacles and villains; and many many other things.
Manu talks about sruti and smriti. Sruti is the knowledge which has been received by mankind via revelation, while smriti is the aggregate of the traditions that keep Hindu culture alive, united, and coherent in his view. Examples of the first are the Gita and the vedas. Interestingly he mentions that two srutis can state conflicting views and can both be valid simultaneously.Manu was one of the earliest to mention clearly that the stage of life after the brahmcharya ashram is the grihastha ashram. The former is the first part of life, during which a young man goes from being born to being a student and learning about the scriptures. This ashram is entered into by all men of the twice born castes, i.e. Brahmans, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas. All of these castes are eligible –and required– to study the vedas, but they are not all eligible to teach the same. Only a Brahman can be permitted to teach this revealed knowledge to his own and other castes.
The minimum requirement for a Hindu man to get married is to find a chaste woman from his own caste, or an equal caste –virginity being as important as caste. Manu further says that only a woman with auspicious marks on her body may be married. This leads to the inevitable suspicion that Manu did not want Hindu men to marry disabled women. Manu goes on to mention several categories of women who cannot be married. These include epileptic women. Amazingly, instead of removing this oppressive condition from statute, the framers of the Hindu Marriage Act made it possible to get marriages annulled if either the man or the woman in that marriage was an epileptic. This is too good! Don't eliminate the oppression of women. Just oppress men equally and call it even. This condition was removed from the relevant law near the end of the twentieth century.
A few other categories of women who cannot be married are sapindas of the Hindu man on his mother's side, or women who are related to him on his father's side of the family; those who suffer certain specified diseases; women named after constellations (so all men who get married to women named Swati are breaking Manu's Law!); or women who have fear-inducing names (no Kalis, Kalindikas, Chamundas, Kaal Bhairavis or perhaps even Durgas). He disallows women who belong to families which do not follow vedic rituals; women who are named after rivers (no Gomatis, Narmadas or Mandakinis); women who are named after trees (no Ambikas or Kadambaris); women who are named after birds (no Sarikas); and women who have no brothers. Recently a census officer announced that the present gender ratio in Delhi is the highest in recorded history, i.e. in the last 111 years. Manu's proscription explains why the sex ratio was low before the invention of Amnioscentesis. Manu also forbids marrying a woman whose father is not known, in order to avoid the possibility of committing incest.
Manu permits second marriages. He is in fact much more liberal in terms of caste requirements in the case of second marriages than in first marriages. He says that any man can marry any woman of his own caste or a lower caste should he decide to take a second wife. This in part shows the concept of Anuloma and Pratiloma; the first being a marriage between a man of a higher caste and a woman of a lower caste. Such a marriage is permitted. The other kind ­–Pratiloma–­ is not. However, this comes with the proviso that any Brahman who takes a Shudra wife as his second wife will go to hell after death if he sleeps with her. If he happens to procreate with her, he will lose his caste and acquire her caste. Should this make us deduce that losing caste was worse than going to hell for Manu?
Anuloma and Pratiloma today can be seen all over the world. The only difference is that instead of caste, the status of the groom is determined by his financial standing vis-à-vis the bride. The first one is called hypergamy in our times, and is also called "marrying up" in common parlance. It is commonly observed that women marry men who are above them in financial status, and hypergamy is the aim of most women in life. The modern equivalent of Pratiloma is called hypogamy (or emotional foolishness when a woman does it, according to most 'well wishers').
One quasi-famous movie actress –who is the daughter of a popular actor of the 1980s and 1990s who refuses to grow fat or to start looking his age– mentioned in an interview that any prospective suitor would have to be "more successful, more famous, better looking(...?), and richer than me". A beauty queen turned actress from the 1990s was quoted as saying that she would only marry a man who could afford her. There is some justification in the view that such women are destined to live alone for the rest of their lives. When a successful movie star married her boyfriend and started demanding that she would only act in movies if the boyfriend was cast opposite her, she quickly lost currency. She is apparently still happily married to the man, and they have no financial problems.
Manu also mentions eight types of weddings. These are –in decreasing order of merit–
1) Brahma Vivaha (wedding rites followed by Lord Brahma and by Brahmans) – In this way of conducting weddings, the father of the bride gives her away to a knower of the Vedas –invited by the father himself– after decorating the bride with jewellery and fine clothes.
This type of wedding finds resonance in the modern system where the father of an eligible girl looks for a highly educated groom. Little do such parents realise that they are imitating other parents, who lived in ancient times. The modern modification to this system is that the desirable groom must also be financially successful. This renders the analogy meaningless, as knowers of the Vedas in ancient times were almost invariably poor.
2) Daiva Vivah (rites followed by the gods) – In this type of wedding the father of the bride gives her away to the officiating priest at a yagya or a yajna (a sacrifice), while the yajna is ongoing.
Such betrothals are extinct today as far as this writer knows.
3) Arsha Vivaha (the rite of the rishis) – In this type of Hindu wedding, the father of the bride gives her away to a groom who gifts to the father one cow and one bull or two cows and two bulls.
This happens in modern times. But the Asura Vivaah and the third type in this natural progression –which finds no mention in Manu's work– is more common now. (Guess what the third type is?)
4) Pragapatya Vivaah (wedding ala prajapatis)– In this type of wedding, the father of the bride gives her away to any groom after blessing the couple, and honouring the groom.
This is also fairly common today, and a combination of this and part of the first type appears to be prevalent in ritualised weddings in India.
5) Asura Vivaah (the system of the asuras)– In this type of Hindu wedding, the groom voluntarily gives as much money and gifts as he can afford to give to the bride and to her family in order to get her consent for marriage.
6) Gaandharva Vivah (wedding in the way followed by gandharvas)– In this type of wedding, a man seduces a woman and takes her as his wife by virtue of the seduction, without any rites whatsoever.
This is simply another name for the eternal dance between men and women.
7) Rakshasa Vivaah (the system of the rakshasas)– In this type of 'wedding', the killer or assaulter of a woman's family members or father takes her as his wife by kidnapping and raping her. This may have the added highlight of the man breaking into the woman's house.
This is called assault, kidnapping, dacoity, and rape today. Any man who perpetrates this stands a great chance of getting free government hospitality for the rest of his life. If killing is a part of the 'wedding' then the government is pretty much guaranteed to provide a free ride to another region of the universe these days to the lucky groom.
8) Paisaka Vivah (wedding in the manner of pishaachas, or lost souls)– In this type of 'wedding', a man rapes a sleeping or intoxicated or imbecile woman. This is the basest of all methods, and is forbidden on pain of incurring grave demerit.
his is pure sociopathy and/or lunacy, although there is a debate about the 'intoxicated woman' part of this phenomenon.
Manu also mentions the merit or demerit earned by entering marriage via each of these types of methods. He details out the number of generations of ancestors and descendants whose souls the sons born out of such marriages can save by acting virtuously. He adumbrates the various ways and times in which a man may approach his wife sexually. He talks extensively about the castes of children born from inter-caste marriages.
Manu also talks about the honour and adornments which are every woman's due, and declares that the family or society where women are not honoured will be destroyed in short order. He decries those forms of marriage in which the father of the bride accepts gifts from the groom. He makes no mention of dowry though he praises fathers who adorn their daughters with fine clothes and jewellery, as he does similarly placed husbands, brothers, and sons. People who have seen Hindu wedding rituals might remember that the father of the bride declared at the time of giving her away to the groom that he had dressed her up in fine clothes and jewellery to the best of his ability.

Hindu Marriage: Yajnavalkya and his Enduring Smriti

Yagyavalkya or Yajnavalkya was a rishi who was born in the Dwapar Yug. He was the disciple of Vaishampayana, who in turn was a disciple of Ved Vyasa. Yagyavalkya was also the preceptor of King Janak of Videha. Videha's Capital was Mithila. Sita was commonly known as Maithili or Vaidehi –names derived from the names of her father's kingdom and its Capital. Janak himself was also known as Videha. Sita and her father Janak predated the Janak who was Yajnavalkya's student by many centuries. There were in fact more than 50 Janaks who ruled over Videha.
Yagyavalkya learnt the Krishna Yajurveda from his guru. The guru was upset with Yagyavalkya once and told him to return all his knowledge, which he did. Then he decided to find a divine guru since he was disappointed with his previous, human, guru. He propitiated Lord Surya through his penances and requested him to give him knowledge. The Sun god gave him knowledge of those portions of the Yajurveda which were unknown to humans before him. This part of the Yajurveda is known as the Shukla Yajurveda, or the white Yajurveda.
The sage grew in fame after this episode, and with time came to be known as one of the greatest thinkers in the history of Hinduism. His works are numerous, and he is most remembered for his dialogue with Maitreyi (one of his two wives), his dialogue with King Janak, the Yajnavalkya Samhita, the Yajnavalkya Smriti, the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the Yajnavalkya Upanishad, and his dialogue with Gargi. Incidentally Gargi and Maitreyi are well-know to people in Delhi, as two of Delhi University's colleges for women.
This work has far surpassed the importance of Manu Smriti and the other three main smritis, viz. Parashar Smriti (deemed to be relevant for the Kali Yug), Gautam Smriti (deemed to be relevant for the Treta Yug), Sankha Smriti or Sankha-Likhita Smriti (relevant for the Dwapar Yug). Since Manu Smriti has been deemed to be relevant for the Satya Yug, no Yug is left for the Yajnavalkya Smriti. However, most of Hindu tradition today is based on the Yajnavalkya Smriti. To paraphrase Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vidyarnava from his authoritative translation, the reason for the prevalence of the Yajnavalkya Smriti is its superior organisation and structure (Vidyarnava, R.B.S.C., Yajnavalkya Smriti: Mitaksara and Balambhatta, 1918, Allahabad).
The smriti has a chapterised progression from Achara (literally "conduct", concerning religion and religious practices and law) and Vyavahara (literally "behaviour", concerning civil and criminal law) to, finally, Prayashchita (literally "atonement", concerning sins and their rectification) (Katju, M., speech delivered at Gulbarga University, 2004, Gulbarga).
Much of Yajnavalkya's work is derivative. He has relied upon the Manu Smriti, several Puranas, and a few other smritis like the Narada Smriti, Vishnu Smriti, and the smritis named above. He repeats a lot of the things which were said by Manu in his smriti, but he is tentative about one of his regressive and repetitive recitations, viz. the prohibition of widow remarriage, as ordained by Manu. He reiterates the eight forms of marriage described by Manu and earlier sources. He permits issueless women to have sexual relations with men in the event of and after their husbands' deaths. Such physical relations are permitted only with a brother or a cousin of the husband or a man from his clan. However he forbids any further sex once a child is born out of such relations.Yajnavalkya permits sons of second wives and of widows (conceived in the manner described above) to inherit the property of their fathers if 'superior' sons are not available. He has therefore moved one step forward from Manu in the direction of liberal laws. This was an important point in the history of India as it recorded a progression in society's codified attitudes for the first time. This gave impetus to future thinkers who could now see that progress was indeed possible. This was especially important for 'Shudras' and Women, because they were the most oppressed groups and Yajnavalkya gave them a slight push forward. Due to the respect which Yajnavalkya came to gain, this progress acquired irrefutable acceptability.
A major boost to Yajnavalkya's eminence was provided by the penning down of the Mitakshara Code by Vigyaneshwara of the Chalukyan emperor's court at the cusp of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. This work, along with the Dayabhaga written by Jimutvahana, became the operative text for Hindu law in India for the next one thousand years –to be replaced substantially though not completely by the series of Acts relating to Hindu marriage, succession, adoption, and property promulgated by the Parliament of India within ten years of independence.
Vigyaneshwara was drawn to write it because of the conciseness of this smriti. Although the Mitakshara was a mere (if it can be called that) legal commentary on the Yajnavalkya Smriti, it eventually came to work like the codification of a codification. The writing of this commentary provided a solid foundation for Hindu Law to enable it to withstand the vicissitudes of the second millennium after Christ's birth. It was born in southern India but spread to all parts of the country (and beyond, with the passage of time).

Hindu Marriage: Stagnation during Muslim Rule

Muslim rule in India was marked mostly by oppression of the Hindus. There were almost no enlightened kings, and even after the rulers had lived in India for generations, they referred to themselves as descendants of some foreign emperors, e.g. Timur / Taimur Lang / Tamerlane, or Changez Khan, or some other. Hindus were taxed at a higher rate because of their religion, they were not given high positions in the court or the bureaucracy, and they were forcibly converted to Islam.
Instead of a king being responsible for the welfare of his people, the concepts of a policy of blood and iron, and Jaziya (religion based tax) were introduced. It became commonplace to refer to the king as Zil-e-Ilahi or the shadow of God. Hindu fathers vied with each other to give their daughters in marriage to Muslim nobles or high officers. Hindu kings gave their daughters to the ruler of Delhi. Muslims were therefore recognised in effect as a higher caste than the highest Hindus, because Hindu society was not yet ripe enough to let go of the tradition of marrying into a higher caste. Most of these women were no better than concubines, though.
Despite all this oppression –which lasted about one millennium– India remained a Hindu majority country. But Hindu culture was pushed down to a level where philosophical, social, cultural, and scientific progress came down to almost zero. Social stratification in castes occurred. Caste, which used to be dependent upon occupation and perceived intellectual worth became impossible to change. Till date in our country a man can change his religion but he cannot change his caste. Introduction of newer and more oppressive social norms became commonplace. Hindu matrimonial law was no exception to this phenomenon. Manu's laws were further twisted to create more sadistic versions.
One rule is worth mentioning in this context to show the way Manu's rules were contorted. Manu had said that a Brahman has to take a Brahman lady as his first wife, and a woman from any other caste as his second wife. Similar rules obtained for the two other twice-born castes. The creative interpretation that came to prevail in these times was that a Brahman could only take a lady from his own caste as his first wife, a Kshatriya girl as his second wife, a Vaishya girl as his third wife, and a girl from any caste as his fourth or subsequent wife. Kshatriyas were restricted to women one step below Brahmans in each marriage. So on and so forth for the other two castes.
A variation of this rule was that a Brahman could have upto four wives (or even more, depending upon who you were talking to), a Kshatriya could have upto three wives, a Vaishya not more than two wives, and a 'Shudra' not more than one wife. The number of permitted wives in the case of the twice-born castes was sometimes mentioned as three, two, and one respectively.
Sati, or widow-burning came to be practiced with great vigour in this era, especially amongst the Kshatriya caste, and such women came to be glorified by historians. a great example is Queen Padmini of Chittor in Rajpootana, who is deified to this day in Rajasthan and in Indian history books for her refusal to submit to the lust of Alauddin Khilji –preferring her husband's funeral pyre instead of pride of place in the emperor's seraglio. Social reformers in the nineteenth century tried to eliminate this practice but failed to achieve their goal. Even in latter day India, examples like Roop Kanwar abound. Roop Kanwar was a woman who was forcibly burned on the day of her dead husband's cremation, on the same pyre where he was cremated, late in the 20th century. A small cult grew around her, and she was deified by large numbers of people as Sati Mata. Today, this practice has finally been relegated to the dustbin of history.Sikhism was born in this era. It came to be as a result of the oppression which emanated from Delhi. The Khalsa Panth was the original name of this religion in those days, as it still is. Sikhism banned the caste system in theory, though in practice they were only able to eliminate the Brahman caste from their caste hierarchy. Inter-caste marriage in Sikhism also was rare, and Sikhs to this day continue to refer to each other's gotras. Even community leaders are known by their gotras, such as Sidhu, Brar, Cheema, Bajwa, Arora, Malhotra, Walia, etc.
The Khalsa Panth wedding ceremony was given the title Anand Karaj, and it consisted of four circumambulations, as against the variable number of circumambulations (nominally seven) in the Paanigrahan Sanskaar ritual practiced by Hindus. The presence of the Adi Granth Guru Granth Sahib was made mandatory during the wedding, as was the recitation of four Lavans, one Lavan for each circumambulation.
Brahmans were dominant in Bengal amongst Hindus throughout the second millennium, as they have been since times immemorial, and as they are today in the Indian part of Bengal. The dominance of the Brahmins –who depended on the widespread and continues prevalence of superstition amongst Hindu masses for their prosperity– was the reason for lack of social progress and continued sway of entrenched, age-old beliefs in this part of the country.
Kulin Brahmans were at the peak of the Brahman caste. This fact, combined with continued faith in Anuloma, and forbiddance of Pratiloma caused a significant distortion in gender relations. Since it was difficult for parents of high caste girls to find grooms who were of the same or a higher caste, men of the Kulin Brahman sub-caste used to be offered women in marriage even after they were already married. This led to widespread practice of polygamy in this sub-caste. In time, these men came to be offered women from lower-castes also. It became socially acceptable for such men to have a number of wives, as also for parents of girls all over the province to offer their daughters in marriage to such men.

Hindu Marriage: Progress under British Rule

India has practically never attacked any country in more than 5000 years of its history. It has indeed been an insular country traditionally –not very interested in the world outside its borders. This may have changed dramatically in the globalised world, but Indians prefer to talk about their own country most of the time; much like Americans or Russians or Chinese –though to a lesser degree.
Europe, one the other hand, was interested in the Orient, and in India since ancient times. Alexander the Great invaded India 326 years before Christ. Megasthenes became an ambassador to the Mauryan Court around the same year. These arrivals were mythically predated by the arrivals of Hercules and Dionysus in India. The visits of Hercules and Dionysus to India were an integral part of Greek folklore.
Thereafter, there was no famous visitor from Europe for almost one and a half millennia. This was perhaps due to the dark ages and turmoil in Europe. The long absence was finally broken by Marco Polo in the year 1292, when he landed on the Malabar coast in present day Kerala. Marco Polo was extremely impressed by the riches of the Malabar region and its king. He went back to Europe and described India as a region full of gold and diamonds. When word got around Europe, a number of monarchs, nobles and rich men decided to send men to this fabled country to establish trade or to benefit from its riches in whatever manner possible.
This contributed in large measure to the age of discovery. The desires of Ferdinand Magellan, Christopher Columbus, Vasco Da Gama, and James Cook to explore the world can all be traced back to Marco Polo's voyages and his subsequent description of the riches of the Orient. There were a number of other explorers, but this is not a piece about how colonialism came to be established, so we will skip the details in this regard. Suffice it to say that the British came to rule over India after a period of struggle and triumph.
Though the British came to India from the west, they first established their stronghold in the eastern part of India, in the province of Bengal. They had a large amount of interaction with the locals in this province, and their understanding of India was greatly influenced by this experience. In return, the elite amongst Bengalis were greatly influenced by their colonial rulers. As a matter of fact, educated and prosperous Bengalis have a strong connection with Britain and the west till date.
The elite in Bengal in those days consisted of the Muslim nobility and the Hindu Brahmans. The British understanding of religion-based personal law was influenced by the insights which they gained while interacting with these classes. Polygamy was rampant amongst Brahmans in Bengal at this time, and more so amongst Kulin Brahmins. The British also brought along their own set prejudices from their native country. Women in Europe in those days did not have any property rights, and they were not much more than chattel for their husbands. The Indian situation was only marginally better.
Another thing which was common in both countries was child marriage. In India this was a phenomenon which was extreme in nature. Hindu girls were married off even before they reached puberty, and the marriages were consummated either immediately or after a variable period of time, depending upon which part of India you were in. Sati was being practiced in many parts of India amongst certain classes, and the imperial masters found this practice abominable. This revulsion was generated in part by the free association of many Indian ladies with European men, which was not objected to by the locals, since they considered the Europeans to be their masters. (This has a parallel in many cultures and sub-cultures across the world, where men have been known to offer their daughters, sisters, or even their wives to men whom they consider to be superior to themselves in some way. Much before the British men became the rulers of Indians, the Indian fondness for fair skin meant that the British arrivals found themselves interacting with the elite of society. Immigrants from Africa could not hope for similar treatment, as can be seen from the history of the Siddis. Even today, white skinned foreigners are given special treatment in India and Indian cities.)
As they settled down to rule the local masses, the British decided to codify the personal law of their subjects. To paraphrase Hobson, "...the initial British rulers of India were representatives of a commercial organisation called the East India Company, and they had carnivorous instincts where the acquisition of money was concerned. They did not bother much about governing the natives. Things became better and the rulers started to care about the locals as time passed and the influence of the UK government on the governance of India increased. The arriving rulers came from a society which was growing increasingly obsessed with social reform, and they sought to replicate their experience in the country which they were ruling. The rulers had also started to feel that Empire was the reason because of which they had to emancipate the lesser races of the world. Indeed the world had never seen any empire grow at such a rate (paraphrased)." (Hobson, K.; Ethnographic Mapping and the Construction of the British Census in India / Britain and the Indian Caste System; www. britishempire / castesystem .htm; viewed on 10th August 2013 in Delhi). They started this 'emancipation' by classifying the natives broadly on the basis of their religion, and treating them as different categories of people insofar as personal law was concerned. Customary personal law variations amongst regions, castes, and other groups continued more unhindered by the rulers than not.
The British took the rather naive view that since Brahmans were the topmost caste in the caste hierarchy, therefore they should be humoured and given the highest rank in the administration as far as natives were allowed to go. This was partly a consequence of their twin desires to actually govern this country and –before that– to make sense of the gigantic complexity that India was, using caste amongst other things as a classifier. Their view took off from a point where each caste was seen as having definite traits. In this respect and at that point in history, they were not far from the truth. Another reason for keeping Brahmans at the top was the natural predilection of the British to deal exclusively or mostly with people who belonged to the topmost strata of society in this country. The British rulers, after all, came from a country which was highly class conscious.
A major component of their plan to rule India was to allow people of all religions to be governed in their personal affairs by their traditional religious law. Marriage, adoption, inheritance, etc. were natural choices as subject matter for such laws. Initial attempts at codification of Hindu religious laws were nothing more than discovering the textual basis for various life events and relationships, and translating this material to the language of the masters. Indeed, all the ancient texts which are referred to by modern commentators on Hindu marriage were originally translated from the vernacular (or Sanskrit) to English during British rule. Colebrooke's Digest and Halhed's Gentoo Code are major examples of British collated translations.
Sati was seen as a social evil by the rulers, and they made significant and recorded efforts to stamp it out. Although initially they tried to regulate the practice of Sati, ultimately they got fed up and Lord Bentinck banned the practice in 1829. This was a major step towards eliminating the system of using marriage as a license for murder.
Another type of murder which occurred in a marital setting was what is called dowry murder.
The assertion that the dowry system grew to monstrous proportions during British colonial rule in India is very convenient for nationalists. Oldenburg claims rather facetiously that the dispossession of Indian women was perpetrated by the imperialists from Europe. (Oldenburg, V.T.; Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime; throughout the text; Oxford University Press; USA; 2002). Marriage in ancient India was by and large not seen as a financial transaction. This remains true today, and there is no persuasive reason to think that this was not true in British India also.
A word which was used as a synonym for 'Hindu' in those days is 'Gentoo'.
Adopting a child was an ancient custom which was permitted by custom to married and childless Hindu couples. Interestingly, although adopted children of ordinary Hindus were allowed to inherit their parents' property, adopted children of native rulers in princely states were not permitted to sit on the throne. In such cases the princely state got merged into British India upon the death of the ruler in question. This law was promulgated during the rule of Lord Dalhousie, and it was the direct cause of the war in 1857. It was known as the Doctrine of Lapse. (Another provision in this law was that the British government was given the power to dismiss any ruler who was deemed incompetent by it.) Apart from this departure, the colonial rulers did their best to make sure that children inherited their parents' wealth. This can especially be seen in the Caste and Disabilities Removal Act of 1950, which prohibited the disenfranchisement of children from their parental property if they did something which caused them to lose their caste.
Initially the British adjudicated Hindu matrimonial disputes, and indeed other disputes, with the help of Court Pandits, but later on they ejected these men, after having developed a massive body of case law, which also served as the foundation for a series of laws which they promulgated in fits and starts. William Jones' Digest of Hindu Law on Contracts and Succession and Sir Thomas Strange's Elements of Hindu Law were major landmarks in their effort to codify Hindu law relating to marriage and other matters.
Polygamy amongst Hindus was permitted to continue by the British. Child marriage also remained a common and indeed predominant form of marriage, with a fairly large part of the female population being subjected to marriage much before they reached puberty. Readers are probably familiar with the lives of the many national leaders who got married when their brides were but little girls.

The Road to the Hindu Marriage Act: Part 1

England in the eighteenth century was a society which was a democracy in name, but was ruled by a class of people who had their fingers in every pie from Commons to Lords. The 3rd Duke of Portland was a member of this class of people, and he was born to rule by virtue of the family in which he was born. He received his education at the finest schools, and mingled with the cream of society from childhood. He went on to hold every rank of peerage from Baron to Duke, and later became the Prime Minister of England not once but twice. He also had the honour of holding the position of the Leader of the House in the House of Lords.
He was, incidentally, one of the direct ancestors of the present queen of England through her maternal line. (This last is not something exceptional since half the nobility of Europe in those days were direct ancestors of Elizabeth II, although they probably did not suspect it then). He had six children –one of whom was the man we remember today as Lord William Bentinck.
Lord Bentinck was a lieutenant general, a governor, a governor-general, and an elected member of parliament in his life of 64 years, apart from being a member of the British nobility by birth. He also had a ship named after him within his lifetime, and he declined a peerage and a membership of the House of Lords. Lord Bentinck was the last governor-general of the presidency of Fort William in the former united Bengal. The East India Company appointed him to the post in 1828. He subsequently became the first governor-general of India in 1833, and remained in office till 1835. He is sometimes confused with his brother (the 4th Duke of Portland) or his father, who had the same first name –William– as him.
Earlier on, he had become Governor of Madras at the age of 29 in 1803 due to the good offices of his father. He had a tenure of about 4 years, and had to leave in 1807 due to a mutiny in Vellore triggered by his insistence to uphold an order which the native soldiers resented. The GoC of Madras had forbidden native soldiers from wearing turbans and beards, and Bentinck had upheld the order. This was nothing strange, coming as it did from an Englishman. It is not unknown in England for offices and banks to declare that beards may be worn by gentlemen employees, but not during office hours. India being India, the order was not received with much enthusiasm –indeed, with outright hostility and rebellion.
Bentinck decided that he had to come back to India to prove his worth again. India, after all, was the Jewel in the Crown. His family also had some history with India. The first government of the 3rd Duke of Portland had fallen when the coalition which he headed (called the Fox-North Coalition) tried to push through a bill nationalising the East India Company.
Lord Bentinck was a kind though pragmatic man who had acquired a deep-seated belief in the principle of the greater good for the greater number of people. A number of commentators have attributed his belief in this principle to the influence of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. There may be some substance in this logic but it is the sum total of a man's experience which shapes him, and Bentinck was a man who had travelled far and wide –and had met more people than anybody except the most privileged people in that era could. It might therefore be incorrect to attribute his belief solely to the influence of one or two men. He came from a liberal family, and his ideas would have been considered unconventional to the extent of being disruptive in the time and place to which he belonged –had it not been for his solid family background, which helped him to mainstream his ideas within his lifetime.Bentinck came back to India after a gap of more than two decades, during which he had helped Sicily to establish its first written Constitution, and to abolish feudalism(!) He came here to turn around the fortunes of the East India Company, which was making losses in India, and was at risk of losing its charter to rule India. He was appointed by the shortest serving Prime Minister in the history of Britain. George Canning. Canning was married to the sister of Lord Bentincks's brother's wife, and he had served as Foreign Secretary during the second prime ministerial administration of the 3rd Duke of Portland. The 3rd Duke of Portland –as mentioned earlier– was Lord Bentinck's father.
The East India Company was at risk of losing its charter to govern India due to the losses which it was incurring. Bentinck was tasked with turning it around, and turn it around he did.
Bentinck cut the batta (active duty) allowance of the soldiery in India, and curtailed increases in the salaries of the civil service, a cadre of 416 officers which was the precursor of the modern day IAS. He introduced a direct licensing system for opium farmers to send their produce directly from their villages to Bombay, with the East India Company taking a share of the profits. He also reorganised the land revenue system in many parts of the country. Thus he was able to turn around the fortunes of the company, and its charter was renewed by the British government, though its commercial activities were abolished by the Whig government which ruled the UK in 1833 under Earl Grey. The company was reduced to a purely administrative role (just as Bentinck's father had desired in his time) and Bentinck was appointed the first Governor-General of India.
Bentinck shut down the circuit courts of appeal in the provinces. These courts were causing unbearable delays and much pain to petitioners, prisoners, prosecutors, and witnesses, because the judges took six month holidays between hearings. The prisoners were held for all that time, and the rest of the parties had to wait or to hang around at their own expense.
He changed the language of the courts from Persian to the vernacular in the lower courts. In the higher courts he introduced English. He also appointed Indian judges, and was the first British administrator of India to do so. He made Indian judges eligible to adjudicate disputes between natives of up to 300 rupees, as also criminal cases, and gave them the charge of Boards of Revenue and Sadar Nizamat Adalats –which were the lowest courts. He also set up a second tier of courts run by Indians, which were called munsif courts. Another level of courts –the highest level administered by Indians exclusively– were the Sadar Amin courts. Europeans remained judges of higher courts for the most part, though a few Indians were allowed to sit on the bench of these higher courts too. It can be seen in these actions that he was a proponent of the right to equality, which became a cornerstone of free India's Constitution in the 20th century.
Lord Bentinck is claimed to have been interested in establishing a free Press in India by his admirers, although this is not borne out by at least one of his recorded comments in which he said that a free Press can lead to the spread of knowledge in India, and endanger British rule in this country. Charles Metcalfe –who was one of Bentinck's ablest lieutenants along with Mackenzie– is usually credited with taking the first concrete steps towards a free Press in India during his tenure as the acting Governor-General of India. Metcalfe Hall, a major landmark in Calcutta, was built to commemorate Metcalfe's contribution in this direction. He was also honoured a number of times by the Bengali elite for his efforts.
Bentinck deemed the practices of tantric child sacrifice and Sati savagery of the worst kind. He banned both of these, and he made great strides in finishing off the menace of Thuggee or thuggery, which was practiced by thugs in India. The English word 'thug' is of Indian origin. Sir William Henry Sleeman carried out Bentinck's mandate with great energy, and practically wiped out this variety of bandit from the face of this country within the span of a decade.
Bentinck tried to implement the traditional law which made it illegal for Hindus to convert to Islam and still remain eligible to inherit wealth from their parents. He did this through the Hindu Law of Inheritance, 1832. This was praised by Hindus and condemned by Muslims, who had traditionally not allowed this law to function by virtue of being occupants of all judges' positions under Muslim rule in India. Hindus had traditionally been forced or allured to convert to Islam, and the Muslim judges had ensured that these converts got their inheritance even after abandoning their religion. This action was to later find resonance in the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955, in the provision relating to conversion.
Bentinck also made it illegal to bar native Hindu or Muslim converts to Christianity from public service. This was –again– one of the practices which the British had inherited from their Muslim predecessors. He made it illegal for caste, religion, or ethnicity to hinder anyone from government service. This provision was later seen in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution more than a hundred years later.
Bentinck realised that European officers in India were being paid exorbitant salaries. He wanted to cut this expenditure down to as low an amount as possible in order to increase the revenue generated by the company. Indian men could not do their job because they were not conversant with the English language to the extent needed. Local men in Calcutta were also clamouring to learn English and European science and literature. Added to tht was Bentinck's desire as a nationalist to propagate British culture.
There were opposing forces in the form of orientalists like Horace Wilson, to be sure; but there were also great allies like Thomas Macaulay (who was the first law member of the governor-general's council), and Macaulay's brother-in-law, Sir Charles Trevelyan. He was also greatly influenced in this (as indicated earlier in this piece) by the utilitarian ideas of John Stuart Mill, one of the great influencers of his liberal ideology along with his (Whig) party, his father, and Jeremy Bentham.
Macaulay implememented Bentinck's initiative in a concrete fashion, and is to this day credited with the introduction of English medium education in this country.

The Road to the Hindu Marriage Act: Part 2

Lawmaking was a process which was inherent to the system which the British used to govern themselves. They were nominally a democratic country, and they practiced lawmaking by the rule of the majority. It stands to reason that they wished to provide at least a facade of a certain minimum level of consultation before they promulgated laws in the territories ruled by them –and especially in the biggest country amongst the countries which were under their rule.
The system which the British used to govern India, in terms of lawmaking kept on being modified from time to time. There was, for a very long time, legislation without a legislature. Eventually a legislature was established –and it grew in its role and power till it reached the point when it became the parliament of free India.
British India at that time was defined as the territories governed directly or indirectly by the British in India plus Burma and Aden. As a matter of fact, Burma and Aden remained a part of British India till 1937. Needless to add, Pakistan and Bangladesh were parts of India at that time. That map of Bharat Mata which you see in in pictures of Bharat Mata personified is actually a map of British India. To confuse the issue further, British India was also the name given to those areas within India which were directly governed by the British.
The Calcutta Council was established in 1773 by the British government through the East India Company Act of 1773 aka Regulating Act. This act made the earliest attempt to ensure corruption-free working of a government in India which was governed at some level by elected men (albeit a highly bastardised version of democracy). Employees of the company were forbidden from taking gifts or carrying out private business. It consisted of four voting members other than the governor-general –and the governor general had a casting vote in addition to an ordinary vote. The council was a legislative as well as an executive body. The judiciary was anglicised with the establishment of a supreme court in Fort William by the same Act.
The only authority which could overrule the Calcutta Council was the court of directors of the East India Company which, in turn, could be overruled by the British government. It appears due to this fact and the fact that the court of directors of the East India Company elected the members of the council that the council members were less powerful than the directors of the East India Company.
This is not correct. Many directors of the company stood for election to the council, and they were often not elected by the rest of the directors. The great distance to India, and the resultant unsupervised governance over this nation that the members of the Council of India and the governor general exercised, ensured that these men were recognised as puissant figures even in their day. However, the governor-general remained the most powerful man in India. This fact is borne out by history. Warren Hastings did manage get rid of all the members of the council (or the Council of Four as it was known) one by one. It must however be appreciated that the men who were in government and those who were in the company came from the same aristocracy which ruled Britain.In 1784 the powers of the East India Company were amended by the East India Company Act of 1784 aka Pitt's India Act. Legislative supremacy was formally put in the hands of the Privy Council of Great Britain. The cabinet exercised all the powers of the privy council, being nothing but its most powerful committee de jure. This is being called a formal transfer because veto power had always been in the hands of the cabinet. The governor general got the power to overrule the governing council of the East India Company, and thereby encroached in large measure on the counsellors' turf. A Board of Control was established under the cabinet to oversee the court of directors of the company.
Another East India Company Act, the Charter Act of 1793 made the approval of the monarch essential for the appointment of the governor-general, the commander-in-chief of the army, and the governors of the (two subordinate) presidencies of Madras and Bombay. The financial burden of the board of control was passed to the company from the government.
The Charter Act of 1813 again renewed the company's charter for twenty years. More powers shifted from company to crown with this Act.
All pretence of consultation in lawmaking ended with the Government of India Act of 1833 when the British government once again extended the charter of the East India Company to govern British India. The Governor-General of Bengal (Lord William Bentinck) became the Governor-General of India, and sweeping legislative powers were given to him over the presidencies of Madras and Bombay too, since they were both parts of India. The governing council was now renamed the Council of India. The governor general could carry out all his executive functions single-handedly or 'in council', but his legislative functions could be attenuated by this Council of India. Although he could do whatever he wanted to do in this role too.
The reaction to the revolt of 1857 was that the British government decided to do away with the East India Company in toto, and brought in legislation to effect this change by the name of the Government of India Act of 1858.
In 1858 the rule of the East India Company was ended by the British Government, and the company was liquidated. The Secretary of State for India came to be the point man for India in the British cabinet. He headed the India office which was the office mandated to supervise the Viceroy of India, which was the new and additional title given to the Governor General of India. The role of the Council of India was now to advise the India Secretary –and this council was now shifted to London from Fort William. It was enlarged to 15 members, and the members could be appointed only by the Secretary of State for India. One member could be appointed by the monarch.
The India Secretary could bypass the council and could form committees from within the council for various special purposes. The council which remained in Fort William was renamed the Council of the Governor General of India. This council now had three members who were nominated by the India Secretary and on who was to be nominated by the monarch. An Indian Civil Service was also established to rule the territories of British India. All power came to the crown because the company was dissolved.
In 1861 the Indian Councils Act made it possible for the governor-general to nominate from 6 upto 12 members to the India Council and for the India Secretary to nominate 3 members. The monarch could nominate 2 members. The members who were nominated by the India Secretary and the monarch were more powerful inasmuch as they were given executive roles in addition to legislative powers 'in council', while the ones who were nominated were only able to debate and vote in the lawmaking process, and possessed only residual executive powers.
As can be seen from the foregoing, the growth of the legislature began to pick up speed after the 1857 revolt. In 1869 the power to nominate the five executive members of the India Council was transferred to the cabinet –and in effect, to the Prime Minister. In 1892 the new Indian Councils Act raised the number of members with purely legislative powers to a fixed number of sixteen members, from the earlier six to twelve members. Indian members were admitted to this enlarged council, which was the first time in the history of British rule in India that Indians were being given a role in lawmaking for the whole country. Pherozeshah Mehta and Gopalkrishna Gokhale were two eminent members who also happened to be members of the Indian National Congress, which had been founded by Allan Octavian Hume in 1886.
In 1909 there was a major change. The Indian Council was broken into the Viceroy's Executive Council and an Imperial Legislative Council of 60 members (including 27 elected members), with executive and legislative functions separated between them. Many eminent Indian including Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Tej Bahadur Sapru, and Bhim Rao Ambedkar were to become members of the executive council in later years. The Imperial Legislative Council went from strength to strength on the lawmaking front. It had many eminent Indians as members. This included Vithalbhai Patel, Madan Mohan Malviya, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, S.N. Bannerji, and the Raja of Pratapgarh. State legislatures were also set up by the imperial government.
In 1920 the Imperial Legislative Council was further split by the Government of India Act of 1919 into the Central Legislative Assembly and the Council of State, which were the forerunners of our present bicameral legislature. Moti Lal Nehru, Lala Lajpat Rai, Madan Mohan Malviya etc. were a few of the members of these legislative bodies.
If you look at the men who inherited power as freedom fighters in 1947, you will see that many of them already had served as legislators with limited legislative powers under British rule. Some of them were genuine freedom fighters -like Ambedkar, Rai, Bannerjee and yes, the formidable lawyer, Jinnah- who had fought for the creation of these legislatures and for the right to permit no taxation without representation. However, some of these 'freedom fighters' were not really freedom fighters, but were toadies or children of toadies. It is beyond the scope of this article to pick out who they were, but feel free to criticise as long as you do not violate laws governing slander.
In 1946 the Cabinet Mission ordered the creation of the interim Indian goverment consisting of men like Nehru, Patel, Rajendra Prasad, and Liaquat Ali Khan. This was the final step under the British Raj in the progress towards a free Indian legislature.

The Road to the Hindu Marriage Act: Part 3

Lord Cornwallis, the Governor General of Bengal promulgated the Cornwallis Code or the Bengal Code in 1793. This set of laws was used to govern British India till the promulgation of the Charter Act in 1833. In 1829 Lord Bentinck promulgated the Bengal Sati Regulation aka Regulation XVII, A. D. 1829 of the Bengal Code. This was the first law made by the British government to mitigate the oppression wrought upon women due to their marriage with a man who subsequently died an untimely death. Widows in that part of India were often burnt at the pyre of their dead husbands.
The idea of compelling a woman to die ­–that is to say, to murder her– in the event of her husband's death came from hoary gender-biased concepts which came to be due to ignorance. The 'guardians' of society did not feel the need to murder a woman when her father died. Nor when her mother died. Or when her brother died. But they felt the need to murder her when her husband died. Why was this so? The only plausible explanation is that the husband was deemed to own her vagina, and that the vagina had to go to heaven or hell with the husband, where he would continue to use this facility afforded him by Manu of the Smriti. Manu, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this website, had declared that only virgins could be given away in marriage. Therefore the oppression of widows arose directly from the law related to marriage. Interestingly if you combine the explicit instruction that only a virgin was eligible to be given away as a bride with the total ownership of a woman's vagina by one man, and multiply it by 72, you reach a point where your logic approaches the logic used by the creators of the '72 virgins waiting in heaven for dead jihadists' concept, which has been much talked about in recent times.
Bentinck did his bit to eradicate this oppression. The Bengal Sati Regulation (decreed at the cusp of the Victorian era by the governor general in council) is a great example of a law which contributed to the reduction of the oppression of women in marriage. As an aside let me mention that I remember a young frenemy from Auckland who said that the Indian and Sri Lankan obsession with virginity was a remnant of colonial oppression. Bentinck was a colonial master, the highest of the lords in the entire Indian sub-continent, a veritable king of kings. And he was born before the dawn of the Victorian era. He could be said to be the archetypal patriarch. Indeed he could not just be said to be such a one, he was one. A number of historians, feminists, social scientists would have us believe that such a man would be incapable of thinking about the general good of women. Why then was he trying to stop the oppression of Indian women? One possible explanation here is that the man can be greater than the system, if he is an exceptional man. (Bentinck, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this website, was no ordinary man. He signalled the end of the medieval age in India, in my humble opinion.) Another is that the oppression of women in the Victorian era in England has been exaggerated by historians.
The Caste Disabilities Removal Act was promulgated in 1850, in keeping with the way laws were forced upon the Indian people during the Raj. It quashed all provisions of any law which prevented a convert from getting any or all privileges which he would have got under those laws had he remained a follower of his original religion. This Act is often described as a path breaking law. The fact of the matter is that there was not too much that was path breaking about this law, except extending a legal provision from the territory of one state of India to the whole of India. Lord Bentinck had already decreed –eighteen years before this Act– section 9 of regulation vii of the Bengal Code. The Act itself did not claim to be path breaking. It clearly mentioned in its preamble that it was only extending Bentinck's law to the territory of the whole of India.The path taken by this law after the birth of the modern day republic of India and the 'modern' republic of Pakistan is instructive in terms of revealing the degree of legitimacy of these republics. In India there continues to be full freedom to convert to any religion. A R Rehman is one example of a man who converted from Hinduism to Islam, and this fact did not stop the Indian people from letting him grow into a musical superstar. Any man can convert to any religion and any woman can convert to any religion. The only limitation is that if a Muslim converts to Hinduism then he can longer claim the right to marry four women. However he can continue to have normal marital relations with any number of wives –permitted by Muslim personal law– whom he married before his conversion to Hinduism. In Pakistan today, not only does a person lose the right to inherit property if he abandons Islam, he forfeits the very right to live.
It is not that Bentinck managed to free Indian society from oppression totally. He did not have that kind of power over the British government. Oppression continued, and the imperialists made some extremely sadistic laws, like the Madras Compulsory Labour Act for example.
The Indian Penal Code, written by Macaulay, and enacted in 1860, after his death, was a mix of good and bad. It was a great introductory step in the promotion of the rule of law, but some provisions were reflective of a backward mindset. The sections relating to adultery for example, treated the lover of the wife as a criminal and not the wife herself. The fact of the matter is that adultery qua the husband cannot take place if the wife is not the prime mover. Also there was no provision for punishing straying husbands or their lovers. This law continues to this day. It only provided a pretence of a civilised country by virtue of its label. But the law is pretty much worthless, and can only be used for the oppression of men.
The Converts Marriage Dissolution Act of 1866 introduced the concept of divorce to Indian law. It was also the first time that the idea of restitution of conjugal rights was put in a statute. The latter idea is wonderful in theory, and purports to provide legal backing to marriage in terms of preserving its sanctity. However it is not really a workable concept unless backed up with the threat of punishment as can be seen by the total lack of utility in the RCR provision (section 9) of the Hindu Marriage Act. This Act provided for the dissolution of marriage in the event of non compliance by the offending party. It is not clear to this writer whether this was done in good faith or was simply a sly way of permitting the legal death of dead marriages.

The Road to the Hindu Marriage Act: Part 4

A few months earlier, the Indian Succession Act of 1865 had set into law the inheritability of husband's property or wife's property by the survivor in the event of the death of one of them. The earlier distinction between movable and immovable property –or 'personalty' and realty– was eliminated for the purpose of the creation of an interest of spouses in each other's property upon death. The wife's personal property brought into the marriage at the time of solemnisation of the marriage was now recognised as being exclusively usable as per her wishes, and the husband was required to take her permission to use the same. This was later elevated to the status of Stridhan in the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955. The husband was given the same protection vis-à-vis his property. (The protection given to the husband was eroded and chipped away by a number of laws after independence which contained portions related to property. No single omnibus law was enacted in free India which told the husband in clear terms that his right to his lawfully earned or inherited property was to be severely abridged. This is an unfortunate historical series of steps, although it would be incorrect to see any master plan behind this continuing trend.)
To understand more clearly the law in terms of the apparent contradiction between creation of an interest in the spouse's property and proscription of an interest in the spouse's property, please note that the creation of an interest in the spouse's property was to happen only in the event of the death of that spouse. The concept of a pre-nuptial agreement was also introduced in this Act for the first time in Indian history.
The rights of children born out of any marriage were also delineated in this Act, including but not limited to inheritance of property and domicile. The law also attempted to provide a durable legal definition of intestacy and consanguinity. The devolution of a dead man's property was to be more just under this law than under contemporary English law, by firstly prohibiting the state from getting any share in it unless he died with no inheritors at all. Secondly, by rejecting the English notion that gifts given by a father to his children during his lifetime should be deducted from their share in his property at the time of his death. The force of lex locae rei sitae was blunted by giving no share to anyone in their spouse's property by virtue of marriage regardless of local law.
A system for creating Wills, and the distinction between valid Wills and invalid Wills was adumbrated in the law. Section XII of the Act declared that nobody could dictate to his inheritors to whom they would like to bequeath the inherited property after their death. This provision was considered just by many and unjust by many others. Further Section XVI of the Indian Succession Act 1865 prohibited the imposition of illegal, impossible or ­immoral conditions for attaining eligibility to receive bequests. The third point out of these appears to be an arbitrary inclusion, which cannot be defined in a manner which is durable. It may be said that this is rightly so, but then one man's medicine may be another man's poison, and how can a judge judge this without impinging upon the right to live life freely. It may however be mentioned that there was no genuine right to life for Indian subjects of the British empire in the days when this Act was being put through the motions by the Commissioners of the Crown.
In 1869 the Indian Divorce Act was promulgated in order to provide the sorely felt need for the dissolution of Christian marriages. This Act was a slightly modified/pick-and-choose version of a series of similar laws which were enacted in the United Kingdom in 1857, 1858, 1859, 1860, 1864, and 1866. All these laws were called Matrimonial Causes Acts (suffixed with their respective years). The Indian Act provided the granting of original jurisdiction in divorce matters to all the High Courts which were set up by the British government. The draft for the Indian Divorce Act was placed before the governor general in council in 1862, and it took them seven years to go through the law and to make changes in it before finally passing it in 1869. The law introduced many categories of matrimonial offences which could render a party liable to being sued for divorce, and recognised a few situations where a divorce could be permitted. The various categories under which divorce was made obtainable were as follows – adultery, cruelty, desertion for more than seven years, insanity for more than two years, incurable leprosy for more than two years, conversion to another religion, willful refusal to consummate the marriage, not being heard of for 7 years, venereal disease in communicable form for two years, and a failure to obey the order for restitution of conjugal rights. In addition to these grounds, the wife could sue the husband on grounds of a conviction related to rape, sodomy or bestiality committed by him.
As can be seen from foregoing, divorce was not exactly turned into a cakewalk for Christians in India. Almost all of the conditions that were provided by the law were such, that it was not possible to even start suing for divorce until a number of years had passed from the start of the matrimonial offence. The situation today is not much different, and Christians have it even tougher than Hindus in divorce matters.
The Indian Christian Marriage Act of 1872 was brought in soon after the Indian Divorce Act. This law was made to govern marriages between two Indians practicing the Christian religion, or between foreigners practicing the Christian religion, and marriages where one of the parties is an Indian Christian. The funny thing is that the Christian Marriage Act came after the Act governing Christian divorces, quite ironically.
This law prescribed the degrees of consanguinity within which marriage was prohibited. It also prescribed the method for registration of Christian marriages in India, in case the parties wish to get the marriage recorded or solemnised by a marriage registrar. It had interesting rules like the permitted time of the day when a marriage might be solemnised by different categories of people. It also adumbrated these categories of people. It also prescribed the procedure for submitting a notice of an intention to marry, and it explained how the marriage registrar was to issue that notice to the general public.
Mangalwadi claims that the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 is nothing but a thinly disguised copy of the Christian Marriage Act of 1872. His views may be considered controversial by many since he quite bluntly accuses Mahatma Gandhi here of sleeping with women other than Kasturba Gandhi in his Ashram without providing any source for this allegation, and connects this with the provision for restitution of conjugal rights. Those who feel that his aforementioned postulate about Gandhi's life is more than just that will of course deem it his observations worthy of note. (Mangalwadi, V.; From Ram to Abram: A History of Hindu Marriage; www .revelation /instructors /blog_post /40; posted on 17th July 2012; viewed on 10th August 2013 in Delhi)

The Road to the Hindu Marriage Act: Part 5

The Married Women's Property Act was promulgated in 1874. This Act lays down the extent to which a husband is liable for his wife's debts, incurred before and after marriage to him. Some parts of the Act were applicable to all followers of Christianity except any group(s) which was/were excluded from the Act by the government. Other parts of the Act were applicable to followers of many religions including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. This act filled a gap in the previously promulgated Indian Succession Act of 1865. That Act had created a situation where although both husband and wife were given rights to continue to enjoy control over any property which they acquired before getting married, the husband was not protected from being forced to pay back any debts acquired by the wife prior to getting married.
The substantive provisions of the Married Women's Property Act of 1874 were as follows—
1) That a woman's earnings after she got married were to remain her own property, and her husband could not force her to spend them in any way whatsoever, except with her agreement; and
2) That any trust created by a husband to pay for a life insurance policy –whose beneficiaries in the event of his death were to be his wife and children– would remain a separate entity from his own personal finances, and that he or his creditors would have no claim on the monies belonging to any such trust.
3) Wives would here on after be entitled to sue anyone for the protection of their personal property.
4) Wives would also be liable to be sued in respect of debts incurred by them, and their property could be attached to recover any such debts.
5) However, if any properties were to be found to have been gifted to any woman with the express condition that she could enjoy them but could not transfer her interest in them, then any creditor would have no claim on such properties.
6) Husbands were not to be liable for payment of debts incurred by their wives before getting married to them.
7) Husbands were not to be held liable if their wives, acting independently, committed either breach of trust or any other criminal behaviour in respect of any property.
All these provisions were very fine provisions and were a major step in protecting women financially, during and after their husbands' life. These provisions also protected children and men to a major extent. The Hindu Marriage Act –which was still in the future at the time of this Act– was to be another major watershed in the protection of wives' property rights. But the criminal breach of trust provision (IPC section 406) which would be made applicable to all stridhan by that Act –and indeed the very definition of stridhan– was to become a tool of oppression against husbands and their parents. It is indeed an irony that laws made by imperial oppressors gave more protection to these parties than a law made by our own people.The Transfer of Property Act 1882 protected to a limited extent the interest of children or women who were being paid maintenance out of the proceeds from rental or lease of any property in the event of transfer of such property. It also provided for non-transferability of any sort of standalone right to sue vested by virtue of ownership of any property; and laid down the law on easements (including easement enjoyed by family members) for the first time in Indian legal history. There were also significant provisions in this Act against fraudulent transfers of property.
The Birth, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act of 1886 mandated the establishment of registries where births, marriages and deaths could be recorded by family members or others. This Act also had an interesting feature akin to the RTI Act of 2005. This was that any member of the public could view the registries, and get information from them, subject to the payment of a fee. This is very interesting, coming from an imperial power.
The Guardians and Wards Act of 1890 was not applicable to Hindus per se but was an important step towards the protection of children inasmuch as it created an active role for the State in the protection of children and their property. The State was authorised to supervise a child's upbringing to any extent which it could reasonably justify, and which was in the child's interest. Guardians who did not look after children were here on after liable to be punished for acts of omission or commission.
The Marriages Validation Act of 1892 validated marriages solemnised in contravention of the Indian Christian Marriage Act. This Act was a step which reinforced the undeclared intention of the government that marriages were to be slowly brought under the pale of the State. Forces within the government intended to take this process to its logical culmination.
Queen Victoria died in 1901, bringing the Victorian era to an end. Victoria Memorial in Calcutta is named after her, and is one of the many Indo-Saracenic buildings built during the Raj. Incidentally this memorial was mandated by a purpose made law, the Victoria Memorial Act, 1903. This brings to an end the short sub-series of articles on laws made for India during the this era. But there are more articles forthcoming about the road to the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955.

The Road to the Hindu Marriage Act: Part 6

Many laws relating to and/or affecting marriages and marital relations were enacted by the imperialists of the Raj during the 19th century. Here it might be mentioned that it is a bit surprising that their enthusiasm for lawmaking had not extended to making a law governing marriages in the majority of the population of India, namely Hindus. As a matter of fact, Hindu marriages were not governed by any statute till the parliament of free India enacted the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955. The British Raj was to pass without making a relevant law or even a satisfactory attempt in the general direction of making a law concerning marriages between Hindus.
This writer feels that it is safe to say that all modern religions have their own rules concerning marriages and divorces. Such rules dictate inter alia things like who to marry, when to marry, whether divorce is permitted or not, and if it is permitted then how to go about it. Sikhism is one such religion. It has specific as well as unwritten rules concerning marriage. It is beyond the scope of this article to investigate where these rules can be found, and their extent and coverage. Most Sikhs like members of all other religions would naturally wish to have their own separate identity. Evidence of this can be seen almost every time whenever there is an attempt by people to include Sikhs within the admittedly vast rubric of Hinduism. Much time is whiled away in debates about whether the Shiva referred to by Guru Gobind Singh is the same Shiva who is worshipped by hundreds of millions of Hindus, and similar topics. Sometimes such debates end in strife perpetrated by hotheads.
Around the time when the imperialists from Britain had completed about a century of informal and formal lawmaking for India, a number of Sikh leaders and intellectuals decided to campaign for a marriage law specifically pertaining to marriages between or involving Sikhs. This was a natural progression from a number of other directions also, the first of which was the reaction to some events like the emergence of what are regarded by many Sikhs as cults. These include the Radhaswamis and the Namdhari movement. There was also the impact of the Kuka rebellion subsequent and corollary to the birth of the Namdharis. There was also the small matter of a resurgent religion expressing itself via the Singh Sabha movement, brought about in part by (and carried out as a part of) the backlash to the successful conversion of large sections of the general population to Christianity or Brahmo Samaj. Another factor was the founding of progressive Sikh institutions like the Khalsa Akhbar and the Chief Khalsa Diwan. The third factor was the revival of the Anand Karaj wedding ceremony, a practice which had mostly lapsed during the early part of the nineteenth century.
The 192 word Anand Marriage Act was passed by the Imperial Council in 1909. This act came about as the result of efforts by Tikka Ripudaman Singh (the then maharaja of Nabha, aka Sardar Gurcharan Singh), Namdhari Satguru Pratap Singh, and Sundar Singh Majithia, a knighted prominent zamindar of Amritsar. Both were members of the Imperial Legislative Council, at different times. For those interested in trivia, Sundar Singh Majithia was a direct ancestor of Harsimrat Kaur, wife of Sukhbir Singh Badal. Ripudaman Singh was a direct ancestor of Hemant Singh, Vasundhara Raje's husband and an erstwhile titular maharaja of Dholpur. Old money takes care of its own very well, and thereby grows into older money, as is pretty evident from the progress made by these dynasties.
But coming back to the Anand Marriage Act of 1909. It was an innocuous piece of legislation which arguably did not achieve anything at all except putting a meaningless stamp of government approval on the Anand wedding ceremony. It pertained to the wedding ceremony only, and did not aim to or pretend to define anew what could or could not be accepted as a valid marriage. It did not exclude other forms of wedding ceremonies, thus rendering the Anand wedding ceremony only one out of an unspecified number of acceptable ways of solemnising a wedding between Sikhs, or maintaining its status as one such way (depending upon which side of the acceptability argument you were on). Society was already approving all such marriages without demur. Moreover the concept of annulment of a duly or 'duly' solemnised marriage was probably unheard of amongst Sikhs in those days. There was no attempt in this Act to define ways and means of getting divorce. There was no mention of any ramifications of a marriage between Sikh persons vis-à-vis their property or indeed any other portion of their lives.What then did this Act achieve? Was it an ego-trip for powerful politicians and rulers, designed to get their names into history books? Was it a first step or an early step towards carving out a separate identity of Sikhs? Did the 'leaders' really feel that Sikhs would obtain any tangible benefits from a law enacted according to such a draft? Did Sikhs actually gain anything in the period when this Act was operational? Could they have not made such gains without this Act? A germane question in this context would be to ask if the Act did achieve something concrete, like for example foreshadow the Gurdwara Reform Movement of the 1920s?
A number of other questions can be asked here. Did not the Sikhs already have a prominent place in Indian society? Why then did they feel the need to lobby for a law which they felt would provide them their own separate identity or a pathway to such recognition? If they did feel the need to have a law, then why did they work for the passage of a Bill which neither defined what a valid marriage was (except to approve all marriages approved by society); nor who could marry and who could not marry according to these rites; nor indeed how such marriages could be dissolved if things came to such a pass?
Also, since there was no law pertaining to Hindu marriages, strictly speaking, why did they feel threatened that they would be subsumed by Hindu society if they did not have their own marriage law? Coming to section 3(b) "Nothing in this Act shall apply to any marriage which has been judicially declared to be null and void", was there indeed even a single marriage which had been so declared? And if there was any such example of annulment of a marriage, surely the judiciary had declared it null and void on the basis of customary law (in the absence of any written statute)? Why then did they not attempt to have the imperialists lay down in black and white exactly what kind of marriages could or could not be declared null and void, and what kind of ceremonies were acceptable/unacceptable?
Moving to a time almost exactly a century later, we can see the Anand Marriage Act 2012. This Act has revived interest in the Anand Marriage Act of 1909, which was overshadowed by the Hindu Marriage Act in 1955 due to the inclusion of Sikhs as Hindus by the legislature of a free India. Resultantly all Sikh marriages were registered under HMA 1955. This led to confusion and difficulties in the recognition of Sikh marriages overseas. The 2012 Act mandated registration of Sikh marriages under itself. The other thing which this Act did was to insert the phrase Anand Karaj in the statute. Would it be fair to say that this amended Act was passed with the limited purpose of ending the inconvenience faced by Sikh NRIs?
Interestingly Sikhs were represented in parliament in 1955 as well as in 2012, by MPs who could justifiably be called vociferous. Why did these members not take up the cause of broader legislation for Sikhs in terms of personal law? One of them was busy in television shows. Speaking as an equal gender rights activist, this writer would like to see some action to protect Sikh men from the pernicious provisions of dowry related legislation like section 498a and 304b inter alia, knowing that dowry is expressly prohibited in Sikh tenets. If Muslim and Christian men can be made immune to the unfair provisions of IrBM in the forthcoming amended Hindu Marriage Act, then why not Sikhs?

The Road to the Hindu Marriage Act: Part 7

The Hindu Disposition of Property Act of 1916 permitted the creation of an interest of any specific person(s) who had not been born yet in the property owned by any Hindu person in India. The language used in the law is "Subject to the limitations and provisions specified in this Act, no disposition of property by a Hindu, whether by transfer inter vivos or by will shall be invalid by reason only that any person for whose benefit it may have been made was not in existence at the date of such disposition". This lends itself to the meaning that persons envisaged in this Act include legal/artificial/juridical persons as well as real/natural persons. The limitations which have been mentioned can be seen in the Indian Succession Act (promulgated originally in 1865, and again in 1925, subsequent to this Act) and the Transfer of Property Act of 1882, amended in 1929.
The Madras Children Act of 1920 gave certain powers and obligations to parents in regard to their children. Parents of children with behavioural problems could now report their children as 'uncontrollable' and have them admitted to government facilities. Parents were rendered liable for punishment if they put their children in immoral or dangerous surroundings or neglected them or incited them to indulge in anti-social activities. Similar Acts were passed in Bengal in 1922 and Bombay in 1924.
The Indian Succession Act of 1925 was an important set of laws for the Christian community, with certain parts being applicable to members of other religions also. The Act displayed progressive thinking and tried to advance the gains made through secular Acts like the Special Marriage Act of 1872; although there remained room to think or at the very least to argue that perhaps the imperialists were more concerned about the welfare of followers of their own religion –being the Christian religion– than adherents of Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, or other religions predominant in India. All followers of Indian religions were painted with one brush –an act which has led to a lot of heartburn in members of a number of communities, notably amongst Sikhs. There was however a separate section for Parsis or Zoroastrians.
The Indian Succession Act was a step in the direction of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, and a very big step towards the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, where it would be seen in slightly changed appearance.
The Act defined who could make a will and excluded lunatics or people who were not in their senses, but included all types of otherwise disabled people who were lucid in their thinking. It also enabled all Indian women to make wills regarding any and all properties which they were entitled to alienate during their own lifetime. It defined consanguinity in very detailed terms for the purpose of inheritance in the event of an intestate's death. It defined degrees of kindred and a method for computing them, and had separate sections on consanguinity by birth and as a consequence of marriage of self or others. It made it clear that persons who were similarly related to a deceased person would have to be treated similarly in the event of his or her death. These are principles which would be seen again and again over time in various laws, including in some small measure in the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 and in close to facsimile form in the Hindu Succession Act of 1956.The Act also made provisions for succession in various permutations which could eventuate upon an intestate's death. It took care of situations where one or more out of the intestate's wife, parents, children, lineal descendants, lineal ascendants, brothers, sisters, in-laws, and natural successors of these categories of persons predeceased him or her. Veritable tables of precedence were laid down for various categories of people. It provided rules for attestation of wills. It also allowed revocation, alteration and revival of wills. It defined privileged wills and laid down the eligibility and the procedure for preparing such wills. It also laid down the law regarding executors of wills, as well as probate of wills.
The new law permitted ambiguity and errors in wills within limits and attempted to describe methods to remove and rectify errors and ambiguities, and to read a will correctly inspite of mistakes. However, this is not to say that the Act was silent on the drafting of wills. It had an entire chapter titled "Construction of Wills", and made a valiant attempt to define what was acceptable and what was not acceptable in a will, for it to be good in law. This was done in rather elaborate terms, and the writers of the Act went to the trouble of providing numerous correct and incorrect examples.
Bequests could henceforth be lawfully made to entire classes of persons. Certain types of bequests were termed onerous, inasmuch as they imposed obligations on legatees. Other categories of bequests were also defined herein. Contingent bequests being such bequests as were to be effected only upon fulfilment of certain conditions or occurrence of events which were not guaranteed to occur. Such bequests were deemed to be legitimate. Conditional bequests differed from contingent bequests in that they were subject to conditions which could be fulfilled by the legatee depending upon the presence of a desire to do so. Void bequests were defined in more or less similar terms as the Indian Succession Act of 1865.
Bequests with directions as to enjoyment or applicability were also deemed legitimate unless and until such directions were not impossible to fulfil or immoral or illegal. Bequests to executors of wills were now onwards to be deemed to be legitimate only to the extent whereto the putative executor displayed an intention to actually execute the will as per the desire of the testator. Bequests specific and non-specific were defined in this Act and both were to be subject to the test of being acceptable as per other parts of the Act. Demonstrative legacies were defined as a specific sub-class of specific legacies. These were to be those legacies which were to be bequathed as a portion of specific elements of the estate of a deceased person.
The concept of ademption of bequests was clearly defined in very detailed terms. Ademption happens when a property bequeathed in a will is disposed of by the testator before his death. In such a situation the said property is said to have been adeemed and is not to be given to the pertinent legatee. Demonstrative legacies were excluded from the list of types of adeemable bequests. Such bequests were now onwards to be paid out of the general assets of the dead testator even if the specific asset out of which they were to be be paid were disposed of or liquidated. If liabilities were to arise out of bequests, they were to be accepted by legatees. Such legacies were going to be onerous as well as conditional.
Annuities were heretofore to be be paid only up till the death of the legatee, and not beyond unless specifically stated in a will. This was a clause which enabled a testator to preclude unintended consequences of any bequest.
The rights of the husband and the wife were made equal in the Indian Succession Act of 1925. No interest in each other's property was created by virtue of marriage, and both were to inherit each other's wealth in equal measure in the event of the other's death. The doctrine regarding domicile was laid down, and a person could only be governed by the laws of a single domicile henceforth. A married woman was deemed now onwards to have the domicile of her husband. This was a matter which would be re-examined in the future by the Law Commission and by competent legislatures.
Another point which would later be reviewed was the point wherein it was stated that any will made before a person got married would stand null and void upon his or her marriage. This included wills made in anticipation of marriage. There was also the confusion created by this Act in the sphere of privileged wills, as it created a genuine doubt in the mind of readers about the competence of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and others to make any sort of privileged will at all. Then there was the matter of the requirement for a letter of administration/ administrative letter or certificate of succession for joint stock companies, which created impediments in smooth succession in the case of demise of kartas of Hindu undivided families.
There was also no specific bar against a murderer inheriting the property of his/her victim. This caused a lot of litigation with often conflicting end results. There was no provision about presumption as to who died first when two persons related to each other died together in any natural or manmade calamity. Many words and terms used in the Act were not defined satisfactorily, like for example the words dharma, punyadaan, punya-karya, dharmada, etc.

Why is this happening to me?

1) Create a society in which nobody wants to pay any amount more than what they are forced, trapped, seduced, or fooled into paying to anyone for anything. In which rich people have an incredible sense of entitlement (because only narcissists can hope to become rich), and poor people just don't matter to those in positions of influence.
Then sit back and watch general loot, cheating, and thuggery until some sort of revolution occurs. (Here it must be said that the revolution must be real and must be from within for the loot and cheating to stop in any given society.)
Our country is in this phase today, just like much of the rest of the world.
2) Enable an unenlightened set of people to become the ruling class in any society. OR let an oligarchy - kleptocracy assume a dominant role in a country. (It is the same thing said in two different ways.)
Then sit back and—
(a) Watch a ruling class –whose central goal is to perpetuate its status as the ruling class– enact laws designed to create endless internecine strife in the ruled class.
(b) Watch a ruling class which has too little imagination to see fairer ways of furthering its influence bring a country –and thereby itself– to ruin.
(c) Watch them create contrived and impossible bureaucratic procedures
(i) Which suck the lifeblood out of the ruled,
(ii) Which exist mainly to enable bribery and an artificial fear of future legal retribution, and
(iii) Which amount to nothing more in the end than a waste of national time and energy.
Our country has been in this phase for the entire period after independence, although the degree of oppression has reduced a bit of late. I reserve comment about the future.3) Take any type of relationship. It may be the vendor-buyer relationship, the teacher-student relationship, the business partner relationship, the donor-receiver relationship, the doctor-patient relationship, the lawyer-client relationship, the civil-military relationship, the police-public relationship, or any other.
Make a law which governs the said relationship.
Write in the law that whatever the first party gives to the second party (throughout the period for which the relationship lasts) is refundable to the first party in the event of the end of the relationship. And that whatever the second party gave to the first party will remain with the first party. In addition, specify that the second party will have to go to jail if he does not return what the first party gave to him OR if he demands back whatever he gave to the first party. On top of that specify in this law, that the second party shall pay a monthly amount AND a one-time lump sum to the first party in the event of the collapse of the relationship. Further specify in the law, that the first party will have the right to use the immovable property of the second party in the event of the collapse of the relationship. Add to your law that the second party and his near and dear ones will have to face criminal proceedings, should the first party decide to make any sort of allegations whatsoever with or without any sort of proof.
Then sit back and watch 20 to 95 percent of such relationships collapse. This number can vary, depending upon the level of shame (felt by the first party) associated with the collapse of the particular relationship, the inconvenience which the first party has to undergo in order to establish a newer relationship of the same type, the suffering undergone by people near and dear to the first party during the collapse and rebuilding of the relationship, and the amount of litigation that the first party has to organise and manage in order to get the benefit of the said law.
This, sadly, is the situation today in the husband wife relationship in India. This is why your wife has inflicted 498a/406 on you and your parents.
As an aside it may be mentioned that this is applicable to any relationship-type except the parent-child relationship type. Even in this relationship, only parents will not take unfair advantage of such laws, but children will.
4) Make divorce profitable for wives, and costly for husbands.
Then sit back and watch the divorce rate zoom to the sky. If wives are rewarded only if they invoke criminal provisions against their husbands (or if the rewards come quicker in the event of a criminal case than otherwise), then watch the tide of false allegations which rushes in.
This is the situation in India today. This is why you are facing charges of cruelty related to dowry demand, and criminal misappropriation of stridhan etc.
5) Hold extensive consultations with representatives of prospective complainants while framing laws which are adversarial vis-a-vis two social groups, two genders, two caste groups, or two religious groups, but refuse to let the representatives of prospective accused into the consultation process. Let vested interests get a generous and broad hearing, to the complete and total exclusion of people who will be most affected by the law.
Then sit back and enjoy the spectacle of biased laws being enacted one after the other.
This is the situation in India today. This is why you and your parents are in the present predicament.
6) Make lawyers in-charge of framing and drafting laws. Give them a pre-eminent position in lawmaking. Don't examine their motives while they frame laws. Do not ask the question, "Is this a deliberate attempt to create a law so biased that the affected party will have not choice but to litigate and litigate, thus benefitting that portion of the legal profession which is composed of successful lawyers?"
Then sit back and watch laws which bring in a tidal wave of litigation get enacted.
This is the situation in India today. This is why you are suffering.
7) Give power to thieves who can only profit if there are very high taxes and lots of public expenditure on various types of projects –through kickbacks. OR if they get ridiculously high salaries paid by a public which is being taxed to death.
Then sit back and watch laws which favour various corrupt industrialists and businessmen enacted. Sit back and watch a great tide of tax and spend policies get framed. Get prepared to be taxed to death.
This has happened in India during the Congress raj and may continue under the present dispensation too. Wait and watch.
8) Combine (5) and (6). Let lawyers who usually represent prospective complainants drive the lawmaking process. Let feminazi lawyers rule.
Then watch the fireworks.

Mental Strength and Emotional Support

1) Do not lose your nerve. Stay healthy and start going for a walk in a park everyday even if you didn't do so earlier. If you cannot walk for long, go for a short walk. Just sit on a park bench if you don't feel like walking, and do some people watching. Don't smoke. At least if you have to smoke then don't inhale the smoke. If you feel that you do not have the emotional strength to work towards improving your physical health, then get help to improve your mental health, your mental strength. At any rate, even if you cannot improve your health, let it not deteriorate. Do not let your litigation push you over the edge of the crevasse into diabetes, obesity, blood pressure, chain-smoking, zero exercise, zero going out, drinking too much, depression, psychosis, etc.
2) Get support from whoever is willing to support you. You do not HAVE to be strong, but you do need a shoulder to cry on, this much is for sure. Try to find support from your friends and family. Is there anyone you can call any time and discuss your problem with? Surely there is someone? Then do so, and do it regularly. Don't show weakness in front of A2 and A3 (your parents!), and do not let them grow weak in spirit, mind or body.
3) Always remember that this too shall pass. Suicide is not a solution, and such a step will hurt the people who truly care about you. DO NOT refuse to seek help if you feel disturbed, confused, demoralised, or stressed out for more than 24 hours at a stretch. Get a glass of beer or a cigarette if you can and you must, but make sure to talk to somebody who you know cares about you. It can be anyone, not necessarily a parent or a member of the opposite sex.
4) Remember that most people you encounter in this fight –men and women– are sympathetic to you. Rejoice in this knowledge if you can, but derive solace from it at any rate.
5) If the litigation drags out over a long period, try to find female companionship if you can, but do it very very carefully, as the laws in our country are totally biased in favour of female accusers if the man they are accusing is not influential. Life gets very lonely without a woman to love you. As Indian men, the overwhelming majority of us are used to living without female companionship, and this is the way we have grown and spent our childhood, our younger days, and –unfortunately in the case of 498a victims– an important portion of our youth also. However, this does not mean that we do not have the right to be happy.
Try to find happiness, and always be polite, but always remember that women do not like weak men. They may like poor men or ugly men or rude men, but not weak men. At the same time remember that the fact that you are going through a rough phase gives no right to –and is no reason for– any female companion, friend or lover to mistreat you.
6) Be bold. Play mind games with the aggressor. Watch her every move but do not let her think that you are doing so. Note everything. React at an appropriate time and place. Don't call the aggressor unless your lawyer advises you to do so. Ignore her totally as if she does not exist. Let her feel your total unconcern for her very existence. Never get provoked if she shouts or talks nonsense. Remember that passive mental disintegration can work very well on such women.
Good luck in your fight brother. You're the man. You may not see it, but this is your moment. Stay strong, and show them what you're made of. Maleness is indeed the acme of His Work. Reach it.

My Romance with Arundhati Roy –and Your Health

Okay, this is slightly autobiographical. The health part appears late in the article.
Back in 1997, I was a fresher at Geoff Malone's main office in Singapore. Geoff was the founder of the Singapore International Film Festival, a collector of Saab cars, a member of the jet set, a friend of the Sultan of Brunei and his younger brother, and a multi-millionaire architect with two offices in Singapore, and one each in London, Melbourne, Sydney, Brunei and perhaps a couple of other places. The office where I initially worked was on the top floor of Orchard Towers at the top of Orchard Road.
It was the most sought out office in Singapore as far as young graduate architects were concerned, and the interior was more glam than major corporations like RSP or DP, or the oldest office in town –Swan and McLaren– all of which I had seen when I had visited them for interviews a few months prior to starting work. Their biggest source of income was from multiplex cinemas, which they were designing all over Asia.
Work was all I did in Singapore, and during my year there I never tried to visit Sentosa Beach or other major attractions which were not architectural in nature. In fact I did not realise during my time in the Lion City that Orchard Towers (which I often used to exit at around two in the morning) had many delights to offer. Such knowledge would have rendered needless that expedition to Hindu Road and the lane between Desker Road and Hindu Road in Little India one night, to unburden myself of a 27 year old weight. (That is if you don't count being on the receiving end of an older child unburdening himself when I was 3 or 4 years old, at the edge of Ring Road in Delhi, not far from the present day Nanakpura SPUWAC). I blame the writers of the Lonely Planet Singapore guidebook for this latter part; and my bookish outlook on the world.
Incidentally Little India was the seediest part of S'pore, perhaps deliberately so. Chinatown on the other hand was very picturesque. I distinctly remember wondering less why I had to run from that transvestite when she/he/it tried to make me sodomize her/him/it after I mistook her/him/it for a woman, and more why this first and unpleasant experience had to be on a road called Hindu Road. Why could they not call it Lee Kuan Yew Street or Confucianist Street, for example? I also remember that the footpaths in Little India were extremely narrow, and hardly walkable unlike the rest of the city. Perhaps this had a role to play in the recent riot by South Asians in that area.
Geoff Malone International was very Singaporean, with ethnic Chinese workers competing for supremacy with white employees from UK and Australia; and Filipinos doing most of the draughting and whatever designing the mostly semi-competent white employees would let them do. I was the first Indian in the mix, and was a graduate of an elite school of architecture from Delhi. Although I was not competitive by the standards of my school (SPA), the Singaporean environment showed me that I was pretty good. Being good at your job does not always translate into being successful at it. Office politics was intense, and the glass ceiling was unbreakable. A menu for dissatisfaction.We used to consume a lot of stationery in that office, and the vertical blinds were not perfect. I had put up an empty carton of larger (or at any rate longer if not wider) than A-zero size paper / foam / block-board / something on the practically full height glazing behind my station to prevent reflected glare on my computer screen. Around this time there was some coverage of Arundhati Roy in some magazines, perhaps Asiaweek or (?) the Far Eastern Economic Review, or even Time or Newsweek. They all were published from S'pore if I remember correctly. It was the early days of the internet and even hotmail was a new service, so there was no question of having access to Indian papers there. She had published her novel and it was all the rage in the literary world. I perhaps did not read it then, but I photocopied all those pages with Arundhati's photos on them and taped them to the carton behind me.
The redoubtable in some respects James DeSoyres –the lead architect on most of my projects– saw her pics and said something about her cuteness. I was simmering due to the discrimination, and was not very articulate. So I replied that she's not a cute girl, she is a senior architect. As an immediate afterthought I said that she's going to win the Booker Prize this year.
Let me explain the background here. Arundhati graduated from SPA six years before I joined it. She was cute, no doubt. In fact as late as 2006 one of her batchmates who was my teacher said that many of his batchmates had started to look like grandmothers by then, but Arundhati looked young. As far as the Booker prize goes, I knew that this was India's golden jubilee year so the jury would not be able to resist making a symbolic award. It was convenient / serendipitous that Arundhati released her book that year. It was eight years in the works, just like Joseph Heller's magnum opus, and structurally too it copied Catch 22. Later on when I did try to read Arundhati's book, suffice it to say that I realised that it was not really unputdownable. If she is to be judged by that effort alone, then she is perhaps in the same class as Salman Rushdie –whose contrived prose is also certainly not top quality tunch maal– in my humble opinion.
This does not mean that I think that Arundhati is not a serious talent. Her auctorial oeuvre is fairly spread out, and she has a penchant for going out on a limb to create something. She wrote the movie "In which Annie Gives it Those Ones" (1989), a movie about life in a college of architecture. This was the first humorous and slightly exaggerated cinematic treatment of a small group's rigorous and demanding time spent in a top class professional degree college in India as far as I know. It came years before others thought of doing the same for colleges giving medical and engineering education. I am referring here to Munnabhai and the three idiots (no no, not Chetan, Aamir and Rajkumar). Incidentally Arundhati's movie also had one of today's superstars –Shahrukh Khan– in perhaps his earliest movie role, though he did not appear in the initial credits.
I remember that we first year students were making measured drawings in the early part of 1989, and went one night with many other students from SPA to Connaught Place and the neighbouring area. We went there mainly to see what we call Arundhati's movie. It was being screened at Max Mueller Bhawan. She must have been in the audience somewhere, and must have been happy to see the audience reaction. I was very satisfied with the movie at that age, and saw it a few more times later. It is conceptually interesting, extremely good for a first effort made with a low budget, and would not have remained a cult movie had architecture been as popular a field as engineering. Doordarshan merely gave her a late night slot if I am not mistaken, perhaps for this very reason. (It can be seen on youtube for free because she sold it to Doordarshan to make some money out of it, and DD doesn't care.)
It is to Arundhati's undoubted credit that she made a pioneering effort with this movie. Her extremely powerful first cousin Prannoy Roy used to sell his work to Doordarshan too, and later on was tried and acquitted for charges of corruption in this regard. But I am not sure if he has had any role to play in her success. Her mother said in a 2002 interview that she and her children were never contacted by her husband, who is/was also Prannoy's uncle, after they got divorced. Arundhati too has been in a short lived marriage like her mother. She was married to Gerard DaCunha, another alumnus of SPA who went on to achieve great success. He designed and executed nrityagram for Protima Bedi –with just one drawing, he told us. He created a powerfully expressive campus which is normally considered to be in the same league as Rukmini Devi Arundale's kalakshetra. Arundhati left him and later married Pradeep Kishen, a filmmaker. They worked on a few movies together, including the one mentioned above.
After the success of the God of Small Things, Arundhati bought a house in Chanakyapuri in Delhi and appeared to fade out. She reappeared on the scene with an article in Outlook when the Bomb was exploded by India in May 1998. I had come back from Singapore by then, and remember talking to my friend Valentino Chongthu the guitarist from SPA. He told me that everybody was very happy in the hostel with the nuclear test, and he had never seen so many people so happy together for so many days before. Valte was saying what everybody could see everywhere one went those few days. But wet blankets like Praful Bidwai and Arundhati wrote against the tests, and were covered extensively. Some people say that they were covered by the pro-Congress sections of the media, but she is pretty much everywhere.
I never bothered to read Arundhati after the self-defeating article she wrote against the nuclear tests, so I cannot tell how far she has managed to develop her craft. I met her once at Green Park market in Delhi. She was eating a Sambar Dosa in a restaurant, and one of my juniors from college was with her. I told her about my Singapore talk with DeSoyres. She just smiled a lot and said nothing if I remember correctly. Probably she had grown tired of attention from fans by this point.
By now you must be wondering what this has to do with your health. Read on and you will know.
The academic year in India starts after the summer vacation like almost all countries. Arundhati's unit had shot the movie in the summer of 1988, just before I entered the school as a fresher. The unit had organised a number of murals and graffiti. One message which comes to mind today was written on the urinal wall on the sixth and top storey. It said, "Please do not throw cigarette butts in the urinals, they get all soggy and difficult to light up." This is gross and funny at the same time, but it gives an insight into the Indian system whereby you can buy one cigarette at one time, and even share it with friends. You cannot do this in every country, so you should be thankful that you are in India. Remember this and buy only one cigarette every time you walk to the local cigarette seller if your marital litigation has driven you to smoking.
Also, look at this sorted woman! She went from a privileged background to relative deprivation, but made all the right relationship decisions. She dumped –or distanced herself from– those who did not need her or those who suffocated her, and embraced those who needed her wholeheartedly. She had her mother before her as an example, and you can follow her example even if that involves you rejecting her. This is the key to keeping your mental health good, and as free adults you have the power to do this. She pursued success with the weapons which she had, and stopped chasing it after achieving it in reasonable measure. Marvellous, simply marvellous. You can do this in your career as well as your personal life. It will lead to happiness. I bet that Arundhati is a happy woman. You should emulate her and become a happy unit too.

63 Signs that Your Marriage / Relationship is Finished

"To love is wonderful, but being loved is what it's all about." The Floaters
"The brighter the fires on the bridges behind you, the clearer the road ahead." Russian folk wisdom
Sometimes men are emotional fools and do not see what everybody else around them can see. Okay, let us modify this statement. Not just sometimes, but very often. This is even truer in the case of men who are married to narcissistic wives or are in relationships with narcissistic women. There are often very clear signs that a relationship is not working or that a marriage exists only on paper.
The fact that the man who is in the abusive relationship or marriage cannot see the abuse does not mean that the people around him cannot see it. There is, in fact, a common Russian saying that "the view is clearer from the side".
However, very often, people who claim to be friends and well-wishers are not really friends and well-wishers, and do not wish to help such men. The argument that they do not wish to hurt these men does not wash, as these men are already being hurt by the women who they love the most.
Many men in such situations end their lives because no help is forthcoming from the people around them. This writer is making an attempt to list out some of these signs here, in the hope that some such men will search for a solution to their problem on the internet, and a few lives may be saved.
It may be noted that this writer has very strong views on love and mutual respect, and his standards may be stricter than a number of other people or types of people. In addition, it must be mentioned that this writer has had relationships, but children have never been in the mix, so he does not know much about those relationships where children are present. Nevertheless, these rules have helped this writer to get out of bad emotional situations, and he hopes that they may be of some help to you, the reader, too.
Also worth mentioning is that many points in this list are not surefire indicators of a finished marriage even in the writer's opinion. It has been attempted to indicate such points within the text of this article, although some may have escaped attention. The writer is not a qualified relationship advisor, and these are simply some of his personal views which may or may not be of real value.
1) She does not give you her highest consideration – It is an Indian cliché that business letters have traditionally been ended with the salutation "assuring you of our highest consideration". In this writer's view, this is a necessary and sufficient condition for a marriage. If your wife does not put you in the first place, and gives more importance to other people or activities, then she is just having you along for your money or to please some people or to take revenge against you for some perceived emotional hurt.2) She does not live with you – If you wife does not live with you for an extended period of time on any grounds whatsoever, the marriage is finished. It does not matter whether she is visiting her parents, or working in another city, or is upset with you, or is away on a trip or a tour of duty in which her stated return date is either too distant for your comfort or keeps getting postponed. Being married means living together. Otherwise it is just a facade for a marriage.
3) You don't know how to behave with her to avoid offending her – There are many men who are in relationships or marriages where their 'girlfriends' or 'wives' keep them in a confused state or keep shouting at them or hurting them emotionally as a response to what is perfectly normal behaviour (like calling her and saying "I love you"). These are dead marriages, and men should get out of such relationships as soon as possible to be able to search for a better and healthy relationship or marriage.
4) You hesitate to call her or to talk to her for fear of being shouted at or being ignored – If you find yourself in a situation where you are not able to talk to your wife NOT BECAUSE she is not reachable, but because you are afraid that she will hurt you or shout at you or simply ignore you, then you are in a dead marriage.
5) She gives priority to her career over you – If your wife says that she is too busy to allocate time to be with you in a quantity which is sufficient to keep your need for attention and love satisfied, then staying any longer in such a marriage is dangerous for your happiness and mental health. Remember, YOU are the one who is entitled to decide how much attention and love and time together you need. It does not matter if she is a neurosurgeon in a metropolitan trauma unit or a chief minister. If your need for time together is not being met, then it is time to look for other options.
6) She has friends who you do not like at all – If your wife has one or more close friends who you do not like, and she keeps them in the face of your opposition, then it is a deal-breaker.
7) You suspect her – Remember, your happiness is in your mind, a calm and satisfied mind, and not in some debate about what is true and what is not. If you find yourself suspecting her actions and behaviour, then seek help from a professional psychiatrist. A good one will not take more than 15 minutes to tell you whether your suspicions reveal a mental problem or they are the normal conclusions of a healthy mind. If your psychiatrist tells you that your suspicions are not unreasonable, then it is time to call it a day with your wife, for the sake of your own sanity. Remember though that the psychiatrist will tell you that he cannot tell you what the truth about your wife is. But he can tell you whether your suspicions are the work of a healthy mind.
8) She keeps you out of her social circle – If your wife or girlfriend does not introduce you to her friends, or does not take you with her to meet her friends or relatives, or does not invite her relatives on your wedding or to meet you, then it would be correct to deduce that she suffers from some complexes. You are in an emotionally unsatisfying, dead marriage.
9) She insults you – The three strikes rule does not apply in this situation. If she treats you with contempt even once, show her the door, or walk out the door yourself. It is one thing to love and honour your wife, but if she insults you then she is not your wife, no matter what your passport says. You may also consider filing charges against her under section 504 of the Indian Penal Code (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) if her insults turn into a pattern of behaviour. This section is also useful against trolls and online harassment after section 66a of the IT Act was rendered null and void by an SC judgment.
10) She ignores or avoids you – If your wife or girlfriend ignores you in social situations, or in any other setting; or if she avoids seeing you or meeting you, and there is no explanation which satisfies you, or there is no explanation forthcoming from her; AND this has happened a sufficient number of times to traumatise you (see point number 9 for a hint), then it is time to call it a day.
11) She does not pick up the phone or return your calls – If your wife or girlfriend (on a regular or a sustained basis OR for a number of times which is sufficient to put you in distress) does not pick up your phone, or she does not call back after you give her a couple of missed calls, and this is hurting you, then you are in an unhappy marriage –a dead marriage, in other words.
12) You are the one who is initiating all the interactions – If you are the one who keeps calling her, and she never calls you, or if you are the one who makes plans to be together, and she never does this, then you have to do a rethink about your future together.
13) You keep telling yourself that things will improve – If you keep telling yourself that things will improve if you persevere, and this is happening every day now for a long enough time to traumatise you, then it is time to pack up. Things will not improve, period.
14) You are the one who always apologises ­– If you are the one who has to apologise in all situations, regardless of whose fault it is, then you need to get out of this marriage.
15) Apologising is not in her dictionary – She says that she does not apologise. This writer's ex-wife once said, "Agar main maafi maang loongi toh main apne baap ki beti nahin." (if I apologise then I am not my father's daughter.) If 'sorry' is becoming a harder word for you to say than it used to be because of her refusal to reciprocate, you need to re-evaluate your decision to stay married to this woman.
16) The "We" has gone out of the relationship, or it never came into the relationship – She does not treat the two of you as one unit, or as equals.
17) I love her but I don't like her – If this is your situation, then you need to visit a psychiatrist AND to get out of this marriage.
18) I am waiting for the day when she will say that she loves me, then I will insult her – This is a fruitless and extremely painful pursuit. It is not good advice to tell you in such a situation to cut your losses and move on. Actually you need to urgently seek a psychiatrist's help in such a situation, get some emotional support, and THEN cut your losses and move on.
19) I have a girl on the side who lets me treat her the way I want to, but the woman who I call my wife/girlfriend is my main squeeze, though she treats me like sh** – You need help, immediate and urgent. You are playing with two lives here. Get out of the chain of pain immediately. The girl who you think you have on the side is the one who you can start to call your girl if you start treating her with respect. Your girlfriend is not your girlfriend. There is no main scene here, so there cannot be one on "the side". Further, when you grow more evolved you will realise that there never is one on the side. Ask Prince Charles.
20) She is not there during your struggle – Your wife / girlfriend tells you that you need to become successful for her to start loving you or taking you seriously. Do an MGTOW on her and the rest of them, and come back when you have made it. Or find a woman who will love you as you are. Better a 5 who loves you than a 9 who treats you like dirt. Or as sometimes happens, better a 7 who loves you (the 9 won&apos"t, take it from me) than a 5 who treats you like dirt.
21) Your in-laws are not inviting you to their home – A genuine mother-in-law is like your own mother. Ditto for a genuine father-in-law. If your wife's parents are not inviting you to their home, you need to get the signal. IT IS A LOUD AND CLEAR SIGNAL FOR MOST OF US, BUT YOU CANNOT READ IT. HELLO, IS THERE ANYBODY IN THERE?
22) She has filed charges against you in court or with the police – Do not try to look for love in a situation where your wife is trying to hurt you financially, or to harass you legally, or to put you and/or your family in jail. If you see some hidden motive (including -but not limited to- a mistaken belief that she has a desire to punish you because she loves you) and not a genuine desire to hurt you in such actions from her side, then you need to visit a psychiatrist, urgently. This is indicative of Borderline Personality Disorder or worse. This is a complex topic which will be broached in another article on this site in due course.
23) She lies to you – If your wife lies to you in situations where such lies are not necessary to avoid hurting your feelings, then you need to stop calling her your wife.
24) She tells everybody or someone that she is single – Does she have a facebook 'single' or 'its complicated' status? Have you come to know from reliable sources that she told someone that she is single or separated from you, while you are still 'together'?
25) The two of you are separated – If the two of you are separated, you might as well start the countdown to your divorce. Very few relationships or marriages survive separation in modern times. Very few. Yours is not one of them unless some people who you KNOW to be wise, and who you KNOW to be your well-wishers tell you (while giving compelling justification) that it is one of those marriages.
26) You have a long-distance marriage – It does not matter if you think that you have a long-distance marriage only temporarily. Also, it does not matter whether you are in different continents or different suburbs. Long distance does not work. To say that long-distance relationships work in a liberal society is like saying that cheating works.
27) She is in a glamorous field of employment and you are not, and she has got very little time for you – No no. No. No.
28) You are in a glamorous field of employment and she is not – See point 27 above. You don't need to tell this writer that you have got very little time for her.
29) She could see your income or your wealth in the matrimonial or dating website or newspaper or personal ad before she initiated contact with you, or agreed to your proposal, and your income or wealth as shown in that website or newspaper or personal ad was high, and you are very fat, and she is gorgeous – This is not an indicator of a dead marriage per se, but it is not a good beginning. Not good at all.
30) She knew you were very well off before she initiated contact with you, or agreed to your proposal, and you are very fat, and she is gorgeous – Much like point number 29 above.
31) You are very fat, and she is gorgeous – Not a healthy sign. See point 29 above. Actually this will not happen unless the condition which is mentioned in the title of point number 30 is also met in addition to the circumstances mentioned in the title of this point.
32) She says that if you don't hurt people, people will hurt you – If she says this, you need to move away from her, far away. If she does not say this but her actions reflect this belief, she is even more dangerous for your happiness / mental health.
33) She keeps you under her thumb – Even if you feel that such a situation is acceptable, just because she gives you pity sex sometimes, it is not. In fact, if you feel this way, then you need urgent psychiatric help. This is Stockholm Syndrome, an indicator of Self Defeating Personality Disorder.
34) She demands that you treat her with respect, while showing no respect for your feelings – Two can play this game. If she feels that she has the right to reject you even after having married you, you need to first develop the idea in your mind that you have the right to reject her if she does not meet your emotional and physical needs, and then implement this idea.
35) She says that she needs her space, or that she needs space, period – This is the atom bomb of relationships / marriages.
36) She accuses you of not respecting her boundaries – Then why is she with you? Even the existence of language such as this shows the desire to have a limited marriage –a thing which cannot exist in the particular space-time continuum where we are located. Such talk can be permitted at the stage of acquaintance, not after marriage.
37) She told you that she cheated on you – This is another atom bomb. Nothing can survive this.
38) You found out that she cheated on you – Unless your spouse is a President and you want to become Secretary of State at some point in the future, there is no need to accept such treatment.
39) You don't know where she works – This is not an acceptable situation. This is the end of your role as her husband.
40) You don't know her telephone number – Things should not have needed to reach this stage for you to wake up, but sh** happens sometimes. Now is a good time to opt out of this 'marriage'.
41) You don't know where she lives – She moved out and you don't know where she lives? Apply for divorce immediately.
42) She calls and/or texts unknown persons – She calls and texts unknown persons, and/or receives communications from such persons. This writer's ex used to do half of this past midnight in their marital bed.
43) You haven't had sex for some time, and the reason is that she does not want to have sex, but she does not have a convincing reason why – Sex is essential for marriage. If you are both healthy and sex is not happening, you need to be satisfied by her explanation or to take measures to find a better situation. Don't wait for many weeks or months to make this decision.
44) She says that she enjoys hurting you – She says that she needs to keep you on your toes for you to love her. This is extreme narcissism.
45) You feel that she enjoys hurting you – You feel or suspect that she is using you as a target for her sadistic nature.
45) She says that she wants you to play 'patience' – She says that you should leave her alone for some time and she will get back in the mood to love you. Refuse to play this game. Opting out is not incorrect here.
46) She says that you made the decision to spoil relations with her, and that there is no going back – The thing here is that going back is in her hands. If you are asking her to come back to normal, then all she has to do is agree to your request. Since she is saying that something which is entirely in her hands is actually not in her hands, you need to drop her. This goes beyond Narcissistic Personality Disorder into the realm of criminal behaviour.
47) She denies sex to get her way – This is a deal-breaker. Men can't live happy lives without good, unconditional, and plentiful sex. The whole marriage system and the global sex industry are based on this fact.
48) She says that the two of you have no connection – His ex once told this writer this thing. He nearly fell off the bed laughing.
49) She says that the two of you have nothing or very little in common – See point number 48.
50) She is unconcerned and/or hostile towards your parents - Walk out and/or kick her out.
51) She is very religious – Let her find happiness in divine love.
52) She says that she feels that sex is dirty and should only be engaged in to procreate She might be pretending to hate sex and actually be seeing another man. Also worth mentioning is the following quote made by Woody Allen once, "Sex is not always dirty. Only if it's done right." 'Nuff said.
53) She cannot stay at home for even half a day – She needs to go shopping or to restaurants or to see movies every day. You married her without checking these things and now you cannot afford her.
54) She says "Your money is my money, my money is my money" – Get thee hence, you avaricious female canine!
55) You are apologizing but she is not willing to let bygones be bygones ­– This is not okay. Not okay at all. This is terrible. Pure vengeful behaviour which shows that there is a very high probability that it was she -and not you- who was responsible for the past fights.
56) It's all about her She has to be pleased, placated, invoked, invited, satisfied, satiated, propitiated. Your needs are not important at all. Get out of this marriage NOW.
57) She says let us meet other people She is already seeing somebody else if she says such a thing. She has already cuckolded you.
58) She asks "What made you marry me?" This means that she is actually asking you "What can you tell me which I can hold against you in a court of law?"
59) You feel that she is manipulating you – You feel that she plays games to get you to behave the way that she wants you to.
60) She says that she likes to flirt with other men OR actually does flirt with another man in front of you or somebody who is close to you – This is not done in a marriage. Her place is in a madhouse, not in a marriage.
61) She excludes you from her activities – If she does not let you participate in any activity in which you would like to be with her, the marriage risks becoming full of resentment. You may profess your faith in her to the world and even to yourself, but can you control all the primal fears and suspicions in the tiny crevices of your mind?
62) You have mixed emotions about her – You have very strong mixed emotions about her. "You're not the only one with mixed emotions. You're not the only ship adrift on this ocean." Rolling Stones
63) Hard feelings – I hope this won't turn into a cut paste page for American bands. "I've got hard feelings. When it comes to you and me. And these hard feelings. Just won't let me be. These hard feelings run deep. These hard feelings run deep." Fleetwood Mac

I am Unhappy Because My Wife Dumped Me and She Is Happy

It happens to the best of us. Getting dumped is a rite of passage for some, and an all too familiar, uncomfortable "oops, it happened again" sensation for some. It can lead to feelings of "Hey, good riddance" in some people; while others may wallow in misery. A whole lot of us experience mixed emotions, and we hate 'our' women for dumping us, and we miss them at the same time –wanting them back in our beds, wanting to hear them say sweet nothings while they melt in our arms again in our sweet imaginations. It takes a whole lot of time before we heal and are ready for a new relationship again. We feel that it is unfair that she got out of the relationship without any pain. A Cynical View of the Dynamics of Dumping/Being Dumped from the Male Perspective It sometimes happens that a Brad Pitt springs an Angelina Jolie on a Jennifer Aniston, and goes on to create a happy family, and the dumped wife continues to struggle for years, unable to find closure in her emotions, or suffering due to the public sympathy/sarcasm phenomenon. While the foregoing is a rare event, a Kim Kardashian doing a Kanye West on a Kris Humphries is a much more common thing, and can be seen everyday around us. The Devdas syndrome is a common theme in literature across the world, not just because most writers have historically come from the male gender, but also because it is something that we all see around us all the time. Do not take it personally. The battle is not you against your wife. The battle is you against all the men in the world who find your wife ****able. This is one of the ways in which the species works. It is a biological fact that a receptive female will find a host of male suitors ready to fertilise her and to compete with each other for the 'privilege' or the pleasure to do so. Witness the tens of thousands of facebook likes which sexually suggestive pages featuring women rustle up in short order, especially in sexually suppressed countries like India. Men have a whole lot of spermatozoa, with new ones coming up everyday, and they can potentially fertilise several women even within the span of one day. The instinct and the need are very powerful. Women, on the other hand, have a limited store of eggs. On top of that –biologically speaking– they have to go through the pregnancy phase and the young child phase as a consequence of mating. She must mate with the best available male to make these phases as easy as possible. The judgement as to which male is the best available one is done by various females in various ways. Many of them choose the one who has the most females chasing after him. This is pure monkey-like imitative behaviour, called peer influence by some. Indeed many many females would prefer to spend a night of pleasure with a movie star than a year of stable companionship with a 'lesser' man. The human species derives its impulses from many ancestors. In some species of primates it is fairly commonly seen that the female selects (or surrenders her sexual favours to) the strongest and the most dominant male, and that he has his choice of females, ready to please him sexually, and to bear his offspring for the successful continuation of the species. The weaker males –on the other hand– are often either unable to mate, or they are left with the less popular females. This can be seen in silverback gorillas, amongst whom the dominant male is a veritable ****-machine. He enjoys this until another male becomes stronger, and all the women go to that guy. There are other species amongst primates where the tribal nature of society makes a more egalitarian situation for the male, and practically every male gets to have one female. It is sometimes observed that the male kills or attacks his female if she strays from the straight and narrow. Therefore the female resorts to dissembling to hide her unfaithfulness. Note that she still plays around. This can be seen in chimpanzees. It is moot that the immediate availability of one or more members of the opposite sex is necessary to successfully dump the member of the opposite sex who is giving you a hard time, or to satisfy your sadistic instincts. Jealousy is a powerful emotion, and it is a futile effort to try to grow out of it. It is an emotion which is older than the very species to which you belong, and is hardwired into your DNA. It is a bonus for a dumper if the alternative lover/fool is more desirable than the dumpee, although this is not a necessary condition at all to ignite feelings of jealousy. As is usual in modern warfare, the first mover and the steadfast battler has an advantage. The female of the species is very often the first mover in finishing a relationship in this manner –bringing to mind Kipling's words:— " So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands." But Kipling is not totally pessimistic about the force of a man's manliness, and weighs the strengths of each side in this unwilled(?) war. "And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him. And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail, That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male. " Remember the song "jhooth boley kauva kaatey"? In the primitive exchange between the husband and the wife in that song, the wife spars with her husband, only to surrender to him when he threatens to bring a second wife to his home in her absence. Since that era 40 years ago a lot of water has flowed under the bridge, and womancipation in most countries has reached a point where a woman that attractive would reply that instead of her parents' home she would head for Jamaica to have a good time alone or with a lover at Hedonism II. Speaking of swinging, the 21st century western version of civilisation has led to many perversions like the now popular cuckold fantasy genre in 'literature', cinema, and the internet. This type of man –essentially speaking– kills his soul because society does not allow him to control his woman now. There is also the social layer of money-madness which makes rich men irresistible to women in terms of being the preferred daytime companion. She may or may not deem the same man her favourite lover, depending upon the degree of selfishness in her personality. Like most people we meet and hear about, women do such things because they can do them, or –to be more accurate– because they can get away with them. It is also not your fault that you selected and mated with a female who was attractive enough to find another mate when she got fed up with you, or when she realised that she had a more desirable mate wanting to court her. You are biologically programmed to go after the most attractive female who is accessible to you, and the compulsions of modern society combine with her wiles to not let you seek out any other while she is with you. Moreover, your maleness has programmed you to chase, and she is programmed to entice. You may also feel –with some justification– that she left you not for someone more handsome or more successful, but for someone who is a sycophant and just says what she wants to hear instead of the truth. Well this writer has got six words for you –the truth does not always help you, and the spite/revenge package is very sweet for a larger percentage of humans than Jesus would have been comfortable with. The clever and merciless player does not always respond at the time of being insulted, and does not always protest that she/he has suffered a slight. He/she just hits back with ten times the emotional brutality at a time and place of his/her choosing. It is reflective of a criminal mentality, I know, but what to do? An Alternative, more Optimistic View of Being Dumped In the poem extract earlier on in this article, Kipling quite surely did not know that he was referring to what would come to be known as the personality disordered narcissistic female homo sapiens. Narcissists are often able to successfully hurt people on an emotional level, but their victims can take comfort in the fact that the narcissist can never be happy, never ever. It is axiomatic. Further, the narcissist does not usually attempt suicide at a young age, but a very very large percentage of this type ends her/his life himself after the age of 40. Their suicide attempts are much more lethal and likely to succeed than the suicide attempts of the borderline, the schizotypal, or the dependent personality type. It is also worth mentioning that a lot of such individuals meet a gruesome end at the hand of other members of society. This latter phenomenon occurs at all ages. This does not mean that you have to take up the responsibility of becoming the one who finishes off your narcissistic spouse. Give her a long rope to hang herself with. You might feel today that nobody gives a **** about you, but nobody really gives a **** about her either, strictly speaking. Also, did I say something above about a woman responding in kind to threats of being abandoned in favour of another woman? Well, I said that because threats are not very effective in these matters these days. Remember that jealousy cuts both ways, and equally strongly. You can make her miserable if that is your agenda (rightfully so, this writer may add). There are many ways to hurt her without making yourself a target for the police. You can succeed in such an effort to an extent where she will have you in her mind even if she is in bed with another man, even if he is the one for whom she left you. Getting another woman and timing the events related to such acquisition for maximum effect is one of the ways to achieve this. Another is to succeed in your career. Another is to become more attractive physically. Stopping caring about this woman is yet another way. Then there is the well timed verbal insult. Contempt. Humiliation. Ad nauseam. All these ways are more effective if they are used in combination with one another and with the right timing. Remember the song 'your time is gonna come' if that is the sort of thing which convinces you, Thomas. A Word of Advice for the Man who has been Dumped Protesting has its place where a whole biologically vulnerable gender is either being victimised by laws like 498a, DV, or biased divorce laws or is sought to be put in an even more vulnerable position legally by an obsequious government and a glory-seeking judiciary. Social structures and norms which protect the rights of men are being dismantled nationally and globally, and it is correct to unite and struggle for justice. At a personal level, don't try to argue with the dumper. Logic will not work with her or with her family. Move on and continue your search. There are indeed plenty of fish in the ocean; and nothing succeeds like success; and there is no better revenge than success. Getting boots for yourself is important. It is easier than carpeting the whole world.

Gold, Samosas, Your Wife, The Collapsing Rupee, and RTI

The Public Information Officer (PIO),ID No. (For official use) RTI Cell, SPUWAC, Nanak Pura Delhi Name of Applicant — Manish Udar Address — House number 0123456, ABCD Colony, New Delhi - 1100xx Concerned Department — SPUWAC, Nanak Pura Subject - Application for seeking information under the Right to Information Act, 2005 Background: 1) India is importing more gold than any other country in the world. Eighty billion dollars worth of gold was imported in the previous year. This is as much money as the net worth of the entire Tata business empire globally. This is more money than the amount which has been lost in all the scams since God knows when. Most of this gold is purchased by people on the occasion of weddings, or for their wife or daughter-in-law. 2) The national currency is spiralling downwards in the last couple of weeks. The news today is that it has gone down to 60 rupees to the dollar. Eighty billion dollars was worth four lakh thirty two thousand crores a few days back. Now it is worth 4 lakh eighty thousand crores. 3) Along with petroleum imports, gold import is the biggest reason for the current account deficit in India, and is causing inflation and other macroeconomic negativity. The Finance Minister has appealed to people to buy less gold, only a few days ago. 4) Buying gold for one's bride/daughter-in-law/wife is not a wise thing to do, as you in the CAW Cell are aware. Allowing her to bring gold at the time of wedding or afterwards is equally unwise. This is for the simple reason that the percentage of marriages which turn sour is increasing every year, and for daughters-in-law in our country it is as easy as buying a packet of samosas to register an FIR against her in-laws under section 498a (cruelty for the purpose of getting dowry), section 406 (misappropriation (by husband or his parents) of Streedhan (gold/dowry/gifts and property given by husband or his relatives to wife)), and section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. In total, these allegations are punishable by seven or eight years of hard labour in prison. 5) Even if a husband/groom's family makes a list of gifts exchanged at the time of wedding and gets it signed by witnesses, it is totally guaranteed that an FIR will be registered against them if the wife makes an allegation under the sections mentioned above. They will have to go through jail, bail, interrogation, police custody, judicial custody, endless rounds of police stations, courts lawyers, and prolonged mental torture. 6) The only way to avoid registration of an FIR under section 406 is to take or give no gifts (including gold) at the time of wedding, AND to get this fact recorded by witnesses. This also reduces the credibility of any allegations made under section 498a. Section 34 gets eliminated in the process. 7) So it is clear that buying gold for your bride, or letting her buy gold for herself, or letting her parents buy gold for her has a great potential to become the first step in your path to jail and bail, or just jail without bail, or police station plus lawyer's office plus court plus bail without jail. It is a thankless endeavour. Gold has led to a lot of misery in the lives of Indians, just as it did in the lives of North and South Americans, Africans, Australians, and indeed Indians over the course of history. 8) If Delhi Police uses a portion of its advertising budget to put out big advertisements in newspapers mentioning the facts listed from 1) to 7) above, it will do yeoman's service to the nation, will destroy the national hunger for gold, and will alleviate the misery of crores of women also. I am mentioning women here because claims regarding the misery of men do not appeal to our lawmakers and media, and are invariably discarded as lies. INFORMATION REQUIRED 1. Does the logic (or any sub-set or super-set thereof, or any intersecting set) mentioned in the "background" above appear valid to your department? 2. I state that the information sought does not fall within the restrictions contained in the Act and to the best of my knowledge it pertains to your office; and please give the information in typed form. 3. A fee of Rs. 10/- is being paid Dated: 20th June 2013 Manish Udar

Letter to a 498a Wife

Have you ever been in a relationship where you felt that you need to do your work and other activities first, and then organize to spend "quality" time with your partner? And he waited for you patiently or unwillingly every time or almost every time until the relationship collapsed. Is this a recurring pattern? Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner felt that he needed to do his work and other activities first, and then organize to spend "quality" time with you? And you waited for him patiently or unwillingly every time or almost every time until the relationship collapsed. Is this a recurring pattern? Have you ever been in a marriage where both you and your partner started out with clean intentions, but the marriage ended in a shambles? Is this a recurring pattern? Have you ever married a man with whom you were not ready to have kids at the very beginning of the marriage? Is this a recurring pattern? Have you ever been married to a man who was not ready to have kids with you at the very beginning of the marriage? Is this a recurring pattern? Have you even been in a relationship where you started out by calling your partner on the telephone sometimes, and he reciprocated the frequency (and perhaps the duration) of your telephone calls, but the relationship ended with a situation where one party was doing most of the calling, and the other party was ignoring the first party? Perhaps even elders or the police had to be called in? Is this a recurring pattern? Have you ever been in a relationship where you attempted to have a stable relationship with a man who was not in your town, was much more richer than you or of a very higher social status than you, or was socially not available, or mentally not prepared, to have a stable or long-lasting relationship with you? And the relationship did not complete you. Is this a recurring pattern? Have you ever been in a relationship with a man who was of a "socially" or economically unacceptable status to some people in your family, but you accepted him, only to reject him later, before the relationship could bear fruit? Is this a recurring pattern? Have you ever been in a relationship with a man when you were socially not available, or mentally not ready, to have a stable and long-lasting relationship with him? And the relationship ended in a shambles. Is this a recurring pattern?Are you currently in a relationship with any man who is not your husband? Has such a thing happened before? SECOND HALF OF THIS QUESTION IS OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE. Have you never experienced a shortage of admirers? Simultaneously, has the desired man almost always been the one who said "no" or "I am not sure", and sometimes kept on saying so for prolonged periods? MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION. THIS IS THE AFFIRMATION OF EVERYTHING I AM WRITING ABOUT HERE. Did you ever maintain or start or attempt to start a relationship with any second man when you had not declared to the first man that your relationship with him was finished for all practical purposes? Here the key is that it is not important whether the first man caught on to you or started suspecting you, but what is important is that you did not declare your intention to him before or after he started suspecting you or before you realised that he had caught on to you. Have you ever cuckolded one or both (or more than two) men, to put it in simpler language? IS THIS A RECURRING PATTERN, XXXXXX XXXXX? THIS IS EQUALLY THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION Have you ever started or attempted to continue a relationship with a man after you had discovered, through intuition or logical reasoning or via a declaration made by him, that he was not ready to be with you forever, or that he had another simultaneous ongoing relationship? Has this been a recurring pattern over the years? I know that the person you respect the most, who is considered a human avatar of Lord (oldest deity) by some people in your circle (perhaps even by you), the man you and tens of thousands of people call Xxxxji, who is not on this planet anymore, said many times that "If you can do something good for someone, do it. If you cannot do something good for someone, don't do it. But never harm anyone." In spite of the foregoing statement made by the man you admire most, are you unable to imagine yourself and your family in the same situation where I and my parents have been put by you? And you wish to do your best to see us locked up for many years if we don't give you 30 lakh rupees? You have no empathy for people who are socially closest to you or related to you? Is this a recurring pattern? Were you ever the victim of sexual abuse as a child? Did you ever have a relationship with a man who had been a victim of childhood sexual abuse? Were you ever in a situation for a prolonged period where one of your parents had an angry nature, and the other parent used to suffer? OR you had an absentee parent? Do you often feel that you need to keep yourself busy and occupied, right from waking up to falling asleep, failing which you would go bonkers? Do you often engage in at least one of the following? drive recklessly OR ask the driver to drive recklessly, engage in unsafe sex, abuse alcohol or drugs, binge eat, eat too little, indulge in shoplifting or extortion, gamble, or spend money recklessly. Do you sometimes get lost in your thoughts while talking to somebody? Does this happen more frequently when you are at the cusp of failure in a relationship? Do you often feel that you idealize others, especially when you first meet them, and you share your secrets with them. But then you feel later that these same people don't care enough and aren't there enough for you? I am not talking about just romantic relationships here. Is this change in attitude sometimes triggered by just one event? Are you sometimes very angry, extremely sarcastic or bitter, and feel that you have a hard time controlling your anger? Have you ever engaged in self-mutilating, self-harm, or suicidal behaviours, gestures or threats? Do you sometimes completely change your life goals or values or career focus? Are you often afraid that others will abandon or leave you? And you make frantic efforts to avoid this abandonment (even when it's not real)? Does your mood shift between extreme periods of anxiety, depression or irritability in just a few hours or days? Can your views of others -- especially those you care about -- shift dramatically and without any warning? Would you say that most of your romantic relationships have been very intense -- but not very stable? Are you currently experiencing problems impacting your ability to go to school, work, be with friends or family, or have a normal marriage or romantic relationship? Did you go through a period of turmoil when you decided to dump me? Was your suffering aggravated by my apparent nonchalance? Do you firmly believe that it is a cardinal mistake to say "I love you" to the man you are in a relationship with? OR Do you firmly believe that it is a cardinal mistake to say "I love you" to the man you are in a relationship with before he says "I love you"? Has your experience in romance validated the truth of this belief? Did you dump me because I was no longer a challenge for you? Did you marry me without trying to meet me a few times because you were afraid I would back out? Did you ever voluntarily make simultaneous attempts for arranged marriage and love marriage? Did you ever say to your partner that you need "space" or that you want to spend some time apart? Is this a recurring pattern? Do you often want to have the man who is most in-demand in a particular social circle, and want him to be yours exclusively? If the above questions have set many bells ringing in your mind, if this reads like the story of your life, you need medical help to help you achieve success in your next marriage. (note to reader: the prognosis for personality disorders is not good, and absurdly dismal in NPD and AsPD) Time to move on. The sooner you find an honest man willing to love you, the longer the happy phase of your life, and the older your children will be when you die. The beginning of your journey is entirely in your hands Xxxxxx, God willing. Stop trying to milk a dead animal which you have killed yourself. Grow up and save yourself thereby. Make two men and three families happy, as soon as legally possible, with some help from God. Wanting to be your ex-husband Assoc. Prof. Manish Udar

All India list of Women's Cells

What is the CAW Cell Process After a 498a Complaint is made by a Wife?

When a 498a complaint is made by a genuinely aggrieved wife, or by a wife who is making a false complaint to extract money or to torture her in-laws, there is a procedure which is followed by the police. This procedure is based on the assumption that this is a dispute between a husband and wife, and that the state should try to not enter the space which is shared by husband and wife, and let them resolve their dispute between themselves. As is well known, the wife makes her complaint at one of the many CAW cells all over India. However, in this procedure, the party which does not want a compromise or settlement is put in the driving seat, and this party can drive the proceedings to a juddering halt and render them a complete waste of time. The wife is always given the first chance to play the spoilsport. The first step in the CAW cell process is the counselling of the wife on the day when she visits the cell with her complaint. They tell her her rights and limitations, and the rights and limitations of the husband, and the path that will be followed during the whole process. The wife gives her complaint in writing to the department at this point of time. The complaint is referred to the legal cell of the CAW cell. The legal cell goes through the complaint and makes its recommendations. Theoretically this opinion is regarding whether to proceed or not to proceed with the complaint, but nobody knows about any example where any complaint was not proceeded upon. So you can assume that the complaint will be proceeded upon by the CAW cell. However, if no offence is made out against one or more persons mentioned in the complaint, then those persons will either not be chargesheeted by the police at the women's police station / mahila thana, or they will be acquitted by the judge. After the legal cell makes its recommendations, the complaint is forwarded again to the DCP or JCP who is in-charge of the CAW cell. At this stage, an enquiry officer is appointed by the department, and this appointment comes directly from senior-most level in the CAW cell. The enquiry officer is usually a woman, and she is under instruction to have her sympathy for the wife (though this does not always happen). The enquiry officer is normally a senior officer not below inspector rank, with at least 20 years of experience. At the stage immediately after appointment, the enquiry officer meets the wife and her parents. She tells them again the whole process, and they tell her how they wish to proceed. The main court decisions which act as the basis for the work of CAW cells throughout the country are Joginder Kumar vs. State of UP (Crl. WP 9 of 1994) (Supreme Court), D.K. Basu (DK Bose –MU) vs. State of West Bengal (Supreme Court), Court on its Own Motion vs. CBI (Crl. Misc. 3875/2003) (Delhi High Court), Chander Bhan and Anr. vs. State (Bail application 1627/2008) (Delhi High Court, Kailash Gambhir J.), and most recently Arnesh Kumar vs. State of Bihar. All theses decisions prompted DGPs of various states of issues guidelines. Delhi was one of the first to do so, and former police commissioner Yudhbir Singh Dadwal's standing order no. 330/2008, issued in this behalf, can be downloaded here (external resource). An excellent resource exploring the legality / illegality of CAW Cell Delhi and/or its actions is available at this webpage (external resource). The enquiry officer writes a summons which is sent to the wife and the husband by the immediate senior of the enquiry officer. The immediate senior of the enquiry officer is usually an ACP, who is (again usually) a woman, and she also has been told to keep her sympathies with the wife. The whole CAW cell is mandated to be biased in favour of the wife. The summons is hand delivered by an employee of the department to the house of the husband and the wife on the same day. This is the first time when the husband learns that he is an accused in a 498a case. They are requested to come to the CAW cell, but do not think of this as a request. This is a legal document which must be obeyed. If the husband ignores this summons then he may have problems in getting anticipatory bail. There is no right or wrong stage for applying for anticipatory bail in 498a/dowry cases. It all depends upon how inexperienced and afraid you are and how much money you are willing to spend on lawyers in your matrimonial conflict.On the day of the first meeting with the enquiry officer, the husband and wife are made to sit together and they tell their versions. They make allegations and counter-allegations. At the end of the session, the enquiry officer asks the wife what she wants now. The wife says she wants conciliation (to live together again after counselling by a counsellor). Or she may say that she wants mediation (to decide the terms and conditions of mutual consent divorce, including full and final monetary settlement). She then asks the husband what he wants and tells him that if he refuses to listen to the wife then he may encounter difficulties in getting AB. The enquiry officer makes notes in her file and makes the spouses sign their attendance. Then she takes them to her immediate superior. The immediate superior listens to the enquiry officer and believes her completely. Then she talks to the wife and last of all to the husband. The husband and wife are told to go to the conciliation cell and they meet the clerk there and ask for an appointment. They are told to come back after a week. When they come back on the appointed day, the appointed counsellor meets wife and husband and tells the husband to wait outside while she talks with the wife. The wife narrates her version and makes her demands, usually separate residence from parents or some other demand. She is also asked whether she wants conciliation or not. This is done inspite of the fact that it was the wife who had asked for the conciliation proceedings. Then the husband is called and he narrates his version and makes his statement about whether he wants conciliation or not. Then both the spouses are called together and they are told the result of the conciliation. Sometimes another date is given, sometimes they are advised to seek mutual consent divorce. If another date is given then they come again for as many times as the counsellor considers necessary and fruitful. If another date is not given then the counsellor takes in writing from one or both spouses that they do not want further attempts at conciliation. Then they go to the enquiry officer, who calls them on another day after one week, or a longer time if one of the parties is from another town. The next time they come, they are asked one by one whether they want mediation. If the wife says yes then the husband has to agree, or he "may have difficulty in getting anticipatory bail" (according to the EO). Then the enquiry officer gives the list of stridhan items which are claimed by the wife to be with the husband. Then the husband comes back after a few days with the admit list, which is the list of items that he admits is with him. After this list is submitted, they are directed to go to the mediation cell. There, the clerk gives them a date for the audio-visual presentation about the mediation process. The audio-visual presentation is held in the central CAW cell, also known as the SPUWAC of the city. SPUWAC means Special Police Unit for Women And Children. In Delhi it is at Nanakpura. On the day of the audio-visual presentation, about 50-200 couples from all over the city come to the SPUWAC, and a high court lawyer makes the presentation, which is about 3 hours long. It is just a waste of time and public money to spend 3 hours on a presentation which is not really a presentation but a long session of group counselling in disguise. If they announce it as counselling in advance, then people will pay more attention instead of walking out in the middle. The only solid information they give in this session is that there will be a maximum of five mediation sessions, and that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to be made at the end of mediation, if the mediation is successful. They are also told that this cell manages to end more than 3 out of 5 disputes without the need to use further legal options. This is a little bit out of the ordinary, because 498a is a cognisable crime, and an FIR is mandatory upon filing of a complaint in such an offence. Some courts and legal commentators have said that the police should first file an FIR, and then conduct mediation proceedings, but it seems that wiser counsel has prevailed, because once an FIR is filed then the case cannot be quashed without a wait of at least about 18-24 months. Or possibly the ideators of quick and successful legal blackmail have prevailed. After the audio-visual presentation, a date is given for the first mediation session. On this day, the mediator, who is a high court lawyer, and who is not a high court employee but a police consultant, conducts a mediation session with both husband and wife first. Then with the wife alone, in which she asks her how much she wants and how much she is willing to go down. Then she talks to the husband alone, and asks him about his offer and paying capacity. Finally she talks to husband and wife both, and in this dialogue they find out if they have been able to reach an agreed amount. She gives a next date at the end of the session, which is a bargaining session for full and final settlement, just like the first session. Like this five sessions maximum are held, with minimum being one session. At the end, if there is an agreement, then a MoU is prepared. Otherwise, husband and wife are told to go home. At this stage, the enquiry officer sends a written notice to both husband and wife to appear before her. On the appointed day, they appear before her, and she listens to their narrations. Then she asks them again if they want conciliation or if the husband is willing to accept the wife's demand or the wife is willing to accept her husband's offer. If there is no agreement, then she asks the husband to bring a copy of any anticipatory bail order from a competent court that he may have obtained so far (although he is not required to do so by law), and asks the wife to bring copies of receipts of marriage expenditure, photos of the wedding, and a copy of the wedding invitation. Then they both come after a week with the required documents and they are asked again the same questions as last time. If their answer is no, then the enquiry officer forwards the file to her immediate senior, who forwards it to the DCP or JCP in-charge, who forwards it to the police station near the wife's home (or near the main CAW cell of the city, if the complaint was filed at that cell by the wife) for conversion to an FIR.

Sample MoU for ending Matrimonial Litigation

1) Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such and/or her family members shall have no claim in the present and future on the whole of or on any portion of any assets or income of her husband Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such and/or his family. 2) Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such shall give in writing to her husband Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such or his representative a receipt indicating her acceptance of every respective instalment of the full and final settlement of XYZ Lakhs of Rupees (Rupees XYZ,00,000/=) as and when the payments are made. 3) The payment of XYZ Lakhs of Rupees (Rupees XYZ,00,000/=) is a full and final settlement between Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such and Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such. Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such and/or her family members will have no claims on any payment from her husband Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such and/or his family members after the payment of this full and final settlement. 4) Payment shall be made and accepted in three instalments of ABC rupees, DEF rupees, and GHI rupees respectively. First instalment shall be paid and accepted on signing of Memorandum of Understanding. Second instalment shall be paid and accepted on first motion of mutual consent divorce. Third instalment shall be paid and accepted on second motion of mutual consent divorce. Payment shall be done by Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such or his representative. Acceptance of payment shall be done by Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such. 5) All litigations and complaints initiated by Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such and her husband Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such or their respective family members against the other party and/or their family members shall be withdrawn, and no litigation or complaints will be revived, initiated or inspired by Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such and her husband Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such or their families in future against the other party and/or their family members. 6) Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such and her husband Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such will cooperate in letting the other party withdraw their litigation and complaints. 7) Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such and her husband Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such shall disengage completely from the life of the other party, and will not indulge in any act of omission or commission in the future which would tantamount to interfering in the other party's life. 8) Mrs. 498a d/o such and such r/o such and such and her husband Mr. so and so s/o so and so r/o such and such are bound by this memorandum of understanding to cooperate and work towards getting mutual consent divorce as soon as legally possible.

Another Sample MoU for ending Matrimonial Litigation

BEFORE THE CAW CELL NANAKPURA, NEW DELHI (PRE-LITIGATIVE) (MEDIATION UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE DELHI HIGH COURT LEGAL SERVICES COMMITTEE) MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING This Memorandum of Understanding is made at New Delhi on this (xx)th day of (month) 20xx. BETWEEN Mrs. 498a d/o abcd w/o victim r/o 1234567, colony pqr, New Delhi-1100nn (hereinafter called the first party) AND Mr. Victim s/o dr. so and so r/o 777777777, colony uvwxyz, New Delhi-1100mm (hereinafter called the second party) Whereas the marriage between the first party and the second party was solemnised according to Hindu rites and ceremonies on xx/yy/20zz at Delhi. After the marriage the parties lived together as husband and wife at Delhi at colony uvwxyz only. There is no child born out of the wedlock of the parties. And Whereas after sometime of the marriage serious disputes arose between the parties and the parties couldn't enjoy their married life happily and now the parties are living separately from xx/yy/20zz. The marriage between the parties has irretrievably broken down and there is no possibility of any reconciliation. And Whereas the first party filed one criminal complaint against the second party at Nanakpura women's cell. Various sessions were held between the parties on several dates and during the proceedings of mediation the parties to the agreement settled all disputes in the following manner:–1) That the second party will pay a sum of Rs. X,00,000/- (X Lacs only) to the first party in full and final towards all her past, future and present claims of maintenance and permanent alimony, jewellery, istridhan / stridhan, dowry articles etc. etc. 2) That the aforesaid amount of Rs. X Lacs shall be distributed(!) in three instalments i.e. Rs. A,00,000/- (A Lacs only) vide DD no. 3456789012 dated xx/yy/20zz drawn on such and such Bank, New Delhi at the time of signing of the present settlement deed. The remaining Rs. Y Lacs shall be paid to the first party in two equal instalments of Rs. Z Lacs each to be paid at the time of first and second motion. 3) That it is agreed between the parties to this agreement that they will file a Mutual Consent Divorce Petition in the court of law through their respective lawyers in (month) 20xx at ABCD Courts at Delhi and the second party shall pay an amount of Rs. Y Lacs to the first party by way of Demand Draft at the time of recording of first motion statement before the court. 4) That it is also agreed that the second party shall make a statement to withdraw his cases filed against the first party before the court at EFGH District Courts and ABCD Family Courts Delhi after the signing of the present MoU (note: this can also be drafted so as to withdraw cases after the filing of the first motion. MU). The first party also undertakes to withdraw her criminal complaint after signing of the present MoU. 5) That after the expiry of the mandatory period of 6 months the parties shall file the second motion of their divorce petition and the second party shall pay the balance and final amount of Rs. Y Lacs to the first by way of Demand Draft at the time of recording of second motion statement before the court. 6) It is further agreed that the first party shall withdraw all her cases from the respective courts, forums, police stations etc. etc. It is agreed that after the execution of the terms and conditions stated above there shall be no claim left between the parties against each other in any manner whatsoever. The first party shall not raise any claim or right over the properties immovable or movable of the second party or his parents and relatives in future. She shall not file any other criminal or other complaint against the second party or his family members within the jurisdiction in India, or abroad. 7) That it is further agreed between both the parties that they would not have any communication or contact with each other, with each other's friends, family members or relatives. They shall not create any situation which may defame or lower the reputation of the parties or their family members in the society. It is further agreed that they shall not enter at each other's workplaces as well. Both the parties have executed this MoU by mutual consent and without any force, coercion, misrepresentation, pressure from any corner and after going through and understanding the contents of the same. In Witness Whereof, the parties have signed this MoU on the day, month and year first above written in the presence of the following witnesses:– Abcd Efgh (first party) Ijkl Mnop (second party) Qrst Uvwx (mediator) Witness 1:– Witness 2:– Stamp/seal of mediation centre Attachment: photocopy of demand draft given by second party to first party on this day, signed by both parties.

The Global Divorce Epidemic

Michael is a very close friend of mine in New Zealand. He is half Irish or Scottish (I forget which) and half Maori. He has a short physique, and in his younger days he used to be very slim. Now he is in his 50s, for those curious. His physique was ideal for the job of a horseracing jockey, and he used to race horses for a living, in New Zealand and Australia. He was happily married to a woman he loved, and they used to live together in Rotorua with a daughter and a son. He used to love horses –as he still does. He was kicked by a horse in a stable once, which led to him losing his sight permanently. He was bed-ridden for many weeks, and was in a coma (which thankfully ended shortly) as a result of being kicked by the above mentioned horse. Mike told me that his wife started seeing someone behind his back shortly after he went blind. She divorced him pretty quickly. Her boyfriend moved in with her and Mike moved to Hamilton to be close to some of his friends. The boyfriend went to jail soon after for embezzling money from his employers, thereby proving the adage "once a thief, always a thief". But there was no going back to her for Mike. His wife meets him sometimes, but she went from relationship to relationship after her divorce with him. He has led a pretty lonely existence in all these years. His children have grown up now, and he gets satisfaction from seeing their progress in life. Verma is a relative of mine who went to America to try his fortune there. His sister, who was already there, helped to arrange his marriage with a local citizen. Shortly after the wedding, Verma discovered to his shock that his wife was involved with another man from before getting married to him, and was carrying on her affair with him. He lost his temper and shouted at her and slapped her once (once only). She called the police and got Verma locked up for a day. He was shut out of his own house and was forced to make weekly payments to her. He paid her what was a stiff amount for him, just to see the back of her. Later he moved back to India and he has made good progress in his personal life. My buddy Lim lives in Singapore. We used to work together in the Lion City. He was seeing a local lady those days who he had met while at varsity in Tasmania. He later on got married to her and she gave birth to his daughter. Her attitude changed after a few years for reasons which are still not clear. She started denying him sex. Poor Lim did not even protest, and suffered silently. After a couple of years of this treatment he filed for divorce. She fired back with every law at her disposal and he had to start paying her every month out of his paltry salary. Last I got an update, they had been locked in litigation for a few years over the question of child custody, maintenance, alimony, his wife's mental health status, and the divorce itself. 'Aliya', a friend in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan is an otorhinolaryngologist of more than twenty years experience. She got married to a politician's son soon after graduating from medical school and went on to have a daughter with him. He was evidently carrying on a clandestine liaison with another woman, and pretty soon left Aliya to be with her. Aliya filed for child support in court and was awarded a small regular payment till the daughter turned eighteen. The triple shock of the collapse of the Soviet Union with the consequent descent into poverty, the loss of her 'husband', and being pushed towards an uncertain future almost finished her off. The good doctor tried her luck at a number of relationships thereafter, but gave up after she got tired of being cheated or dumped.'Nora', a neighbour in Auckland got separated from her husband after he left in search of better prospects in Australia, in the face of her protest. They carried on the charade of a long-distance marriage for a number of years, with Nora having a series of lovers –none of whom she was ready to commit to; and her husband out there doing most probably much the same. Eventually they got tired of the game and got divorced. 'Vasanta' is a lady who I met while admitted at a hospital in Delhi earlier this year. I don't remember what her stated reason for getting admitted was, but it was clear that she was suffering due to a narcissistic husband. The man came to visit her for the first time on my third day there, and he was arguing with her and threatening her with ultimatums of leaving her whenever she tried to be slightly stern with him to get him to pay more attention to her. She was weeping and trying to reason with him at the same time. Her mother complained to the man that he did not get her admitted to the hospital, did not pay for her treatment, and did not visit her until that day. Clearly the husband was determined to get rid of Vasanta, and she was at risk of being forced to kill herself due to depression. Divorce plus high quality psychiatric treatment for the affected lady was the only solution here. I went up to her after her parents and 'husband' had left the ward to continue their argument elsewhere, and suggested that she file a dowry harassment case against him. I told her that I myself was facing a concocted case, but I still felt that this was the correct remedy for a woman in her situation. She became fearful and asked me if I was a policeman. I sighed and gave up, but I told her to see a psychiatrist before getting a discharge. People like Vasanta, Michael, Lim, Aliya, Nora and Verma do not divorce because they love the idea of divorce, but because they have been kicked out of marriages by their narcissistic wife or husband. This phenomenon of extreme narcissism followed by divorce has assumed epidemic proportions in recent years all over the globe. This is, essentially, not a divorce epidemic. This is in fact a narcissism epidemic. What are the reasons for this? Well, first of all there is the global empowerment of women. Women have more rights than men in most countries. Men are the same as they used to be, according to feminists as well as laypersons. Whereas women have become more liberated than they used to be. They have a lot of options to choose from, and men are finding it hard to keep up with them. Successful and beautiful women have no shortage of admirers. There are many who can never be satisfied with any man. If they land a 'hunk' they want a billionaire. If they hook a billionaire they want a hunk. There are also many women who are genuine sufferers. They are now able to get divorce, and get it on their own terms in many countries. But this option is available to other types of women too. Is it therefore a good thing or a bad thing that divorces due to termination of relations by women have skyrocketed? Gender biased laws have proliferated in the name of gender justice worldwide. Men are often left holding the bag, while women get easy divorce/ revenge/ perceived revenge/ monetary gain in modern divorce laws and jurisprudence. Psychiatrists have reported that there is a discernible growth in narcissistic attitudes in the youth who attend educational institutions. There have been many studies in this area, with similar results. The average young person has become more narcissistic, and the whole population of the youth has seen an increase in the proportion of narcissists. This is a phenomenon which is not just limited to the young, as many people will testify anecdotally. Then there is the easy availability and constant presence of visual information about glamorous people and their lifestyles. Newspapers have been tabloidised. They now carry large daily supplements which showcase the lifestyles of social butterflies, fashion models and designers, billionaires, movie stars, rockstars, and people like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, who are either famous for being famous, or serial divorcers, or both. There are also invariably photos of 'hot' women and men in very little clothing to excite the sexual instincts of readers. Readers become used to this sort of stuff and it becomes aspirational for them. They then inflict these aspirations on their spouses and the result is there for all to see. Television channels have mushroomed. India for example has more than 700 channels. Many of these channels show salacious material or material which does not reflect the lives of ordinary people, and they are a hit with young and old alike. People get influenced by such media content, and develop unrealistic fantasies about their desired partners. The effect on men and women, and its impact on the divorce rate is the same as that above (in the case of the tabloidised newspapers.) The internet is another source of garbage. Porn and glamour are available to all and sundry, and social networks enable communication at a moment's notice. With the increasing logged in time per person per day, the influence of people who wish him or her no good is increasing upon the individual. This argument is based upon the logic that the number of well-wishers that a person has is very small compared to mischievous elements. Such people misguide individuals and impair their judgment of good and bad. This has an impact on the personal relations of such people, including those relations which they have with their spouses. Mobile phone communications have increased the scope for communicating instantly. It is a great way for people to contact their friends and family if they wish to share something with them or know their whereabouts in times of worry. However these gadgets are also a great way for outsiders to interfere in the relationships of husband and wife. Outsiders may include malfeasants and employers. It is simply not good to be contactable by such persons all the time. Dating and matrimonial websites have proliferated, thus giving the illusion of great choice in romantic matters, and providing incentive to end relationships which may be improved with some effort. Millions of people are flirting with millions of other people online with no result except destruction of existing relationships, and creation of relationships which do not endure. Social networks and micro-blogging sites have the individual and all his activity as a central element. Women and successful men get a lot more attention on these websites than most normal or ordinary men. Many of them can get fifty or a hundred reactions on their comments / thoughts in the space of five minutes, from people with all sorts of motives. This gives a bloated sense of self-importance, and affects their ability to see the world as it really is. As if it was not enough that such people were getting a lot of attention in the real world, now their partners have to deal with their virtual popularity also. These are some reasons. Can you think of more?

Is Quick Divorce Possible for Hindus?: Part 1

A quick divorce is the holy grail of the Hindu matrimonial litigant. Like the real/fabled Holy Grail, it is a bit elusive. A Hindu marriage is not easy or quick to dissolve today. This is the accepted wisdom, and this is the widespread experience too. It is quite likely that the former is a result of the latter. This is a longish article, as an attempt is being made to examine the issue at hand in all its complexity. This writer recommends that you keep a large bag of chips handy when you start reading it. There are a number of aspects of law which need to be discussed when the question, "(How) can I get a quick divorce if I am an Indian Hindu?" is asked. You can see a list hereunder, which will hopefully grow as more articles on this topic are added. 1) Marriage law interpretation by the judiciary in terms of the sacredness of marriage 2) Use of criminal laws by women to render this interpretation meaningless 3) Refusal to repeal or defang an outdated law by the legal fraternity for reasons best known to itself Let us start with the first of these aspects. Hindu marriage law interpretation by the judiciary in terms of the sacredness of marriage. There have been innumerable court decisions in India wherein it has been held by the judge(s) that "marriage is a sacrament for Hindus, and hence marriages cannot be dissolved easily" (paraphrased). This gives rise to a number of questions which our lawyers for some reason do not appear to be asking (or as they love to say, "for reasons best known to themselves(...)") Let me try to raise some of these doubts here. The first doubt is whether judges down the decades have examined the word 'sacrament' in detail. A sacrament is more often used to describe a rite of passage or an obligatory ceremony than a sacred bond or a sacred promise. The Hindi equivalent for this particular meaning of this word is sanskaar or sanskara or sanskar or samskar or etc. As many readers know, this is the precise word which has been used to describe wedding ceremonies inter alia in sastric literature from the most ancient times down to Manu and subsequently Yajnavlakya or even commentators on Manu or Yajnavalkya's work. The paanigrahan sanskar is just one out of many sanskaars –sixteen to be exact, with seven still in prevalence– others being the mundan sanskar, daah sanskar, naamkaran sanskar, annaprasan sanskar, janma sanskar and, upanayan/yagyopaveet sanskar. Other, less common ones are garbhadhaan sanskar, punsavan, seemant/seemantnayan, nishkramana, karnavedh, vedarambh, samaavartana, sarva, and sanyaas sanskaars. And this is just the short list of sixteen. There are 48 in all if you want to be pedantic. In short, too many to list here.If 36 fell into disuse over the times, and then nine more were reduced almost to nothingness, then isn't it logical that the remaining seven will also vanish one by one. How many families do you know who practice yagyopaveet sanskar? In fact this particular rite may well be rendered illegal by any random activist bench of judges one of these days due to its caste exclusivity. What about naamkaran? How many families have you known to have organised a religious ceremony just to give a child a name? Vivaah sanskar is also getting rough at the edges now as we all know. People are preferring to live together in cities without getting married. It is a recognisable trend in our country. The recent trend of accepting rape allegations at the end of relationships may put paid to this slightly older trend, but that is another story for another time. Bear in mind that the foregoing discussion is about weddings, and not about marriage. But when the very solemnisation of marriage is not de rigueur anymore then how can marriage remain solemn or sacred or bonds, say it how you will? This brings us to the next doubt, which arises from the freely interchangeable use of the words 'marriage' and 'wedding' in our country, and by extension in the legal arena. A ritual can be sacred without necessarily leading to a bond that is eternal. When a Prime Minister is sworn in, he is not sworn in for a guaranteed term of five years. It is the power of the people to elect their leader which is considered sacred here, and not the right of a constitutional authority to remain in power for a full term by virtue of being elected. Similarly, would it not make more sense if the happiness of the pair of individuals in a marriage is considered sacred instead of a bond which may outlive its utility due to circumstance or human created factors? Another question which is raised automatically is that how is it possible that something which is a sacred bond can be broken. Is it not paradoxical that you are talking about divorce in your Act and simultaneously claiming that marriage is a sacred bond? If something is made by God, then how can mere humans destroy it? The judges of our country are surely aware that what is sacred is eternal and inviolable by any earthly force? How then can they reconcile the fact that the Hindu Marriage Act permits divorce with their assertion that marriage is a sacrament in the sense of being eternal? And how is it that human beings can define conditions, the fulfilment of which is assumed to conclude that a heretofore sacred bond stands broken? Upon desertion, or an act of cruelty perpetrated by one partner on the other, or by one partner losing his mind, or by one partner contracting a venereal disease, or indeed due to any other reason? Has there been a voice from heaven, an akaashvaani, about this matter? And how is it that the periods in these conditions are what they are, and not anything else? Why do exactly two years of desertion lead to the breaking of the sacred bond, for instance, and why not five years or eight months or a century of years? The concept of Hindu marriage being a sacred sacrament comes in part from the rather sparse literature related to the legal aspects of marriage between Hindus. This includes commentaries. Most writers do not seem to bother to delve deep into the subject matter, and most judges are happy to regurgitate in court what they have been fed by these writers. Interestingly, these writers normally put this observation in sections of their books which come before their examination of the Hindu Marriage Act, whereas judges are prima facie ruling purely according to the letter of the Act. and not with reference to any commentary by anyone. Is it possible that the preliminary observations contained in the initial sections of these books are seen as an integral part of the respective writers' reviews of the Act by the readers of these writers? Many of the aforesaid set of writers are devout Hindus in addition to being scholars of various shades –usually legal scholars. It is often observed in our country that devout Hindus and Muslims take each other's religions as a reference point (to the exclusion of all other religions) which must be opposed. Hindu (bigoted?) experts are heard to say on such occasions that the only agenda of Muslims is to do the opposite of what Hindus do, and that the Hindu way is more scientific or humane. Muslim (bigoted?) experts are heard to say that the Islamic way of doing things has corrected all the foolishnesses of the Hindu faith. It is not for this writer to judge the merits and demerits of these arguments at this place, but might it be wondered that the Hindu scholars' description of Hindu marriage as a sacred sacrament is inspired by their view of Muslim marriage as a social contract? This assertion about the Muslim view is fairly common in the literature, and equally common is the mention of the former assertion in the same place as the latter. Might this be concluded to be proof that the foregoing question has an affirmative answer? To digress a little bit, the funny thing here is that Muslims call their wives their shareek-e-hayaats, or their partners on the pathway to heaven / enlightenment, but have no compunctions in letting them go when they get tired of them or when it becomes impossible to continue to live with them (depending upon who you are talking to). So is it not correct to say that Islam sees a conjugal partnership as something which is not limited by our earthly lives but which can be dissolved on Earth? This would appear to be a very practical view if it were not for the difficulty faced by Muslim women when they wish to dissolve a marriage. But this is not the place to open that can of worms. Use of criminal laws by women to render the interpretation referred to in the section above meaningless. Only men have been left to bear the burden of the sacredness of marriage ever since dowry related laws like the Dowry Prohibition Act and Section 498a of the IPC have been enacted. If a woman sees that her husband is not willing to grant her the divorce which she seeks, all she has to do is file a criminal complaint under any of these sections against him and sundry members of his family. When the poor husband has to run around lawyers' offices, courts, and mahila thanas just to maintain his family's freedom, he very quickly surrenders and grants his consent for divorce. This means that women do not have to bear any portion of the weight of the judicial notion of sacredness of marriage amongst Hindus. (Dowry laws work in a similar fashion for Muslim women too, and thereby give them an option which their personal law does not provide.) These criminal laws operate (in combination with the various compulsory waiting periods) in another related way also, which is as an enabler of extortion. If a man files a divorce case against his wife shortly after she abandons him, she normally visits a lawyer. Lawyers are often unscrupulous and they advise such wives to file criminal complaints in their local CAW cells. Bear in mind that the CAW cell procedure does not usually take anything more than six months. This fact combined with the compulsory waiting period of a minimum of one year's separation before filing a petition for divorce by mutual consent means that the wife is quite likely to be able to carry out a successful legal shakedown before the earliest possible time for an MCD petition arrives. So the wife does not risk wasting any extra time than the minimum amount of time which is required in any event by her act of setting the wheels of the law enforcement authorities into motion. Do not forget however, that this is only one of the reasons for the vindictive actions of wives in marital litigation in the 21st Century; and also remember the fact that wives often file CAW cell complaints for extortion purposes without waiting for their husbands to file for divorce. Usually when a person sees his or her marriage falling apart, he or she starts worrying about how to find the next person for marriage. It is human instinct to start searching for an alternative option as soon as the previously thought to be reliable choice becomes unreliable or unpredictable. If there was a small waiting period before filing for divorce, or none at all, then women would not think such idle thoughts as how to extort some money during the compulsory wait.

Is Quick Divorce Possible for Hindus?: Part 2

A small cross-section of legal experts have been known to hold that laws need to be made only for those problems which plague large portions of society, and not for problems which are faced by a small or arguably microscopic number of individuals every year in this great land of ours. Feminist lawyers are at the forefront of this tribe of experts when it comes to laws concerning any aspect of gender relations. Many such lawyers have become VIPs in recent years. A related theory is that laws which do more harm than good should be removed from the books. (Conversely, it can be said that laws which benefit only a small portion of litigants need to be repealed or refashioned to benefit large sections of litigants.) This latter appears to be a rational formulation, as opposed to its arbitrary cousin. Just to take one example of the feminist / feminazi lawyers referred to above, there is one woman who appears to live in a universe where a rather high percentage of the male population are potential criminals. She is expectedly shrill in her demands –invariably refusing to meet her opponents halfway. She has reached a good position in the government hierarchy over the course of a longish career, and this has provided her with a ready audience every time she speaks up. One of her clients (herself a lawyer who has formerly worked as an intern) referred to her as Additional Solicitor General of India in a recent communiqué. The funny thing here is that an additional solicitor general is a designation for government officers, and is not a constitutional post. You do not often hear people calling somebody Section Officer of India or Undersecretary of India, do you? Could this be an example of self-aggrandisement by proxy? Perhaps not. Lawyers are known to be canny, and this woman would not have wanted her client to embarrass her in print at a time when she herself was trying to humiliate a retired senior legal officer with sarcastic overuse of the word 'lordship' in a case triggered by purported disclosures made by the aforesaid lawyer-client. All the same, it was fun to see the ironical situation of this particular Grand Poobah, and to see her being embarrassed by her own client. A not entirely unrelated thought here would be to note that an internship undergone by a member of one gender may pave the way for internment of her advisor/senior –if that person were to happen to be a member of the opposite gender– under the evolving legal dispensation in our country(!) Let us shift the focus back to the point about laws concerning those atrocities which affect a very small number of people each year. When it was demanded that the proposed law against acid attacks be made gender neutral, many prominent feminist lawyers said that acid attacks are made only against women, and that men do not deserve this legal protection. Luckily better sense prevailed and the new law was made equal for both men and women. It appears that there exist people in authority who share this writer's view that gender law is too important to be left to the mercy of feminist lawyers. The law is in any case too important to be run by lawyers to the exclusion of all others, just as the economy is too important to be left to the whims of economists. As has been mentioned elsewhere in this website, lawyers wield incredible influence in all branches of the polity in our republic, and India has been reduced today to a republic of the lawyers by the lawyers for the lawyers. Lawyers across the nation benefit tremendously from protracted litigation triggered or sustained by unfair laws. The strident and legally authorised interference of lawyers in the creation of laws and their total supremacy in the administration of justice needs to be curbed, this is my humble opinion. Similarly (at the risk of sounding repetitive) it must be said that feminists cannot be presumed by any stretch of the imagination to represent the female gender in all its vastness and variety.Look at the divorce related litigation which takes place every year in family courts across the country –and not just under the Hindu Marriage Act. It can be clearly observed that the overwhelming majority of litigants try to get out of their marriages in as short a time as legally possible. A small percentage of brainwashed or self-defeating (usually both) litigants go on fighting cases year after year. People who try to end their litigation as soon as possible belong to the category of litigants who have realised that the Hindu Marriage Act is not conducive to a resolution of disputes within a reasonable time frame. Endemic judicial delay in India combines with this law to worsen the suffering. Smart people realise that they should get out while they are still sane. Absurd or romantic notions of a long fight for justice inspire the ones who go on plodding through our family courts and subsequent levels of our judiciary. In the end, this class of people gets ripped off to put it plainly. The people who give them the aforesaid notions of justice are precisely the people who cheat them. It must be admitted that there are a few persons in the second category of litigants who are happy with the Act and love to see their paper marriages endure years of enjoyable rounds of courts. It is a side benefit that their paper spouses suffer all this while. So the Hindu Marriage Act is causing pain to most litigants, while only a small percentage get benefitted by its obdurate provisions. Even this benefit is in the form of masochistic satisfaction and nothing more. At this point let us look back at the hypothesis in the first paragraph of this article (the one within brackets). Does it ring a few bells, litigant? A number of old statutes have been removed from the books because they were causing misery in society, and were causing harm to the interests of citizens. Is it not time to do the same to the oppressive portions of the Hindu Marriage Act? There will be lot of resistance from lawyers if an attempt is made to bring about such change. Every extra month spent in litigation makes the litigant more desperate, and lawyers are keenly aware that desperate people are ready to shell out more money than people who are in a normal frame of mind. This brings us to a related topic –that of long waiting periods in the Act.

Typical Pre-emptive Complaint against Mrs. 498a

If your wife has left you for unexplained reasons, you might wish to consider making a pre-emptive complaint against her at your local police station. Such a complaint comes in handy at the time when she decides to file any sort of charges against you in court or at the CAW Cell. This is also called a non-cognisable complaint or an NCC because it is usually not actionable at the police station level, and needs to be followed up with a court order to start any kind of proceedings. To Station House Officerxxth Month 20zz xyz Colony Police Station New Delhi Madam / Sir, This is to inform you that my son 498a victim got married to Mrs. 498a, daughter of abc xyz, resident of xyz colony/village on xxth Month 20zz at Venue, xyz road, abc colony, New Delhi. Following the marriage, Mrs. 498a moved to our house at house no yy/yy, xyz colony. She continued to make frequent visits to her parents’ home. Marriage was normal, with cordial relations and without any rancour from either side (this is optional(actually everything is optional)). Our son tried his best to make her feel at home and participated in her hobby of going to a particular temple in xyz area every (day of week), where she is a long-standing devotee. He also went with her regularly to the local gym, and a few times to malls, restaurants, and movies. From xxth Month 20zz, without any provocation, fight, argument, overt disagreement, or even any heated discussion, Mrs. 498a, without declaring her decision, stopped having conjugal relations with 498a victim, and even stopped any display of physical affection.. About a fortnight later, when 498a victim requested her to resume normal married relations, she said that there was no “connection” between her and 498a victim, and she would not resume normal relations. She stayed in our house as a member of the family till xxth Month 20zz. In between she took her jewellery (on xxth Month, 20zz), some clothes (also on xxth Month, 20zz), and the marriage album (on xxth Month, 20zz) to her parents’ place and left them there. On xxth Month she took a few bags of clothes, and saying that she will be back on the next Tuesday, she left our house, and till date has not returned to stay. She still keeps the keys to her almirah, as was her practice even while she was living with us, while she was in the house or outside. (Details about taking away jewellery etc. may be withheld at this stage. Talk to your lawyer.) On xxth Month 2012 afternoon, when I was alone in the house, she came with her mother, opened her almirah, and took almost all her clothes. She came again on the xxth of Month, this time alone, and shouted at and abused me and my wife and left after half an hour. Again she came on Saturday, xxth Month, 20zz, took some more clothes from her almirah and left after one hour without saying even a word. On xxth Month, 2012, her mother abc xyz called my wife on the telephone, and abused and threatened her. Sir, we are senior citizens and we are alone in our home during daytime. We are afraid that Mrs. 498a or her family may attempt to harm us or to foist some false charges on us. Thanking you Faithfully yours name of father house no. yy/yy, xyz colony New Delhi-1100xx

RTI Application for Copy of Original Complaint u/s 498a/406/34

Provide Information within 48 hours as per Section 7 of RTI Act Application for seeking information under section 6(1)/7(1)/7(5) etc. of the Right to Information Act, 2005 The Public Information Officer (PIO),ID No. (For official use) RTI Cell, SPUWAC, Nanak Pura Delhi a. Name of Applicant : xxxxxx xxxx b. Address : House number 0123456, ABCD Colony, New Delhi - 1100xx c. Concerned Department : SPUWAC, Nanak Pura Following upto date and duly typed on computer, information is required regarding the following:- 1. Please give the certified copy of the complaint lodged at SPUWAC Nanak Pura against me by Mrs. 498a, W/o xxxxxx xxxx, D/o xyz uvw pqr, R/o House number 0987654, mnopq Colony, New Delhi. 2. I state that the information sought does not fall within the restrictions contained in the Act and to the best of my knowledge it pertains to your office and please give the information in the typed form. 3. A fee of Rs. 10/- is being paid vide receipt number Dated: xx/yy/20zz (xxxxxx xxxx) Applicant

RTI Application for Copies of Additional Complaints

Provide Information within 48 hours as per Section 7 of RTI Act Subject - Application for seeking information under section 6(1)/7(1)/7(5) etc. of the Right to Information Act, 2005 The Public Information Officer (PIO),ID No. (For official use) RTI Cell, SPUWAC, Nanak Pura Delhi a. Name of Applicant : xxxxxx xxxx b. Address : House number 0123456, ABCD Colony, New Delhi - 1100xx c. Concerned Department : SPUWAC, Nanak Pura Background: One or more documents that fit the following description- 1) Additional complaints, And/or 2) additional allegations of crimes and/or atrocities alleged to have been committed by me and/or my parents, And/or 3) applications demanding initiation of criminal proceedings against me and/or my parents, have been submitted by my wife Mrs. 498a at your office, AFTER her original complaint against me and my parents. Following information is required:- 1. Copies of any documents that fit the description in the "Background" above. 2. A fee of Rs. 10/- is being paid Dated: xx/yy/20zz (xxxxxx xxxx) Applicant

RTI Application for Copies of Receipts and Bills

Provide Information within 48 hours as per Section 7 of RTI Act Subject - Application for seeking information under section 6(1) /7(1) /7(5) etc. of the Right to Information Act, 2005 The Public Information Officer (PIO),ID No. (For official use) RTI Cell, SPUWAC, Nanak Pura Delhi a. Name of Applicant : xxxxxx xxxx b. Address : House number 0123456, ABCD colony, New Delhi - 1100xx c. Concerned Department : SPUWAC, Nanak Pura Background: Complaint has been filed by my wife Mrs. 498a against me and my parents seeking criminal proceedings against us. The matter is being dealt by Inspector xxxxxxxxx xxxx. Certain (copies or originals of) receipts and bills have been submitted by Mrs. 498a in this regard. Following information is required:- 1. Please provide either copies or details of (copies or originals of) receipts and bills etc. submitted by Mrs. 498a, with respect to the expenditure claimed to have been incurred by her and her natal family under various heads like jewellery, hosting of ring ceremony / engagement, hosting of wedding, and any other expenditure claim. 2. Please provide all details that have been mentioned in the said (copies or originals of) bills and receipts etc. 3. I state that the information sought does not fall within the restrictions contained in the Act and to the best of my knowledge it pertains to your office and please give the information in typed form. 4. A fee of Rs. 10/- is being paid Dated: xx/yy/20zz (xxxxxx xxxx) Applicant

A Typical Stridhan List Submitted to CAW Cell

You will note that the list of items is very long and unrealistic. You are not the only one who notices this fact. Text of the list follows: List of expenditure, and gifts and jewellery given to victim and his family as per their demands: 1) Gold ring worth 70,000 rupees given on engagement to victim's elder uncle 2) Gold ring worth 70,000 rupees given on engagement to victim's younger uncle 3) Gold ring worth 70,000 rupees given on engagement to victim's elder maternal uncle 4) Gold ring worth 70,000 rupees given on engagement to victim's younger maternal uncle 5) Gold ring worth 70,000 rupees given on engagement to victim's elder aunt 6) Gold ring worth 70,000 rupees given on engagement to victim's younger aunt 7) Gold ring worth 70,000 rupees given on engagement to victim's elder maternal aunt 8) Gold ring worth 70,000 rupees given on engagement to victim's younger maternal aunt 9) Double bed worth 90,000 rupees given on wedding to victim's family 10) Almirah worth 15,000 rupees given on wedding to victim's family 11) Platinum Pajeb worth 40,000 rupees gifted to victim's niece on engagement 12) Catering for 500 persons costing 20 lakh rupees in engagement 13) Catering for 2000 persons costing 95 lakh rupees in wedding 14) Venue rental and decoration costing 38 lakh rupees in engagement 15) Venue rental and decoration costing 67 lakh rupees in wedding 16) Rhodium polished diamond ring worth 10 lakhs given to victim on engagement 17) Gift packs worth 9999 rupees each given to 500 guests on engagement. Total amount was 50 lakh rupees. List of jewellery and other items gifted to Mrs. 498a by her parents as per demands of victim and his family, which are still in the possession of victim's mother 1) Emerald ring worth 4 lakh rupees 2) 12 jewellery sets worth total of 1 crore and 60 lakh rupees 3) Clothes and assorted items worth 90 lakh rupees 4) Assorted bangles worth 90 lakh rupees List of jewellery and other items gifted by victim and his parents to Mrs. 498a which are still in the possession of victim's mother 1) Gold bangles (8 nos.) worth 4 lakh rupees 2) 3 gold sets worth 2 lakhs, 3 lakhs, and 4 lakhs respectively 3) Diamond ring worth 2 lakh rupees 4) 5 pairs of earrings

A Tricky Stridhan List Submitted to CAW Cell

This list is tricky in this writer's opinion because it uses unclear language and mixes gifts given by parents and in-laws into one heading. The language used is accusatory, and every putative thing that has been gifted has been labelled as dowry. Preparing an admit list for such a stridhan list is slightly more difficult than preparing a reply to a typical stridhan list. You might think that this list is less dangerous than a typical list because the number of items is lesser here. This is incorrect for the reasons mentioned, plus the fact that the amounts in this list are (I have to say possibly) inflated and add up to a tidy sum. This list in its present avatar is a typical scare tactic because it has the effect of mentally disturbing the husband's family due to the combination of high figures, pressure to compromise, and unquestioning acceptance of the wife's version by the CAW Cell. Get used to taking scare tactics in your stride in this battle. Text of the list follows: List of expenditure, and gifts and jewellery given to victim and his family as per their demands: 1) First meeting with victim and family: xyz club/restaurant. The total expenditure was Rs. 5000/- 2) xx/yy/20zz. The roka ceremony was held at my place: Cash given to them was 5100/- each to all the 4 members who came for Roka ceremony and sweet boxes. The total expenditure was Rs. 30,000/- 3) On xx/yy/20zz, the engagement ceremony was held in xyz club at such and such location in Delhi. The gifts and the jewellery given to them: 3 gold coins (10 grams each) 1 pair of gold tops (8 grams) 1 diamond ring (10 grams). At that time the ring's value was Rs. 65,000/- 1 gold ring (10 grams) 1 gold ring (12 grams) Cash given to them: 1.5 lakhs Titan watch worth Rs. 7,000/- The total expenditure on the engagement ceremony was Rs. 2.5 lakhs 4) On xx/yy/20zz, Marriage: The total expenditure on marriage was 8 lakhs The total expenditure on clothes was Rs. 2.5 lakhs The total expenditure on the gifts and the clothes given to them on marriage was Rs. 1.5 lakh rupees 5) List of jewellery given to me by my parents and in-laws which is lying with my mother-in-law: 4 gold bangles (12 grams each) 2 diamond karas (the value of the karas is Rs. 2.5 lakhs) 1 diamond set (the set is worth Rs. 4 lakhs) 1 gold set (24 grams) 1 gold set (35 grams) 1 pair of jhumkas (10 grams)

FIR in 498a Cases

Full form of F.I.R. Top of Page The abbreviation F.I.R. means First Information Report. This is the term used to describe a police report in our country. The abbreviation has acquired a life of its own and has become a word of daily use now. Eff Ai Aar. FIR. This (daily use of this word) is especially true in the circles in which you are moving these days, which is to say amongst lawyers, police, and judges. The word "report" is commonly used as short for "F.I.R." The FIR in 498a cases is not registered by the police immediately upon receipt of complaint. The opposite is true in 304b cases. Procedure for registration of an F.I.R. Top of Page The procedure for registration of an FIR is simple in the simplest case. A complainant, who is usually the victim (or one of the victims) of a crime approaches the police with news of occurrence of a crime either within the area of jurisdiction of the said police station or outside its area of jurisdiction. The police is required by law to either take a complaint from him / her in writing OR to note down his verbal description of the crime which has taken place. If the offence which is described by the complainant (regardless of whether it is true or false) constitutes one or more than one cognizable crimes then the police is required to register an FIR. This is usually done after taking approval of the same from the SHO / police post incharge. At other times the procedure is longer but here we are talking about the simplest case. Cognizable crimes are that category of crimes upon whose news the police is authorised to initiate criminal proceedings without the permission of a court of law AND duty-bound to initiate such proceedings without waiting for an order from a court of law. These crimes include most crimes which are punishable with 3 or more years imprisonment under the Indian Penal Code or any other law. CrPC Section 154 [1] [2] is the legal basis for compulsory registration of FIR upon receipt of complaint. It is reproduced hereunder— S. 154 – Information in cognizable cases (source: 1) Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally to an officer in charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf. Provided that if the information is given by the woman against whom an offence under section 326A, section 326B, section 354, section 354A, section 354B, section 354C, section 354D, section 376, [1]section 376A, section1 376AB, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D, section 376DA, section 376DB, section 376E or section 509 of the Indian Penal Code is alleged to have been committed or attempted, then such information shall be recorded, by a woman police officer or any woman officer; Provided further that— a) In the event that the person against whom an offence under section 354, section 354A, section 354B, section 354C, section 354D, section 376, [2]section 376A, section1 376AB, section 376B, section 376C, section 376D, section 376DA, section 376DB, section 376E or section 509 of the Indian Penal Code is alleged to have been committed or attempted, is temporarily or permanently mentally or physically disabled, then such information shall be recorded by a police officer, at the residence of the person seeking to report such offence or at a convenient place of such person’s choice, in the presence of an interpreter or a special educator, as the case may be; b) The recording of such information shall be video graphed; c) The police officer shall get the statement of the person recorded by a Judicial Magistrate under clause (a) of sub-section (5A) of section 164 as soon as possible. 2) A copy of the information as recorded under Sub-Section (1) shall be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant. 3)Any person, aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer in charge of a police station to record the information referred to in Sub-Section (1) may send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer in charge of the police station in relation to that offence. Footnotes to CrPC Section 154 (source: Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India) 1) Certain words substituted by Section 11(i) of Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 (Act no. 22 of 2018) w.e.f. 11th August 2018 2) Certain words substituted by Section 11(ii) of Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 (Act no. 22 of 2018) w.e.f. 11th August 2018 The requirement to register an FIR immediately upon receive of any complaint which discloses the commission of a cognizable offence has also been explained –in detail‐ in a Constitution Bench judgment in what is known as the Lalita Kumari case [3]. Receipt of every complaint is recorded in 2 registers which are kept in every police station. One is the daily diary and the other is the register of complaints. There is also a third register called the register of FIRs. If an FIR is registered upon a complaint then this fact is recorded in 3 registers, being the daily diary, the register of complaints, and the register of FIRs. The concerned police station is required by law to provide a copy of the FIR to the complainant (ref. CrPC Section154(1) above). Does an F.I.R. always contain First Information? Top of Page An FIR –going by its name– should be based upon the first information (about the commission of a crime) received by the police. This does not always happen. When FIR does not contain first information due to preliminary enquiry Top of Page Sometimes the police does not immediately register an FIR because it wants to make preliminary enquiries based upon the information received by it (not being a written complaint) from various sources. It then first carries out such preliminary enquiry and later writes a "first information" report in its own language. At some other times the police is required either by law or by procedure laid down by law to carry out such a preliminary enquiry before registering an FIR. The version which is put down in writing after preliminary enquiry is thus a second or latter, and modified version of the information originally received by the police. Crime against women cells have been established in every state to handle dowry cases and the job of these CAW cells is inter alia to carry out a preliminary enquiry upon receipt of dowry complaints. When FIR does not contain first information due to inadvertent inaccuracies Top of Page Sometimes the complainant is illiterate or not sufficiently literate, and is not able to write down the details of the alleged crime. As a result, any first information which is received is in verbal form, and small differences occur between what the complainant says and what the police writes down. Less serious (than first information) FIR due to corruption / political pressure Top of Page At other times the information (not being a written complaint) is modified while putting it down in black and white. An incorrect and watered down version of the complaint is recorded. This usually happens due to bribery / corruption, or due to misuse of influence by various centres of power, or because of political pressure. KPS Gill managed to convince the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a quashing petition u/s 482 CrPC that no offence was made out in the clear as day molestation complaint filed against him by Rupan Deol Bajaj. The problem for Gill was that the whole world held an opinion contrary to the Punjab and Haryana HC, and that the Supreme Court –where Mrs. Bajaj and her husband filed two separate SLPs [4] against the high court judgment– agreed with the whole world instead of agreeing with the Punjab and Haryana High Court. More serious (than facts / first information) FIR due to media pressure / corruption / political pressure Top of Page Corruption in various forms and political pressure often lead to the opposite also,i.e. F.I.Rs in which details are modified to make them more severe than what actually happened. In such cases also the F.I.R. is incorrect, but modification of the original complaint is NOT the reason for its being incorrect. Rather, the original written complaint itself is either incorrect or legally unsustainable. The Nisha Sharma / Munish Dalal dowry case is a prime example of exaggeration due to media pressure, wherein an FIR u/s 498A of IPC was registered even though the complainant never completed solemnisation of the proposed wedding, and hence was not the wife of the accused. Note that only the wife or a family member of the wife of any man is permitted to raise a complaint u/s 498A. Other / miscellaneous causes of non-inclusion of first information Top of Page It might also happen that the victim of a crime is put out of action, or there is no complainant due to the death of all the victims of a particular crime. In such cases the first information received by the police is invariably from other sources, and often such sources are unwilling to put down their complaint in writing. The police is duty bound to register an FIR in a number of types of crime, and they are forced in such situations to write the report themselves. It may even happen that the person who reports a crime has no locus standi which may render him eligible to be the complainant. In such cases a situation may arise due to various factors which may force the police to record the crime in their own language. Delays in FIRs and delays because of delayed FIRs Top of Page The subject of delays in criminal proceedings is interesting not only for litigants and lawyers but for the whole country. Here some aspects of such delays are explained in brief. Is it possible that an FIR is delayed in spite of timely complaint? Top of Page There is a common saying that anything is possible in the great country of India. Delay of FIR in spite of timely complaint is a very small thing, and history has witnessed that such small things are very common in here. There can be no greater example of this sorry fact than the late registration of FIRs after the mass murder of Sikhs in Delhi and a few other cities in the days after Indira Gandhi's assassination. The globally known and published offences took place in October and November 1984 during Rajiv Gandhi's first few days as PM, but FIRs were registered in dozens of cases even as late as 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993, [5] after he had passed away in similarly tragic circumstances. If this was not bad enough, all the FIRs related to murders of Sikhs in Kanpur the days after and including 31st October 1984 were destroyed by Uttar Pradesh Police [6] staff 'working' in Kanpur. Is police legally bound to accept late complaints? (Statute of Limitations (criminal law)) Top of Page The statute of limitations is that law in any country which declares the number of years which may be allowed to expire before admitting an FIR is rendered legally impossible. In India, section 468 of CrPC is the law in this regard, insofar as criminal law is concerned [7] [8]. According to this section, the limitation period for any offence which is punishable by a fine only is six months, that for any offence which is punishable by a prison term up to one year is one year, and that for any offence which is punishable by a prison term from one to three years is three years. Section 468 – Bar to taking cognizance after lapse of the period of limitation (source: (1) Except as otherwise provided elsewhere in this Code, no Court, shall take cognizance of an offence of the category specified in Sub-Section (2), after the expiry of the period of limitation. (2) The period of limitation shall be– (a) Six months, if the offence is punishable with fine only; (b) One year, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year; (c) Three years, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding one year but not exceeding three years. (3) [1]For the purposes of this section, the period of limitation, in relation to offences which may be tried together, shall be determined with reference to the offence which is punishable with the more severe punishment or, as the case may be, the most severe punishment. Footnote to CrPC Section 468 (source: 1) 1. Provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to certain economic offences, see the Economic Offences (Inapplicability of Limitation) Act, 1974 (12 of 1974 ), s. 2 end Sch. Since section 498a is punishable by a maximum of 3 years, any complaint relating to dowry harassment or dowry cruelty must be reported within three years of the last claimed incident. The same is true of section 406, which relates to criminal breach of trust. Section 34 is punishable by one year in prison in the worst case, so if any complaint under sections 498a/406/34 is made more than one year after the reported offence, then section 34 must be not included in the FIR, lest it be quashed partly or in toto. Are delayed F.I.Rs taken seriously by courts? (Warrant cases, Serious crimes, Heinous crimes) Top of Page In many crimes a delayed FIR is not taken seriously by the courts. In many other crimes an FIR is accepted as a weighty document regardless of any delay. In serious crimes (crimes which may be punished by 7 years in prison) delays are condoned more easily than in warrant cases (cases relating to crimes which may be punished by 2 or more years in prison). In heinous crimes (crimes which may be punished by life in prison or death) any delay in registering an FIR is immaterial. Insofar as dowry cases are concerned, courts tend to take delayed complaints under IPC section 498a, IPC section 406, and IPC section 34 with a pinch of salt. An FIR is compulsory upon complaint –with a small caveat in the case of 498a– since all these sections pertain to cognisable crimes. In cases involving Section 498a of the CrPC the caveat established by law is that there is a CAW cell procedure which the complainant and the prime accused have to undergo before a decision is taken about forwarding the complaint to the relevant police station. ► Use the comments section at the bottom of the page for your queries ► Free legal advice - Suresh Sharma Advocates (Patiala House, Delhi), WhatsApp: 98711 94828 ► For certified copies of court orders / judgments (Patiala House / Saket / Karkardooma) write to Desirable ingredients of an FIR Top of Page Madabhushi Sridhar has done a fairly comprehensive analysis of FIRs in his work FIR, Arrest and Bail (Sridhar, M.; FIR, Arrest and Bail; Asia Book House; Hyderabad; 2010) [9]. He quotes earlier experts as having declared that an FIR needs to have eleven essential Ws in it. It is to be noted however that any such list of ingredients is as a matter of fact only a desirable list of ingredients This is because no FIR is legally inadmissible, regardless of whether or not it contains any or all so-claimed essentials. The "essential Ws" are listed in Sridhar's book as paraphrased below— 1) What information has been conveyed by the complainant / informant? 2) In What capacity has this information been conveyed? 3) Who committed the crime? 4) Against Whom was the crime committed? 5) When was the crime committed? 6) Where was the crime committed? 7) Why was the crime committed? That is to ask, What was the motive? 8) In Which way was the crime carried out / What was the modus operandi? 9) Are there any Witnesses? Who are they? 10) What was taken away by the accused? Or What was the damage done by the accused? 11) What traces were left by the accused? It is compulsory for the complainant to sign the FIR Top of Page According to the CrPC, any person who provides information to the police about a crime is obliged to sign the FIR (ref. CrPC Section154(1) above). He or she is liable to be imprisoned for up to 3 months in case of a refusal to do so. This provision is almost never enforced. At least this writer has never heard about such a thing happening. Another interesting thing is that the CrPC does not define what an FIR is anywhere through its length. Even the phrase "first information report" does not occur anywhere in the code (i.e. in the CrPC). Hearsay as a basis for an FIR Top of Page Different writers have different views about hearsay becoming a basis for an FIR. Most writers say that if somebody provides vague or unreliable information, it cannot be considered to be an FIR even if it is in written form. Janak Raj Jai however, holds that hearsay is a perfect valid basis for an FIR. (Jai, J.R., Bail Law and Procedures, Universal Law Publishing Company, Delhi, 2012) [10] Medico Legal Certificate Top of Page If somebody provides information about an injury to a person, then the SHO is duty bound to record the same in the daily diary and to reach the hospital urgently to verify the truth of the claim made by the informant. Another essential purpose of the hospital visit is to ensure timely carrying out of medico-legal formalities. The MLC or the medico-legal certificate is an important piece of proof in any FIR. A wife's case becomes much stronger in dowry cases if she has such a document in her possession. However, there are a number of cases every week in which deception by the complainant is exposed by criminal defence lawyers in spite of the existence of MLCs. This sometimes leads to filing of charges against the lying complainant. Can an FIR be used as evidence? Top of Page Another interesting theme explored by Madabhushi Sridhar in his book (see above) is whether an FIR can be used as evidence. He says that an FIR cannot be considered to be evidence. It is just a piece of information which sets the legal wheels in motion and forms the basis for the investigation which is to be carried out by the police. The statements given by witnesses, the arguments given by counsel, the evidence laid on the table in court, these are all superior to the FIR in terms of deciding the case at hand. If these items corroborate the FIR, then the chances of conviction increase multifold. If however, they contradict the FIR, then the case becomes weak, because the FIR cannot be used to overrule these items. The truth emerges in court, or at the very least it is deemed to emerge in court, and the FIR is not the deciding factor in such proceedings. The foregoing should give great courage and hope to 498a accused men and their parents, because this is clear (paraphrased) indication by a senior teacher of law that a good criminal lawyer can destroy the entire edifice of lies generated by your 498a wife, her family, and her sponsors. Supreme Court decisions which negate use of FIR as evidence Top of Page There are a number of Supreme Court judgments wherein use of FIR as a piece of substantive evidence has been forbidden by the court. Three full-bench judgments [11] [12] [13] are extracted here– The State of Bombay vs Rusy Mistry And Another Top of Page The first and earliest one of these is The State of Bombay vs Rusy Mistry And Another. Supreme Court Equivalent Citations: AIR 1960 SC 391; The State of Bombay vs Rusy Mistry And Another Date of Judgment: 24/09/1959 Decided by a full bench of the Supreme Court of India Das, S. (J) Gajendragdkar, P. (J) Subba Rao, K. (J) Held (in the 7th paragraph of the judgment): "...The first information report is the information recorded under Section 154 of the Cr. P. C. It is an information given to a police officer relating to the commission of an offence. It is also an information given by an informant on which the investigation is commenced. It must be distinguished from information received after the commencement of the investigation which is covered by Sections 161 and 162 of the Cr. P. C. It is well-settled that the first information report is not substantive evidence, but can only be used to corroborate or contradict the evidence of the informant given in court or to impeach his credit. It follows that a Judge cannot place such a report before the jury as substantive evidence, but can only refer to that portion of it which had been used for one or other of the aforesaid purposes." (emphasis supplied) Aghnoo Nagesia vs State of Bihar Top of Page The next judgment in this series is Aghnoo Nagesia vs State of Bihar. Supreme Court Equivalent Citations: 1966 AIR 119; 1966 SCR (1) 134; Aghnoo Nagesia vs State of Bihar Date of Judgment: 04/05/1965 Decided by a full bench of the Supreme Court of India Bachawat, R.S. (J) Subba Rao, K. (J) Dayal, R. (J) Held (in the 10th paragraph of the judgment): Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the recording of the first information. The information report as such is not substantive evidence. It may be used to corroborate the informant under s. 157 of the Evidence Act or to contradict him under s. 145 of the Act, if the informant is called as (Note: There is what appears to be a typographical error at this point in the version on (from where the present extract is copied), and the word / words which is / are not typed correctly appears to be the single word "as". I have underlined the replacement made by me instead of reproducing the typographical error. - MU) a witness. If the first information is given by the accused himself, the fact of his giving the information is admissible against him as evidence of his conduct under s. 8 of the Evidence Art." (emphasis supplied) Apren Joseph alias Current Kunjukunju & others vs. The State of Kerala Top of Page The third judgment, which repeats the stand taken by the SC in the above 2 judgments is Apren Joseph alias Current Kunjukunju & others vs. The State of Kerala. Supreme Court Equivalent Citations: 1973 AIR 1; 1973 SCR (2) 16; 1973 SCC (3) 114; Apren Joseph alias Current Kunjukunju & others vs. The State of Kerala Date of Judgment: 01/09/1972 Decided by a full bench of the Supreme Court of India Dua, I.D. (J) Shelat, J.M. (J) Khanna, H.R. (J) Held (in the 10th paragraph of the judgment): "Now first information report is a report relating to the commission. of an offence given to the police and recorded by it under s. 154, Cr. P.C. As observed by the Privy Council in H.E. v. Khwaja(1) the receipt and recording of information report by the police is not a condition precedent to the setting in motion of a criminal investigation. Nor does the statute provide that such information report can only be made by an eye witness. First information report under s. 154 is not even considered a substantive piece of evidence. It can only be used to corroborate or contradict the informant's evidence in court. But this information when recorded is the basis of the case set up by the informant. It is very useful if recorded before there is time and opportunity to embellish or before the informant's memory fades." (emphasis supplied) Circumstances under which (some portion of) an FIR becomes substantive evidence Top of Page An FIR (or part of it) becomes substantive evidence if it is admitted as substantive evidence by the concerned court. This happens in 3 common circumstances and in a few additional circumstances, all of which can be seen in Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act. As far as the 3 common circumstances are concerned, you can see the 1st circumstance here, the 2nd circumstance here, and the 3rd circumstance here). These 3 common circumstances are all contemplated in Section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act, and all of them relate to death. Note that certain statements made by dead persons can be admitted under Section 8 and / or Section 6 of the Indian Evidence Act also (apart from under Section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act) as can be seen in Damodarprasad Chandrikaprasad for Section 8 (see below) and Rattan Singh for Section 6 (see below). Coming to the rest of Section 32 of the Evidence Act, note that a full bench of the Supreme Court has declared in Kans Raj (see below) that any statement admitted under any sub-section of Section 32 (and not just under Section 32(1)) of the Indian Evidence Act constitutes substantive evidence, after it is proved by the person or the agency relying upon such statement that such statement was in fact made by the concerned person. If this position is accepted as a clear and unambiguous statement then it becomes necessary to say that if certain types of statements of not only dead persons but of those persons who cannot be found and of those persons whose attendance is unreasonably difficult to procure are contained in an FIR, then the said FIR becomes substantive evidence. The bare text of Section 32(1) [20] of the Evidence Act is as follows– Indian Evidence Act Section 32(1) – (source: Statements, written or verbal, of relevant facts made by a person who is dead, or who cannot be found, or who has become incapable of giving evidence, or whose attendance cannot be procured, without an amount of delay or expense which under the circumstances of the case appears to the Court unreasonable, are themselves relevant facts in the following cases– (1) When it relates to cause of death: When the statement is made by a person as to the cause of his death, or as to any of the circumstances of the transaction which resulted in his death, in cases in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question. Such statements are relevant whether the person who made them was or was not, at the time when they were made, under expectation of death, and whatever may be the nature of the proceeding in which the cause of his death comes into question. Detailed explanation of the above indicated 3 commonly seen circumstances is given hereunder— When an F.I.R. contains a dying declaration Top of Page If a dying declaration is a part of an FIR then the FIR becomes substantive evidence. (It is more reasonable to say that that part of the FIR becomes substantive evidence which consists of the said dying declaration, as also that part which is directly derived from the said dying declaration. It may further be conjectured here that the whole of the FIR in such cases is also eligible to be treated as substantive evidence if the judge decides to do so keeping in view the given matrix of facts, but conjectures are conjectures.) It is to be noted that every dying declaration is admissible as evidence under section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act, but only after it is established that such declaration had actually been made by the person who died. Further note that a dying declaration is admissible only in cases where the cause of death of the concerned person comes into question, albeit the nature of proceedings where it comes into question is immaterial. Another way of stating this is that dying declarations are admissible in all kinds of legal proceedings and not just in murder / suicide related proceedings, provided that the cause of the dead person's death comes into question within the said proceedings. When an FIR contains a declaration about probable cause of death of a dead person Top of Page If a person makes a statement about a probable cause of his death and later dies AND such statement becomes part of an FIR then that portion of the FIR which consists of such statement plus that part which is directly derived from such statement becomes substantive evidence. When an FIR contains a declaration about some circumstance related to death of a dead person Top of Page If a person makes a statement about some circumstance, and later it turns out that the circumstance was related to any transaction which led to his death then that portion of the FIR which consists of such statement plus that part which is directly derived from such statement becomes substantive evidence. The said circumstance may have occurred long before the death of the concerned person; this does not affect admissibility of the said statement. Supreme Court decisions wherein approval of use of FIR as evidence has occurred Top of Page Five judgments of the Supreme Court are cited here to illustrate the range of circumstances whereunder an FIR can be treated as evidence. [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] Damodarprasad Chandrikaprasad & others vs State of Maharashtra Top of Page Damodarprasad Chandrikaprasad & others vs State of Maharashtra was decided by the Supreme Court in 1971. Supreme Court Equivalent Citations: 1972 AIR 622; 1972 SCR (2) 622; Damodarprasad Chandrikaprasad & others vs State of Maharashtra Date of Judgment: 29/11/1971 Decided by a single judge of the Supreme Court of India Ray, A.N. (J) Held (in the 8th paragraph of the judgment): "...In certain cases, the first information report can be used under section 32(1) of the Evidence Act or under section 8 of the Evidence Act as to the cause of the informant's death or as part of the informer's conduct. ..." Tehal Singh and others vs State of Punjab Top of Page The main legal issue decided in Tehal Singh and others vs State of Punjab was whether it is necessary for a statement made by a deceased person to have been made in anticipation of death in order for it to be treated as substantive evidence. Supreme Court Equivalent Citations: AIR 1979 SC 1347; 1979 CriLJ 1031; 1980 Supp (1) SCC 400; Tehal Singh and others vs State of Punjab Date of Judgment: 27/10/1978 Decided by a division bench of the Supreme Court of India Singh, J. (J) Reddy, O.C. (J) Held (in the 4th paragraph of the judgment): "...We do not also see any force in the suggestion of Dr. Chitaley that the statement of Harmel Singh was not made in expectation of death and was, therefore, not entitled to weight. Apart from the fact that Section 32 of the Evidence Act does not require that a statement should be made in expectation of death, it is clear from the evidence that the condition of Harmel Singh was serious at that time. ..." (emphasis supplied) Rattan Singh vs The State of Himachal Pradesh Top of Page Supreme Court Equivalent Citations: (1997) 4 SCC 161; Rattan Singh vs The State of Himachal Pradesh Date of Judgment: 11/12/1996 Decided by a division bench of the Supreme Court of India Anand, A.S. (J) Thomas, K.T. (J) Held (in the 15th paragraph of the judgment): "Even apart from section 32(1) of the Evidence Act, the aforesaid statement of Kanta Devi (i.e. the deceased person being discussed - MU) can be admitted under section 6 of the Evidence Act on account of its proximity of time to the act of murder. ..." (emphasis supplied) Further held (in the 16th paragraph of the judgment): "In either case, whether it is admissible under section 32(1) or under section 6 of the Evidence Act, it is substantive evidence which can be acted upon with or without corroboration in finding guilt of the accused."

Typical FIR u/s 498a/406/34 (Part 1)

This is an example of a typical complaint made by a 498a wife to the CAW Cell. Such complaints are usually transformed into FIRs verbatim. Rare is the case when an FIR is a modified form of such a complaint. It is not unheard of that a chargesheet was a verbatim copy of the initial complaint. To the DCP 6th September 20xx Crime Against Women Cell Nanakpura New Delhi Subject – Complaint for torture, cruelty, harassment and dowry demand against husband, mother-in-law, and father-in-law, all residents of house number such and such, so and so colony, New Delhi-1100xx Respected Sir, I, Mrs. 498a, got married to husband on xx/yy/20zz at New Delhi. This alliance was through an advertisement given in the newspaper by my mother-in-law. Our meeting was fixed up at such and such location, and on such and such date, our families met each other and I spoke to future husband for only half an hour. In that half hour I was the person who was speaking, my future husband spoke very little. My future husband gave an impression of being an introvert. Since it was a brief meeting and everything appeared to be fine, both the families agreed to the alliance. Also, since it was a second marriage for both me and my future husband, and our families were very keen that things work out. I was also willing to make adjustments, therefore, nothing much was looked into. I have not seen earlier divorce decree of husband and was never given any detail of his earlier marriage. His parents only disclosed that his divorce has recently been finalized. After this meeting I met my husband only on the day of marriage. Before marriage, my husband never called me on the phone also. I did not feel anything amiss and felt that it was due to his introverted nature. My mother-in-law was however, calling up my mother regularly to know what all purchases had been made and specifically asked my mother to give cash of Rs. 1,00,000/- and at the time of engagement in cash to my husband. She also asked my mother to give at least 2 gold sets in marriage. Finally we got married on xx/yy/20zz. The marriage function was preceded with an engagement ceremony at such and such venue in such and such location. On such and such date which was on the insistence of my mother-in-law. Since it was a second marriage, I as well as my parents wanted a low-key marriage, but my parents were forced to host this function also. In the engagement ceremony, apart from gold and diamond ring to my husband, the family members of my husband were given gifts and cash as per the demands of my mother-in-law.The marriage function was hosted by my parents for a baraat of about 200 people at such and such venue in such and such location, New Delhi. At the marriage ceremony also family members of my husband were given gifts and cash as per the demands of my mother-in-law. Once we reached the matrimonial home at about 11 pm, all the family members including my husband and his parents quickly climbed the stair case and left me behind. I followed everyone and seeing a door ajar with all lights on, entered the house. As we reached home my mother-in-law asked me to hand over the jewellery to her since my parents had not given me an almirah in marriage. I found this a little strange but quietly took everything off except my engagement ring and two gold bangles and handed it over to my mother-in-law. I have not seen the rest of my jewellery since that day. When everyone had left, my mother-in-law told me that my parents should have at least given a Santro car if nothing more. She said that my husband could have gone to his office in a new car after his marriage. I told my mother-in-law that me and my husband can both earn and buy a car. My husband had no conversation with me that night except this that he was expecting that my parents would give a Santro car at which I kept quiet. He also said that we should have a baby. Even on the first night, before I was shown the bedroom which we had to share, my mother-in-law warned me that if I don't give them a kid then this marriage is finished. Throughout my stay in my marital home my mother-in-law used to abuse me and even slapped me. On the second day of marriage we again went to my parents' house for a phera, when again my parents had to give gifts and cash to my husband and his family as per their demand. That day my mother-in-law asked my mother to hand over all the sagan cash received by me during the marriage and same was handed over to my mother-in-law. This incident left an unpleasant impression in my mind. On xx/yy/20zz in the morning my husband woke up at 6:30 am to get ready for work, while he abused me, called me names and was getting ready I asked him if he had planned for a honeymoon trip, he point blank said no as I do not like to go out. No one in my in-laws place cared for me even when I was suffering from fever. On xx/yy/20zz I woke up with fever and I told my husband that I have fever. He did not say anything to me or give any medicine to me. I told my mother-in-law that I have fever. She said that since I was the wife of xyz, his breakfast, lunch and dinner were my responsibility and under all circumstances, I have to cook for him. I started crying and cooked my husband's breakfast and lunch. After sometime I told my mother-in-law that I want to go home for a few days as I am not well. She did not allow me to go. Then I called my father and asked him to come and take me to a doctor. At around 7-7:30 in the evening my parents came and took me to the doctor. I had to visit a skin specialist on xx/yy/20zz. Since I had taken already appointment with the doctor, I asked my husband to take me to the doctor. He simply refused saying that you may go alone or ask your dad to take you. I again called up my father and requested him to take me to the doctor. After about 10 days of marriage I wanted money since I had no money at all. I asked my husband to give me some money he refused saying that take money from my mother and not from me. Since I had no money at all with me and wanted to buy a few personal things, I asked my mother-in-law to give me Rs 1000/-. She asked me what all I needed and when I told her she said that Rs 500/- is sufficient and that I should not over spend. She also said that I do not do the household work properly. I was cooking breakfast for all of us. Cooking lunch for my husband and packing it up in the morning and since it was winter time making hot food for my mother-in-law and father-in-law. I was also washing clothes and was kept busy in the kitchen throughout the day by my mother-in-law and was abused whenever I failed to do anything as per her instruction. My husband has some strange habits. He would eat his breakfast no sooner he woke up in the morning without even brushing his teeth or washing his face. He did not take a bath for days together despite my insistence and was very unhygienic. He would eat his dinner the moment he entered the house after coming home from office around 6-6:15 pm. On xx/yy/20zz when he came home from his office he said that I need egg along with milk. I gave him 2 eggs along with milk after 5 minutes. When he finished eating he asked to give him bread along with milk saying that he did not have milk while he was eating egg. I was surprised to hear all this I told him that you just had milk along with eggs, he said is that so I don't remember. On xx/yy/20zz I saw a lot of medicines kept in my husband's almirah. I asked him about the medicines he said that these are my mother's medicines. I asked why are these medicines lying here. He had no answer for this. On the next week off again on Sunday this time in the morning I asked him that let's go out for a movie, since xyz cinema is just close by to abc colony. He refused again that I will not go. I asked him the reason of refusal. He said I will not go out in any public area, bomb must be planted outside it and I will die. He would come up with strange reasons to avoid going out which was troubling me since I was made to feel that I was there only to ensure the birth of a child. Thus, he avoided taking me out at all costs for reasons best known to him. I am a regular visitor to the temple in xyz area every Saturday about which I had told my husband on the very first day we had met. Even there he took me only two times (on xx/yy/20zz and xx/yy/20zz) and with great reluctance.

Typical FIR u/s 498a/406/34 (Part 2)

I could not have any personal conversation with my husband since whatever we discussed he used to tell everything to his mother, even small things like abc is washing clothes, abc is ironing the clothes, abc had an apple etc. I tried discussing my husband's strange habits with my mother-in-law directly and as a friend. I spoke to her explaining everything and I told her that it Is not a short term relationship, and I have to stay with him and you. I explained everything about my husband that he does not have bath at all, he does not brush his teeth, he tends to forget things very fast, he does not want to go out with me. I even told her that I can't have any personal conversation with him as he tells her everything. I spoke to my mother-in-law as a friend thinking that I will get some positive resolution. Instead of helping me out she abused me saying that you are married to him now, you have to stay like this, and you don't have a choice. She threatened me that if you don't keep quiet you will have to face the consequences. On xx/yy/20zz my mother-law said that is your husband wife relationship normal? I said that it is normal that there is no problem. She said that remember that the purpose of marriage is to have children. You cannot have children if you do not want to try to have children. I was shocked to hear this. How can a mother-in-law talk to her daughter-in-law like this? My mother-in-law used to say those things to me which no one could say to her daughter-in-law. On xx/yy/20zz, my husband fought with me in filthy language without any reason or provocation and said that this marriage is finished since I am a useless cook and am not giving him enough to eat, and he slapped me 2-3 times in front of my mother-in-law. It was strange that my mother-in-law was standing and smiling when he was hitting me. After all this it became a trend for them to abuse me and torture me physically. Every morning my mother-in-law used to abuse me and my family. She used to slap me every now and then, and said that ask your parents to give us a car since my son has a car which is 5 years old and wants a new car. My husband used to hit me every night on one or the other pretext. Though it was a second marriage for me and I wanted this marriage to work out I did not retaliate to whatever was happening with me. On xx/yy/20zz, my parents invited my husband for my nephew's birthday. He refused (and said) that he will not come for the birthday party. I tried to make him understand that there will be many people around, and it doesn't look nice if I go alone. After a long discussion he came along with me but with great reluctance. On xx/yy/20zz, my parents had called my husband and his family for lunch. They stayed here for not more than 2 hours. My mother tried to talk to my mother-in-law about my husband behaving like this with me. My mother-in-law asked my mother to shut up and she threatened my mother that if she says anything regarding this topic, then abc will have to face consequences.Since I wanted a change, I decided to start working, which was resisted by my husband and my mother-in-law. They said who is going to cook for him (my husband). I told them that I will do all the cooking before I left for work and on that condition I was allowed to work. Thus I joined xyz company. My timings were from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Since I had to travel by metro I used to leave at 8:15 am and come back by 7:30 pm. Whenever I used to come from work they used to refuse to open the door, and finally when they used to allow me to enter the house, my husband would abuse me and also slap me. I was not even given enough food to eat. They used to say that go out and eat, we will not give you food in this house, and every day I was abused by my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and my husband. I worked in abc company only for 9-10 days as my mother-in-law forced me to leave the job, saying that I have to do the household work which is more important. The day I had to join the company my mother-in-law did not let me eat anything and said that you are going to office, eat something there only, and she abused me. My mother-in-law had taken all my jewellery on the very first day that I came into their house. On xx/yy/20zz there was a function in my bua's place. I asked her for the jewellery. She refused to give it to me. I said there is a function, what will I wear? Still she refused to give it to me saying that it is lying in the locker. I had to then borrow the jewellery from my mother to wear on that occasion. On xx/yy/20zz my mami called my husband and invited all of us for lunch on Sunday. He told my mami that we will come. I asked him that time should we go on Sunday to my mami's place? He refused to go and said that if you want to go you go, we will not go. On xx/yy/20zz my mother-in-law called up my mother and threateningly said that since abc is not doing the household work properly my son will not go anywhere with her. My mother-in-law then started abusing me saying that I am not capable of bearing a child therefore I should leave the house and go. She further said that I had been brought to the house to bear a child. She told me to pack my bags and get out of the house. Since I was upset and had no one to turn to I came away to my parents' place thinking since next day was a Sunday, I will come and speak to my husband. After I came to my parents' home my mother-in-law started calling my mami and started threatening her that we have been cheated, no car was given in the marriage nor cash of Rs. 1,00,000/- was given as demanded by them that abc has failed to bear a child till now and is not doing the household work properly. On xx/yy/20zz itself she called my mami 3-4 times. Under the circumstances I did not feel it right to go back even to collect my clothes. My husband also did not call me up to talk. In order to save my marriage, I thought of going back and on xx/yy/20zz I went there but my mother-in-law did not open the door, and I was standing there for more than 15 minutes. Again on xx/yy/20zz I went there this time they had installed a camera on the entrance so that they could see who is at the door. Again I rang the bell and stood there for 15 minutes, and came back. On xx/yy again I went but door was again not opened for me inspite of the care that I took of my husband. I was served with a legal notice dated xx/yy/20zz asking me to come back. But when I got back, my in-laws and husband did not let me inside the house. My husband has also filed for divorce for false reasons. Thus, I request you to take appropriate action against my mother-in-law and husband for torturing me and demanding dowry.

Maintenance under section 125 of CrPC

Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is one of the most used and discussed provisions of the Code. This Code provides that no person who has sufficient means to maintain himself can refuse to provide maintenance to his wife, children and parents, if they are capable of maintaining themselves. Are not. However, sometimes the husband, against whom the maintenance order is passed, may not be satisfied with the decision given by the lower court and hence, he must have a forum where he can put forth his grievances against the order. Scope and applicability of Section 125 CrPC Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for maintenance of wife, children and parents. After the parties have invoked Section 125 of the Code, the court can order the respondent, i.e. the husband, to maintain the wife who is unable to maintain herself by providing monthly maintenance. However, there is an exception to the provision. For the purpose of providing maintenance to the wife, the husband must be capable enough to maintain his wife after separation and at the same time, the wife must not live in adultery or leave her husband without any sufficient cause. One should not live apart. Even if they are living separately with mutual consent, the wife will not be entitled to any kind of maintenance. Whenever the judgment is pronounced in favor of the wife, the court has to ensure that the husband has sufficient means to provide maintenance to the wife. The court will also have to ensure that the wife does not have sufficient funds to maintain herself after separation. Under Section 125 of the Code, the provision of interim maintenance is available, which means that during the pendency of an application in the court, an order can be passed by the Magistrate requiring the husband to pay monthly maintenance to the wife. Instructions can be given. However, the Magistrate is empowered to vary the amount of maintenance to be paid if he feels that there is any change in the circumstances of the person paying or receiving the monthly allowance. What comes under the definition of wife? The wife can be of any age – minor or adult. For the purposes of section 125 wife means a legally married woman. The validity of the marriage will be governed by the personal laws applicable to the parties. If the fact of a legally valid marriage is disputed, the applicant must prove the marriage. Marriages performed by garlanding each other were declared invalid. Under Section 125(1)(a) of the Code, maintenance allowance cannot be given to every wife who is neglected by her husband or whose husband refuses to maintain her, but only to that wife Can be given to one who is unable to support himself but not. A wife who is supporting herself with some difficulty. The wife is not entitled to receive allowance from her husband in three cases, namely: 1. If she is living in adultery, or 2. If she refuses to live with her husband without any sufficient reason, or 3. If they are living separately with mutual consent. Cases in Supreme Court on Section 125 of Criminal Procedure Code Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. In Shah Bano Begum case it has been declared that a Muslim husband of sufficient means should provide maintenance to his divorced wife who is unable to maintain herself. Such a wife is entitled to maintenance even if she refuses to live with the Muslim husband because he has married another woman within the limit of four wives given by the Quran. A division bench of the Supreme Court declared that a Muslim divorced woman who cannot maintain herself is entitled to receive maintenance from her former husband until she remarries. He rejected the argument that alimony is payable only for the Iddat period. Pointing to Quranic verses, the judges declared that the Quran obliges the divorced wife to pay maintenance. Objective of Section 125 of CrPC K. Vimal v. This was explained in the case of K. Veeraswamy, where it was held that Section 125 of the Code was introduced to achieve a social objective. The purpose of this section is to provide welfare to the wife by providing her necessary shelter and food after separation from her husband. Vikas v. In the case of State of Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court had said that all such applications for maintenance can be filed in any district where the person making the payment resides or where the wife resides or where the person resides. Lived with his wife or mother or illegitimate child. The purpose of Section 125 of CrPC is to achieve a social objective in the society.

Scope and importance of interrogation of accused under section 313 of CrPC:

Interrogation of the accused is of utmost importance in the field of criminal trials. This is an important step towards upholding the principles of natural justice, thereby ensuring that no person remains unheard. Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, describes the power of the trial court to examine the accused and provide them an opportunity to explain the evidence presented against them. Objectives and objectives of interrogating the accused: The primary objective of interrogating the accused under Section 313 is to give them an opportunity to explain in person any circumstances emerging from the evidence against them. This process serves to clarify the precise charges that the accused must face, thereby promoting fairness and transparency in judicial proceedings. The examination is not a mere formality; Rather, it is conducted in the interest of justice. Although the court has the discretion to interrogate the accused at any stage of the investigation, it is mandatory to do so after the evidence has been presented. This ensures that the accused is given a fair opportunity to respond to incriminating material presented during the trial. Considerations during the exam: While interrogating the accused, the trial court must take into account several factors. Questions should be formulated based on the evidence presented by the prosecution witnesses, focusing on the incriminating evidence. It is necessary to write the questions clearly and logically, keeping in mind the socio-economic and educational background of the accused. Care should be taken especially in the case of poor or illiterate accused persons, to ensure that they understand and respond effectively. Each accused should be interrogated separately, as their role and involvement may be different. This approach helps in thorough investigation and prevents ambiguity. Furthermore, the accused is not forced to speak; They have the right to remain silent, as guaranteed by the Constitution. However, their refusal to answer may lead to adverse inferences. Terms used under Section 313 of CrPC Accused: The term “accused” refers to someone who is being interrogated by the court during a trial. The accused in any other case is not included in this. In person: This means that the accused gets a chance to explain things based on the evidence presented during the trial, especially during cross-examination by his lawyer. At any stage: The court can interrogate the accused at any time during the trial, even before formal charges are filed. The court should present all the evidence before the accused and seek their response. Opportunity to Explain: The accused has the option to explain or not to explain against the evidence presented. The court should bring out all the incriminating evidence and seek response from the accused. If certain circumstances are not revealed, they cannot be used against the accused. Multiple Examinations: The court may call the accused for questioning more than once, but this should not be done regularly. If new evidence or witnesses come to light after the initial investigation, the accused should be interrogated again. Guidelines for Effective Examination: The language of Section 313 is clear and unambiguous, emphasizing the objective of enabling the accused to explain the circumstances against them. Each answer should be recorded separately, and no key point should be omitted during questioning. Examples when examination is not necessary: Although in most cases it is important to interrogate the accused, there are some exceptions. If the evidence reveals no incriminating circumstances, or if the accused has already pleaded guilty, the examination may not be necessary. Similarly, when the accused has accepted the charges, further inquiry is not necessary. Interrogation of the accused under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure serves as the cornerstone of fair trial procedures. It gives the accused the right to address the evidence against them, ensures transparency and maintains the principles of natural justice. However, it is necessary for the courts to conduct this test diligently, considering the individual circumstances of each case, to prevent any miscarriage of justice.

Arrest!! (OR Who is Joginder Kumar?)

"No arrest can be made in a routine manner on a mere allegation of commission of an offence made against a person. It would be prudent for a police officer in the interest of protection of the constitutional rights of a citizen and perhaps in his own interest that no arrest should be made without a reasonable satisfaction reached after some investigation as to the genuineness and bona fides of a complaint and a reasonable belief both as to the person’s complicity and even so as to the need to effect arrest. Denying a person of his liberty is a serious matter." These are the word of a chief justice of India. Let me capitalise (Capitalise) the words in case you have any doubt. These are the words of a Chief Justice of India. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India. Worth adding is the fact that he was not speaking only for himself. He was at the head of a full bench of the Supreme Court, which included one other judge who was going to become the next CJI (just an observation, not that it matters at all here). The full bench had been constituted and forced to hear a petition at super speed by a most ordinary of ordinary citizens of India. The petition had been filed directly in the Supreme Court without having to go through any of the lower courts or any High Court. It had been heard, notices issued, replies taken, and the judgement delivered within 98 days of a man named Joginder Kumar being arrested without authorisation and justification by an SSP of UP Police. The reason for this alacrity? A Habeas Corpus petition. This is a petition which is designed to protect the most fundamental of your rights, the right without which –many feel– even the right to life is worthless. Your right to liberty. This judgement is pretty much a final judgement. It can only be challenged in front of a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, and there is no policeman in this country who possesses the courage or the foolishness required to face a Constitution Bench in order to retain the unfettered right to arrest anybody and everybody. Arrest can be defined as the imposition of restrictions on a an individual's freedom of movement. Some writers hold that there is no difference between arrest and imprisonment. Assumi observes that even the king of England had lost the power to arrest any of his subjects (yes, subjects!) without justification as far back as the signing of the Magna Carta. How then can the police in India claim to have unfettered powers of arrest in the 21st century? (Assumi, N.K., Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus And Joginder Kumar Vs State Of UP, http:// www.lawyers club share_files/ Magna-Carta-Habeas- Corpus-And- Joginder-Kumar- Vs-State-Of- UP-7721.asp, 16th June 2012, viewed in Delhi on 2nd September 2013)) Arrest and imprisonment are two of the things which are feared most by 498a accused persons. These fears are unfounded. The police cannot arrest you without recording a justification which will stand the scrutiny of all the courts from bottom to top. Otherwise there can be hell to pay. No sane police officer will risk the removal of his uniform to arrest a citizen on a whim. Remember that the police is functioning totally under the control of the courts in your 498a case. The courts are bound by the Supreme Court judgement mentioned above. This is complete guarantee that you cannot be arrested without justification.Further, even the power (of the police) to arrest you WITH justification flies out the moment you file an anticipatory bail application. It is now for the courts to decide. They will do justice to you, for they know the law fifty times better than the police. Look at the speed with which Om Puri has got bail in his DV case. The order of the commissioner of police of Delhi which says that the IO cannot arrest any accused without the written permission of the DCP concerned is nothing more than compliance with a court order coming from the highest court in the land. Similar orders ought to exist in all states, though this writer is not aware of any (perhaps because he has not bothered to search for them). To quote a portion of the above judgement "The Directors General of Police of all the States in India shall issue necessary instructions requiring due observance of these requirements. In addition, departmental instruction shall also be issued that a police officer making an arrest should also record in the case diary, the reasons for making the arrest." A quote from Nandini Satpathy vs. P.L. Dani would also not be out of place here. "...the policeman must be released from addiction to coercion and be sensitized to constitutional values." Further, an amendment was made to the Criminal Procedure Code of India in 2009, in which section 41a CrPC was introduced inter alia. This section mandated that the IO will issue a notice of appearance to persons accused of offences which are punishable by up to 7 years in prison, which is to say offences which are punishable by sentences which are of a duration of 7 years or less. Section 498a, Section 406, and Section 34 all come within the ambit of this section. The section further says that if an accused person complies with the notice of appearance and continues to comply with further notices of appearance, then he can not be arrested unless the IO can justify such an arrest in writing with cogent reasons. Lawyers protested this amendment vociferously because most of the income of lawyers comes from bail and anticipatory bail applications. (Incidentally section 498a composes a large number of anticipatory bail applications, and is very profitable.) The gazette notification of the amendment was deferred as a result of these protests, thus rendering it infructuous. However, the government surreptitiously notified this amendment in its gazette one fine day. This notification has led to the coming into force of this amendment. Now the rights of a 498a accused man are protected, and he is safe from arrest as long as he continues to keep going to the police station and other places which he is required to visit as part of his obligations in his capacity as an accused person in a criminal case. It may be noted that the IO is required to record his reasons in either case, whether he makes an arrest or does not make an arrest. This last modification in section 41a was made to appease the protesting lawyers. It can work in your favour if you remain in your senses.


The police may wish to arrest an accused in a particular criminal matter. This desire to arrest can only be justified if it has a legally sustainable basis. One such legal basis is a warrant for arrest as we all know. Another legal basis can be found in those sections of the CrPC which enable a policeman to make an arrest without any warrant for arrest. The minimum requirements for the exercise of the powers held by policemen and policewomen are delineated in section 41 of CrPC. Magistrates are entitled and duty bound to issue arrest warrants to arrest persons responsible for crimes committed within their jurisdictions. Such arrest warrants can be executed anywhere within the territory of India. Magistrates are also entitled to issue arrest warrants against persons who have committed crimes in other jurisdictions as long as such persons are located within their own jurisdictions. They are also empowered in terms of being able to order execution of arrest warrants issued by judges from other jurisdictions. Remand is a term which means detention after arrest. Police remand, judicial remand, and transit remand (police and judicial) are the three common types of remand. During the first 24 hours after a person is arrested, he can be held by the police without the need to produce him before a magistrate or a judge. In case he is held for 24 hours and the police is not able to produce him before a magistrate then he is to be released forthwith. If the police produces the arrested person before a magistrate within 24 hours (as is the norm), the magistrate is mandated to decide whether to commit the person to remand, and if to commit him to such remand then to which form of remand. The 24 hour requirement is given in section 57 of CrPC, and it comes with two provisos. (Actually the maximum permitted time of detention before the arrested person is to be taken to a magistrate is dictated by the circumstances of the case, and it may be as short as a couple of hours, but this provision of section 57 is lightly enforced.) The first one is that the person may be detained for more than 24 hours without being produced before a magistrate if there is an order from the same magistrate under section 167 of CrPC. The second one is that the arrested person may be detained by the police for 24 hours plus the time taken to transport him to the magistrate. Please note here that the magistrate in every case has to be the nearest one. For the purpose of illustration it may be said that the police cannot make the excuse that they arrested a person –who was wanted in Delhi– in Kanyakumari, and it took them more than 3 days to take him to a magistrate in Delhi. Their mandate is to take the arrested person to the nearest magistrate and seek police remand if they wish to do so. Otherwise the person may be consigned to judicial remand without any sort of arguments. Here it may be noted that the very fact that the police arrested a person makes them bound by the force of logic to seek remand of some sort. In case a person is wanted in more than one location, then the police from the location where he is wanted but not in custody may go to the location where he is in police or judicial custody and seek transit remand to bring him to their area and interrogate him there in police custody. Here it may be asked that what is the need to bring a person to another location just for interrogation. The answer is that the police may need to take him to certain places in their area for the purpose of reconstruction of the crime, or for recovery of evidence; and this is also what the police invariably claim. Another situation where transit remand may be granted is when a person is wanted by law enforcement authorities in one location but is living in another location in a different state within India. Another possible situation is that wherein a wanted person arrives in India via an international airport or port located in one particular state, and the police of a different state arrests him and thereafter wishes to take him to their own state. Interstate travel is common to all these situations.It is also possible that a magistrate may visit a police station for a remand hearing. This happens in serious matters usually, and is not a real probability in 498a or other dowry related cases. It is immaterial whether the arrestee is taken before the magistrate or the magistrate comes to him. This is like the mountain and Mohammad. To prove the fact or the 'fact' that the arrestee was taken before a magistrate before being remanded in custody, all that is required is the signature of the magistrate on the remand order. It goes without saying that such a provision is susceptible to misuse. Even when a person is arrested subsequent to an arrest warrant or warrants issued by a judge, he cannot be detained by the police for more than 24 hours without producing him before the magistrate in whose jurisdiction the arrest was made. The justification for this provision is provided by Article 21 of the Constitution and the right to liberty therein, and (in a narrower and alternative sense) by the judicial logic that any investigation which cannot be completed within 24 hours needs to be referred to a judicial officer for assessment as to its merits in terms of necessity for continuation. When the magistrate hears the police, he may permit police custody for not more than 15 days. Usually this is granted for one or two days maximum in the case of 498a, if at all it is granted. The police can then produce the person again before the magistrate for extension of police remand if it is required. Second requests are even more commonly refused than initial requests. This is a good thing, and takes India one step away from turning into a police state. After all the extensions, the judge has to send the arrestee to judicial custody within a maximum of 15 days. This also is to be done in case the judge is convinced that judicial remand is necessary to prevent adverse events. Remand in total (including police remand as well as judicial remand) shall not be more than 60 days in most cases, and certainly not more than 90 days for arrests made under offences punishable by a term of not less than 10 years (or life, or death). This is not put in practice in a number of cases. But usually a person is set free upon execution of a bail bond at the end of such a period. This is done subsequent to a mandatory offer of bail to the accused. For this bail offer, there is no need to make any bail application. So it may be rightly said that the bail given at the end of the maximum period of detention is, strictly speaking, bail without the need for a bail application. It must be mentioned that normally an accused person cannot be set free even after being granted bail if he is not willing or able to execute a bail bond. This is of course subject to the jurisprudential provision about indigence which has been explained in detail elsewhere in this website, along with the details of bail bond execution. A person may be subjected to police remand subsequent to judicial remand, or between episodes of judicial remand. Surprisingly this is permitted. But any confession given in the second or subsequent rounds of police custody are not be taken seriously at all, in case the arrestee was produced before a judge for a confession statement at the end of the first round of police custody, and he refused to confess. This is explained in more detail in the article about police investigation and interrogation. Interestingly, the grounds for not permitting the police to hold an arrested person for more than 24 hours without etc. is based upon the premise that police custody can be misused to torture an accused person. What this logic seems to have missed out is that a person can be tortured very badly within 24 hours, and this has been a common occurrence throughout the history of India, although now things appear to have improved slightly. In any case, dowry accused persons do not ordinarily have to worry about torture (or even at all worry about torture) because the police invariably does such things only to people who are illiterate or from backward sections of society. You do not have much to fear in your 498a case, unless you decide to let vested interests scare you.

Why is Marriage Considered to be Such a Great Thing?

Marriage is an interesting theme to explore in a written exposition. This writer estimates that on average, people spend around half of their life searching for a suitable mate, and usually the rest of their life living with the mate and/or their offspring. The whole world is obsessed with marriage, and why should it not be? After all, marriage provides so many benefits that it has the potential to be the best thing one can do in one's life. All over the world, marriage is added to the birth-death duality as a natural step in a human life. It is not inevitable for all living beings, unlike birth and death. Marriage is probably an indicator of hope for beginning the reproduction phase of life in the cross-culturally pervasive descriptive triad (viz. birth, marriage, and death) –reproduction being what makes the circle of life complete. Celebrating Marriage Life is full of endless possibilities. To be able to breathe, to see, to hear, to think, to touch, to talk, to feel, to create –all these things are possible only when the doer is alive. Most of these experiences are pleasurable. So it may be said that life gives most of us the chance to experience pleasures. Death is the end of all possibilities. Nobody knows what lies beyond. So death may be described as an event which ends all possibility of future opportunities to experience pleasures. Celebrating pleasure or celebrating the creation of the possibility to create virtually endless opportunities to experience pleasures (since we all hope and believe that we will live forever) is a natural thing. Since birth is the creation of life, and hence the creation of possibilities, it is to be celebrated. Additionally, reproduction follows the most sensually pleasurable act in human life, so it is inevitable that getting a license to reproduce should be celebrated as a license to enjoy. Another reason to celebrate is the appearance of the prospect of the birth of future generations. This is why births and marriages are celebrated. To mourn the end of a pleasurable era is also natural –which explains why most deaths are mourned (except when a death marks the end of an oppression). Marriage and Family as a Support System Marriage is something which is considered almost essential for the creation and support of a family unit, which keeps growing and shrinking as new members are born and old ones die. A family is a great social construct for taking care of young individuals of the species when they are too young to fend for themselves. These young ones grow up and at a later stage care for their original carers when the carers are too old to care for themselves. People who are situated outside family structures face great difficulties in life. Orphans encounter immense social and economic barriers in their quest to reach a reasonable position in life, or even just to survive. They have a very short life expectancy, and tales of their mental, physical and sexual abuse are legion. It is also observed that childless couples are often reduced to helplessness and penury in old age, and it is sometimes heard that a similarly placed person died in their house with nobody around who could call an ambulance. Cases of such people being murdered or robbed are also very common. They are also vulnerable to mental torture because the torturer knows that he/she is likely to get away with it. In Indian law, if and when a person commits suicide due to harassment by another person or group of persons, the police does not register a case against such persons unless and until there is a written complaint from the relatives of the suicide. If a person has no relatives, then how can his relatives make a written complaint? It is logical that written complaints by friends of the deceased should be accepted as the basis for an FIR; but in the 21st century –when often even people with wives and children feel that they are friendless– what chance of having friends does an orphan have? Similarly, children whose parents get divorced are invariably traumatised by the break-up, and encounter great difficulties in developing a healthy personality with a strong sense of self and the ability to take the knocks of life successfully. Similar life-experiences are reported by those children who lose one of their parents in early life OR children who live in dysfunctional families with an alcoholic or excessively irritable parent. Many such individuals end their lives themselves, as can be seen from empirical studies conducted by experts in the fields of sociology, psychology, and psychiatry. Marriage: The Best Type of Social Security Families created by marriages are the bedrock of society. Property earned by parents is usually kept within the family, and children are encouraged to follow the family profession, with support from their parents. This is particularly true of the son or daughter who is expected to support the parents in their old age, depending upon whether the family is located in a patriarchal or a matriarchal culture inter alia. The money earned by the parents using the family as a support structure comes in useful for the children's upbringing, in terms of providing education and the facilities of modern life to them. In their turn, the children support the parents in their old age, and the family money is used to care for their healthcare and hospitalisation in times of need. Thus the family unit continues to support the generations as they make their appearance. This social security has historically been provided in a more robust way by the family unit than any other social structure ever invented by man. Stable family units –multiplied by thousands or even millions– constitute society as a whole; a stable, prosperous society. A Means for the Growth of the Individual and Society A prominent clergyman in America named Cardinal Nolan recently said that strong societies are founded upon strong marriages. Identical sentiments have been expressed by many prominent persons globally –over the past century and this one. Indeed, society cannot grow if individuals and legitimate social groupings cannot grow. An overwhelming majority of successful and healthy individuals in society are the products of happy marriages. Due to the large size of the global population, and due to differing definitions of success, there can only be anecdotal evidence in support of this observation; but the number of people who corroborate such a conclusion is exceedingly large, and much much larger than the number of people who hold the opposing view. Stable and happy marriages provide a source of members for the workforce of any nation. The well-adjusted and happy children who are born in such families do well in schools and colleges, and become law abiding and productive citizens. Scientists, doctors, engineers, you name them, most of them are products of stable marriages. In societies with large percentages of broken marriages, illegitimate social group-types and social structures tend to grow to puissance. Gambling rings, criminal gangs, prostitution rackets, and the like thrive in such societies. The calming and stabilising influence of family groupings, circles of relatives, satsangs / church groups, schools, colleges, benign government et al is diminished. Health Benefits of Strong Marriages Regular and loving sex –without the risk of catching any infection– is a tonic and ego reinforcement like no other. A healthy ego is the sine qua non of mental health. To always have somebody who is ready to praise you, support you, and to stand by you in difficult times gives great mental strength and peace. All the positive energies are stimulated in the happily married individual. These provide a strong foundation for a healthy physique and psyche. Sexual satisfaction stops a person from looking for harmful addictions, and a supportive partner ensures further protection from suchlike. Great incentive for physical fitness is provided by the boost to mental health due to the presence of loved ones who cheer every success of their family members. The happy neurotransmitters like serotonin (happiness/satisfaction) and dopamine (pleasure) and hormones like oxytocin (trust and love) and epinephrine (ability to face tough situations and stress) are secreted by the various glands due to great sex and companionship. Endorphins (happiness) are also released in great amounts during lovemaking. Cholesterol levels go down in happy individuals, and blood pressure is more likely to be stable in a happy person than a sad one. Neuropsychiatric conditions are rare in happy marriages. Alcoholism does not rear its head very often in such marriages. There is practically no incentive for ulcers to grow in the body of a stress-free person. Cancers of the lungs, throat, kidney, and oesophagus don't occur at a high rate if people do not smoke or consume harmful substances. Other cancers are also less common in stress-free individuals. A stress-free life makes the appearance of diabetes and related complications improbable. Healthy parents produce healthy children. There is quicker development of the individual to maturity if he is in a happy place. The next generation is produced earlier, and its appearance is surer –as is its success in replicating itself and its own success. The continuity of the line is almost guaranteed. The whole species benefits from the presence of happy families.

Marriage Across Cultures: India

This writer has vast experience in life, and has seen many varieties of people. In one of the colleges where he had the good fortune to teach, there came for a short time a retired subedar major from the army, employed by the college in the role of a section officer in the school of architecture. This particular gentleman had a habit of describing the various things that he had seen during his time in the army, which was spent fruitfully in all corners of the country. The subedar major often narrated his time spent on a mountain top in the north-eastern part of India. It seems that the impression that a particular routine of life on that mountain left on him was deep. Apparently a local tribal lived on that mountain with his nubile daughter. The daughter was at an age when fathers in those regions start worrying about finding a groom for them, and grooms start lining up to meet the hopefully comely beauty. One healthy bare-chested young man used to run up the mountain with a torch in his hand, and present a bottle of honey to the 'old' man. The old man used to permit the young man to meet his daughter and spend a few nights with her. (n.b. The subedar major was a native of western U.P., and the exact word that he used for the object carried by the young suitor was 'torch'. I would surmise from this that the torch in question was a battery powered flashlight). The young man used to go away after his allotted time, only to come back again after a few days, and –the girl permitting– the father and the athlete used to repeat the whole performance. Evidently this was not the only mountain in those sparsely populated parts where such a thing was happening. The deal here was that a) If the young suitor kept coming back, b) the father kept greeting and meeting him, c) the girl kept allowing him to spend time with her, and d) If he could impregnate the girl within a year, then he could take her home to his own mountain. If he however failed in his endeavour, then he would go away and never return again, yielding his place in her boudoir to the next strapping lad that came along with a torch and a bottle of honey. Many readers will have recognised in this tale the phenomenon commonly described as being engaged. This was a de facto conditional engagement like all engagements in the world (although many engagements worldwide are not conditional in a de jure sense). The condition here was to test the strength, dedication, virility, and fertility of a suitor before letting him have a wife. There was no wedding ceremony as such, but the courtship was rich with symbolism and ritual –essential ingredients of weddings the world over. Once this writer had the opportunity to work and live in the Lion City. A charming Chinese estate agent found him a room with an Indian family in one of the auspiciously numbered suburbs on the north line of the MRT. The time spent in Singapore was hectic with long working hours at the office on Orchard Road, and practically no time for relaxation. However one got the opportunity to view Sun TV and Tamil culture from close quarters during the times spent at home with Aunty Gunashagiri, Uncle Naidu, and Siva and his younger brother –the one with long hair, and a ghunghroo in one ankle. Aunty Gunashagiri and Uncle Naidu had an elder daughter who was married and whose husband was working in some security wing of the government. They had a cute young daughter and a baby son, and all four used to visit the house often –the children staying back for some time with granny. Apparently Siva was a possible suitor for his young niece; in fact a preferred suitor, with the right of first refusal. This is a phenomenon known as avunculate marriage. A few movies on Sun TV also showed glimpses of this totally acceptable system in Tamil Society. The wife in such a marriage is her own niece, and the groom is his own uncle-in-law. Strange though it may appear to many in northern India, this is a fairly common practice amongst the people of a number of Indian states. Fifty percent of marriages in the villages of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are consanguineous marriages –marriages between people who are related by blood.Similarly, Punjabi Aroras in northern India have been commonly known to practice marriages between sons and daughters of brothers and sisters. An Arora girl living in this writer's neighbourhood is married to a man who is technically her uncle. In other castes also this has been observed, especially amongst those who migrated from western Punjab at the time of partition. So it can be said that such marriages are commonly practiced in specific communities in many parts of India. There exists a phenomenon of exchange marriages in some Punjabi castes. In this system the brother and sister are married off to another brother and sister. In Pakistan and Afghanistan this phenomenon is called Watta-Satta. The logic behind this system is to keep a double pressure on all the spouses to not leave their spouses and to treat them properly. A similar but not identical phenomenon is prevalent in many many castes and cultures not only in India but across the world, in which two brothers marry two sisters. In Hindi movies also it is commonly shown that the brother of a husband falls in love with the sister of the husband's wife, i.e. his own brother's sister-in-law. The movie Hum Aapke Hain Kaun had a similar theme. Many castes have a system where if the elder brother dies, then the younger brother marries his wife, his own bhabhi. This has also been shown in at least one hindi movie, based on a popular novel named Ek Chaadar Maili Si. An interesting question comes up here. What if two brothers married two sisters, and one of the brothers dies? Apparently the answer in olden days was that the remaining brother used to be made married to two sisters in such an eventuality. This was done amongst Jats and some others, though it would be interesting to know how Muslim Jats reacted to such situations, considering the fact that marriage of one man with two sisters is prohibited according to Islamic scripture. The Jats and the Jatts of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, and a few other states avoid marrying persons who have even one out of two, three, or four gotras in common with them. The four gotras which used to be traditionally considered were 1) father's gotra (or own gotra), 2) mother's gotra, 3) paternal grandmother's gotra, and 4) maternal grandmother's gotra. If any one out of these four gotras of the boy and girl were common, then they could not marry each other, as they were considered to be brother and sister. Let me explain this more clearly for the benefit of those who are unable to wrap their heads around this concept. Say for example that the gotras relevant to the boy are 1) Malik 2) Siwach 3) Shaukeen and 4) Gehlot; and the gotras pertaining to the girl are 1) Dabas 2) Dahiya 3) Lamba and 4) Malik, then the boy and the girl could not marry each other, because Malik is common for both. In later times, this came down to exclusion of first three gotras only, to the exclusion of Nani's (maternal grandmother's) gotra. So these days the boy and girl in the foregoing example are eligible to marry each other, because Malik is the fourth gotra for the girl. Now, in many parts of the country, only the first two gotras are excluded. Further, marrying a girl from your own village –no matter what her gotra– was prohibited and remains prohibited. This is because all girls of your own village are considered to be your sisters. The much maligned Khap Panchayats (maligned by a campaign led by the TOI group publications and channels) are against the practice of same gotra and same village marriages. They are not against inter-caste marriages provided that the boy and the girl do not belong to the same village. In Islam, a man can marry up to four wives, as long as he can keep all of them equally happy. He is not allowed to marry two sisters, a mother and a daughter, and a few other combinations. Although this is permitted in the Sharia, many Islamic countries do not allow polygamy. Anyway it is easier said than done to keep two or more women equally happy. Anybody who has ever tried to or has ever been forced to try to have two relationships at the same time knows what this writer is talking about. In India, the current legal position on this issue is that of uncertainty. Polyandry was common in mountainous parts of India in earlier times, and traces of it remain to this day. One woman could marry a number of brothers, and it was often not clear which child was from which father. This led to preservation of land holdings within one family. Since land was and is scarce in the hills, this tradition served a useful purpose. There have been reports of polyandry from agrarian communities in Punjab in the past and in recent days also –perhaps triggered by depleting land holdings. Matriarchy can be seen amongst some communities in India, as is matrilocal residence post marriage. The Jaintia, Khasi and Garo communities have matrilocal, patrilocal as well as neolocal residence post marriage. Nair communities in Kerala have a similar system. Matrilocal residence occurs when the woman is an heiress, otherwise the other two types prevail.

Marriage Across Cultures: Globally

Once during his extended sojourn in Central Asia, this writer had the opportunity to meet an Ingush woman from the Caucasus, and to learn about her life. A charming lady who carried a .22 caliber at all times, she informed him with pride that a man who liked her kidnapped her on an impulse when she was all of 15 years old, and 'married' her –and then he really married her. All by force. This was while she lived in the wild east town of Makhachkala in Dagestan on the Caspian, where such things are not a rarity. She bore him two children and was eternally grateful to him for having the courage to kidnap her against her wish. At the time when this writer met this woman, her daughter was 23 years old, and she was totally against letting any man kidnap her in order to marry her. Her experience did not seem out of place in the twin republics of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in Central Asia, where Ala-Kachuu or Alyp Qashu (bride-kidnapping) is a widespread phenomenon –even though it has been an illegal act for a number of years now, albeit rarely prosecuted. (Of course it is a different matter that nothing bad seems out of place in Kyrgyzstan, where the officially recorded intentional homicide rate is seven to eight times greater than India. Nazarbayev's Kazakhstan is no different in its essence; when a popular opposition leader Zamanbek Nurkadilov was found with one shot to the back of his head and two to his chest, it was ruled a suicide by the prosecutor general.) Bride kidnapping is done sometimes with and sometimes without the woman's consent. In New Zealand back at the turn of the century, this writer noted that the institution of marriage in the larger cities survives mostly in the form of de facto partnerships, and you are much more likely to meet a person who describes his or her partner as just that, and not as a wife or a husband. While this is a relatively new phenomenon for the Pakeha (NZ European) majority, many pacific island people (like the Samoans for example) who constitute a significant portion of the population of Auckland are inveterate practitioners of live-in relationships from olden days. There is a perfunctory exchange of gifts between a man and a woman, and then they start living together. Chinese and Indian immigrants are also picking up this form of marriage very quickly. This is all between humans, and reports about Kiwi men marrying their sheep are purely speculative, though understandable considering the emergence of literacy amongst harem fantasists who see tremendous scope in the sixty four million merinos in the land of the long white cloud. While on the topic of live-in relationships amongst Chinese and Indians, it is interesting to note that this phenomenon is spreading to many traditionally restrictive cultures too. In Singapore, young Chinese yuppie women consider it a status symbol to have a white boyfriend (or a Caucasian boyfriend –as they are referred to in this Chinese dominated culture, where the local authorities do not encourage the use of the word 'white' for Europeans, as they consider themselves to be white too, and do not wish to let any foreign ethnic group monopolise this adjective). This phenomenon is reflective both of a national urge to marry the desirable ethnicity, as well as the liberation of women to the point where they can reject their own men for no fault of theirs, all the time making jokes about a sensitive physical attribute, inter alia. In India too, the trend of living-in has emerged in certain small but influential social pockets. The Indian experience, however, is laden with rape accusations post break-up, as can be made out from a rash of news reports in the past few months. However the most charming contribution made by India to women's liberation and the institution of marriage remains the Swayamvar, which means self-selection of her groom by a bride. The fact that there is no special word for selection by parents indicates that the predominance of arranged marriages is of an ancient provenance.Lord Ram married Sita after performing a task set by her father. Arjun did something similar to gain Draupadi's hand. These were task oriented swayamvars. The other common type of swayamvar was the one in which the bride selected the suitor who she found most charming. Desirable girls in India in the twenty first century also practice a de facto form of swayamvar, although they don't gather a crowd of men at one time and place for this purpose. This is partly the result of the prevailing skewed gender ratio nationwide, and partly due to the desirability of the girl under consideration. The Bible and other Mediterranean histories have several references to men stealing other men's wives and marrying them, with different end results. The wives are often depicted as innocent figures in the whole game. Paris kidnapped Helen of Troy and was killed eventually. David –slayer of Goliath, father of Solomon, and ancestor of Jesus Christ– seduced Bathsheba and then organised the killing of her husband Uriah at the hands of enemy troops. In ancient Egypt, many of the Pharaohs married their own sisters. This was apparently done to preserve the purity of the royal line. They even included this phenomenon in their mythology. Isis and Osiris were ancient deities who were siblings and married each other. Isis went on give birth to Osiris' child Horus, the hawk-faced Egyptian god. On Earth, there was a long line of Ptolemies and Cleopatras, brothers and sisters who were married to each other. The final Cleopatra –the one who is famous in history– married her father Ptolemy after his wife/sister died. After his death she married two of her brothers –also named Ptolemy– one after the other. Later on she had a relationship with Julius Caesar, and married Marc Antony after Julius Caesar's death, but these men were not her brothers by far, although the word 'brother' was evidently meaningless in that time and place, and it would have only made a positive difference to the probability of her and them having sexual relations had they been siblings. In the USA, marriage followed by divorce as a means to personal enrichment is extremely common, and has been commented upon by many writers. The one phenomenon relating to marriage in America which is most notable goes by the name of Las Vegas. People elope and get married in Lost Wages, at very low cost compared to a traditional wedding, without the bother of gathering a crowd of relatives and friends or organising a feast. Pastors who solemnise weddings in this town often dress up as Elvis or Marilyn Monroe or Mickey Mouse or (insert name of your favourite personage here) to bring that extra touch to a wedding. It is also possible to have your honeymoon in Paris or Venice without leaving this town. Drive through chapels to get married are a phenomenon unique to Vegas, and are a fitting second act to getting a marriage license in a matter of minutes. Marriages exist in Brazil also, but just how the institution has managed to survive is unfathomable. Brazilians are rumoured to **** anyone who catches their fancy. This is quite problematic, considering the fact that this country tops the table of countries vis-à-vis the percentage of attractive people in their population. Football is NOT their national sport, reports to the contrary notwithstanding. Another soccer crazy country which has pretty much the same problematic or joyful situation is the Netherlands –home to the city of Amsterdam. Incidentally both these countries were pioneers in the recognition of same sex marriages. Russia on the other hand treats homosexual propaganda as a criminal offence, but adultery is evidently their national sport, pretty much like the Brazilians. It also has the highest rate of herpes infections in the world, incidentally, and the divorce and suicide rates are quite simply stupefying. Rampant corruption, unpunished crime and endemic alcoholism are often claimed to be punishment from God for adultery by members of the Orthodox Christian clergy. Brazil is also not untouched by crime. Some visitors to Delhi remarked to an audience which included this writer that it was a pleasant surprise to see that beggars in Delhi actually begged instead of grabbing. Another –perhaps apocryphal– story goes that bus drivers in Rio, Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte wear wristwatches on their right wrists to prevent them from being snatched by people who ask the time. In China politicians often marry more than once, or keep concubines. Some successful and active men have been known to have more than a dozen such. Successful Japanese men have traditionally sought companionship from Geishas who excel in the art of conversation and ego-massage, while using their wives for child-rearing. Marrying and divorcing within a day or a week is a phenomenon which can be seen in a number of Arab countries, where sex outside marriage is a crime. Saddam Hussein, otherwise no observant Muslim in life –though he died with the name of Allah on his lips– stuck to a maximum number of four wives. Muammar Gaddafi too married only twice. Both these men had many ladies outside marriage, with Gaddafi being reported to have more notches on his belt than any man dead or alive. Many national leaders have had failed marriages, with Indira Gandhi, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Vladimir Putin being names that spring to mind immediately. Many have opted to remain single. There was a time when both the President (Abdul Kalam) and the Prime Minister (Vajpayee) of the country were bachelors, and Digvijay Singh had infamously blamed drought in India on the fact of being ruled by such men.

How to Write a Will (with an Example)

A will should be written in a way which should not leave any scope for doubts. It must contain a number of sections to achieve this. An example of a well written will with all such sections is given here with the hope that it is self-explanatory. Last Will and Testament Declaration of identity and purpose I, ABC XYZ, son of late Shri PQR STU, have been residing at House number 123456789, Colony so and so, New Delhi since xxxx. This is my Will, which is to say that this is the document which declares to whom I wish to bequeath my property in the event of my death. Declaration rendering all previous wills and codicils null and void I declare that any and all wills and codicils prepared by me prior to this will stand null and void, irrespective of the fact of their being registered wills and codicils or otherwise. This includes the will made by me and registered at the office of the Sub-Registrar ZZ, Delhi on aa/aa/20xy, having (as per certificate (section 60)) registration number 999333444 (in additional book no. xy volume number 75485943583), which was witnessed by Shrimati HIJ KLM and Shri NOP QRS. Declaration of mental fitness I further declare that I am mentally alert and fit, and am as fit physically as is possible for me to be at this age. Declaration of main assets acquired (or solely and exclusively inherited AND disposed of) during lifetime My major assets acquired (or solely and exclusively inherited AND disposed of) during my lifetime are – 1) House number 123456789 at the colony known as xyz Colony, in New Delhi (1100xy). 2) Funds received as gratuity for services rendered to the Government of India, during and after my 35 years in service of the same. 3) Money saved and earned due to my various investments in the stock market, in India. 4) In addition I have an ongoing claim to a disputed property located in Sector xy in Noida. 5) In addition I have an ongoing claim to enhancement of compensation for the services rendered by me to the Government of India. 6) National Savings Certificates, fixed deposits, Infrastructure Bonds, and deposits in State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, and ICICI Bank. 7) Bank locker jointly held with my wife, xyz efg, in Dena Bank, xyz colony, Delhi. Declaration of person(s) who will be inheritors I declare that in the event of my death, all the above properties will go to the sole ownership (and sole and exclusive possession and/or sole and exclusive right where applicable) of my son, fgh ijk.Declaration of Person(s) who are allowed to enjoy my properties after my death My wife and fgh ijk's mother xyz efg will have the complete right to live in and to enjoy my properties after my death as long as she lives. In case of any misfortune, illness or infirmity, it will be fgh ijk's duty to care for her. Declaration regarding residual properties and assets I bequeath any residual properties and assets (that is to say those properties and assets which are not listed above) also to my son fgh ijk in the event of my death. Declaration regarding properties and assets which may come to me in the future I also bequeath any further properties and assets which I may happen to acquire or inherit during or after my lifetime to my son fgh ijk in the event of my death. Declaration regarding executor of the will fgh ijk shall be the executor of this will. Provisions in the event of unfortunate demise of inheritor This portion is not pleasant for me to write, but it has to be written as a part of my duty as a responsible member of my family. In the event that fgh ijk predeceases me, and in such a case, if any child and/or offspring of fgh ijk comes into existence before his death, then all properties which are bequeathed to fgh ijk under this will, will be given to such child or offspring. This is subject to the condition that xyz efg will have the right to enjoy my property (and to approve or disapprove its disposal by sale or otherwise), and to be cared for by the beneficiaries as long as she is alive. The executor of my will in such an event will be my wife xyz efg. If xyz efg also predeceases me than the executor of this will in such an event will be the mother of the child and/or offspring described above. Signature, left thumb impression, place and date of signing ABC XYZ Witnesses with signatures and thumb impressions (left thumb for male, right thumb for female witness) 1) Smt. fgh xyz, w/o Justice klm nop, d/o Master uvw xyz, r/o such and such colony, happytown 2) Dr. ghi jkl, r/o such and such colony, Delhi 3) Prof. opq rst, w/o Shri rst ijk, r/o house number 9999999, such and such colony, such and such city