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CrPC-498a: Supreme Court Reversed it own judgment

22nd Sept., 2018

सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने अपने ही एक फैसले को पलटते हुए दहेज उत्पीड़न रोकने के लिए बनी भारतीय दंड संहिता की धारा 498 ए के तहत सीधे गिरफ्तारी का अधिकार फिर पुलिस के पास देकर अपनी सीमाएं रेखांकित कर ली हैं। इस फैसले के तहत अब दहेज की शिकायत की सत्यता जांचने वाली परिवार कल्याण समितियों का हस्तक्षेप खत्म हो जाएगा और यह पुलिस ही फैसला करेगी कि शिकायत सही है या गलत।

अदालत ने यह फैसला देते हुए एक महत्वपूर्ण बात यह कही है कि संविधान अदालत को यह अधिकार नहीं देता कि अगर किसी कानून में कोई कमी रह गई है तो वह उसे पूरा करे। उसे पूरा करने का अधिकार विधायिका को है। एक साल पहले 2017 के जुलाई में न्यायमूर्ति एके गोयल और न्यायमूर्ति यूयू ललित ने यह मानते हुए कि दहेज की फर्जी शिकायतें बहुत आ रही हैं और उसके कारण परिवार के बूढ़े और रिश्तेदारों को भी परेशान किया जाता है, फैसला दिया था कि अब दहेज की शिकायत आने पर एक कल्याण समिति जांच करेगी।

जांच करने वाली समिति जब मामले को सही पाएगी तभी पुलिस गिरफ्तारी करेगी। इस निर्णय के तहत हर जिले में ऐसी समितियां बनाए जाने का आदेश हुआ था। भारत के मुख्य न्यायाधीश दीपक मिश्र, एएम खानविलकर और डीवाई चंद्रचूड़ की पीठ ने न्यायाधार नामक एनजीओ की याचिका पर फैसला सुनाते हुए उन कल्याण समितियों को भंग कर दिया।

एक तरह से अदालत दहेज पीड़ित महिला और कानून पीड़ित परिवार वालों के बीच एक संतुलन बनाने की दुविधा में थी और उसने आखिरकार संबंधित कानून के पक्ष में अपने पुराने फैसले को वापस ले लिया। पता नहीं यह हाल में आए एससीएसटी कानून के बाद का असर है या फिर महिला अधिकार संगठनों का लेकिन, अदालत मानवाधिकारों का हवाला देकर उन कानूनों को कमजोर करने से बचती नज़र आ रही है, जिन्हें सामाजिक न्याय के लिए बनाया गया है।

शायद अदालत को यह अहसास हो रहा है कि सामाजिक न्याय की आवश्यकता और उसके पक्ष में खड़े आंदोलन उसके फैसले की आलोचना और विरोध कर सकते हैं इसलिए यह मामला विधायिका के पास ही छोड़ना उचित है। हालांकि, अदालत ने यह कहा है कि दहेज कानून का दुरुपयोग रोकने के लिए सीआरपीसी में धारा 41ए और अग्रिम जमानत के प्रावधान पहले से मौजूद हैं।

HC: No DV case if victim, accused don’t share home

The Bombay high court has ruled that a person can drag family members into a domestic violence case only if she has shared a house with them. Giving relief to an elderly couple from Mumbai accused of violence by their estranged daughter-in-law, the HC said while she could proceed with the case against her husband, dragging her in-laws into it would amount to abuse of law as they never lived under the same roof.

Woman’s Complaint Against In-Laws With Whom She Has Never Lived Is Abuse Of Law: HC

The Bombay high court has come to the aid of an elderly couple from Mumbai who were dragged into a domestic violence case by their estranged daughter-in-law who has never lived with them.

In an important ruling, Justice Bharati Dangre said a victim can invoke the special law against the accused only if currently she is, or at any point in time has been, in a domestic relationship with them.

In the current case, the parents said that since they did not approve of the inter-caste marriage of their son, they had not attended the wedding or lived with him and his wife, or were even on visiting terms with them.

The court said if a woman is “aggrieved by the conduct of the husband, there is no impediment in proceeding against him under provisions of the Domestic Violence (DV) Act. However, roping in (of his parents) when she has never shared any household with them and was never in a domestic relationship with them amounts to a clear abuse of the process of law,” said Justice Dangre.

The court said the woman’s contention that provisions of the DV law can be invoked even if there is no domestic relationship was “totally misconceived”. The court said the DV law could not have been applied to the parents and struck down proceedings issued against them by the magistrate.

The woman said she had filed the DV case against her in-laws as they had never accepted her and had instigated her husband to file for divorce.

The court pointed to the definition of the term “aggrieved person” which “covers any women who is, or has been, in a domestic relationship with the accused and who alleges to have been subjected to domestic violence”.

The judge further cited the definition of “domestic relationship” under the DV Act which “covers a relationship between two persons who live or have, at any point in time, lived together in a shared household, when they are related by blood, marriage, or through a relationship in the nature of marriage, adoption or are family members living together as a joint family.”

The couple’s son and wife got married in 2004 and have two children. According to the parents, they did not approve of the inter-caste and inter-state marriage and had not maintained any relationship with their son’s family. The son and his family lived separately in Kharghar and they were not on visiting terms. The relationship between the son and his wife broke down and he filed for divorce. Last year, the woman filed the DV case in a Panvel court against her husband and in-laws seeking maintenance, residence and compensation.

The parents claimed that they were unnecessarily dragged into the case on the basis of frivolous allegations.

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