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Report No. 243

AIDWA (Ms. Keerti Singh, Delhi)

Police failure in taking timely action and in investigating the case on proper lines commented upon. Police should act according to the existing law and they do not need any directions to be cautious about these complaints as they are already taking long time even to register the FIR.

If the woman complaints of physical violence, she should be immediately provided medical aid and the husband/in-laws should be stopped from committing further acts of violence, if necessary by arresting him. Custodial interrogation could yield good results. The police has to help the victim woman by providing medical counseling and/or sending her to a shelter home. Crisis centres should be set up at the block and district level.

The seriousness of the crime should not be diluted by making it bailable and compoundable. Making it compoundable even with the permission of the Court will only result in the woman facing more pressure to compromise. In any event, if a compromise is reached, it gets recognition from the court to quash criminal proceedings. Reconciliation should not be thrust upon the woman. It would be wrong to first try to reconcile both the parties. Conciliation by a trained counselor should be resorted to only if it can be carried out without compromising the rights and position of the woman and only if the woman wants the return of dowry/streedhan to settle the matter.

It would not be advisable to entrust the investigations to the CWCs to the exclusion of regular Police Stations. The experience shows that CW Cells have not been positive. The number of Police Stations should be increased and personnel properly trained. CWCs should be headed by a lady DSP.

Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code Back

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