Monday, May 31, 2010

TADA and 498A are more or less the same legal framework , if TADA can be repealed why not 498A ?

Below are the relative comparisons of the Indian TADA and IPC section 498A. It is amply clear hat both laws have the same legal framework like considering the accused guilty under proven innocent and arrests without evidence or investigations .They have led to the same type of human rights violations although human rights violations in 498A have been far more severe and devastating. So why was the TADA law allowed to be repealed and the government is hesitant in repealing or amending section 498A. Has militant feminism today become even more powerful than actual militants? The below article investigates.

The definition of  Terrorism
The term "terrorism" comes from the French word terrorisme, which is based on the Latin verb terrere (to cause to tremble). It dates back to 1795 when it was used to describe the actions of the Jacobin Club in their rule of post-Revolutionary France, the so-called "Reign of Terror". Jacobins are rumored to have coined the term "terrorists" to refer to themselves. Terrorism refers to a strategy of using violence, social threats, or coordinated attacks, in order to generate fear, cause disruption, and ultimately, brings about compliance with specified political, religious, or ideological demands. Terrorism can be used by motivated individuals or organizations to disrupt an existing process and make other individuals or government give in to demands which under normal circumstances cannot be met . Terrorism under TADA normally referred to misuses of weapons like rifles , RDX etc while Terrorism under 498A referred to the use of the state machinery to wreck havoc on the opposite party to force them abide by unreasonable demands .

How are TADA and 498A similar ?

The carnage of TADA
The Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) was created in 1985 (amended 1987) . The abuse of the act led to  led to tens of thousands of politically motivated detentions, torture, and other human rights violations. TADA was as a tool to fight trade unions and to detain Muslims, Sikhs, Dalits, and political opponents. Over 76,000 people were arrested while TADA was in force from 1987 to 1995.  The conviction rate for these arrests was less than one percent Out of 200 people charged under TADA only one person will be convicted, which just proves how unfair and ridiculous the Act is. TADA allowed for people to be detained in police custody for up to six months without charge or trial. Data gathered on 1997 said that as of August 1997 there were there are an estimated 65.000 TADA detainees in Indian prisons. The detainees and their families go through so much unnecessary heartache and suffering.  This Act can in many ways be seen by some Muslims as prejudiced for example in 1995, 228 TADA cases were registered in Rajastan, 101 were against Muslims, 96 against Sikhs and 3 against Hindus. There is no bail under the TADA Act and appeals can only be made to the Supreme Court in Delhi. Thousands of people are unfortunately precluded this right as the court is in Delhi, families would have to undertake very expensive long journeys. To obtain a lawyer for the Supreme Court the minimum cost would be RS 250.000, which is £4.200 a large amount to raise even by western standards.  The TADA Act is against one of the basic points of the Indian Constitution, that a person is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty. TADA presumes that people are guilty until they are proven innocent.  

The carnage of 498A is still ongoing
If abuse of TADA equal that if a carnage then abuse of 498a approach that of a genocide .Section 498A was inserted into the penal code in 1983. The abuse of 498A leads to more than 75000 cases being filed all over India. 498a is used by motivated and bloody minded wives to misuse the Indian state machinery to arrest her husband and his entire family and then make them agree to unjustified demands or face jail time. Just like TADA , 498a also considers the  accused to be guilty  until proven innocent. Over 126000 women and children and 3 million men have been arrested without any evidence or investigation under 498a. Over 56000 husbands have been driven to suicide annually due to the misuse of these laws while. These people languish in jails and police lockups for days on end. Just like TADA was looked upon as prejudiced against Muslims, 498a is completely prejudiced against Husbands and their families. The Police never register a case for giving dowry as has been mandated by the law under section of the Dowry Prohibition act but immediately arrest the husband and his family under allegations of taking dowry. Like TADA victims of misuse of 498a have to battle false cases against the government of India for decades on end that cost their life savings. The wife and their families do not have to spend any money as the government draws from  the tax payers money to fight their false cases also causing a huge loss to the nation. The conviction rate in 498a is even lower than TADA. Cases where 498a alone is used the conviction rate is close to 0% .The overall statistics says that over 98% of 498a cases are false to begin with . The supreme court of India has called misuse of 498a as legal terrorism.

Why is 498a more dangerous than TADA?
1)498a is state sponsored terrorism .Indian State itself provides the weapons of terrorism in the form of laws. The government provided law is a weapon of terrorism.

2)Indian state spends exchequers money to fight false cases. This is leading to massive loss of revenue which could have been used in a better way to improve judicial infrastructure.

3)Government lacks commitment to fight legal terrorism unleashed through misuse of section 498a even through it is clear that 498a is a lot more deadly than TADA when misused.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Letter campaign on Sexual Harrasment at workplace bill

Download the letter from the link below . Send only Version 2 from here on .

Letter Link - Version 3

Send it to the below address

Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Head of the Cabinet,
Hon'ble Prime Minister of India,
South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi, 110 101


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Indian Home Minister dodges question on Dowry Law(498a) Misuse

The Honorable Indian Minister for home affairs was asked the below questions on abuse of the dowry law . Before we even go into the questions and the home minister's answer , we need to know that the home minister along with his wife are both very learned and eminent lawyers and understand the Intrcacies of marital and dowry laws better than anyone else. The home minister's wife was also involved in the High profile 498a case of Tamil Actor Prashant in 2007.

As always the home minister plays the tried and tested trick of confusing dowry harassment law ( section 498a) with dowry death. ( section 304B) . Below is the extract of the conversation  from Lok sabha documents .

Fifteenth Series, Vol. VIII, Fourth Session, 2010/1931 (Saka)
No. 15, Tuesday, March 16, 2010/ Phalguna 25, 1931 (Saka)
Page 10 , Date 16.03.2010

SHRI PRASANTA KUMAR MAJUMDAR : Madam Speaker, every four minutes in India an innocent person, including the old parents and close relatives, is facing false dowry cases and sent behind the jail under Section 489D which is non-bailable without any investigation and inquiry. No inquiry is required because the case is non-bailable. Only the statements of bridegroom’s family are taken into consideration.

MADAM SPEAKER: Please ask the question.

SHRI PRASANTA KUMAR MAJUMDAR : The Law Commission and many judges have recommended making the Section bailable but the Government did not do anything.

MADAM SPEAKER: Hon. Member please ask the question.

SHRI PRASANTA KUMAR MAJUMDAR : I want to know whether the Government has any proposal to make the case bailable or not. If it is bailable, please give details and if not, why?

SHRI P. CHIDAMBARAM: I think I have already answered the question in part. I do not subscribe to the proposition that in most cases of dowry deaths, the provision is misused. That is not true. I gave you the numbers of cases that were registered in the last three years. Look at the number of people convicted. In 2006, 5144; in 2007, 5580 and in 2008, 5814 persons have been convicted. It may be true that in a few cases, indiscriminately, people may have been arrested and there may be some harassment but that is not true of the large number of cases. Therefore, we have advised the police that where a dowry death case is registered, they must exercise their discretion and arrest only those who appear in the investigation to be directly connected with the dowry deaths and not the extended family.
That advisory has been given. But I think on balance this provision is a salutary provision; a new offence has been created; people have to be punished when they kill young wives. If in a particular case there is an excess, there is a court system which will correct it. But to go, as I said, from one position to an extreme position and say there is massive misuse of this provision, Madam, with great respect, I beg to disagree.

How the legally educated home minister dodges the question
1) Section 498A and Section 304B are as different as chalk and cheese . 498A is the law that is invoked when a woman "claims" that she was harassed . This is the law that is most misused since it has got arrest on demand provisions and no investigations or evidence is needed .Looking at the severity of the misuse the supreme court of India has called the misuse of section 498a as "Legal Terrorism". Section 304B is invoked when it is proved that a woman has been killed because to dowry .Section 304B requires a lot more evidence and proof and misuse is difficult since it is a life and death question. The honorable Lok Sabha member had clearly asked the Home Minister if section 498A needs to be amended due to its misuse and if not why ?

2) It does not take a legal degree to see that the Indian home minister very cleverly dodges the question on amending 498a and replies on why section 304B is must not be amended instead.  He says " I do not subscribe to the proposition that in most cases of dowry deaths(a.k.a section 304B, not 498A), the provision is misused. That is not true. I gave you the numbers of cases that were registered in the last three years. Look at the number of people convicted."  

Honorable home minister , why are you answering if 304B is being misused or not when the question clearly asks if 498A is being misused ? 

The Home Minister the proceeds to state numbers for section 304B when the question asked was completely related to section 498A .

This is tried and tested trick that many feminists use when asked if 498a needs to be amended. They immediately switch the  conversation from 498A to 304B  and justify the existence of 498A because of a crime which comes under section 304B. , which is exactly what our lawyer Home Minister did here . For the nonlegal professional who does not understand the difference between section 498A and section 304B the answer of the Home Minister will sound totally credible .

3) Also notice that the Home Minister also quotes not the "number of convictions" under section 304B ( which is firstly irrelevant to begin with since question was on 498A ) but  the "number of people" convicted under it. This was done since the number of cases and convictions under section 304B are too less to portray any serious threat of dowry death .Considering that  single conviction results in 4 people getting jailed then the total number of conviction would be no more than 1500 .The Home Minister knows this and hence quotes the "number of people" getting convicted and not the number of "convictions". Being an eminent lawyer himself he should have known better.

How committed the Indian government really is for eradicating dowry? 

1)  The WCD has not spent a single Rupee on stopping dowry exchanges and extravagant marraiges ,while Pakistan has started the one dish law to eradicate extravagant marraiges in their country.

2) Instead of stopping dowry the government is openly encouraging dowry loans. Government owned State Banks create loans specifically for paying marraige expenses of women and paying dowry.The state bank of Hyderabad Kanya Vivah Suvidha Scheme is one such example of how Dowry loans are openly available from Government banks.

3) The Home Minister dodges questions on 498A abuse and gives a totally irrelevant answer related to section 304B.

4) The Indian President ( who is herself a woman ) who normally gives many lectures against dowry attended the wedding of her nephew where huge dowry was  allegedly exchanged . The President's own nephew is a facing a 498A filed by his wife . The President's nephew's wife who has filed the case has alleged that she had approached the  India president many times to seek help but did not get any response. The wife has further stated that  had also tried to contact the president through the president's husband but to no avail.

b) President attends wedding where huge dowry has been allegedly exchanged.

For the original text of the Lok Sabha Discussion and the home ministers reply on dowry Click here

Monday, May 24, 2010

Once in a Lifetime data gathering techique is totally DUBIOUS

People who follow the $1 billion Domestic Violence industry may notice that even in India  women’s organizations have started to  present Domestic Violence statistics in Once in a lifetime statistical method. Below are some links that highlight this method in news reports .

a) News report Link

The above report says that 30% of women (or to make it sound more serious 1 in 3 ) face domestic voilence "once in their lifetime" . To the common untrained mind this method may sound very credible and normal, but is it really so ? Lets look at the example below to find out. 

 The Claim
 Let’s start with an oft quoted statistic: - 40% of women have been suffered Domestic violence at least once in their lifetime. First  you see the time line has been extended from 2 years to 5 years to 10 years and now the whole lifetime . So how does this whole lifetime timescale benefit the feminists?
The Analysis
1) This means a woman ( Lets call her Savithri )  who has encountered DV in 1980 will also appear in this data , although she might not have encountered any violence for the past 30 years . That means if we plot the occurrence of DV on the Y axis and Timeline on the X axis then there will be only one occurrence of DV on the graph 30 years ago. So this method of representing data in order to give a false sense of frequency of occurrence increases the time scale enormously which is wrong .

2) Now Savithri's data will keep appearing in this DV victim list until Savithri dies in say 2040 at the age of 80 . So the DV data will still look high since until Savithri dies her data will remain valid. Savithri's data will only disappear when she is dead and she has no way to report that she has harassed once in her lifetime back. So the one data is kept alive from the time of occurrence of the act to the time the person dies. This in no way gives a true representation of the seriousness of the problem , in turn it tries to create false and bloated numbers which are essentially false. A person might have been afflicted by smallpox in 1960 , however small pox is now eradicated from the planet. Can we say at least 40% of people alive today faced smallpox at least once in their lifetime?

3) Lets assume for one second that Savithri was really beaten. But Savithri was beaten in 1980 it has been 30 years and there has been innumerable laws and legislation's passed against DV and harassment. However let us assume that in 2005 we have passed a DV law which was like a silver bullet and eliminated all DV in India. Even though today in 2010 DV is completely eliminated an there is no real need of the DV law , Savithri's Data from 1980 is used to show DV statistics . So until Savithri's death in 2040 it will shown that there are women who have faced DV( once in their lifetime) and hence there is need for the DV law . Speaking in different terms this means that even though the smallpox vaccination eradicated the disease from the face of the planet , the data gathering methodology ensures that it still shows up for a very long time . The effect of the remedy of the solution is very effectively eclipsed  due to the data gathering technique used .

4) So you see how the argument of having faced DV once in a lifetime is used to show data that is not relevant , but for the non-mathematical common man  this looks like a significant figure .

Did Savithri tell the truth ?
The question also remains that did Savitri really tell the truth about Domestic Violence? With over 98% of all 498a and about 80% of all DV cases turning out to be false can we really even believe Savithri when she claimed that she faced Domestic Violence in 1980 .

Now it is left to the intelligence of the readers , how the data gathering techniques are used to essentially fudge numbers in order to attract funds for Domestic Violence . In order to get a true representation of the problem DV stats must be gathered year wise or month wise and only based on convictions and not complaints.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RTI exposes questionable dowry eradication commitment of WCD Ministry

Dowry &  Extravagant marraiges affects fathers of the brides , the most

We hear many women's organizations clamoring to get media attention for eradicating dowry. However they ignore the very basic fact that  ultimately the daughter is  just the receiver of the dowry and the actual dowry giver is ultimately a man  who may be the father/brother  of the bride. These males in the family work hard and spend their life’s savings to ensure that the women of their family can have a wedding of their dreams. Many fathers spend their entire PF savings and retirement benefits at the weddings of their daughters.  Societal pressure accompanied with an zeal to outdo others drive these families to spend their way into bankruptcy in weddings. Many fathers are left with  little or nothing left for their old age.
Whereas everybody sympathizes with the bride as a victim of dowry , no one sympathizes with the father or brother who loses his life’s savings and has little in his old age for himself and his family after spending on a extravagant marriage. So the first question we need to ask is that is the daughter the real victim of dowry or is it another man?

What has the government done so far to eradicate extravagant marraiges to reduce the burden on the bride's fathers ?

The Dowry Eradication Scam

The Women and Child Ministry and the National Commission of Women claim that they have been "hard" at work to eradicate dowry by promoting laws like 498a and DV act etc . However the most easiest way to achieve this is to is to Ban or stop promoting extravagant marriages and punish and ostracize dowry givers . However doing this will anger the marriage industry which the government does not want . The Indian marriage industry today is more than Rs 600,000 crores ( that’s about $ 150 Billion ) and no politician wants to touch the donations they get from this industry.

See Article on the size and dimensions of the Indian marraige Industry . 

Lets "Decreases" the punishment for Dowry givers seems to the recommendation of the WCD Ministry

The WCD ministry naturally to protect such a big industry on one side has proposed an outrageous recommendation that they will propose to reduce the punishment for Dowry Givers . It is to be noted that even though there is punishment recommended in the Indian Penal Code for givers , not one woman or family has been convicted for giving dowry as of now. However the WCD ministry wants to believe different and knows that if Dowry is eradicated so will the Indian marriage industry and is working head over heels to safeguard it . 

Advertising Budget shows the true reality of WCD ministry's commitment

Eradicating dowry speeches are normally given very passionately  amongst foreign delegates in 5 star hotels , all the while chomping on exquisite cuisines. at the tax payers money . However you will find the same ministers and government appointees drinking imported alcohol and dancing at extravagant weddings the very next day forgetting that if the marriage fails whatever has been spent will be called dowry. They also forget that that India has a law against giving dowry which needs to imposed .

The Women and Child development Ministry website on media activities shows that during the fiscal year of 2008-2009 they spent about Rs 52 Crores on advertising .

Out of the 15 advertisements issued in the print media 4 are exclusively for the Birth and Death anniversaries of  the members of the Ruling Gandhi Family . I cannot help wonder how that helps women and children of India and why is  the WCD Ministry even celebrating or mourning the deaths of the members of the Gandhi Family ?

From the 52 crores they have spent  so far , not a single rupee for any sort of advertisements  for eradicating dowry , eradicating extravagant marriages , or creating an anti dowry hotline where exchange of dowry can be reported and givers and takers can be punished right there.  An RTI was filed with the WCD ministry (see RTI response below) confirms this hypocrisy .The Ministry replies that they have spent NIL amount of money  for advertising campaigns aimed at eradicating dowry and/or extravagant marraiges.

The questions remains that why has the government on one side tried to protect the marriage industry and allowed it to balloon to such mammoth proportions by allowing extravagant marriages on one side and draconised and the existing laws to show a facade of commitment to eradicating dowry?  The truth of the matter is that in order to safeguard the marriage industry and the industrialists  benefiting from the marriage industry the WCD ministry or the government has never stopped extravagant marriages , instead it allows the money to be spent first and then rants that dowry has been exchanged and penalizes the husband and his family. This double face by the WCD clearly shows dubious intentions.

How is Pakistan Dealing with the problem 

Pakistan and India having originated from the same subcontinent 50 years ago also deals with the same problem , however the Pakistanis have found a very effective solution to curtail extravagant marraiges by implementing the one dish law.The one dish law legally controls extravagance weddings , cointrols dowry giving and provides relief to the family of the brides from spending their life's savings on marraiges .

The  One dish law  legally limits the numbers of dishes in any wedding to only one . Pakistan in order to save the tax payers money and provide relief to the poor masses, has  made it mandatory that not more than one dish will be offered during any function, including wedding ceremonies. The Indian government should stop ranting about dowry and just implement the one dish law in India too to eradicate dowry once and for all . Lets hope what Pakistan has thought today India will think tomorrow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Letter campaign Pictures

Activists from the from Nagpur Chapter have sent us some pictures of the massive letter writing drive they had this weekend .