Plea In High Court Opposes Delhi Police's Standing Order Relegating Women Alleging Physical Abuse By Husband To Mediation, Seeks Mandatory FIR
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a plea seeking mandatory registration of FIRs in the complaints filed by women against their husbands alleging physical violence and other cognizable offences such as attempt to murder and grievous hurt.A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula sought response of the Union Government, Delhi Police,...
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a plea seeking mandatory registration of FIRs in the complaints filed by women against their husbands alleging physical violence and other cognizable offences such as attempt to murder and grievous hurt.
A division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula sought response of the Union Government, Delhi Police, Delhi Government and Crimes Against Women Cell through its Special Commissioner.
The plea has been moved by four women who allege that they have suffered severe physical violence at the hands of their husbands for several years but have failed to get any recourse from the authorities.
The women are aggrieved by two standing orders issued by the Delhi Police in 2008 and 2019 creating a Special Police Unit for Women and Children and laying down the protocol for registering cases under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
It is their case that the standing orders give “disproportionate emphasis on reconciliation between husband and wife” even in cases of severe physical violence and where non-compoundable offences are made out.
“Failure of the authorities to take cognizance of these serious offences, despite the unwillingness of the women to reconcile, results in the perpetuation of violence against them and the continuing violation of their basic fundamental rights under Articles 14, 15, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India,” the plea states.
The petitioners have said that their purpose of filing the plea is to bring court’s attention to the plight of women who are suffering severe forms of violence by their husbands and also on the “blanket assumption” that they are “agitating a false complaint”, thereby making the criminal justice system inaccessible to them.
“That the standing orders have led to a situation wherein when married women face severe forms of violence at the hands of their husband and/or in-laws and they try to seek help from the police, they are asked to approach the CAW Cells for reconciliation/mediation and no FIR is registered and/or no criminal investigation is conducted on their complaints. This is contrary to the settled position of law laid down by the constitution bench of the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P,” the plea adds.
In this backdrop, the petitioners have sought modification of the standing orders to ensure that express consent is taken from the complainants before referring their cases to mediation or reconciliation.
A direction is also sought on the authorities to sensitize the police force regarding the law on registration of FIRs as laid down by the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari case.
The petition has been moved through Advocates Roshni Shanker, Nilotpal Datta, Aparimita Pratap, Anushka Baruah, Priyanka Prasanth, Pooja Malhotra, Jamyant Lhamo and Nilanjan Dey.
Case Title: Sangeeta & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.