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Mumbai: Abused for years, advocate awaits action against her in-laws

Updated on: 04 February,2023 08:16 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Vinod Kumar Menon |

Complainant takes Dadar cops to court for overlooking serious offences against husband, in-laws, who harassed her for not giving them a son

Mumbai: Abused for years, advocate awaits action against her in-laws

The complainant alleged she was made to take 1,500 hormonal and steroid injections for a treatment to ensure a son. Representation pic

When the system does not render justice anymore, where should victims go?” asks the advocate daughter of a retired Mumbai-based judge who was allegedly subjected to ill-treatment and harassment by her advocate husband and in-laws for giving birth to a daughter and not a son.

The advocate lodged her complaint on March 8, 2021, at the Dadar police station, but the cops filed an FIR five months later and failed miserably in the investigation, according to the complainant. The case was later transferred to the Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station in Kurla, but she was not satisfied with the progress. She finally had to knock on the doors of the Metropolitan Magistrate court in Kurla, seeking intervention and got directions in her favour. In her complaint filed before the court on January 21, 2022, she mentioned that the Dadar police filed an FIR five months after she lodged her complaint.

She alleged that they did not register the offence against her husband and in-laws for forcing her to do the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) treatment in Thailand for a son. They allegedly made her undergo eight failed gender selective IVF at Bangkok, Thailand, as per her complaint. She had to take more than 1,500 hormonal and steroid injections in Mumbai before flying to Bangkok.

Advocate Dinesh Tiwari, who is representing the complainantAdvocate Dinesh Tiwari, who is representing the complainant

The Dadar cops also failed to mention in the FIR about the Rs 70 lakh that the husband and in-laws allegedly took from her savings accounts and fixed deposits (FD) by obtaining her signatures on blank cheques. The case was transferred to the Vinoba Bhave Nagar police when she had brought up these lapses to the notice of high-ranking police officers. The accused had managed to obtain anticipatory bail from Sessions court.

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In her plea, the complainant made numerous requests to the court—transfer of the case from Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station to some other police station; direction to the investigating officer (IO) to add the relevant sections of Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT), 1994; direction to the IO to investigate the breaking of the FD, recovery of salary and to include everyone involved in the crime; and a request for the court to monitor the investigation. She also sought a direction to a senior officer to conduct an inquiry against the present IO.

Court order

Metropolitan Magistrate S K Khan took cognisance of the complaint against the IO. “After the conclusion of investigation, the police shall transmit the collected material to the appropriate authority instead of filing a charge sheet so that the law is followed and not breached. In that view, the request by the complainant to direct the investigating officer to add the relevant sections of PCPNDT Act and to investigate the same is not without merit.”

“The senior inspector of Vinoba Bhave Nagar police station is directed to look into her complaint and sincerely consider transferring the investigation to some other senior officer. The investigating officer shall also investigate the crime/offences punishable under various sections of PCPNDT Act, and identify the manner in which the money has been withdrawn from her account and identify the purpose as to how FDs have been broken by the accused against the interest of the complainant,” the order stated.

The court kept the case pending so that appropriate order/s, as and when necessary, shall be passed. The court also observed, “The police must treat all members of the public in a fair and impartial manner...” A copy of the court’s direction was submitted to Vinoba Bhave Nagar police on January 7, 2023.

What they say

“After the victim is throttled by the society and her life is shattered, she gathers courage, with great difficulty, to seek justice against the wrongdoers. But she is made to run from pillar to post. And at every step, she is reminded of her wounds again and again, and thus she relives her tragedy every day,” said the complainant.

“This case shows how bad our system has become. It does not deliver justice to most of the victims. In most cases, the investigating agency fails miserably to investigate scientifically. The benefit of such investigation accrues to the accused mostly. If justice cannot even be ensured to the daughter of a retired judge, then it becomes clear that common citizens don’t stand a chance. Drastic remedial measures are needed,” said Advocate Dinesh Tiwari, who is representing the complainant.

The offence under 498A of IPC is clear in this case, he said, adding, “It is due to the clout of the accused that police are failing to take action. It is the complainant who goes to the court repeatedly for redressal. In fact, in the recent order, the magistrate has clearly accepted the contention of botched up investigation but police are still not living up to expectations.”

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