Family welfare panels in all districts
Following the directives given by the Supreme Court recently to deal with the dowry cases, Family Welfare Committees will be formed in all districts of the state by District Legal Services Authorities comprising three members preferably.
Vijayawada: Following the directives given by the Supreme Court recently to deal with the dowry cases, Family Welfare Committees will be formed in all districts of the state by District Legal Services Authorities comprising three members preferably.
These Family Welfare Committees (FWCs) will conduct counselling to the couples after the dowry harassment complaint made by the women.
Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority and District and Sessions judge would review the functioning of the Family Welfare Committees.
These committees are constituted out of the para legal volunteers/social workers/ retired persons/wives of the working officers/ other citizens, who may be found suitable and willing.
Earlier, the police used to file FIR after complaint received from the women about the dowry harassment by husband, family members of the husband including parents, sisters and brothers of the husband etc.
However, the Supreme Court had noticed that the Section 498A, which was enacted to protect the women from dowry harassment has been grossly misused and lakhs of false cases were booked in India.
The Apex Court also noticed that the conviction percentage in the dowry harassment cases is less than 16 percent.
Deputy Director of prosecutions, AP, Byra Ramakoteswara Rao, told The Hans India the Supreme Court had noticed the misuse of section 498A in India and revised the rules to deal with the dowry cases.
He said the police can’t register FIR henceforth immediately after receiving the complaint about the dowry harassment.
He said one-month duration will be given for counselling the couple so that they can resolve the dispute and sort out the differences. He said the police can initiate action as per the law after one month.
He further said family members of the husband, the parents, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law can’t be arrested very easily on the charges levelled by a woman about the dowry harassment.
Earlier, lakhs of people across India were arrested mostly women under the section 498A. According to National Crime Records Bureau, 1,97,762 people across India were arrested in India in 2012.
A quarter of the arrested were women ie. 47,951. These women include mothers-in-law, sisters of the husbands, sisters-in-law of husband etc.
However, charge sheet was filed in 93.6 percent of these cases in 2012 under the section 498A. But, the conviction percentage was very low at only 14.4 percent only.
The report stated that as many as 3,72,706 cases pending trial of which 3,17,000 were projected to be acquittal.