HC notice on 498A complaint by Advani’s daughter-in-law

HC notice on 498A complaint by Advani’s daughter-in-law


By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, OCT. 4. The Delhi High Court has issued notices to the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi and the Police Commissioner on a complaint by Ms. Gauri Advani, wife of Mr. Jayant Advani (son of the Union Home Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani), seeking a direction to the city police to register a case against the Deputy High Commissioner of India in the U.K., Mr. H.S. Puri, for allegedly threatening her to give her consent for divorce.

A Division Bench of the Court comprising Ms. Justice Usha Mehra and Mr. Justice C.K. Mahajan directed the Lieutenant- Governor, the Police Commissioner and the Tilak Marg police, who allegedly refused to register the case, to file their replies to the petition by October 17.

Ms. Gauri Advani, a solicitor in London, was married to Mr. Jayant Advani on December 10, 1991.

The petition, filed through counsel for Ms. Gauri Advani, Mr. Lovkesh Sawhney and Ms. Kanchan Singh, alleged that Mr. H.S. Puri had called her at his office to discuss her marital life.

When she reached Mr. Puri’s office, the Deputy High Commissioner allegedly told Ms. Gauri that Mr. L.K. Advani had authorised him to “discuss intimate details of her marital life,” the petition said.

When Ms. Gauri protested against Mr. Puri’s attempts to interfere in her personal life, the diplomat forced the petitioner to stay in his office and discuss her marital problems, the petition alleged.

Mr. Puri, quoting the Union Home Minister, allegedly threatened Ms. Gauri with dire consequences if she refused, as desired by Mr. L.K. Advani, to quietly agree to divorce her husband, the petition alleged.

After being threatened by the Deputy Commissioner, the petitioner contacted her father in Delhi, and on the suggestion of her father, lodged a complaint with the High Commissioner of India in that country against his deputy, but no action was taken, the petition said.

Thereafter, the petitioner filed a complaint with the Tilak Marg police here against Mr. Puri.

The police visited Ms. Gauri Advani’s residence here to record her statement under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code but the petitioner was not available as she had gone to meet her father who had been admitted to a hospital. He had reportedly fallen ill after being informed of the incident by her daughter.

The police then fixed another date for recording the statement of the petitioner’s brother but the investigating officer did not turn up that day. When the petitioner called her up, the police officer said that she would record her statement on May 5, 2000, but she did not turn up, the petition said.

The police officer called the petitioner later that day to inform that “she is under tremendous pressure not to proceed with the registration of the case,” the petition alleged.

However, the petitioner sent her statement to the Police Commissioner and the Tilak Marg police by registered post, the petition said.

The petitioner’s brother also contacted the External Affairs Minister regarding the complaint where he found that the file relating to the matter had been summoned by the Home Minister and was lying in his office, the petition alleged.

Ms. Gauri Advani alleged that the police had refused to register the case and investigate the allegations against Mr. Puri under pressure from the office of the Home Minister.


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