Archive for the ‘News-Celebrity’ Category

When she cries rape

June 18, 2009

When she cries rape

16 Jun 2009, 0000 hrs IST, ROSHNI K OLIVERA , TNN 
The questions being asked in Mumbai, in Bollywood, are not whether actor Shiney Ahuja did, as was reported, rape his 18-year-old domestic maid or had, as is suspected, consensual sex with her. The questions being asked are what happens to the man in such a case?
 How do the police distinguish between what was rape and consensual sex? Is it just the woman’s word against the man’s? What if she is lying? Or out to exploit and blackmail the man? Trap him into marrying her after what was just an affair but mutual agreement? And… further, what happens next? What is the sentence for rape? And can there be one for consensual sex between adults? Also, if (as in Shiney’s case) the man happens to be married and had consensual sex, is he only guilty of adultery? And if he is married and has committed rape, what kind of sentence does he face for the crime? Most Indian laws, framed during the colonial days of the British Raj, remain as grey as ever with prosecuting authorities struggling to get convictions while defence lawyers pick holes in the chargesheet. Even while the police muddle their way through the many ‘rape’ cases in their files, BT posed these questions to criminal law experts.

Can consensual sex be easily proved?
“In the case of rape, the evidence of the victim is enough,” says lawyer Satish Maneshinde. “Proving it wasn’t rape but consensual sex, is very difficult.” If there are no signs of aggression on the victim, it could indicate consensual sex, but that’s not sufficient as evidence. “To prove consensual sex, there should be evidence in the form of SMSes or telephonic calls which show there was an involvement. Even if the victim is known to be a prostitute or a condom was used, yet it’s not accepted as consensual sex,” says Maneshinde adding, “Where the victim is from a weak social and economical background or there’s an employer-employee angle, the tilt is always towards the victim.”

What amounts to rape?
According to Section 375 of the IPC, a man is said to commit “rape” when he has sexual intercourse with a woman… 1) Against her will 2) Without her consent 3) If her consent was obtained by putting her or any person she’s interested in under fear of death or of hurt 4) With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, but she believes that he is the man she is lawfully married to 5) If consent was given under intoxication or unsound mind.
But change is the need of the hour. Lawyer Shrikant Bhat makes a point: “This section was drafted between 1833 to 1837. Times have changed, physiology hasn’t changed. So what requires to be changed is the interpretation. The word ‘consent’ or ‘against her will’ has to be interpreted such that one question is asked — whether the girl had the sexual desire during the period of physical intimacy (not necessarily intercourse). Lubrication of vagina would be one of the indications of sexual desire which medically can be found out. If the girl had a sexual desire then it’s not rape.”

Minor versus adult?
If the victim is a minor, then there’s no question of consent; it amounts to rape in any case, according to the IPC. When the victim is less than 16, it doesn’t matter whether the sexual act was carried out mutually or if the perpetrator and the victim were involved at one point.

What about adultery?
Whether it’s rape or consensual sex, what about adultery if the person is married? “Generally our system doesn’t take serious cognisance of adulterous activity. That’s because the aggrieved party, which is the wife, has not complained,” explains lawyer Majeed Memon. “There are two different aspects that come to the fore in the Shiney Ahuja case — 1) The exploitation of maids or aspiring actresses 2) You cannot rule out a conspiracy to falsely implicate a celebrity.”

Are men at a disadvantage in our system?
In matters of rape, men are always at a disadvantage in our system, feel experts. “That’s because they are considered the more aggressive of the two sexes,” says Maneshinde.

Bhat adds, “Section 114 A of the Evidence Act says, ‘If she states in her evidence before the court that she did not consent, the court shall presume that she did not consent.’ An innocent man will be convicted on this presumption. Also, the previous sexual conduct of the girl cannot be brought on record in the inquiry or cross examination under the same Act.”


HP Cong women cell’s vice-president arrested in dowry case

April 12, 2009

HP Cong women cell’s vice-president arrested in dowry case

Sundernagar (HP), Aug 28 Himachal Pradesh Congress women cell’s vice-president Padma Sharma and her son have been arrested here in a dowry harassment case lodged by her daughter-in-law.

On the complaint lodged by Ritu Sharma with the Sundernagar police station, Padma and her son Pawan Sharma were arrested from their residence in Pung locality of Sundernagar late last night, police said today. In her complaint, Ritu alleged her husband and in-laws wanted her to bring more dowry and beat her up and confined her to a room. She managed to talk to her relatives yesterday on telephone, who released her, police said.

Dowry case against top cops

April 12, 2009

Dowry case against top cops
12 Apr 2009, 0358 hrs IST, TNN

PONDA: Ponda police have registered a dowry harassment case lodged by a woman from Wadi-Talauli in Ponda taluka, against two top police officers who are her husband and brother-in-law.

According to police, Sangeeta Gaonkar alias Sanjyokta Sanjiv Khandeparkar, 30, was married to Sanjiv Dhaku Khandeparkar from Rajinwada-Gaune in Ponda on June 9, 2008. However, soon after the marriage her husband and his brother Eknath Dhaku Gaude began harassing and torturing her mentally and physically for dowry.

Her husband Sanjiv is a police sub-inspector and the brother-in-law is a deputy superintendent of police attached to wireless section of Goa police at Panaji police headquarters, said sources. The woman was forced to leave the house of her husband and is presently staying at her parents house.

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

December 23, 2008

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.