Legal


Representation seeking immediate measures/methods to address the issue of increasing domestic violence cases and distressed women and children amid COVID-19 lockdown. 

Ms.SmritiIrani

Hon’ble Union Minister

Ministry of Women and Child Development,

Dr Rajendra Prasad Rd, Rajpath Area,

Central Secretariat, New Delhi 110001

 

 

 

Dr. Harsh Vardhan

Hon’ble Union Health Minister

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare,

NirmanBhawan,

Near UdyogBhawan Metro Station,

Maulana Azad Rd,

New Delhi, Delhi 110011

 

Subject: Representation seeking immediate measures/methods to address the issue of increasing domestic violence cases and distressed women and children amid COVID-19 lockdown

 

 

Respected Madam & Sir,

 

  1. Apart from the public health crisis due to COVID-19, looms large another public health and social crisis i.e. Domestic Violence, also referred to as “Intimate Terrorism” by many. Escalating data suggests that “domestic abuse/violence” is acting like an opportunistic infection, flourishing in the conditions created by the pandemic.

 

  1. Taking note of the seriousness of the issue, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. AntónioGuterres has called upon nations to also consider the safety of women as a priority in view of worldwide surge in domestic violence in this pandemic in his recent Tweet. 

 

  1. Multiple online and newspaper reports establish that not only in India, but countries such as China, Australia, the U.K., USA etc. are witnessing a horrific surge in domestic violence cases since the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdowns. Needless to mention that the health impact of this violence on women/children are significant. It results in injuries, serious physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health problems, including sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and unplanned pregnancies.Lockdown can’t mean that you save people from a virus, but you expose them to other forms of violence. The police is not the first port of call for victims of domestic violence and, therefore, alternative arrangements have to be put in place. This will be a long lockdown and the government must ensure resources to help women in distress, health services to women and abortion are included as essential services.

 

  1. While the COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented, it’s left many victims of domestic and family abuse inside their homes with their abuser - all day, every day - as people isolate to prevent the spread of the virus. Stress, potential job/economic losses, the disruption of social and protective networks, and decreased access to services all are essential factors in the rise of domestic violence. As distancing measures are being extended and places are being sealed, the situation is worsening. Women have less contact with parents, siblings, friends, work colleagues etc. who may provide support and protection. As resources become more scarce, women are being subjected to verbal/physical abuse. Perpetrators of abuse are using restrictions due to COVID-19 to exercise power and control over their partners to further reduce access to services, help and psychosocial support from both formal and informal networks.

 

 

  1. As an NGO working in the sphere of human rights, we have received numerous oral complaints from victims of domestic abuse/violence. We have been personally contacted by few women who have been victimized and brutalized by their partners and in-laws and are stuck in their houses with nowhere to go and no help available immediately. Women and children are further scared to inform the police since there are no rescue measures or other designated domestic violence shelter homes available immediately where they can be shifted to. The local police/authorities are faced with the challenge of enforcing the lockdown/sealing, therefore, regular channels to report domestic violence through police/courts and remedies seem far-fetched and remote at this point.

 

  1. There has been a considerable increase in cases of domestic violence as per NCW data. In the wake of reports of domestic violence during the lockdown period, many states such as Kerala have made a whatsapp number available for this cause.  It was in order to address an anticipated rise in violence against women that France announced that it would pay for 20,000 hotel bookings and contribute €1 million to organisations that fight domestic abuse as well as set up assistance points at grocery stores, hospitals  and pharmacies.

 

  1. In such rare circumstances, the concerned ministries like the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women & Child and the Broadcasting Ministry can work in tandem with Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), National Commission of Women and other affiliated bodies to widely publicize this issue. While recognizing that COVID-19 has placed an immense burden on health systems, there are few suggested measures that can help mitigate the impacts of violence on women & children during this pandemic:

 

  1. Governments and policy makers should widely publicize and disseminate information on this issue, its implications on Television, radio, Social Media, Twitter, Via SMS, Whatsapp, tele-calls and all helpline numbers locally which are operational and responsive 24/7;

 

  1. Freetele-counselling campaigns be planned and executed by teams of Psychologists/Psychiatrists which can be widely advertised and circulated in Newspapers, Television, Radio and Social Networking Sites like Facebook and Twitter. Even regular SMSs can also be sent to create awareness;

 

  1. Local area wise/colony wise hotlines, shelters, rape crisis centres and counselling numbers should be made functional for victims and they should be widely publicized so that a victim knows where to and what to do to find help;

 

  1. Allocate resources to help women in distress and health services to women and abortion to be included as essential services.

 

  1. Announcements in colonies/societies can be made to highlight this and to encourage people to check on their neighbours via videocalls, whatsapp, Facetime, phonecalls SMS’s. It is important to ensure that it is safe to connect with women when the abuser is present in the home;

 

  1. Identification and mechanism in place to relocate the victim to a safe place like a temporary shelter built in form of alternative accommodation, in case victims need to rush to a place;

 

  1. Private NGOs can be directed to collaborate with the Government to formulate a strategy and effective implementation of strategy so as to ensure that there is maximum outreach to resolve such cases and provide all day all night functioning system;

 

  1. Creation of a special corpus in order to meet the financial requirements in setting up hostel and transportation for victims. Like France and many other countries, the Government could consider releasing funds to dedicated NGOs in this sector;

 

  1. Set up assistance points at supermarkets and pharmacies.Also, ensuring that the helpline number 181 shall remain active and is widely publicized on News channels, Radio, SMSs;

 

  1. Police personnel be sensitized to this issue and providing them with the contact details of the concerned government agencies and NGOs who can provide immediate help, should anyone come to them directly complaining of domestic abuse/violence and

 

  1. Widely publicise initiatives like the “RED DOT” initiated by an organization called WEFT (Women Entrepreneurs For Transformation) Foundation under which citizens can identify a domestic violence victim by seeing a red dot on her palm andinform NGOs or authorities. This initiative launched a few days back has already received over 20 complaints of domestic violence from across the country.

 

  1. No state can claim to be a true welfare state when it takes care of its citizens while a segment of it is neglected, COVID-19 has thrown many challenges upon us and it is necessary that women & children subjected to domestic violence are protected from their attackers and thus it is extremely important that all steps and measures be taken to provide them a safe, stable, harassment free environment.

 

  1. Thus, requesting the concerned authorities to take cognizance of the above-mentioned suggestive measures in order to frame new guidelines to tackle Domestic Violence at the earliest. I also request for an opportunity of personal hearing/representation via videoconferencing to further highlight the issue. I request you to convey a suitable date and time in this regard. I request your good offices to respond to this representation within 3 days from the receipt of this representation in view of the urgency and grave issue stated in the representation.

 

  1. In case of any clarifications or concerns, please feel free to contact the undersigned on +91-9873005424 or office@humanrightscouncil.in.

 

 

Yours Faithfully,

 

AnthonyRaju

Dr.AnthonyRaju, Advocate

Global Chairman, All India Council

Of Human Rights, Liberties & Social Justice,

Global Chairman, International Human Rights Advisory council

 

CC:

Ms. Rekha Sharma

The Chairperson, National Commission of Women

Plot No.21, FC33 Jasola Institutional Area, Jasola,

New Delhi, Delhi 110025

 

ShriPrakashJavadekar

Minister of Information and Broadcasting

Dr Rajendra Prasad Rd, ShastriBhavan,

Delhi 110001

 

 

Some links of articles demonstrating the rise in domestic violence are as follows:

 

  1. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/ncw-launches-whatsapp-number-to-report-domestic-violence-during-covid-19-lockdown/articleshow/75082848.cms

 

  1. https://www.dw.com/en/domestic-violence-rises-amid-coronavirus-lockdowns-in-asia/a-53077378

 

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-lockdown-spike-in-domestic-violence-says-ncw/article31238659.ece




No law to back state action: SC on 'name and shame' posters in Lucknow

New Delhi, Mar 12 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Thursday told the Uttar Pradesh government that there is no law as of now to back its action of putting roadside posters of those accused of vandalism during the anti-CAA protests in Lucknow.



A vacation bench of Justices U U Lalit and Aniruddha Bose told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh, that it is a matter of "great importance".

The bench also asked Mehta whether the state government has the power to put such posters.

 

http://www.ptinews.com/news/11291833_No-law-to-back-state-action--SC-on--name-and-shame--posters-in-Lucknow.html

The apex court, however, said there is no doubt that action should be taken against the rioters and they should be punished.

Mehta told the court that posters were put up as a "deterrent" and the hoardings only says the persons are liable to pay for their alleged acts during the violence.

The hearing in the matter is underway.

The top court is hearing an appeal filed by the Uttar Pradesh government challenging the March 9 order of the Allahabad High Court directing the state adminstration to remove posters of those accused of vandalism during the anti-CAA protests.





How to make the arrest,Principals laid down by the Honourable supreme court

Most important and share

Principals laid down by the Honourable supreme court in the case of Shri D.K. Basu,Ashok K. Johri vs State Of West Bengal, State Of U.P on 18 December, 1996

In addition to the statutory and constitutional requirements to which we have made a reference, we are of the view that it would be useful and effective to structure appropriate machinery for contemporaneous recording and notification of all cases of arrest and detention to bring in transparency and accountability. It is desirable that the officer arresting a person should prepare a memo of his arrest on witness who may be a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. The date and time of arrest shall be recorded in The memo which must also be counter signed by The arrestee.

We therefore, consider it appropriate to issue the following requirements to be followed in all cases of arrest or detention till legal provisions are made in that behalf as preventive measures :

(1) The police personnel carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation of the arrestee should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name togs with their designations. The particulars of all such police personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee must be recorded in a register.

(2) That the police officer carrying out the arrest of the arrestee shall prepare a memo of arrest at the time of arrest a such memo shall be attested by atleast one witness. who may be either a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It shall also be counter signed by the arrestee and shall contain the time and date of arrest. (3) A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a police station or interrogation centre or other lock-up, shall be entitled to have one friend or relative or other person known to him or having interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular place, unless the attesting witness of the memo of arrest is himself such a friend or a relative of the arrestee. (4) The time, place of arrest and venue of custody of an arrestee must be notified by the police where the next friend or relative of the arrestee lives outside the district or town through the legal Aid Organisation in the District and the police station of the area concerned telegraphically within a period of 8 to 12 hours after the arrest.

(5) The person arrested must be made aware of this right to have someone informed of his arrest or detention as soon he is put under arrest or is detained.

(6) An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding the arrest of the person which shall also disclose the name of he next friend of the person who has been informed of the arrest and the names and particulars of the police officials in whose custody the arrestee is. (7) The arrestee should, where he so requests, be also examined at the time of his arrest and major and minor injuries, if any present on his/her body, must be recorded at that time. The "Inspection Memo" must be signed both by the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its copy provided to the arrestee.

(8) The arrestee should be subjected to medical examination by trained doctor every 48 hours during his detention in custody by a doctor on the panel of approved doctors appointed by Director, Health Services of the concerned State or Union Territory. Director, Health Services should prepare such a penal for all Tehsils and Districts as well. (9) Copies of all the documents including the memo of arrest, referred to above, should be sent to the illaga Magistrate for his record.

(10) The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation, though not throughout the interrogation. (11) A police control room should be provided at all district and state headquarters, where information regarding the arrest and the place of custody of the arrestee shall be communicated by the officer causing the arrest, within 12 hours of effecting the arrest and at the police control room it should be displayed on a conspicuous notice board.

Failure to comply with the requirements hereinabove mentioned shall apart from rendering the concerned official liable for departmental action, also render his liable to be punished for contempt of court and the proceedings for contempt of court may be instituted in any High Court of the country, having territorial jurisdiction over the matter.

The requirements, referred to above flow from Articles 21 and 22 (1) of the Constitution and need to be strictly followed. These would apply with equal force to the other governmental agencies also to which a reference has been made earlier.

These requirements are in addition to the constitutional and statutory safeguards and do not detract from various other directions given by the courts from time to time in connection with the safeguarding of the rights and dignity of the arrestee.

The requirements mentioned above shall be forwarded to the Director General of Police and the Home Secretary of every State/Union Territory and it shall be their obligation to circulate the same to every police station under their charge and get the same notified at every police station at conspicuous place. It would also be useful and serve larger interest to broadcast the requirements on the All India Radio besides being shown on the National network of Doordarshan and by publishing and distributing pamphlets in the local language containing these requirements for information of the general public. Creating awareness about the rights of the arrestee would in out opinion be a step in the right direction to combat the evil of custodial crime and bring in transparency and accountability. It is hoped that these requirements would help to curb, if not totally eliminate, the use of questionable methods during interrogation and investigation leading to custodial commission of crimes.

PUNITIVE MEASURES UBI JUS IBI REMEDIUM - There is no wrong without a remedy. The law will that in every case where man is wronged and undamaged he must have a remedy. A mere declaration of invalidity of an action or finding of custodial violence or death in lock-up does not by itself provide any meaningful remedy to a person whose fundamental right to life has been infringed. Much more needs to be done.

In Public Interest by

ALL INDIA COUNCIL OF HUMAN RIGHTS, LIBERTIES & SOCIAL JUSTICE (AICHLS) is founded by Dr. Anthony Raju - Advocate , Supreme Court of India, Dynamic Internationally accredited Human Rights Defender, Inspirational, spritual and motivational speaker , Peace Activist & Social Worker and is one of global's foremost voices of Human Rights and powerful voice for voiceless people globally.

All India council of human rights, liberties & social justice has been added as signatory to UNITED NATION GLOBAL COMPACT . The world's largest corporate responsibility initiative with nearly 12,000 business and non-business participants in 140 countries.

That All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties & Social Justice (AICHLS), is a duly registered Society under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860, and is functioning with commitment to the Noble Cause of Human Rights Protection and Promotion, Justice for All, Economic Upliftment of the Underprivileged, Education, Love, Peace, Harmony and Friendship, National & International Integration by Exchange of Ideas & Ethos in India and also amongst the neighboring countries and the people of the rest of the World at large.

Dr. Anthony Raju

Advocate , Supreme Court of India.

Global Chairman , All India Council of Human Rights, Liberties & Social Justice.

Chairman - National Legal Council

International Convener, Universal mission for Peace and Human Rights.

Chairman, National Council of News and Broadcasting.

Secretary General  : Asian Human Rights Council

International Peace keeper

 

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SC allows pleas against RBI circular barring banks from providing services for cryptocurrencies -PTI

SC allows pleas against RBI circular barring banks from providing services for cryptocurrencies -PTI

New Delhi, Mar 4 (PTI) The Supreme Court Wednesday allowed a batch of pleas challenging RBI's circular of 2018 which had prohibited banks and financial institutions from providing services related to Cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of their units and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

"We have allowed the writ petitions," a bench headed by Justice R F Nariman said while pronouncing the verdict.

According to the April 6, 2018 circular, the entities regulated by the Reserve Bank of India were prohibited from "providing any service in relation to virtual currencies including those of transfer or receipt of money in accounts relating to the purchase or sale of virtual currencies".

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI) had argued in the court that the RBI had banned cryptocurrencies on "moral grounds" as no prior studies were conducted to analyse their effect on the economy.

It contended that RBI barred all the entities regulated by it from providing services to any individual or business dealing in virtual currencies.

In 2013, the RBI in an advisory cautioned users, holders, and traders of virtual currencies, including Bitcoins, about the potential financial, operational, legal, customer protection, and security-related risks that they were exposing themselves to.

On July 3, 2018 while hearing a plea of IMAI, the top court had refused to stay the RBI circular prohibiting banks and financial institutions from dealing with the cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

It had sought response from RBI, Finance Ministry and Union ministry of Information and Technology.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/11272249_SC-allows-pleas-against-RBI-circular-barring-banks-from-providing-services-for-cryptocurrencies.html





SC terms criminalisation of politics as...
New Delhi, Aug 21 (PTI) Dubbing criminalisati

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Digital filing in SC to be transparent, manipulation free: CJI

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Aadhaar can’t be insisted upon for any service except subsidies: Supreme Court

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