Dowry: Yet another incident

This is an incident reported from Khemkaran in Tarn Taran (Punjab). It is alleged that the in-laws of Paramjit Kaur (26) burnt her by sprinkling kerosene on her earlier this week.

The incident took place at her in-laws’ house, perpetrated by her husband and two others. Paramjit, who was admitted in the local health centre, has been referred to a Jalandhar hospital where her condition was stated to be critical.

Swarn Singh, father of Pramajit, a resident of Dasuwal village said here today that the accused, who included her husband Sitara Singh, mother-in-law Balbir Kaur and sister-in-law Raji, sprinkled kerosene on his daughter. He said Paramjit was married to Sitara five years back and she had one son from the marriage. He alleged that the husband and the other members had been demanding more dowry from her and had lately been demanding a car.

Swarn Singh’s inability to fulfil their demands caused the accused to burn her in a fit of anger. The accused have absconded.

Paramjit Kaur has received more than 60% burn injuries.

SSP Preetpal Singh Virk said a case under sections 307 and 498-A of the IPC had been registered against the accused and raids conducted to nab the accused.

The news report is here.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. preeti
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 03:08:40

    Another classical example of the gross misuse of Dowry Act (498A) back in India is the case of television celebrity, Suhaib Ilyasi. India’s Most Wanted television host was in controversy after the dispute over his daughter Aaliya’s custody rose soon after Ilyasi’s wife Anju committed suicide on January 10, 2000 in Delhi. While his mother–in-law, Rukma Singh wanted custody of the child on the ground that she had the right under Muslim law, Suhaib Ilyasi had taken the plea that his marriage with Anju was not solemnized as per the Muslim law but had been a civil affair. His sister-in-law Rashmi Singh came from Canada after six months of her sister’s death and filed a complaint with the police against Ilyasi, alleging that he used to torture his wife Anju for dowry.

    The case took bizarre turn when Anju’s brother Prashant Singh and father Prof K P Singh took a diametrically opposite stand and described the allegations against Ilyasi as “rubbish.” Prashant told Express Newsline:`whatever my mother and sister Rashmi are stating against Suhaib Ilyasi is a lot of rubbish. There is no truth in their statement or in the charges filed by the police against Suhaib Ilyasi. If you are holding Suhaib responsible for Anju’s suicide, then my mother and sister are also to blame, as they unduly interfered in their family matters.

    K P Singh, a retired IIT professor, agreed with Prashant. “My wife and daughter are breaking up my family”. Both Anju’s father and brother allege that Rukma and Rashmi have given statements against Suhaib Ilyasi as `they wanted custody of baby Aaliya. When Suhaib Ilyasi delayed that, they put him in trouble.’

    Anju’s mother Rukma Singh had changed her earlier statement given in January, 2000, in which she had stated that she did not suspect any foul play by Suhaib Ilyasi. However when Ilyasi refused to give custody of his daughter, she change her statement and alleged dowry harassment against Ilyasi.

    It has been alleged for long that Dowry Act (498a) in India is being consistently misused by clever women for extortion and blackmailing. The NCRB records suggest that during 2005-2006, 94% of the 498A, 304B cases filed by women or by her relatives were primarily to settle scores.

    Section 498A in itself is, however, not meant to deal specifically with dowry — it is commonly considered to be a ‘dowry law’ because domestic violence against a wife related to dowry demands is considered to be within the scope of ‘cruelty’ envisaged by the Section.


    • Being an Indian Woman
      Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:35:11

      Dear Ms Bhatia,

      Thanks for your comment or should I say comments? After all you put out the same one 11 times.

      A one off incident that you have indicated here would just one of the so-called misuses. And am wondering how sure are you that Ilyasi’s father-in-law is saying the truth and not his mother-in-law or sister-in-law. As personally I know neither of them, I would prefer to give all of them a benefit of doubt here.

      I would rather here focus on the NCRB records that you are pointing out. Please can you give the data rather than citation from what probably looks like a media report. Stats really can be different. I will also point out a report to you here which stated that the conviction rate under 498a was just 2%. While all reported that, none went into detail: Of 100 complaints filed under 498a, only 11 actually were seen going to court (with the rest settled at various states, like Women Cell, Out-of-court settlement). So even if 2 of these 11 matters are conviction, the conviction rate is close to 20%!!

      Let me point out something to you here. Filing a case and fighting it remains equally difficult for a woman despite the so-called gender biased laws. Laws are not written for specific cases and thus always have a room to maneuver and loopholes. These laws were first and foremost brought into existence following those pressure cooker deaths — incidents which were occurring not to settle scores but to fulfill dowry greed. And sincerely by reading what you wrote here, am sure you haven’t had a similar case in the family, which in one way is Good!

      Please open your eyes around the society. We are giving education to our women but not awareness. Women across the world are being subjected not just biases but also crime. Isn’t it high time we join forces to fight it than squabble over a dated news report referring to an incident neither actually know about?

      Good luck!


  2. Trackback: Relook 498a? Really needed? « Being an Indian Woman

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