ALLAHABAD HC Guidelines – No arrest under 498A IPC

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD

Court No. – 46

Case :- CRIMINAL MISC. WRIT PETITION No. – 3322 of 2010

Petitioner :- Re: In The Matter Of Matrimonial Disputes
Respondent :- State Of U.P. & Others
Petitioner Counsel :- P.N. Gangwar
Respondent Counsel :- Govt. Advocate,Abhay Raj Singh,Pankaj Naqvi

Hon’ble Amar Saran,J.
Hon’ble Shyam Shankar Tiwari,J.

On 8.8.2011, there was an extensive hearing in this case when Ms.Leena Jauhari, Secretary (Home), Government of U.P. Lucknow, Smt.
Poonam Sikand, Additional L.R and Tanuja Srivastava, I.G.( Public Grievances), Ms. G. Sridevi, Secretary, U.P. State Legal Services Authority, Sri Ashok Mehta, Organising Secretary, Allahabad High Court, Mediation and Conciliation Centre, Sri Pankaj Naqvi, Sister Sheeba Jose Advocates on behalf of the intervenor ‘Sahyog,’ Sri D.R.Chaudhary, learned Government Advocate and Sri Bimlendu Tripathi,learned A.G.A appeared and were heard at length.

An affidavit has also been filed on behalf of the Director General of Police on 10.8.2011. Another affidavit was also filed on behalf of Special Secretary (Home), U.P. on 12.8.2011. An application was also moved by the intervenor ‘Sahyog.’

This Court appreciates the positive contributions and suggestions of
all the aforesaid advocates and other State officials and that this
pro bono litigation is being taken up in the right non-adversarial
spirit, with the aim to ensure that wherever allegations are not very
grave, in order to save families, and children and indeed the
institution of marriage, an effort be first made for reconciling
matrimonial disputes by mediation before steps can be taken for
prosecuting offenders, if they are called for. In Preeti Gupta v.
State of Jharkhand, AIR 2010 SC 3363 the learned members of the bar
have been reminded of their noble profession and their noble tradition
and of their responsibility to ensure that the social fibre of family
life is preserved by desisting from over-implicating all in-laws and
their relations as accused persons in 498-A IPC reports, and from
filing exaggerated reports. They are also to make an endeavour to
bring about amicable settlements to this essentially human problem. It
has also been rightly pointed out in Sushil Kumar Sharma v Union of
India, AIR 2005 SC 3100 (para 18) whilst upholding the vires of
section 498-A IPC, that it should be ensured that complaints are not
filed with oblique motives by unscrupulous litigants so that a “new
legal terrorism” is not unleashed, and that the well-intentioned
provision is not misused.

In Kans Raj v State of Punjab, AIR 2000 SC 2324, it has been held that
there is a tendency in cases of 498-A IPC and 304 B IPC to rope in a
large number of in-laws of the victim wife, and not only the husband.
In para 5 of the law report it has been observed: “….In their over
enthusiasm and anxiety to seek conviction for maximum people, the
parents of the deceased have been found to be making efforts for
involving other relations which ultimately weaken the case of the
prosecution even against the real accused as appears to have happened in the instant case.”
Specifically as a result of the interaction and suggestions which emerged after a dialogue with the Advocates and officials, this Court requires to formulate its opinion on the following points:
1.Whether registration of an FIR is mandatory once an aggrieved woman or the eligible family members as specified under section 198A Cr.P.C approaches the police station giving information that an offence under section 498A IPC or allied provisions such as under section 3 D.P. Act or under section 406 I.P.C have been committed by the husband or other in-laws and their relations.
2.Should the concerned police officers immediately proceed to arrest the husband and other family members of the husband whenever such an FIR is lodged.
3.Can a distinction be made between the cases where arrest is immediately necessary and other cases where arrest can be deferred and an attempt be first made for bringing about mediation between the parties.
4.What is the appropriate place where mediation should be conducted.
5.Should a time frame be laid down for concluding the mediation proceedings.
6.Who should be the members of the mediation cell in the district.
7.What is the procedure to be followed by the police when a report of
a cognizable offence under section 498A IPC or allied provisions is disclosed.
8.Is training of mediators desirable and who should conduct the training?
9.Should the offence under Section 498A be made compoundable and what steps the State Government may take in this direction.

Discussions on the points requiring formulation by the Court.

1. Whether registration of an FIR is mandatory?
Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure mandates that when any
information regarding information of a cognizable offence is given
orally to the officer in charge of the Police Station, he is required
to reduce it in writing and to enter it into the general diary. The
said provision gives no option to the concerned Police Officer to
refuse to lodge the F.I.R. once information of a cognizable offence is
given to the police officer.

In paragraph No. 30 and 31 in State of Haryana and others Vs. Bhajan
Lal, 1992 Cri. L.J. 527, it has been laid down that section 154 (1) of
the Code provides that whenever an information is given that a
cognizable offence has been committed, the Police Officer cannot
embark upon an inquiry to ascertain as to whether the information was
reliable or genuine or refuse to register the case on that ground. The
officer in charge of the Police Station is statutorily obliged to
register the case and then to proceed with the investigation, if he
even has reason to suspect the commission of an offence.

(2) Whether arrest of husband and family members mandatory once FIR is lodged
It is noteworthy that section 154 Cr.P.C. which deals with the powers
of investigation and the necessity of lodging an FIR when a cognizable
offence only speaks of “information relating to the commission of a
cognizable offence” given to an officer. No pre-condition, as pointed
out above, is placed under this provision for first examining whether
the information is credible or genuine. In contrast section 41(1)((b)
Cr.P.C dealing with the powers of the police to arrest without a
warrant from a Magistrate requires the existence of a “reasonable
complaint,” or “credible information” or “reasonable suspicion” of the
accused being involved in a cognizable offence as pre-conditions for
effecting his arrest.

The two provisos to section 157 also speak of two exceptions when
investigation (and consequent arrest) may not be necessary. These two situations are:
(a) when information as to the commission of any such offence is given
against any person by name and the case is not of a serious nature,
the officer in charge of a police station need not proceed in person
or depute a subordinate officer to make an investigation on the spot;
(b) if it appears to the officer in charge of a police station that
there is no sufficient ground for entering on an investigation, he
shall not investigate the case. However in such situations the police
officer is to mention in his report the reasons for not investigating
the case. In the second case, where a police officer is of the opinion
that there is no sufficient ground for investigating a matter, he is
to also inform the informant of his decision.
The proviso (b) to section 157 (1) Cr. P. C. has been discussed in
paragraphs No. 53 and 54 in Bhajan Lal (supra). The law report
clarifies that clause (b) of the proviso permits a police officer to
satisfy himself about the sufficiency of the grounds even before
entering on an investigation. However, at that stage, the satisfaction
that on the allegations, a cognizable offence warranting investigation
is disclosed, has only to be based on the F.I.R. and other materials
appended to it, which are placed before the Police Officer. Therefore,
if it appears to the Police Officer that the matrimonial dispute
between the spouses is either not of a grave nature or is the result
of a conflict of egos or contains an exaggerated version, or where the
complainant wife has not received any injury or has not been medically
examined, he may even desist or defer the investigation in such a case.

Recently by Act No. 5 of 2009, the newly introduced section 41 (1)
(b), has been given effect to from 1.11.2010. This sub-section
provides that if some material or credible information exists of an
accused being involved in a cognizable offence punishable with 7 years
imprisonment or less with or without fine, the Police Officer has only
to make an arrest, if he is satisfied that such arrest is necessary
(i) to prevent such person from committing any further offence, (ii)
for proper investigation of the offence; (iii) to prevent such person
from causing the evidence of the offence to disappear or tampering
with the evidence in any manner; (iv) for preventing such person from
making any inducement, threat or promise to a witness to dissuade him
from disclosing such facts to the Court or the Police Officer (v) or
unless such a person is arrested, he may not appear in the Court when
required. This new provision has forestalled any routine arrests
simply because a person is said to be involved in a cognizable offence
punishable with imprisonment up to 7 years. The arrest is only to be
effected if any or all of the five conditions abovementioned are
fulfilled. For making or for not making such arrest, the Police
Officer has to record his reasons. In contrast to this provision,
under section 41 (1) (ba) such a limitation has not been provided for
those cases, where credible information has been received that a
person has committed an offence punishable with imprisonment of over 7
years.

A new provision, section 41 A Cr.P.C has also been added by Act No. 5
of 2009 (with effect from 1.11.2010) which gives powers to a Police
Officer to issue a notice directing the person against whom a
reasonable complainant has been made or credible information or
reasonable suspicion exists to appear before him or at any place that
he may specify in the notice where the police officer is of the
opinion that the arrest is not required under the provisions of
section 41(1) Cr.P.C. but the accused is to comply with the notice and
he would not be arrested, if he continues to comply with the terms of
the notice. However, where the person fails to comply with the notice,
the police has all powers to arrest him, unless there is some order of
the Court granting him bail or staying his arrest.
Now an offence under section 498A IPC is punishable with imprisonment
only up to three years and fine. If there are no injuries on a victim,
in our opinion, it constitutes a fit case for the police officer to
exercise powers conferred by the newly introduced section 41(1)(b)
read with section 41 (A), where instead of straight away arresting the
accused, it would be a better option at the initial stage for the
police officer to require the said person to appear before him or
before the Mediation Centre. As pointed out above section 41 A Cr.P.C.
permits calling the person concerned before the police officer himself
or to any specified place. Hence a notice can be given to the accused
to appear before the mediation centre. This restraint on arrest, and
placing of conditions or terms for arrest would also apply a fortiori
to the accused family members of the husband of the aggrieved wife.
It may be pointed out that if the FIR is immediately registered that
will placate the concerns of the aggrieved wife to some extent that
action is being taken on her complaint, and it has not been put on the
back burner.

(3) Whether distinction possible between cases necessitating immediate
arrest, and cases where attempt for mediation should first be made
Arrest may be necessitated, if the husband or other in-laws have given
a grave beating to the wife endangering her life or where the wife has
been subjected to repeated violence or there are any other
circumstances of exceptional cruelty against the wife, where future
recurrence of violence or cruelty seems likely, or for preventing the
husband and his accused family members from trying to browbeat
witnesses or to tamper with the course of justice, or for ensuring the
presence of the husband or his accused family members at the trial, or
for effective investigation. In all other cases, we are of the opinion
that an attempt should be first made for bringing about reconciliation
between the parties by directing the complainant wife and her natal
family members and the husband and other family members to appear
before the Mediation Centre when the wife or other eligible relations
under section 198-A Cr.P.C. approaches the police station for lodging
the report.

The advantage of not immediately arresting the accused husband and his
family members in a trivial case where there appear to be no injuries
on the aggrieved wife, is that in sudden matrimonial disputes, because
of clash of egos between the wife and her natal family members and the
husband and in-laws, the wife’s side at the initial stage usually
insists on effecting the arrests of the husband and other in-laws.
Once the husband or his family members are arrested, and subsequently
bailed out, little motivation remains for the parties to try and
resolve their disputes by mediation. This may prove disadvantageous
for the wife in the long run who may not have a source of independent
livelihood for running her life in the future.

4.Appropriate place where mediation should be conducted.
The officials as well as the learned Government Advocate and other
lawyers present unanimously recommended that the Mediation Cell should
not be at the police station. The I.G. (Public Grievances) pointed out
that the police officer before whom the report is lodged lack proper
training for conducting mediations sessions. Also if the police
officer refrains from arresting the accused persons pursuant to the
wife’s FIR, by attempting to mediate in the dispute between the
parties, even if it is a case of no injury, and even where he is only
acting in accordance with the general directions of the Court,
questions about his integrity are unnecessarily raised.

Moreover it is pointed out by the Secretary of the Legal Services
Authority that now Mediation or Conciliation Centres have been
established in all the District Courts. We, therefore, think that the
mediation proceedings should be carried out in the said Mediation Centre.

5.Need for time frame for concluding the mediation proceedings.
The I.G. (Public Grievances) and others present rightly pointed out
that a time frame must be laid down for concluding the mediation
proceedings as when an aggrieved wife approaches the police for
relief, because she has been subjected to cruelty. If the matter is
unduly prolonged in the mediation process, the delay could act as a
shield to protect the accused from facing the penalty of law, causing
frustration and bitterness for the aggrieved wife. Notice should as
far as possible be served personally on the accused and the parties
should be directed to appear before the Mediation Centre within a week
or 10 days of the lodging of the report by the aggrieved wife or
family members. Thereafter we think, that as far as possible, the
mediation proceedings should be concluded within two months of the
first appearance of both the parties before the Mediation Centre.

6.Who should be the members of the mediation cell in the district?
The Mediation Cell in the district should be headed by the Secretary
of the Legal Services Authority in the district, (at present, the
Civil Judge, Senior Division has been made the Secretary), other panel
or retainer lawyers appointed by the District Legal Services
Authority, other lawyers, who volunteer for giving free services
before the Mediation centre, especially female lawyers should also be
made members of the Mediation Cell. It is also desirable to have three
or four social workers (especially female) in the Cell. A female
police officer of the rank of Dy. S.P. may also be appointed an ex-
officio member of the Mediation Cell.

7.Procedure to be followed by the police when a report of a cognizable
offence under section 498A IPC or allied provisions is reported
The report regarding commission of cognizable offence under section
498A IPC or other allied sections may be lodged at the concerned
police station where the incident takes place or at the ‘Mahila Thana’
especially created in the district for investigation of such cases.
The police officer concerned will get the aggrieved woman medically
examined for injuries if the same are present. If the report has been
lodged at some police station other than the Mahila Thana, the injury
report and relevant police papers shall be forwarded to the Mahila
Thana for investigation of the case, and in appropriate cases the
investigating police officer at the Mahila Thana may refer the matter
to the mediation centre in the Civil Court, and direct the complainant
to be present at the mediation centre on a fixed date 7 to 10 days
thereafter. The accused should as far as possible also be personally
given notice to appear before the mediation centre on the date fixed.
We would also like the presence of trained social workers (especially
female) or legal aid panel lawyers to be present at the Mahila Thana
for counselling the aggrieved woman and her family members for first
trying to solve their dispute by mediation, when the case is
registered at the mahila thana. The notice to the husband and other
family members should mention that in cases the husband or the family
members of the aggrieved wife fail to appear on the date fixed or on
future dates, as directed by the Mediation Centre or fail to comply
with any condition that may be imposed by the police officer or
Mediation Centre, steps shall be taken for arresting the accused. The
accused husband or other in-laws should be directed to report before
the police officer on a date two months after the date of first
appearance before the Mediation Centre and inform the Police Officer
about the progress in the mediation. The in-charge of the mediation
proceeding may also direct the husband or other family members to
appear before the Police Officer at an earlier date fixed in case
mediation has failed or it has been successfully concluded and the
parties concerned shall appear before the Police Officer on the said
date. It would also be open to the complainant wife to inform the
police officer about the progress (or lack of it) of the mediation
process. The notice should also clarify that in case mediation is
pronounced as unsuccessful at an earlier date, and information is
given by either party or the Mediation centre to the Police Officer,
he may require the presence of the accused husband or his relations at
an earlier date. If mediation has been successfully concluded, it will
be open to the Police Officer to submit a final report in the matter.
In cases, where it has not been successfully concluded and the Police
Officer is of the view that arrest may not be necessary in a
particular case, he may direct the accused persons to obtain bail from
the Competent Court. In case, he is of the opinion that the arrest is
necessitated at a subsequent stage, it will be open to the Police
Officer to take such accused persons in custody. He should of course
record his reason for making the said arrest as provided under section 41 (1) (b) (ii).

8.Necessity of training to mediators.
We endorse the opinion of the intervening lawyers, the learned
Government Advocate, Sri Ashok Mehta, Organizing Secretary of the
Mediation Centre of the Allahabad High Court and the Government
officials present, including the Secretary of the Legal Services
Authority, that training for mediators is a sine qua non for effective
mediation. The Organizing Secretary of the Allahabad High Court
Mediation Centre (AHMC) and Secretary of the U.P. Legal Services
Authority (UPLSA) stated that the centre and authority are prepared to
impart training to the mediators. We welcome this offer and direct
that there should be co-ordianation between the AHMC and UPLSA for
giving effect to this offer. By and by as the State Government is able
to create a cadre of trainers for mediation, their services may also
be utilised for training mediators in the districts.

We think training is necessary because the responses to our queries
from the subordinate district courts reveal the poor success rate in
the cases referred by the High Court or where the concerned
subordinate court has itself initiated the process of mediation. By
contrast the success rate at the Mediation Centre in the Allahabad
High Court, which has independent trained mediators (usually lawyers)
is much higher. The first requirement for successful mediation is the
patience on the part of the mediator, and his willingness to give
sufficient time to the contesting parties and especially to the wife
to express her bottled up grievances. Thereafter, in a disinterested
manner, the mediator should encourage the parties to come up with
solutions, giving useful suggestions for bringing about
reconciliation, as the mediator cannot impose his solution on the parties.

The guidelines hereinabove have been spelt out by the Court because of
the specific request of the officials and lawyers present to spell out
the terms of the same, as guidance for the State government (esp. the
home department), the Legal Services Authority and the police for
issuing appropriate circulars or government orders.

(9) Should offences under section 498-A IPC be made compoundable?
We have received considerable feedback from subordinate judicial
authorities that unless the offence under section 498-A IPC is made
compoundable, much benefit cannot be derived by trying to bring about
mediation between the parties. A dilemma then arises before the
concerned Court, (which cannot close the trial because the spouses
have compromised their dispute) or even before the aggrieved wife, if
she decides to settle her dispute with her spouse and in-laws either
by agreeing to stay with them or to part amicably, usually after
receiving some compensation. Even if she is no more interested in
repeatedly visiting the court for prosecuting the accused, in the
absence of provisions for compounding the offence, she has willy nilly
to perjure by making a false statement that her initial report was
untrue or lodged under influence of X or Y. If on the basis of this
statement the trial Court acquits the husband and his family members,
and the aggrieved wife returns to her matrimonial home, in the cases
where she is again maltreated, if she lodges a fresh report, its
reliability will be open to question.

The Apex Court in Ramgopal v. State of M.P., 2010 SCALE 711 observed
that an offence under section 498-A IPC is essentially private in
nature, and it should be made compoundable if the parties are willing
to amicably settle their dispute. Directions were given to the Law
Commission of India to consider the matter and to make appropriate
recommendations to the Government to bring about suitable amendments
in the statute.

In Rajeev Verma v. State of U.P., 2004 Cri.L.J. 2956, which was a
decision given by a bench in which one of us (Amar Saran J) was a
member, a similar suggestion was made to the Law Commission of U.P. to
recommend to the State government to make the offence under section
498-A IPC compoundable with the permission of the Court under section
320 Cr.P.C. The reasons for the suggestion were that such FIRs are
often lodged in the heat of the moment, without reflection after a
sudden quarrel, and sometimes as a result of wrong advice or
influences. But the complaining wife, who usually has no source of
independent livelihood (as a key problem in our society is the lack of
economic and social empowerment of women) and is unable to provide for
herself in the future, may have to suffer later if the relationship
with her husband is irrevocably ruptured due to the hasty filing of
the criminal case, particularly in view of the fact that the offence
is non-compoundable. To meet this situation B.S. Joshi v State of
Haryana, AIR 2003 SC 1386, Manoj Sharma v State, 2008 SC(Suppl) 1171,
and Madan Mohan Abbot v State of Punjab, AIR 2008 SC 1969 recommended
quashing of the complaint in proceedings under section 482 Cr.P.C or
in the writ jurisdiction where the aggrieved wife compounded the
offence. In the latter case it was observed that where the dispute is
purely personal in nature, (i.e. the element of the offence being a
crime against society is secondary), and the wife decides to compound
the offence, as there would be little likelihood of conviction,
quashing of the offence should not be refused on the hyper-technical
view that the offence was non-compoundable “as keeping the matter
alive with no possibility of a result in favour of the prosecution is
a luxury which the Courts, grossly overburdened as they are, cannot
afford and that the time so saved can be utilized in deciding more
effective and meaningful litigation”
The following passage in paragraph 12 in G.V. Rao v L.H.V. Prasad, AIR
2000 SC 2474 has been cited with approval in B.S. Joshi:
“There has been an outburst of matrimonial disputes in recent times.
The marriage is a sacred ceremony, the main purpose of which is to
enable the young couple to settle down in life and live peacefully.
But little matrimonial skirmishes suddenly erupt which often assume
serious proportions resulting in commission of heinous crimes in which
elders of the family are also involved with the result that those who
could have counselled and brought about rapprochement are rendered
helpless on their being arrayed as accused in the criminal case. There
are many other reasons which need not be mentioned here for not
encouraging matrimonial litigation so that the parties may ponder over
their defaults and terminate their disputes amicably by mutual
agreement instead of fighting it out in a Court of law where it takes
years and years to conclude and in that process the parties lose their
“young” days in chasing their “cases” in different Courts.”

In Rajeev Verma however relying on B.S. Joshi it was mentioned that
whilst the trial could be quashed in an application under section 482
Cr.P.C or under Article 226, being a fruitless prosecution where there
was little likelihood of conviction as the parties had settled their
dispute, but the proper forum for deciding the matter whether the
compromise application was voluntary and bona fide or whether it was
coerced was the lower court which could decide whether it was a fit
case for granting permission to the wife to compound the offence under
section 320(2) Cr.P.C. This was only possible if the offence under s.
498-A IPC was made compoundable with the permission of the Court.
A good option for providing recompense to the maltreated woman is “The
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005” which provides
for a gamut of civil rights for the aggrieved woman who has entered
into a domestic relationship with a man, with or without marriage.
Such civil rights include “Protection orders” (section 18) prohibiting
the respondent from committing any act of violence, visiting the place
of work, operating the common bank locker, making telephonic contact
etc. “Residence orders” (section 19), which restrain the respondent
from dispossessing a woman from the shared household, or from
alienating or renouncing his rights to the property or by directing
him to remove himself, or by providing alternate accommodation to the
aggrieved woman at the existing level. By providing “monetary
reliefs” (sections 20 and 22) by paying for loss of earnings or
medical expenses, or loss due to destruction of property by domestic
violence, or for maintenance of the woman and her dependent children,
or by payment of compensation for causing injuries (including mental
torture). “Custody orders” (section 21) for custody of the child to
the woman (including visiting rights) for the respondent. Criminal
proceedings under this Act have been allowed only as a last resort,
under section 31 when the respondent commits a breach of a protection
order, or where at the stage of framing charges for breach of the
protection order he finds that an offence under section 498-A IPC has
also been committed by the respondent.

The Act also provides under section 14 for the Magistrate to send a
matter for “counselling” before a registered “service provider,” who
is qualified to provide counselling in such matters to the contesting
parties or to provide shelter etc. to the aggrieved woman.

In the counter-affidavit dated 12.8.11 filed on behalf of the Home
Secretary, U.P., it has specifically been mentioned that the State
government has given its consent to the Union of India to make
offences under section 498-A IPC compoundable, and the letter of the
Home (Police) Section-9 to the Union Home Ministry dated 4.2.10 has
been annexed. Whereas we appreciate this positive attitude of the
State government in not objecting to section 498-A IPC being made a
compoundable offence. However we find that Andhra Pradesh, by Act 11
of 2003 (w.e.f 1.8.03) has added section 498 A (wrongly described as
494 A) after section 494 in the table in section 320(2) Cr.P.C. and
has permitted the woman subjected to cruelty to compound the offence
with the permission of the Court, but added a proviso that a minimum
period of three months be allowed to elapse from the date of
application for compromise before a Court can accept the request,
provided any of the parties do not withdraw in the intervening period.
The U.P. government may consider bringing out a similar amendment, as
it has already expressed its opinion that the offence under section
498-A IPC be made compoundable.

Before parting we must clarify that the Court is of the firm view that
acts of cruelty or violence against women have neither ceased, nor
have they been reduced, and the special provision for meeting this
problem must be retained in the statute book. We quote with approval
the view expressed in paragraph 11 of the recent Law Commission of
India, Consultation Paper-cum-Questionaire regarding section 498-A of
Indian Penal Code:

“While the Commission is appreciative of the need to discourage
unjustified and frivolous complaints and the scourge of over-
implication, it is not inclined to take a view that dilutes the
efficacy of s. 498-A to the extent of defeating its purpose especially
having regard to the fact that atrocities against women are on the
increase. A balanced and holistic view has to be taken on weighing the
pros and cons. There is no doubt a need to address the misuse
situations and arrive at a rational solution “legislative or otherwise.”
List this case on 8.11.2011 before the regular bench to be headed by
one of us (Hon’ble Amar Saran J)

The State government through the Chief Secretary, U.P., the Principal
Secretary, (Home), U.P., Secretary Law/ L.R. U.P., Director General
Police U.P., and Member-Secretary, U.P. Legal Services Authority may
issue appropriate guidelines or circulars for laying down a system for
proceeding in matters where reports are lodged of commission of
offences under section 498 A IPC where immediate arrests may not be
necessary, for laying down the appropriate criteria in this regard,
and for sending the matters for mediation before the mediation cells
in the Civil Courts, in accordance with the aforesaid directions of
this Court. The Principal Secretary, (Finance), U.P. may apprise the
Court as to the provision for finance for appointing social workers/
panel lawyers at the Mahila Thanas, for ensuring that appropriate
training is given to the social workers, legal aid lawyers, and
concerned police officers for facilitating the mediation process, for
making available adequate infrastructure/ manpower at the mediation
cells in the Civil Courts, and for meeting expenses on other
contingencies. Let the aforesaid authorities submit their compliance
reports within 4 weeks. We would also like reports from all the
Secretaries of the District Legal Services Authorities to submit their
compliance reports (through the District Judges) for getting the
aforementioned minor matters relating to offences under section 498 A
IPC settled through mediation and the difficulties they encounter or
forsee in complying with the directions of this Court by the next
listing. The State government is also directed to submit its report on
the next listing on the suggestion of the Court to take steps for
making the offence under section 498-A IPC compoundable with the
permission of Court by amending section 320 Cr.P.C in U.P. as has been
done in the case of Andhra Pradesh. Registrar-General is directed to
forward copies of this order within a week to the Chief Secretary,
Principal Secretary, (Home), Law Secretary/LR, U.P., Principal
Secretary (Finance), U.P., D.G.P., U.P., Member-Secretary, U.P., Legal
Services Authority, U.P., Secretaries/ Civil Judges (Senior Division)
through District Judges in all districts in U.P., Sri Ashok Mehta,
Organizing Secretary, Allahabad High Court, Mediation Centre, Sri
Pankaj Naqvi, and Sister Sheeba Jose, Advocates for the intervenors,
Government Advocate, U.P. and other advocates and officials present in
the hearing on 8.8.11 for information and compliance.

Order Date :- 30.9.2011
HSM

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