Even though about 10 complaints of matrimonial disputes alleging harassment for dowry, physical and mental harassment or domestic violence are lodged daily with the SAS Nagar police, the number of complaints being filed has registered a decline over the last four years.
The complaints are usually filed within the first year of marriage owing to adjustment problems with the in-laws. Following counselling, most end up in a compromise or the parties agree not to proceed with the case. In most cases, the complainants are women but even men approach the police with complaints of harassment, though they constitute about 4% of the total complaints lodged.
Translated into figures, while 552 complaints were received by the police in 2008, the number rose to 671 in 2009, the number of complaints fell to 597 in the year 2010, in 2011 some 588 complaints were received and this year so far, 460 complaints have already been received.
Statistics show that on one hand, the number of complaints has decreased, while on the other, the number of cases in which people prefer not to pursue the case has also increased. The number of cases filed has registered 12-15% annual increase mainly because compromises are often reached to avoid litigation.
In 2008, as many as 276 complainants resolved their differences post counselling, a number that rose to 420 in 2009, to 358 in 2010 and in 2011, some 321 parties preferred not to pursue the cases.
According to police officials most of the complaints are filed in the first few months of the marriage arising primarily out of adjustment issues. Women often allege being harassed by the in-laws for want of finances, infertility, neglect by children and alcohol consumption, police said.
Police officials agreed that though the number of complaints received was very high, very few people opted for registration of cases. Following a complaint, both parties either arrive at a compromise or decide not to pursue the case and in such matters, the cases are closed after both the parties agree to withdraw the complaint, sources said.
"The fall in the number of complaints and registration of cases indicates that people opt to resolve disputes through reconciliation, which is a healthy trend. Resolution of differences through counselling is better," said SAS Nagar SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.
Year Complaints received
2012 (till date) 460