A city court has directed the Delhi police to register an FIR in a dowry case after the Crime Against Women (CAW) cell refused to lodge a woman’s complaint in the matter. The woman alleged that she was harassed by her in-laws after the death of her husband. “The offences are cognisable in nature and police officials are duty-bound to investigate them,” the Metropolitan Magistrate said.
Sheila (name changed) and Sunil (name changed) married in September 1996. Sunil died a natural death in April 2009. Vijay Aggarwal, counsel for Sheila, told the court, “After the death of my husband, my in-laws persisted with the demand for dowry and asked an amount of R5 lakh. They also wanted R25,000 per month, apart from other articles.”
Taking a strong view of the complainant having to appear in court to register the first information report (FIR), the judge said, “It shall be an instrument and shall aid in separating the wheat from the chaff, that, too, without wasting the valuable time of verburdened courts.”
Sheila, in December 2009, had approached the CAW cell to register a complaint against her in-laws. “It is the primary duty of the CAW cell to register complaints of aggrieved women victims, but they simply refused to probe the matter,” Aggarwal told the court.
The court noted that in the present case, the investigation was required to be conducted by the police, as the dowry articles (handed over by the complainant to the accused persons during the marriage ceremony) are still to be recovered. The court lashed out at the police for their refusal to register the case.
The judge said, “The police officials have sufficient means to collect evidence to substantiate the complainant’s allegations.” As per court directions, a case has been registered at the Shalimar Bagh police station and the police are probing the matter.