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Punjab women commission to issue arrest warrants in cases where accused doesn’t appear despite summons

The commission has the powers of a civil court.

punjab Updated: Aug 07, 2018 10:50 IST
Jatinder Kaur Tur
Jatinder Kaur Tur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Punjab women commission,Punjab,punjab news
(Representative image)

The Punjab State Women Commission is all set to order arrest in 27 cases of alleged atrocities against women, where the accused has not appeared before it despite summons.

The commission has the powers of a civil court.

In one such case with the commission that HT has perused, the husband of a 22-year-old Patiala woman deserted her soon after marriage that was solemnised in November 2017.

The man, a daily wager, cited the woman’s disfigured face due to burns as the reason for his behaviour, even as the injury was an accident and the woman was not at fault. In what was even more galling, the man asked for divorce and demanded that his wife’s minor sister be married to him.

“I was married in November 2017 in Patiala. I got burnt while baking ‘chapatis’ over a hearth. Half of my face sustained burn injuries after my engagement and just a month before the wedding. Immediately after my marriage, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law started torturing me for dowry, seeking divorce from me for their son. My husband told me he wanted to marry my sister, who had just turned 14. He threw me out of the house,” she told HT.

Her mother, who had accompanied her to the commission office, said, a teacher in their neighbourhood had guided them to move the commission.

“In this case, the commission has sent three summons to the accused to appear before it, to no avail. We will be issuing directives for his arrest to the Patiala police. There are 27 such cases, where the accused has not appeared,” said chairperson of the commission, Manisha Gulati, adding that it was really shocking that the man intended to sexually abuse a minor.

She added, “Section 10 of the Punjab State Women Commission Act, 2001, read with section 32 of the CrPC, 1908, states that the commission has the powers of the civil court. If the accused do not show up even after summons, the commission shall be constrained to carry forward proceedings under provisions in the civil procedure code.”

She added that many policemen were also not aware of the civil court powers of the panel.

First Published: Aug 07, 2018 10:50 IST