Results Of RTI With Regard To SH Bill

Here are two pdfs that RTI activists were able to extract from the mandarins of the WCD.

They show the concerted attempts being made to eliminate the checks to prevent abuse.

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6 Responses to “Results Of RTI With Regard To SH Bill”


  1. 1 Niladri Das July 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Dear All,

    It seems that WCD is ready to insert the MISUSE Clause in the proposed Sexual Harrasement Bill. WCD were trying their level best to delete the Misuse Clause, under the pressure from certain Women NGOs.

    As we all know that Neeraj haf filed a RTI to inspect the entire Sexual Harrasement Bill File.

    Now after inspection and paying around 1800 for the xerox of the entire file with ALL the file notings we have come to know that due to our immense pressure, the Asst Legal Advisor and Deputy Legislative Counsel of the Law Ministry has forced WCD NOT to delete the MISUSE Clause.

    Law Ministry writes on 3rd March 2009

    QUOTE

    If Clause 12 (Misuse clause) is ommitted then it may lead to situations similar to those being faced in Domestic Violence cases, Dowry Harrasement Cases etc.. In order to have a law which is balanced, neutral and gender equal it is important to retain Clause 12

    UNQUOTE

    And finally Dr. Kiran Chadha, Jt Secretary, WCD writes on 2nd April 2009

    QUOTE

    ============================

    I am aware of special legislations which contains provisions to take care false and malicious complaints.

    It must be kept in mind that that all unapproved allegations are not false/malifide. In the instant case, a respondent would be required to produce evidences to the effect that the complaint against him is false or filed with malafide intention. If such evidence is produced, it would be UNREASONABLE to hold that remedy against such false/malicoius actions has to be sought elsewhere.

    In view of the above I am of the opinion that we may NOT insist on removal of Clause 12.

    ========================

    UNQUOTE

    The file contains summary of all our emails/letters against women resrvation bill.. The good point is that all our protest are finally having some effect. WCD recd total 820 pages of comments from all. All comments on SHB include plenty of ours also like Swarup, nice guy, RAKSHAK etc. They have even given specific comments against each suggetion from say RAKSHAK.

    Rahul is scanning some 10 odd relevant pages which would uploaded soon. Gurdarshan has sponsored to scan the entire file as it is truly a goldmine. It contains the procedure on how a Law is being drafted and how Women NGOs get involved including SECRET cabinet notings.

    So ALL of us, lets keep on WRITING and PROTESTING.

    For the newcomers the Misuse Clause is given below:

    Clause 12

    12. (1) Where the Committee or the Local Committee, as
    the case may be, arrives at a conclusion that the
    allegation against the respondent is false or malicious or
    the aggrieved woman or any other person making the
    complaint has produced any forged or misleading
    document, it may recommend to the employer or the
    District Officer to take action against the woman or the
    person who has made the complaint in accordance with
    the provisions of the service rules applicable to her or him
    or where no such service rules have been made, in such
    manner as may be prescribed.

    (2) Where the Committee or the Local Committee, as the
    case may be, arrives at a conclusion that during the
    enquiry any witness has given false evidence or
    produced any forged or misleading document, it may
    recommend to the employer of the witness or the District
    Officer to take action in accordance with the provisions of
    the service rules applicable to the said witness or where
    no such service rules have been made, in such manner
    as may be prescribed.

    Like

  2. 2 Niladri Das July 17, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Hi,

    Even if we can give some amount of resistance to them, it would be simply awesome, at least at this stage.

    Virag say’s that we are non state players. But so are the Women NGOs. And if Women NGOs can draft and give comments on SHWB then why can we give our comments and oppose.

    At First they wanted to keep the Misuse Clause due to our pressure only.

    Misuse rider in harassment law
    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080519/jsp/nation/story_9289878.jsp

    ‘Hindusthan Times’ article dated 30 September 2008
    ‘Sexual harassment bill must deal with false complaints and malicious complaints.’

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=c770aef1-4476-494b-81d7-399612836914

    Times of India’ article dated 30 September, 2008
    ‘Add misuse clause in sexual harassment bill’

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Add_misuse_clause_in_sexual_harassment_bill_/articleshow/3542554.cms

    Then the Women NGO, pressurised and they deleted it.

    ‘Times of India” article dated 22 November 2008
    WCD ministry against ‘misuse clause’ in sexual harassment law

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/WCD_ministry_against_misuse_clause/articleshow/3742494.cms

    Now if the Law Ministry is pressing WCD for the Misuse Clasue due to all our Blogs, Dharna, Protests, Letters, Emails etc, then that itself is an acheivement.

    Myself, Neeraj, Sandeep, Mrs Ekta Paul, Rohit, Rohit’s father with inputs from Sentinel, KK and plenty of others (And I am sure I am missing plenty of names) filed numeous RTIs on SHB with the WCD and Law Ministry to keep up the pressure. The above links are from those RTIs only.

    And if we suceed then the acheivement goes to the entire group. It is after all a Team Work

    Like

  3. 3 Niladri Das July 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Hi All,

    Please find aboved the scanned documents of the various comments recd by the Ministry on the proposed Sexual Harrasement at Workplace Bill.

    Note one thing. As far as comments on a proposed Bill is concerned, all Non State Players are on the same platform. That is nice guy, Swarup, Lawyers Colective or Rakshak comments are all kept together.

    Note another thing. WCD clearly says that protection of men is NOT in their mandate. So who would protect men from false cases??

    Ministry recd around 820 pages of comments and made a synopsis of them.

    So find above a sneak preview of the various comments recd.

    So if u want ur voice to be heard, keep on writing, mailing, blogging, post hard copies and do Dharnas etc.

    Page 1 to 10 of the scanned document is Page 6 to 15 of Voulme 1 of Comments recd by WCD.Volume 1 is complete.
    Page 11 to 16 of the scanned document is 1,2, 9 to 12 of Voulme 2 of Comments recd by WCD
    Page 17 to 22 of the scanned document is Page 1 to 6 of Voulme 3 of Comments recd by WCD.

    Like

  4. 4 SIFMember August 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    SIF Member writes:

    Honorable Minister for Law and Justice ,

    Dr M Veerappa Moily ,

    Sub :- Extend misuse clause to 498A and DV Act 2005 also .

    Honorable Minister ,

    We would like to thank and congratulate the Law Commission and WCD for the first steps that have been taken to arrest blatant misuse of women empowerment laws by unscrupulous women.

    SIF had reported the same news about 2 months back what the government has released today. that the Sexual harassment act will have a misuse clause to punish those women who will misuse the act for their personal gains .

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/To-check-false-sexual-harassment-claims–Govt-plans–deterrent–in-Bill/499849

    http://in.news.yahoo.com/48/20090809/814/tnl-to-check-false-sexual-harassment-cla.html

    SIF and its sister organizations after a sustained campaign has successfully been able to modify a Women Centric law in India which although is again created only for women but will have a misuse clause which might prove as a deterrent . Men who are sexually harassed of course will have no relief from this law in India and will have to continue to suffer as usual .

    It is important to mention here that the NCW and the previous WCD ministry had rejected the inclusion of the misuse clause but the law commission owing to its unbiased nature stuck to its stand that a misuse clause in the need of the hour . The WCD ministry finally agreed to get the law created with the misuse clause in it.

    Extend the misuse clause to section 498A and DV act immediately

    The government must also include the misuse clause to section 498A and DV act which are seeing 98% misuse in India . Women who are truly suffering and harassed will continue to enjoy the same benefits that they get under the law but the other unscrupulous set which is unfortunately 98% of the total number of women and their families who misuse this section for monetary gains and to cause harassment will find the misuse clause a deterrent.

    Men too misuse 498A . It is the law not the people that needs to be changed .

    In most cases we see that the family of the woman force/brainwash her to misuse the 498A or DV act and men are actively involved. We propose that not only the women who misuse the law but all the men from the woman’s family who collude with her or force/brainwash her to misuse this section must also be brought to trail. Men, especially fathers and brothers of women from the families of women are equally if not more guilty in misusing this section.

    I wish to quote the stand of the Indian Supreme Court in a very recent Judgment last month on 498A and measures that would need to be taken for stopping the abuse of the law.

    “The object of the provision is prevention of
    the dowry menace. But as has been rightly
    contended by the petitioner many instances have
    come to light where the complaints are not bona
    fide and have been filed with oblique motive. In
    such cases acquittal of the accused does not in all
    cases wipe out the ignominy suffered during and
    prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage
    adds to the misery. The question, therefore, is what
    remedial measures can be taken to prevent abuse
    of the well-intentioned provision. Merely because
    the provision is constitutional and intra vires, does
    not give a licence to unscrupulous persons to
    wreak personal vendetta or unleash harassment. It
    may, therefore, become necessary for the
    legislature to find out ways how the makers of
    frivolous complaints or allegations can be
    appropriately dealt with. Till then the courts have
    to take care of the situation within the existing
    framework. As noted above the object is to strike
    at the roots of dowry menace. But by misuse of the
    provision a new legal terrorism can be unleashed.
    The provision is intended to be used as a shield
    and not as an assassin’s weapon. If the cry of
    “wolf” is made too often as a prank, assistance and
    protection may not be available when the actual
    “wolf” appears. There is no question of the
    investigating agency and courts casually dealing
    with the allegations. They cannot follow any
    straitjacket formula in the matters relating to
    dowry tortures, deaths and cruelty. It cannot be lost
    sight of that the ultimate objective of every legal
    system is to arrive at the truth, punish the guilty
    and protect the innocent. There is no scope for any
    preconceived notion or view. It is strenuously
    argued by the petitioner that the investigating
    agencies and the courts start with the presumptions
    that the accused persons are guilty and that the
    complainant is speaking the truth. This is too wide
    and generalized a statement. Certain statutory
    presumptions are drawn which again are
    rebuttable. It is to be noted that the role of the
    investigating agencies and the courts is that of a
    watchdog and not of a bloodhound. It should be
    their effort to see that an innocent person is not
    made to suffer on account of unfounded, baseless
    and malicious allegations. It is equally
    undisputable that in many cases no direct evidence
    is available and the courts have to act on
    circumstantial evidence. While dealing with such
    cases, the law laid down relating to circumstantial
    evidence has to be kept in view.”

    We request the Honorable law minister to take the Supreme Courts many warnings to arrest 498A abuse seriously and take appropriate steps immediately to stop the misuse of section 498A and DV act on innocent men and women .

    Thanks

    Member, Save Indian Family Foundation

    Like

  5. 5 priacash March 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Sexual harassment at work place, schools, collages, parties, travel, roads etc. is a very common news which we hear the most. Most of the people are not aware about sexual harassment and its very important to make them aware, this will help us to decrease occurring sexual harassment. Recently i visited a site priacash.org where we can share views and discuss queries about sexual harassment with others and generate awareness. Plus by using this website we will feel comfortable to explain to children, Kids and teenagers. We can share our views and queries with others in its forum.

    Like

  6. 6 Niladri August 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Dear All,

    Will inform the groupt the latest happenings of SHWB after April 2009.

    Neeraj had filed another RTI on SHWB, File inspection. As the files retrieved by RTI last time was only upto April 2009, the present RTI mainly deals with what happened in SHWB after April 2009.

    Also page 16 of 36 mentions of Neeraj’s RTI on file inspection in April 2009.

    This post may be read in conjunction with

    https://ipc498a.wordpress.com/2009/07/16/results-of-rti-with-regard-to-sh-bill/

    Thus the new file “IIndInspectionRecord_FileNotings.pdf” needs to be read after page 17 of 36. Can someone, pls upload this file in a blog.

    IMPORTANT developments in SHWB after April 2009.

    NCW were trying their level best to delete the misuse clause, after April 2009.

    Interestingly, Pg 20 of 36 states that “There has been several representations from NGO etc regarding allowing Clause 12 to remain”. So our memos are having some effect.

    In April 2009, UPA II was formed and the new WCD Minister, issued a circular on 25th May, 2009, that Fresh approval from the new Minister in Charge and Cabinet is required for SHWB, after formation of the new Govt vide a memo (Refer Pg 28 of 36)

    Now NCW was trying their best to form another committee comprising of WPC, Lawyers Collective, to delete the Misuse Clause. However it was decided that Women MPs would be contacted so that they create pressure to delete the Misuse Clause.

    Interestingly on 7th August, 2009, Women MPs stated that Clause 12 is required to prevent misuse of SHWB. Or in other words Women MPs are not that bad, and are well aware of misuse of women centric laws. It is ONLY some women NGOs, who are behind some nonsense. (Refer Page 26 of 36)

    Now a new Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) was formed on 31/12/09 to review SHWB.

    As SHWB tinkers with the RTI, the IMG felt that DOPT should be involved. (Refer Pg 31 of 36)

    Now two interesting twists came in SHWB. Refer Pg 33 of 36.

    Firstly, as SHWB, talks of deduction of salaries for SH and NO punishment, the IMG started thinking how can one deduct a Government employee’s salary if a Government Employee is implicated in SH??? After all SHWB has been specially designed to be used as an Extortion Racket. And it is NOT easy to deduct a Government Employee’s salary, no matter what. And if u can’t deduct salaries how would the Extortion racket run? And u can’t say that u deduct salaries of employees only from the private sector, but give rebate to the government sector employees. They cannot state, that a private sector employee can do SH, pay money and get away, where as a Govt Employee can SH a women for free.

    The second twist came from DOPT. As the SHWB specially talks of tinkering of RTI, DOPT said there is no need of the new Section 14 and 15 of SHWB which states that false cases can’t be retrieved with RTI, in a nicely wrapped up language.

    DOPT said to delete both Section 14 and 15, as during investigation, in any case RTI can’t be used to retrieve info, so there is no need of these sections. Feel DOPT does NOT know the actual reason for insertion of the Section 14 in SHWB.

    Now if DOPT is STRONGLY for deletion of Section 14 and 15, SHWB would loose it steam.

    The reason. In SHWB, members of the committee can ONLY be removed if they violate Section 14 that is, if they give info of false cases to public and media. The idea was that women NGOs would extort money from false SHWB cases and NOT divulge the deluge of false cases to anyone. And if now RTI can be used to extract false cases and Members of the committee, can NOT be removed for giving false cases to the media, SHWB would loose its major teeth.

    However, after February 2010, file notings could NOT be retrieved as the fellow in the Ministry, was reluctant to share the info.

    Info after Feb, 2010, was not shared, may be, due to the three reasons.

    Firstly, after Feb 2010, the letter campaign to the Cabinet started. So something must have happened. Secondly, DOPT must have said something which would be more damaging to SHWB. Thirdly they wanted to keep it secret due to some Cabinet notings. Not sure though.

    So let us presently enjoy the fun.

    And our immediate task.

    Some memos should be shot to DoPT so that they stick to their demand of removal of Section 14 and 15 and non tinkering of the RTI Act.

    And in the process, we got an important ally in the whole drama.

    The DoPT!

    Like


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Some Interesting Stats On Arrests Of Women

In 1930, the British govt arrested 17,000 women for their involvement in the Dandi Yatra (Salt March). During 1937 to 1947 (10 Years), they arrested 5,000 women involved in the freedom struggle. From 2004 to 2006, the govt of India arrested 90,000 women of all ages under 498A. On the average, 27,000 women per year are being arrested under this flawed law. These are stats from the NCRB.

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Disclaimer:

The family of the writer was tortured by the Indian Police in an attempt to extort over a $100,000 by holding them in custody for over a week. The police, in cahoots with the magistrate and the PP, did this due to the ridiculous allegations made in a 498A case by his embittered ex-wife. She filed the case years after he and his family had last seen her. Thousands of 498A cases are filed each year in India by women seeking to wreak vengeance on their husbands and in-laws. Enormous sums are extorted from intimidated families implicated in these cases by corrupt Indian police officers and elements of the Indian judiciary. The author and his family haven't bribed any public official nor have they given in to the extortion. This blog aims to raise awareness of due process in India. The content of this blog constitutes, opinions, observations, and publicly available documents. The intent is not to slander or defame anyone or any institution and is the manifestation of the author's right to freedom of expression – with all the protections this right guarantees.

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