Women's rights

Supreme Court to revisit its previous order restricting immediate arrests in dowry harassment cases

The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra observed that the ruling from July was against women’s rights.

The Supreme Court on Friday said it will revisit its previous order from July that restricts the police from arresting an accused in a dowry harassment case till a preliminary inquiry is conducted, the Hindustan Times reported. The bench observed that the judgment went against women’s rights.

Citing data from the National Crime Records Bureau, the Supreme Court, on July 27, had said that while chargesheets were filed in 93.6% of cases, only 14.4% resulted in convictions. It had called for family welfare committees to be set up in every district to look into dowry-related complaints.

On Friday, the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it did not agree with the previous order. The court then decided to revisit its earlier judgment after hearing a petition filed by a Maharashtra-based NGO, Nyayadhar, demanding inclusion of women in the family welfare committees, Bar and Bench reported.

In July, the court had said that the family welfare committee should meet the couple concerned and their families before submitting a report to the magistrate. The accused could be arrested only if the report indicated foul play.

The bench on Friday issued a notice to the Centre and appointed senior lawyer V Shekhar the amicus curiae to assist with the case. The next hearing is scheduled for November 9.

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