Family jailed illegally for 7 years, to wait 5 months more for justice


If you're not a terrorist or #UrbanNaxal, don't expect any sympathy from Supreme Court; especially if you are harassed by gender biased laws, note that your human rights are at the bottom of SC's list of priorities!

This is not the only case that demonstrates apathy towards poor litigants who languish in jails throughout the country despite having served out their sentences, there are numerous such cases.

In a case which raises serious questions about the infraction of human rights, SC gives tentatively 5 months to give a hearing, simple reason I guess is that neither they are terrorists, nor #UrbanNaxal, but are convicted in gender biased laws and gynocentrism rules government and judiciary.

Not all petitioners get the benefit of a priority hearing like high-profile cases. A family of four, sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2001 for abetting the suicide of a daughter-in-law but still in prison, filed an appeal in May and the Supreme Court has finally scheduled a hearing after five months in October, reported Times of India.

The Bariha family — father Radhe, mother Ratna and sons Arjun and Purnanand — from Chhattisgarh’s Salejharia village were convicted by the Mahasamund sessions judge in 2001 for cruelty to Arjun’s wife Ambika, leading to her suicide. Since the death took place within seven years of marriage, a case of dowry death under Section 498A and abetment to suicide was made out and the charge was upheld by the court. Arjun had married Ambika in 1996.

The Chhattisgarh high court dismissed their appeal, which was filed in 2002, after more than 12 years in 2014. It upheld the trial court’s decision to convict all four under Section 498A (cruelty in matrimonial home for dowry) and Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of IPC, and sentenced them to three years and 10 years imprisonment respectively, running concurrently.

The HC did not inquire if they had served out the sentence and the state government did not bother to find out why they were in jail for the last 17 years. Being poor, they did not file an appeal in the SC, even after four years of the HC judgment. Finally, it was left to the legal aid committee to assign the case to advocate Anupam Lal Das, who filed an appeal on May 21.

A search for the appeal on the SC website showed it is tentatively scheduled for hearing on October 22. As serious questions about infraction of human rights became apparent, TOI asked Das whether he had taken steps for early listing. Das said facts of the case warranted the SC registry to understand the urgency.

“I will mention this petition before the Chief Justice of India seeking early hearing,” Das said. The petition drafted by him said, “The appellants were arrested in the year 2001 (as reflected in the surrender certificate issued by the jail authority) and, therefore, their sentences stood completed in the year 2011. However, they have not been released from prison and their illegal incarceration continues for the last seven years. The present case demonstrates state apathy towards poor litigants who languish in jails throughout the country despite having served out their sentences.”

Das has requested the SC to fix accountability on officers responsible for poor prisoners being kept in custody despite completing their sentences.

#498a #304b #genderbiasedlaws

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