Sunday, 23 December 2007

When the Price of an FIR is 5000 INR

When the Price of an FIR is 5000 INR
On 4 August, 2007 reports published in various newspapers that Sub-Inspector Nihar Ranjan Das, the in-charge of Ghungoor Out post under the jurisdiction of Silchar Sdar Police Station in Cachar, Assam, India demanded Rs. 5,000 ( five thousand) only from Kiran Sharma as the price for registering her complaint regarding the abnormal death of her daughter Pia Das alias Piu Das.

After getting the information a team of Barak Human Rights Protection Committee started collecting facts regarding the case. According to the facts gathered by the organization Pia Das alias Pai Das was married to Shankar Das in 2002 and they have a son now aged about 4 years. Pia used to suffer mental and physical torture administered by her husband for her inability to satisfy his demands of dowry. He used to abuse, humiliate and beat her now and then. Kiran Sharma, mother of Pia Das is one of the poorest of the poor and she could not and did not meet the demands of her son-in-law. So, the suffering of her daughter Pia Das intensified day by day.

Shankar Das informed Kiran Sharma on the day of 19th April, 2007 that Pia Das was admitted to Silchar Medical College and Hospital, Silchar for treatment of the injury sustained by her while she fell down in her room due to dizziness and weakness. At about 2.30 pm that day Pia Das breathed her last. As it is an abnormal death doctors at the SMCH conducted Post Mortem and somehow Kiran Sharma came to know about the fact that her daughter's death is not a normal death. Subsequently Rahul Das, aged about 4 years, son of Shankar Das and Pia Das told his grandmother Kiran Sharma that he had seen his father beating on the head of her mother with a seating stool till she felled and got unconscious.

After funeral and overcoming the intial grief Kiran Sharma went to the Police Outpost of Ghungoor under Silchar Sadar Police Station and met Sub-Inspector Nihar Ranjan Das, the in-charge of the Outpost to lodge her complaint on 22 April, 2007. The said officer demanded her Rs. 5000.00 (Five thousand only) as the required amount of registering an FIR and attempted to get this gratification forcibly by bullying and threatening her with consequences to be put behind bar and charged with grave offences in case of her denial.

Being rebuffed, bullied and threatened kiran Sharma lost every hope of getting justice for her daughter and got frustrated. Subsequently she was able to make up her mind to seek and fight for justice. This regained hope in her mind led her to the Deputy Commissioner, Cachar and she submitted an application on the day of 3 rd August, 2007 to him stating the circumstances in which her daughter died and how her complaint was not registered and she was demanded to pay the gratification. Kiran Sharma also filed a complaint in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Cachar regarding the matter which bears the case No. 1053/2007 on the day of 4 th August, 2007. The complaint was forwarded by the hounarable court to the Silchar Sadar Police Station for registering an FIR but till the date no such FIR was registered.

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee issued a press statement regarding the case which was published in various newspapers and other media on the days of 22 nd, 28th and 29th August, 2007. In the statement the committee demanded that:
(1) Rahul Das, the minor son of Pia Das, the deceased be paid Rs. 50000.00 (Fifty thousand) only from the Chief Minister Jivan Jyoti Achoni.
(2) An FIR be registered under section 302, 304B and 34 of the Indian Panel Code, 1860 against Shankar Das.

(3)An FIR be registered against Sub- Inspector Nihar Ranjan Das under Section 166 of the IPC for his offence of knowingly disobeying law stated in sections 174 and 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

(4) Another FIR be registered against Sub-Inspector Nihar Ranjan Das under section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

(5) An investigation, if needed, into all the accusations be conducted by Criminal Investigation Department of Assam Police.

And Others.

But till the date n0othing has been done regarding the demands.

The facts stated above reveal the strong possibilities that:

(I) The death of Pia Das alias Piu Das occurred otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty by her husband in connection with his demand for dowry which offence comes well under section 304B of the Indian Panel Code, 1860.

(II) The case of the death of Pia Das alias Piu Das falls squirely under clause (ii) of sub-section 3 of section174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which mandates the officer in charge of a Police Station or such other officer to perform certain duties if he/she receives information that a person died such circumstances as stated above. In this case the Sub-Inspector did not perform these duties.

(III) Sub-Inspector Nihar Ranjan Das disobeyed law stated in sub section (1) of section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which mandates him to enter the substance of such information, as made by Kiran Sharma which reveal commission of a cognizable offence in a book to be kept by him, by refusing to do so in the instant case.

(IV) The acts of Sub-Inspector Nihar Ranjan Das sated in foregoing two sub-paras constitute the offence of disobeying law being a public servant knowing well that it is likely to cause injury to Kiran Sharma and her grandson Rahul Das by denying them an effective remedy of, and justice for the death of their daughter and mother respectively.

(V) The statement of Kiran Sharma reveals that Sub-Inspector Nihar Ranjan Das attempted to obtain a gratification from her for himself as a reward for doing his official act of registering her complaint which attempt constitute an offence under section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

(VI) These offences on the part of Sub-Inspector Nihar Ranjan Das were committed with the intent to deprive Kiran Sharma and Rahul Das ehir right to justice and did deprive them. The right to justice is a universally regocnised human right which flows from Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India and Articles 2 and 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966.

Barak Human Rights Protection Committee has filed a case with the Assam Human Rights Commission for Justice for Pia Das and it is now under process.

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