Dowry cases: SC refuses to review its order on restrain from cops
The Supreme Court has refused to modify its judgment that restrained police of all states from “automatically” arresting the accused in dowry harassment cases. The court dismissed a plea by the National Commission for Women (NCW) to reconsider its July 2014 verdict, which had said that dowry laws were being “used as weapons, rather than shields, by disgruntled wives”.
Holding that the anti-dowry law was being misused, the 2014 judgment held that arrests in all cases where the maximum punishment is up to seven years in jail cannot be made on a reasonable belief that the accused may have committed the offence. It added there has to be adequate material to show that the arrest was necessary to ensure proper probe or to prevent the accused from committing any further offence or any act to influence the outcome of the case.
This judgment was sought to be reviewed by the NCW, that claimed that the judgment in Arnesh Kumar case went beyond what the statutory provisions had prescribed. The NCW said the ruling gave an unreasonable leeway to police in deciding whether or not to arrest those complained against in a dowry harassment case.