Theft and Recovery- an Anecdote

 

All of us lawyers have always had those few incidents back in our life at law schools which always remain with us. Somehow law school experiences; I feel are one of their kinds. You don’t find such in any other educational institute. The stories, the situations are way too real life. Let’s have a peek into what Paavni of Symbiosis Law School, Pune has in her bag.

What was to be an ordinary dinner out with friends turned out to be quite an adventure. We’ve all heard stories from people of their things getting stolen, but being the story teller, especially as a law student certainly affords a different perspective.

It all started the moment we reached our destination and saw the customary assemblage of people standing around the street that led to a number of restaurants. Without a second thought we get off our cab and I opened my bag to pay, the moment that led to an extremely long night and an equally arduous two weeks.

With all my belongings including phone, money and ID card in my bag, I felt a tug. The next thing I know, the inconspicuous man who standing next to us snatched my bag and was running towards a bike standing a few meters away with another man. Sadly I couldn’t have a Queen moment in which I didn’t let go of my bag, and my attempts to chase him were also rendered redundant as I saw him climb onto the bike which rode off into the night. How I wish I hadn’t worn heels that day.

For a few moments we all just stood aghast at what had just transpired. Coming back to our senses we were contemplating what to do when the cab driver (if only all cabbies were this nice) called and told us the bike number. Funnily enough it took us a few second to decode it as we realized that none of our counting in Hindi was too good.

Considering the time, we decided to return home and file a complaint in the morning. But as fate was to have it, this was just the beginning. Within an hour of the incident my friend received a call from a police station asking if they knew me and if I were with them as they have recovered a bag. They asked me about the details of my bag and its contents to ensure it was indeed mine and asked me to come to the police station immediately as they had caught the thieves. We were all very skeptical as we had never heard of such prompt action by the police for something we hadn’t even filed a complaint for yet.

We ultimately agreed to go to the police station against our better judgment, thinking only of Tuka Ram and all the other cases we had read in our IPC classes of custodial violence throughout the journey. With great apprehension we arrived at a very dark alley which led to the entry of the station. To some relief, the station itself was well lit. Not sure about the procedure and in the general anxiety, we called up our extremely nice seniors who left everything and reached the Police Station in 10 minutes. The police wrote a complaint and asked me to identify the handcuffed culprits and the bike, all while offering us a cup of tea.

At 1:00 a.m. when the formalities were completed and we thought we could finally return home, we were highly mistaken. They commanded us to go to a different police station as even though the thieves were caught in their jurisdiction, the incident had taken place in another and therefore the FIR could only be recorded over there. We requested to return in the morning but to no avail which resulted in us reaching the second police station.

They asked us to repeat the incident and tell them the exact location where it took place, which to our misery was in the jurisdiction of a third police station. My learned seniors asked them to file a Zero FIR but they insisted on us going to the other Police Station. Finally we reached the third police station which had the correct jurisdiction. But of course, life can’t be this simple as they then asked us to go to a different branch of their station which had the computer to record complaints. On the way there they identified the spot of the crime to confirm the jurisdiction. Finally arriving at the fourth station which was a basically a tiny check post built on boulders that moved with every step we took.

The FIR was finally recorded u/s 154 charging the thieves with robbery u/s 390 read with S.34 (after we pointed out that it cannot be dacoity since there weren’t five people) in Marathi, translated for me in hindi and then signed by me at five in the morning.

The happiness in my sleepy eyes was short-lived as I wasn’t allowed to leave with my bag and was told to collect it from the court as it was now evidence in a criminal investigation.

With this commenced my two weeks of inaccessibility with no phone and more importantly, no whatsapp. After running to the lawyer’s office across town and visiting three different courts in search of stamp paper on a government holiday, I was finally granted a bail application and got back possession of my bag with everything intact.

All in all, it was definitely a unique experience (and I hope it stays that way), where I got the practical knowledge of IPC and CrPC while studying the same in college. I also learnt that the police can indeed be trusted and is capable of working without corruption. The Pune policemen are given awards for catching culprits which removes the need for bribery on their part and gives them incentive to work more efficiently which clearly shows that the right motivation is all one needs for transparent functioning.

The whole process could indeed be made a lot more victim friendly by simplifying complaint registration and delivery of possession of things already recovered instead of the spending so much time and money. But no system is perfect and considering the strength of the police forces and the infamous delays that take place in courts, I was lucky to have my things found at all and getting it back within two weeks doesn’t seem too bad in retrospect.

Every great lawyer has a case in their name from their law school days; this is probably the only one that’s going to be on mine.

Signing off – Paavni

I know you have got many in your bag too. Write about them to us and we would feature it in our blogs with all the due credits.

Drop mail to us at : info@incourt.in subject LAW SCHOOL SERVES.

 

Indian perspective on Marital Rape

“Namaskar Nari! Shadishuda zindagi me aapka swagat h. Niyam anusar aapko har uss chiz ki han me han milani hogi jo aapke Pati aapse krne ko kahenge, chahe aap wo na bhi krna chahte ho. Ab aap iss zindagi me kadam rakh chuke hain aur yahi bhugatne wale hain. Dhanyavad!”

In our country, Marriage is considered as a legal agreement between two parties to spend their entire life together, willingly or unwillingly. Indian marriage system, usually a family drama, is highly influenced by our orthodox society. Even in modern era, wherein everyone considers it cool to be open minded, love marriages are still not accepted. A woman and a man who love each other can’t get married but two unknown personalities who have never seen or known each other are allowed to marry and moreover compelled to fall in love with each other. A girl who loses her virginity before marriage is considered as promiscuous woman, but if loses virginity after marriage with her husband whom she doesn’t even know, is accepted by our society. What kind of hypocritical world we live in???

In section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, a girl getting raped by an unknown man without her consent is considered as a criminal offense and the criminal gets a severe punishment. But what about a girl getting raped by her husband? Why it isn’t considered as a criminal offense? Why isn’t there is any law for Marital Rape? Well, I presume that either our society doesn’t consider it as an offense or they are just ignorant about the very existence of the term, ‘Marital Rape’.

Before I talk about all this further, to clarify any doubts regarding this, Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. If any person indulges in sexual intercourse with you without your consent, it is considered to be rape. I find absolutely no reason for this to become inapplicable when it comes to marital rape. Any time a husband forces himself on his partner to engage in a sexual intercourse without her consent, the act should be considered as marital rape. Everyone has the right to say NO. They don’t give up their sexual rights as soon as they are married. I am obviously not tying my consent with my mate’s consent when I tie myself in the so-called ‘marital bond’. Sometimes a girl can’t even file a complaint against her husband because of lack of support from her family as they think their reputation will go down or because ’arre… Log kya sochenge’. You know this ‘Log Kya Kahenge’ concept is extremely famous in India. Forget ‘Tum kya sochte ho’, and accept something which is wrong because of the perception of these people who don’t even matter to you. You still won’t give a damn about your own daughter or sister and won’t stand up against the society for them. Why are women always told to adjust and suffer to save a relationship? Why can’t someone just hold her hand and be a support, stand beside her and tell her to do what is actually right????

During the amendment in criminal law, the official reason for not making any changes in law regarding marital rape was that it would “weaken the institution of marriage”. The only sense I can make from this is that a woman has to continue to try and make her marriage work even when her husband is a rapist and a willful brute. Bluntly, it is the woman who has to leave her own home, a woman who has to serve the husband’s home, a woman who has to raise the child, a woman who has to earn and handle the house and at the end of the day still consent to the sexual urge of her husband even when she doesn’t want to. Or I should simply say if you are a woman, you ought to suffer. Rape is Rape, adding the word ‘Marital’ before it doesn’t reduce the gravity of the crime. The misconception that sexual violations can’t take place in a marriage is extremely misconstrued, and must be revised. How about you begin by not treating women as objects? How about each and every woman adopts this ‘I will decide for myself attitude’ and become absolutely fearless about what ‘people will say’? Think. Rethink. Act!

The State Vs Jolly LLB2

Perfectly blended law and humour

Let’s read what our favourite blogger has to say about it. Nitin is an NLU, Jodhpur alumni, Batch 2015. Apart from being an excellent legal professional, Nitin is very popular amongst the young legal fraternity for his blogs with exceptionally well placed humour. Let’s assess the much in legal controversy, latest Bollywood release The State Vs Jolly LL.B 2

Bollywood courts have come a long way from ‘tareekh pe tareekh’ to ‘No means No’. Writer Director Subhash Kapoor lifts the ‘bar’ (pun intended) even higher with Jolly LLB 2. You get the feel of law, right from the elaborated disclaimer in Akshay Kumar’s voice in the beginning of the film to the specific sections of IPC quoted in the end.

Audience clapped and cheered as Jagdishwar Mishra aka Jolly appears on the screen riding his scooter. Within minutes we get to know that it was not only Akshay’s stardom but the claps were well deserved as we see this ‘qualified’ lawyer from Kanpur helping students pass their English exam for Rs.5000 by dictating answers on loudspeaker and outsmarting everyone who tries to double cross him. This street smart, small town lawyer is tired of being sidekick of a prominent lawyer in Lucknow who treats him like Munsi and is tempted to defraud a client in a bid to arrange money for his personal chamber.

Things go out of hand, leading to serious consequence and guilt ridden Jagdishwar Mishra goes out of the way to fight for justice in a corrupt system. He is seen dodging bullets in Hazratganj and traveling length and breadth of the country to find evidences. Despite some very strong messages and serious scenes, the movie keeps the tempo just right and the jolly feeling stays throughout the movie.

There are many laugh-out-loud moments and also moments that will make you reach for tissues.  Retaining some of the bollywood clichés, this movie does justice to comedy courtroom drama while being realistic in many ways. You will cheer for Jolly in every argument between him and Pramod Mathur (Annu Kapoor) and feel sad for every setback that Jolly faces.

Judge Sunder Lal Tripathy ( Saurabh Shukla) is a delight to watch as he dances to “Gulabo” and hammers the table while hiding under it.Movie has many funny dialogues and a strong monologue by Saurabh Shukla in the end. There is not a single dull moment in the film.

The film raises the issue of custodial deaths and encounter killings that remain unexplained and handles it very well. It highlights the plight of the Indian Judiciary system but does not overdo it. Just the right mixture of entertainment and education. Every scene is enjoyable and more so if you are associated with legal field.References to Lucknow and Kanpur are spot on and Akshay Kumar convincingly plays a small town lawyer trying to make it big. Jolly LLB was a surprise hit of 2013 and Jolly LLB 2 is sure to recreate the magic for this year.