For poor, registration of FIR impossible: Delhi HC
New Delhi: It is "impossible for the poor".This is how an annoyed Delhi High Court bench termed the non-registration of an FIR in a case of a missing woman.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar expressed anguish when it found that no FIR was lodged by the police despite a woman's complaint that her daughter has been missing from her in-laws' house since June 2016.
The bench took note of the letter written to it by the woman explaining the ordeal suffered by her daughter before she went missing after she was harassed by her in-laws.
In her letter, the woman has also alleged that her daughter was beaten up for bringing less dowry.
Moved by the contents of the letter, the bench expressed unhappiness over the lack of action by Delhi Police and said "it discloses a hopeless state of affairs that even after a complaint was filed in this regard, the police has failed to lodge a case".
It, thereafter, sought the response of senior police officers on the woman's complaint.
The bench also asked the DCP of the area, where the woman had lodged a complaint, to place before it the action taken in this regard.
It directed the police to ensure that the missing woman and her husband are present before the court on the next date of hearing on January 29.
Human rights observers have repeatedly pointed to the abysmal anti-poor legal infrastructure and social mores in the country.
According to a recent report in a national daily, the act of begging is considered a crime in 20 states and two union territories of India.
This reflects the society's embarrassment at manifest poverty and annoyance at perceived encroachment of public spaces, the report stated.
In several places, people can be arrested for "looking poor", the report showed.
Laws allow the police to round up beggars without warrant and judges to confine them in government-run institutions for long or indefinite periods–a violation of constitutional principles.
The law essentially allows law enforcement agencies legitimise a hostile attitude towards a section of society.
In October 2016, the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment held a consultation on a new model bill for destitute people which has been referred to state governments for comment. Model laws are usually drafted by central government ministries for state governments to adopt on a voluntary basis.