SUICIDE AND TORTURE

Published By The Daily Star on May 28, 2011 (Link Above)

This week Your Advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is the head of the chambers of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Legal Counsel’, which has expertise mainly in commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. Our civil and criminal law experts from reputed law chambers will provide the legal summary advice.

Query
My sister who was married to a police constable of our area of residence which is outside Dhaka city, I am writing on behalf of my sister and my family.

The problem started when my sister’s husband (designated as a police constable in local police station) asked for 3 laks Taka so that he can migrate himself in a foreign country. He pressurise my sister even he abused her brutally. He believed that my family has lots of money as 3 of my brothers’ reside abroad. But it was really difficult for my father to arrange the money as a result, the brutalities of torture were increasing day by day and finally we got the news of her death. My father went there and they were saying that it was a suicide committed by my sister.. But then again when my father went to the police station to file a case, initially they refused to take the complain but later the officer in charge filed a complain but not disclosing the exact matter of the complaint to my father (who is not that much educated or aware of the legal matters) and forcefully took the sign from him. Later we find that the case was filed on s.306 of Penal code.

Now I really want to know that how do we get justice?

In trouble,
Comilla

Response
I would like to thank you very much for your inquiry. From your query it is clear that you and your family is seeking justice into the alleged incident of suicide committed by your sister. Accordingly, the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 and Penal Code 1860 are likely to be relevant.

Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that the officer-in-charge of the Police Station shall submit report to the empowered court. However, the informant or the complainant has the opportunity to submit objection against the aforesaid report. This is known as Naraji Petition. Thus, you may submit your objection once the Police submit the investigation report in relation to the case filed under Section 306 of the Penal Code. Following the submission of the Naraji Petition, the court may order further investigation into the incident.

You must be cautious enough while submitting the Naraji Petition. The Petition should contain details of the incident. For instance, relevant sections of the Penal Code dealing with the offences of culpable homicide, murder etc. shall be mentioned. The contents of this petition are very important for determining the outcome of the case forcefully filed under Section 306 by the Police.

Considering your fact it is clear that your sister was a victim of dowry. Every year, many women are killed in our country because of dowry. Causing the death of someone for dowry is also an offence under the Nari O shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain.

From a social point of view, it is not possible to prevent the demand of dowry only by means of legal provisions but it is very important to raise social awareness, which can be the most effective means to encounter this social disorder.

I hope the aforesaid opinion will help you to take appropriate step towards the solution of your problem.

For detailed query contact: omar@legalcounselbd.com.