Trainee IPS officer's wife alleges dowry harassment, says TN police not taking action

The woman has alleged that the police are refusing to act, despite a court order, because her husband is an IPS officer.
Trainee IPS officer's wife alleges dowry harassment, says TN police not taking action
Trainee IPS officer's wife alleges dowry harassment, says TN police not taking action

A 24-year-old woman from Chennai, who has accused her IPS officer husband of domestic violence and dowry harassment, is struggling to get the police to register a case against him. This, despite a court order directing the police to file a case against the husband if they find that it’s a cognisable offence. The woman first approached the police with her complaint in December 2019, four months after her husband filed for divorce. She has accused him of dowry harassment, domestic violence, desertion and criminal intimidation among other complaints.

In August 2017, Aruna got married to IPS officer Ananda Rajaguru from Dindigul. Speaking to TNM, the architecture graduate from Anna University alleged, “Even before the wedding, his family began demanding extravagant gifts and arrangements. Over time, the demands increased. They asked for alarge sum in April 2019."

She received divorce papers from Ananda in August, and when efforts to sort out issues failed, she approached the police in December 2019.

"I first went on December 23 but when I told them that he is an IPS officer they refused to take my complaint. For two days I went back and forth to the station. Finally on December 26 they accepted my complaint but I didn't receive a CSR and neither did they file an FIR," Aruna said.

In January, she approached the court over the police's refusal to file an FIR and on January 20, the High Court directed the police to take action based on the severity of the offence. But when TNM spoke to the All Women police station inspector who is handling the case, she maintained that it was a matrimonial issue. “We have just started investigating the case. The way we see it is a matrimonial dispute. We can't just take a complaint and file an FIR. The court has said if it is a cognisable offence you can file FIR. Everyone gives dowry harassment cases, we can't file an FIR immediately. The reason this case has even come to public notice is because he is an IPS officer," the inspector, Josephin Loured Mery, said.

On Monday, Aruna approached Additional Commissioner (North) R Dhinakaran, with the court order telling the police to take necessary action in her case. But till now, there has been no development in the case, Aruna said. 

Speaking to TNM about the case, human rights lawyer Sudha Ramalingam, said that when a complaint is filed, a CSR or LP (Local Petition) has to be immediately filed. “In this case, it is understandable that the police want to conduct an enquiry before filing an FIR when there is already a matrimonial dispute pending in a competent court,” she said, “But having said that, at least a CSR or LP must be given as an acknowledgement of receiving the complaint. That is mandatory to set the law in motion.”

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