LOC issued against NRI 498a Victim: Next Step Proclaimed Offender Status

An upset father called me from Rajasthan the other day. He was talking about his son who is working abroad. He told me that the dowry case against parents and son has been going on for the past two years. Their lawyer has dragged the case and not allowed filing of the chargesheet by the use of dilatory tactics. The judge is now insisting that the IO file the chargesheet on the next date. A look out circular has been issued against the son in this case upon the insistence of the daughter-in-law.

The father told me that the 498a wife is threatening to destroy the family and that all lawyers contacted by them are advising them to not let the son return to India. He is also worried that if the son returns to India he will not be able to go back to his place of work or will get sacked or some such combination.

I advised the father that the loss of a connection with his motherland and his parents will be much more serious for the 498a accused husband than a few days in jail, or an inability to return to his place of work. I said that it is very natural that the complainant is threatening to finish off their family. Let her bark. The main worry here is that if the young man is made a proclaimed offender then he will not be able to get bail ever after, and his case will be weakened considerably. He will be in serious danger of losing his connection with his motherland in such a situation.

The caller told me that the complainant has managed to get her husband's passport impounded. I expressed my surprise at how the son could manage to stay abroad in this case, being passport-less now. The gentleman told me that his passport is still with him. I told him that he does not understand the meaning of the word 'impound' (to seize), and that a passport cannot be impounded and remain with the concerned citizen simultaneously.

The father asked me what would happen if his son remains abroad. I explained to him that he would pretty soon be declared a proclaimed offender and will be forced to come back upon expiry of his passport if he has not managed to get foreign citizenship by then (by the date of expiry of his passport). Even if he gets foreign citizenship his connection with India will be broken forever on pain of imprisonment upon return.

He asked me what to do in that case. I advised him to come back and to face the court and to not worry about a few days or a couple of weeks in jail. The sky will not fall down if he spend a short period in jail. Even if he gets convicted there is every possibility that he will be be given a short sentence.

The behaviour of lawyers in this case is not difficult to explain. They are clearly motivated by money, and not by the welfare of their clients. Decisions should be made after consulting well-wishers too, and lawyers should not hold sway in all aspects of your matrimonial litigation.

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Published by Manish Udar

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Last updated on 08th February 2014
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