CAW Cells

Crime against Women Cell, known popularly as CAW Cell, is also known as Mahila Pramarsh Kendra or Mahila Thana or Parivar Pramarsh Kendra in all over India, though I will call these as CAW Cell or CAW for the sake of convenience of readers.
The main job of these Cells is reconciliation between the warring couple and their two main purposes are (a) Voluntary, and (b) Reconciliatory. These days in Dowry Harassment cases also known as 498a or what we read often as false 498a cases or false dowry case;  or cases of Domestic Violence under PWDVA 2006.

CAW Cells in India tries to bring about reconciliation between the husband wife. In Delhi, the first CAW Cell was established in 1983 at Nanak Pura, under section 19 of Delhi Police Act, 1978 after a Delhi High Court Judgement by J.S.N. Aggarwal in a case between Smt. Jasbir Kaur versus Govt. of NCT Delhi, the petitioner asked for abolishing of the CAW Cells, the court while disposing of the petition held that, “The creation of CAW Cells for investigation of crime pertaining to women, in my opinion, does not cause any discrimination on the basis of sex for the CAW Cells have been constituted with a social purpose so that the crimes relating to women are dealt with sensitivity. CAW Cell is like any other specialized wing of the Delhi Police like Special Cell, Crime Branch, etc., where firstly an attempt is made to bring about unity between the two spouses so as to make the marriage a success. On the failure of these reconciliation attempts, the law is allowed to take its course. Thus no fault can be found with the creation of CAW Cells.” So, it can be seen that, CAW Cells are formed as a reconciliatory and voluntary body and they can NOT enforce attendance of husband or its relatives.

In another infamous Judgement by Delhi High Court by Hon'ble Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra, it was held that CAW Cell is allowed to & can only make reconciliatory efforts between the husband wife or boy girl and that also up to the stage of pre- registration of FIR but if the FIR has been registered then the CAW has no powers to call husband wife for counselling or mediation. The CAW Cell has no power or authority to secure the presence of any person either by coercion or by threat. CAW Cell is only a conciliatory body and voluntory and here efforts can only be made for conciliation with the free will & free consent of the parties. CAW is NOT mandatory. If any person is not willing to go to CAW Cell, he cannot be compelled as a compulsion. It was further held by Hon'ble Delhi High Court Justice S.N. Dhingra that CAW Cell, in future, instead of issuing summons to the parties shall send request letters requesting or asking them to appear for the purpose of conciliation and not for the purpose of investigation or forced attendance. In CAW Cells, there is an Enquiry Officer who is NOT a Investigating Officer. He (E.O.) must have experience of around twenty years and minimum rank of the Enquiry Officer must be ASI or SI i.e., Assitant Sub-Inspector or Sub-Inspector. You can file a complaint against police or complaint againt against ASI or complaint against SI if he applies coercion or threatening against you.

CAW Cells cannot take suo-motu action as they do NOT have the powers which means that the complainant has to record in writing her complaint after visiting the CAW Cell or call them at her home if she is differently abled woman and she has to give her complaint in own hand-writing unless she is illiterate.

After receiving a CAW complaint, the CAW cell examines the alleged offences followed (based on severability) by counselling sessions of the complainant with the husband's family but this is actually NOT called as the counselling as counselling in part-2 of CAW Cells. Before counselling, the husband and wife sit together before the EO and try to reconcile their differences but if there are chances of settlement then they must be allowed to go for counselling within CAW Cells which is usually biased. However, if the husband is unwilling to take back the complaint, then the request letters are sent to the opposite party i.e., the husband's family asking them to appear for the purpose of conciliation so that the family culture and Indian values can be protected. But, In case of a matrimonial dispute, the CAW asks the wife to submit a list of istridhan kept at her matrimonial house for recovery in case the wife no longer wishes to stay with the husband. It is seen that, when the husband visits the CAW Cell in Delhi or Haryana for first appearance, the Enquiry Officer (NOT a counsellor) tries to ensure conciliation or patch up between the warring husband-wife and if there are any chances of a mutual reconciliation or mutual consented divorce or a settlement based on a memorandum of understanding, then the process is carried forward regularly on for next three months so husband must say that he wants to live with the wife, but if the husband says that he does NOT want to live with that lady, only then, the husband should be given a list of istridhan (dowry list) to be replied by the next date given by the EO and this reply is called as admit list. The husband must not give the admit list and say that he never received dowry but the husband on the same time may admit and make a much longer but different list than that of the wife and say that these are the gifts that the husband holds as a trustee of the wife and this list should include spoons, katori's, bra, panties, lipstick khali dibbis, powder, bindi, different list of clothes and usually low valued & unwanted articles which the wife has and which the wife forgot to write in her dowry list. Never Admit the dowry claim of the wife. Give a list aroud 10 times longer than the wife's list and offer them to be returned in the PS or CAW Cell as and when required side by side informaing the crime against women cell about yopur intention to keep the wife with you and your deliberate willingness to live with the wife thereby exposing the wife for NOT living with you.

CAW Complaint Copy RTI is most important and the husband should apply for the complaint through the RTI cell of the concerned CAW Cell. Husband must maintain calm and slight confidence with a mild smile on the face even if the wife comes waiving her hips in the CAW Cell with utmost confidence. Do NOT get instigated if the wife or any relative from her family may try to instigate the husband or his relative during the conciliation or counselling proceedings. This instigation can also be done by police officers and even by enquiry officer, mediator or counsellor. The counsellor maintains the written record of each proceeding and it has been complained often by husbands that there is video recording i.e., secret video recording within CAW Cell or the relative of the wife may be allowed to stand outside the gate or behnid the husband and keep recording in cuts and parts so that these recordings can be used against the husband's relatives. Husband must ensure any such thing is cross-signed by both the parties so let the wife signs first and then husband must read what is written or sign it saying that i am signing an attendance at CAW Cell without reading the contents. It is in favour of the husband to attend each and every proceeding at CAW Cell but if the husband is a NRI and is outside India then he should follow the procedure of Lego-Technical Representation prepared by atur chatur. After a few meetings, generally between 4-12 meetings (within 3 months i.e., 90 days mandatory time of conciliation) and after a meeting with the SHO/ACP of the CAW Cell or Inspector CAW Cell or in some cases with DCP concerned, if there is no scope of reconciliation between husband wife, then the complaint is converted to the legal cell of the CAW cell i.e., FIR is lodged or registered against husband and entire family. The legal cell making FIR goes through the complaint and gives recommendations for filing of FIR with relevant sections at the concerned Police Station. Anticipatory Bail should NOT be applied but if the husband wants to apply anticipatory bail then the husband must get a strong bail application prepared by draft assistant aturchatur.

Attending proceedings in CAW Cell is not mandatory i.e., it is optional but it is advisable to attend alongwith a Lego-Technical Representation. In all states including in Delhi, there would be no problems at all in getting Anticipatory Bail even if one does not attend reconciliatory proceedings at CAW Cell but for this you must get lego-technical representation prepared by atur chatur.

The procedures can vary in other states, i.e.
a. In Punjab & Haryana under Punjab & Hryana High Court Chandigarh and also under Himachal Pradesh no list or Dowry List may be provided to husband generally but the same is brought by the Police i.e., state while opposing the bail (bail cancellation) stating that recovery has to be effected and for this lego technical represnetation may helps a lot.
b. In Uttar Pradesh (UP), as per the court directions of the Allahabad High Court, the FIR (First Information Report) is registered immediately and then after that 30 days time may be provided for reconciliation but this is against the procedures being followed in Delhi.
c. In Bihar and Jharkhand and Orissa etc most cases i.e., almost 100% FIR's are registered by way of complaint to the court i.e., under section 156(3) CrPC r/w 200 IPC, hence the reconciliation proceedings may happen during bail but if the husband gets a lego technical represntation prepared by aturchatur when the wife leaves home then by the time wife reaches court for FIR directions or reaches CAW or FIR through police station then her case may already be very weak and the FIR won't be registered on false facts.
d. In Maharashtra there are no CAW Cells and the FIR is almost instant in the Police Stations but the Mumbai High Court i.e., Bombay High Court calls for set up of Family Welfare Committes r/w Rajesh Sharma Judgment on 27 July 2017.

In nut sheell, it can be said that CAW Cells/Mahila Thanas or Crime Against Wome Cells etc. are made for reconciliatory efforts voluntarily, and it is prudent to not run a rebuttals there but evidences may be shown to atur chatur regarding relevance or irrelevance. Remember that after these proceedings the girl can not give supplementary statement as that would be called as contradictory statement or void for vagueness or simply an after thought which is not allowd under the law for which lego technical representation is the right procedure. Evidences should strictly be NOT be used at the time of trial as per an activist mindset instead you need to activate or invoke your human rights and as per the human rights, the false case is not triable as that is the violation of one's human rights.

Issued in public interest by ATUR CHATUR

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