Sec 498A is women's 'Brahmastra', should not be diluted: NCW

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New Delhi, Oct 15 (UNI) The National Commission for Women (NCW) today came out in support of the anti-dowry law, Section 498 A of the IPC, in the face of demands from various quarters to review it.

NCW chief Girija Vyas said the law should not be diluted just because there were some allegations of misuse.

''The 498A is like a 'Brahmastra' for protection of women. As it is, number of cases of atrocities against women are rising and this is one tool on which a woman can rely,'' she said at a press conference here.

As regards misuse of law, Ms Vyas said the police must investigate the cases thoroughly and then make the arrests.

''Then there would be no case for misuse,'' she said.

She called for more stringent punishment under the law, instead of the prescribed seven years imprisonment.

On the issue of live-in relationship, the NCW chairperson said the Maharastra Government proposal to legalise it should be done only in the case the persons concerned are single. ''It should not be applicable if the man is still married. Then the two women will be victimised.'' She refused to elaborate as details of the proposal were not available. She said the Commission would appoint a Committee to analyse the proposal clause by clause.

Replying to queries on TV journalist Sowmya Vishwanathan's murder case, she said security of women working on late-night shifts should be ensured.

The police and companies hiring them should be responsible for their safety, she added.

''There has been a rise in cases where perverted minds have been at work. We need to put a stop to this,'' she said.

The NCW has sought from the Delhi Police details of the probe into the incident.

UNI MMG GT VC1726

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