Like Every Coin Has Two Sides..

Mumbai, 27th December, 2014:

      Note: By writing the following blog post neither am I being biased towards anyone, nor am I on a mission to support men in their wrong doings. I’m just here to inform the others about the trending issue of cruelty that is being committed towards men in the society these days, since women are misusing those laws enacted for them.

I’M WRITING THE FOLLOWING POST SINCE IN THE PAST FEW DAYS, I MYSELF AS AN INTERN ATTENDING TRIALS IN THE HONORABLE COURT, AND WORKING THERE HAVE ENCOUNTERED CASES WHEREIN WOMEN ARE REGISTERING FALSE CASES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WHEREIN THE HUSBAND HAS HAD TO SUFFER TERRIBLY, I’LL BE CITING THOSE CASES FURTHER. NAMES OF THE ACCUSED WILL BE CHANGED, WITH RESPECT TO PRIVACY OF THE SAME.

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With the dynamic change in the social structure, the thinking and awareness of people change. A steady change has been seen in today’s life in the mind of elites about  opposite move of cruel treatment in family sphere where husbands are ill treated by their wives and the relatives of wives. The judiciary in it’s experience and cataloging of judgement has also been sensitized to issues and facts of the cruel treatment by wives to their husbands with single action and/or with help of paternal relatives.

   “WHILE MAKING SPECIAL LAWS FOR WOMEN, THE LEGISLATORS MUST THINK OF VICTIMIZED SECT OF SOCIETY IN MALE LINE”

In India and elsewhere in the world, there are no special laws for males. There is Dowry Prohibition Act, section 498A in IPC ( Indian Penal Code ) i.e. offense of cruelty by husband and relatives of husband and many many more acts to support women. The cry of victimized husbands and their relatives is not heard by the society nor the courts. The practice says that the real purpose of the women-related specify laws are mis-used and thereby their husbands suffer for no fault of theirs.

Since I’m interning with a very well-known criminal justice lawyer, I’ve witnessed cases myself of DV ( Domestic Violence), wherein wives are falsely accusing husbands of mental and physical torture, and by studying the cases I’ve been deeply shaken. In one of the cases, the wife has eloped her husbands house along with their 7 year old daughter, without informing anyone. She has done so since, she wants to have the 2 flats that belong to her husband. In that process, she has defamed her husband, tried to break through the door. Evidences prove that she is falsely accusing her husband, of cruelty. There are text messages to prove that, she has warned him either to hand her over the 2 flats or else she along with her family would slap a law suit for dowry. and also domestic violence. That becomes far easier, because in cases of harassment or domestic violence no police investigation is done.The husband earns a meager amount of rs.8,000 per month and still has to pay for all the legal proceedings. He isn’t allowed to meet his own daughter, his daughter is being kept in the dark, not given food and water since days together, nor has she been send to school by her own mother. such is the condition. 2 more cases of the same nature have been witnessed by me.

Not that I’m saying all cases which have been registered for harassment or violence by husbands to wives are false in nature. 80% of them are very much true, but surely 20% are false also at the same time. This is one issue which hasn’t received proper acclamation till date. Agreed, that violence against women is far more than we imagine, but on the other hand also men are suffering due to torture, cruelty. Certain laws need to be enacted in order to curb the cases of false allegations by women. It not only defames the social image of the accused but also ruins him psychological as well as mentally. Is basically is quite a bit disheartening, my heart aches of the accused still, because looking at evidences from both sides it’s definitely clear as to whose at fault and whose not. The Men rights movement in India is associated with various men rights organizations. They demand gender neutral laws and repeal of laws that they consider anti-men. Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) has claimed that the suicide rate of married men is almost twice that of women, due to them being “unable to withstand verbal, emotional, economic and physical abuse” from their wives.SIFF has pointed to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data to show that suicide in married men is much higher than in married women.

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The Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code which deals with cruelty to a wife states that:

Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

For the purposes of this section, “cruelty” means:
(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
(b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.

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The Section 498a of the Indian Penal Code:

Allows the police to arrest the persons mentioned in the complaint without a warrant or without any investigation.The crime is non-bailable, so chances of getting a bail are low and husbands usually lose their jobs. There is no provision of withdrawing a complaint in case of a reconciliation.

According to Ram Prakash Chugh, about 87% of the women in Tihar jail are there due to dowry charges. He has claimed that sometimes mothers of the bride bring dowry charges on their in-laws when the bride fails to adjust to her in-laws.[2Organisations like All India Mother-in-Law Protection Forum (AIMPF) and Mothers And Sisters of Husbands Against Abuse of Law (MASHAAL) have been formed to represent such women. According to Sunil Gupta, a spokesperson for Tihar Jail, there 280 in-laws in the prison accused of dowry harassment and most of them are women. The women are held in a separate section of the prison, which has been nicknamed Saas-Nanand (mother-in-law and sister-in-law) barrack.

According to SIFF, these laws don’t follow conventional legal premises where a person is innocent until proven guilty. It has also pointed out that several of those who are arrested under this law are women themselves, i.e., female relatives of husbands.According to Swarup Sarkar, spokesman of SIF, men with low incomes are rarely targeted and most victims of misuse are well-off.Former justice of Delhi High Court Shiv Narayan Dhingra has admitted that this law is being used by women to harass their husbands and in-laws. He has opined that parents should not go through with a marriage if dowry is being demanded of them. According to Ponappa, a Men’s Rights activist from Mysore, and Kumar Jahgirdar, president of the Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), a non-governmental organization, a married man commits suicide every nine minutes in India due to the alleged misuse of Section 498a of the Indian Penal Code against them.

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   So my prayer is,

Laws should be enacted for men too. I understand that most of my posts have been women-oriented, but this is an issue which needs to be looked up to since it’s slipping out of hand now. Moreover by witnessing such aches, my heart further aches. Such laws should be enacted as to protect their rights too in certain matters and issues.

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