Invitation to Dharna Against Legal Terrorism

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Is the pain of a mother / sister less when she her son / brother dies than when her daughter / sister dies?

Save Indian Family Foundation invites you to a peaceful protest against the rampant and blatant misuse of pro-women marital laws against men resulting in large scale suicides of married men.

Our Demands:-

  1. Clear the Pendency of cases in Family Courts.
  2. Give more judges and more Family Courts.
  3. Make all gender biased marital laws Gender Neutral.
  4. Check misuse of these laws.
  5. Stop Treating Men as FREE ATM MACHINES
  6. Check High Rate of suicides of married men.
  7. Establish National Commission for Men, and
  8. Men’s Welfare Ministry,

To address the above problems as well as scores of others.

Date: 14 February 2009

Time: 9: 30 AM to 2: 00 PM

Venue: In front of Gandhi Statue on M.G. Road, Bangalore

Invitees: All citizens of India.

Supported by:-

  1. Save Family Foundation, Delhi
  2. MyNation Foundation, Delhi
  3. Gender Human Rights Society, Delhi
  4. Rakshak Foundation, Delhi
  5. Mother’s and Sister’s Initiative, Delhi
  6. Protect Indian Family Foundation, Mumbai
  7. Indiya Kudumba Pathukappu Iyakkam Chennai
  8. All India Forgotten Women, Hyderabad
  9. Rishtey, Hyderabad
  10. Save Indian Family Foundation, Nagpur
  11. 11. Bharat Bachao Sangathan, Kolkata.

Contact:

Virag – 9986378801 (English)

Panduranga Katti – 9432853272 (English)

Shiva Shankara – 9743183369 (Kannada)

Prakash – 9880436929 (Kannada)

9342853272 www.saveindianfamily.org 9845143274

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Only Wives are Women… Other females, just non-males?

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07-July-2008

To,

Ms. Renuka Chaudhary,

Minister, Government of India,
Ministry of Women and Child Development,
Shastri Bhavan `A’ Wing,
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road,
New Delhi-110001

Sub: Amendments to CrPC 125 recommended by NCW promote adultery and extortion

Honorable Minister,

We, the members of All India Forgotten Women, are appalled by the recent recommendations forwarded by the National Commission for Women (NCW) to the Ministry of Women and Child Development on the amendments sought in Section 125 of CrPC.

CrPC 125 is a Criminal Section which is biased towards women. Under this section, any legally married woman who cannot sustain life on her own can legally claim maintenance from the husband, while an impoverished husband cannot claim maintenance from his gainfully-employed wife. It is a well-known fact that a large proportion of women who are well educated, employed or qualified enough to find gainful employment are approaching courts to demand maintenance from the husband. Such women also simultaneously entangle the husband in false criminal cases under Section 498A and Dowry Prohibition Act. They also use civil provisions like the Domestic Violence Act and Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act (in addition to CrPC 125) to demand maintenance from the husband.

Various media reports indicate that NCW is pushing for providing maintenance not only to legally wedded/separated/divorced wives but also to female live-in partners. Another major amendment sought by NCW in Section 125 of CrPC is that ‘adultery should no longer be a ground for denying maintenance to a woman’. We feel that these recommendations are extremely sinister and ill-conceived. Through this letter we explain why the above recommendations of NCW should not be accepted, and also propose amendments that promote gender equality.

A live-in relationship, unlike marriage, is not a legally binding contract. Women (and men) who enter live-in relationships are implicitly accepting the risk of a break-up, whatever the reasons for the break-up may be. Live-in relationship is, in fact, the preferred arrangement for men and women who wish to avoid legal formalities governing their union, separation or the relationship therein. Forcing legal interference into a relationship that is legally invalid is simply ridiculous. Even if one were to condone legalization of live-in relationships, the idea of protecting the interests of just the female live-in partner, and leaving the male partner in the lurch, open to economic abuse, betrays the anti-male sentiments of radical groups like NCW. By providing maintenance to female live-in partners, NCW would only be encouraging unscrupulous women to enter into relationships, break-up at will and extort money from the male partner. Given that the length of a legally valid live-in relationship has not been defined by NCW, a woman who has shared just one night with a man can technically claim maintenance from him. Therefore, whether the legal amendment recommended by NCW is a tool of women’s empowerment or a tool of legalized extortion is a moot question.

Committing adultery amounts to criminal breach of trust and violation of the social sanctity and legal contract of marriage. Adultery should be considered an offence whether it is committed by a man or woman, and equal penalty should be imposed on the erring spouse irrespective of gender. Earlier, NCW shot down proposals for amending Section 497 which suggested that women should be prosecuted for adultery. NCW categorically stated that adulterous women were “hapless victims”, while it considered adulterous men as criminals deserving to be prosecuted. It is shameful that NCW is now recommending amendments to CrPC 125 to convert it into an extortion tool and to award maintenance to adulterous women, in the name of women’s empowerment.

Many men have been forced to pay maintenance to undeserving women merely based on the assumption of perpetual victimhood of women promoted by organizations like NCW. Men who fail to pay maintenance for any reason risk going to jail and even losing the property they own. While scores of wives use existing laws to treat husbands as free ATM machines, NCW is now pushing for new provisions so that women who are not legally married, as well as women who violated the legal contract of marriage by committing adultery, can exploit male partners financially.

As fellow women, we feel that enjoying a parasitic life by siphoning money away from an estranged husband or partner is merely extortion in broad daylight and definitely not a sign of women’s empowerment. If anything, NCW’s idea of women’s empowerment is demeaning to hard-working, self-respecting and individualistic women. By supporting unscrupulous women and providing them more tools for misuse of law NCW is harming many families. Before pushing for anymore deceitful provisions claiming to empower women, NCW should think of ways to provide justice to the 1,20,645 innocent mothers and sisters arrested and tormented in the last four years under false complaints of cruelty and dowry harassment. If NCW were genuinely interested in welfare of women, it must strive to stop future arrests of innocent mothers and sisters.

We, the members of All India Forgotten Women, hereby, condemn the recommendations to CrPC 125 made by NCW. These recommendations are not only an insult to truly empowered women, but also a serious threat to the well-being of our beloved fathers, sons, brothers and male colleagues. Recommendations of NCW, which encourage adultery and live-in relationships, are also a good recipe for destruction of family and creation of a fatherless society.

We, therefore, request lawmakers to amend the CrPC 125 as under:

  1. The word men/women should be replaced by the word person; the word husband/wife should be replaced by the word spouse.
  2. No maintenance should be awarded to a spouse who is educated, employed or qualified to find gainful employment.
  3. The phrase “living in adultery” should be replaced by the word “living or lived in adultery”, and the person who indulged in adultery should not be entitled to any maintenance from his/her spouse, as adultery is nothing but criminal breach of trust.
  4. If a person files for maintenance under CrPC 125, he/she should not be allowed to file for maintenance under Section 24 of Hindu Marriage Act or Domestic Violence Act.
  5. A maximum limit on monthly maintenance should be fixed and very strictly enforced irrespective of the gender of the spouse claiming maintenance.

We hope that you will take our recommendations and suggestions into serious consideration and promote justice and fairness irrespective of gender.

Thanking you.

Yours Sincerely,

Uma Challa

President

All India Forgotten Women

Please click here for the PDF version!

The CSR Study On Effectiveness Of IPC 498A

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The Center For Social Research (CSR) is headed by Ranjana Kumari. Here is another example of the intellectual prowess of this organization. CSR sponsored a study on the effectiveness of 498A in 2005, following the JD Kapoor judgment of 2005. They needed to disprove his arguments in some manner or the other. Here is the link to the CSR study.

I don’t hate women and I condemn domestic violence of any kind. I know what domestic violence is, I have experienced it.

What I am against is the co-option of a real issue and the pursuit of a narrow self-serving agenda in its name.

I am openly calling for an investigation into the assets and finances of persons like Ranjana Kumari.

Other women, who were the pioneers in the fight against dowry have realized that the use of coercive laws, whose enforcement is in the hands of corrupt organizations like the Indian Police, do not help in eliminating or preventing domestic violence. This is what Madhu Purnima Kishwar says in her report “Violence against women: Good practices in combating and eliminating violence against women”, an Expert Group Meeting Organized by the UN Division for the Advancement of Women, in May 2005.

I highlight a few points she makes about the abuse of 498A:

  • Way back in 1988, I had pointed out, in what came to be a very controversial article, that there was already a distinct trend to include dowry demands in every complaint of domestic discord or cruelty, even when dowry was not an issue at all (see Manushi No. 48). The police as well as lawyers were found to be encouraging female complainants to use this as a necessary ploy to implicate their marital families, making them believe that their complaint would not be taken seriously otherwise. With the enactment of 498 A, this tendency has received a further fillip. Mentioning dowry demands seems to have become a common ritual in virtually all cases registered with the police or filed in court
  • Many cases have come to our notice whereby the woman uses the strict provisions of 498A in the hope of enhancing her bargaining position vis a vis her husband and in-laws. Her lawyers often encourage her in the misguided belief that her husband would be so intimidated that he will be ready to concede all her demands. However, once a family has been sent to jail even for a day, they are so paranoid that they refuse to consider a reconciliation under any circumstances, pushing instead for divorce. Thus, many a woman ends up with a divorce she didn?t want and with weaker, rather than strengthened, terms of bargaining. Several women?s organisations, with long years of experience in intervening in such cases, find to their dismay that their help was being sought in patently bogus cases. Several police officers also admit that a good number of cases are of dubious standing.
  • However, many feminists think that Section 498A has indeed served women well and proved extremely useful as a deterrent. They argue that without it women may not be in a position to see their complaint through to its logical end. It is indeed useful in bringing the husband to the negotiating table. Since the offence is non-bailable, the initial imprisonment for a day or two helps to convey to the husbands the message that their wives are not going to take the violence lying down. No doubt, some women feel compelled to use this method, to arrive at a speedy divorce and settlement of alimony because they feel that they won?t get justice through the civil courts, given their tardy and unpredictable functioning.

I rest my case !! Moving on to the CSR report….

The report says:

  • “Nearly five crore (50 million in a country of a close to 500Million women) married women in India are victims of domestic violence (DV). Only 0.1 percent (1 out of 1000 DV cases) of these are being reported. Out of 100 cases that are ordered for investigation under 498A, only in 2 cases the accused get convicted”.
    • How does this statistic compare with other countries ? I’ll let you know as soon as I compare some numbers.
  • Reconciliation in 498A cases takes place at every stage including the police station, Crime Against Women Cells and courts.”.
    • Reconciliation is normally settling the case by extorting cash where everyone gets a cut, including the cops. This is true especially in the cases where the “reconciliation” takes place in the police station.

  • “In a majority of the cases before a victim filed the complaint under Section 498A, the minimum period she suffered physical and mental torture, was for about three years.”
    • This is a lie. An examination of the cases being filed shows a length of time, from the time of marriage, sometimes running into days, if not weeks before the filing of a 498A.
  • “The trial process is quite lengthy and the proportion of pending cases is quiet high (out of the 40 cases based on victims’ interviews which went for trial in court, 28 cases are still pending). In the cases tracked, the normal trial period was between five to ten years.”
    • This is precisely why the law is being abused. Once a family finds itself accused in this law, their lives are tied up in trying to get out of it for many years. People have been killing themselves, unable to bear the suffering this causes.
  • “It was found that it was difficult to prove physical and mental torture. In all the eight cases in which the accused were acquitted, the victims were found to have suffered physical and mental torture, but as there was not enough evidence to prove torture, the accused were let off.”
    • This is precisely what I have been saying. There is always wear and tear in a marriage. If people don’t get long, mediate a decent settlement and go about your ways. Innocent families get entangled in a 498A for years and then are exonerated as there is no evidence of a crime committed. Think about the scope for the abuse of this law. There are no penalties for filing a false case.
  • “The cases where the accused were convicted had been filed under Section 498A along with section 304B (Dowry Death) and 302 (Murder), which are applicable after the death of the victim. There were no convictions in any of the cases registered only under Section 498A. It has been found that out of 30 cases there is not a single case where the accused has been convicted only under Section 498A. The accused have been acquitted (11 cases) by the court where the prosecutor failed to provide evidentiary proof of cruelty, mainly mental, inflicted on the victim as provided under Section 498A IPC. It is difficult to prove cruelty when the victim is still alive. This makes conviction only on the basis of Section 498A, difficult. Only in cases where Section 498A is used along with other Sections is the conviction rate high.”
    • Murder can be proven and guilt needs to be established beyond reasonable doubt. This makes a lot of sense. But turning an allegation into a criminal offence is scaling the heights of stupidity How about opening more mediation cells to reconcile differences? Anyway, a new domestic violence act has come in. Why not amend 498A so that the abuse of this law is put to an end?
  • “The study also has observed that 6.5 percent of the total cases studied through victims’ interviews were found false at the level of investigation. Many of the accused, police, judges and lawyers, categorically said that ‘educated and independent minded women’ misuse the section.”
    • It is more than 6.5% of the cases. No attempt is made to have a comprehensive survey done or gather statistics to get a real picture of what is going on and how to make laws effective, not coercive or open to abuse. If this happens, the likes of Ranjana Kumari will be out of a job or least or be deprived of her high flying, influential life in the limelight with free trips to foreign countries.
  • “On the basis of the interviews conducted, we can conclude that victims find the Section somewhat useful and felt the need for further strengthening it. In the perception of the NGOs, the provision (498A) is the only Section, which acts as an effective redressal mechanism for victims of domestic violence.”
    • Hello? This akin to saying that we are not having enough convictions in cases involving allegations of murder. So let the law be amended so that it is easy to hang people on the basis of an allegation of murder.

Forget domestic violence, thanks to the likes of Ranjana Kumari, entire families are being subjected to what the Supreme Court has labeled as “Legal Terrorism”. The likes of her do not allow a sane balanced debate to take place. If you want to see how she debates, you can check out this clip from YouTube. She doesn’t give the other guy a chance to speak.

The case they are debating about is covered at this blog. The link is here.

I have received hate mail on account of my views. I just say one thing to my detractors, that you and your offspring, experience the agony that a draconian law like 498A can inflict. If this is what it takes to understand what it feels to be falsely accused under 498A, then yes, you need to experience it first hand !!

Here are some numbers (2005) from the Ministry Of Home Affairs, published by Hindustan Times:

“According to data provided by Ministry of Home Affairs, there were 58,319 registered cases and 134,757 people underwent arrest under 498A and A and Dowry Prohibition Act. That is on average 2.3 people were arrested in every complaint of woman. There were 358 children and 4,744 senior citizens arrested. Out of 129,655 cases, approximately 18 per cent (23,337) were not charge sheeted and hence suffered only because these acts are non-bailable