Men's rights activists demand reforms in family laws
Seeking reforms in family laws, a group of men's rights activists from across the country gathered at Jantar Mantar here and staged a sit-in on Tuesday.
The protesters later submitted a charter of demands to the Bhartiya Janata Party's national president Amit Shah.
"Our demand is basically against Section 498-A of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and also against the move of the government to make the offence under it compoundable," rights activists Swarup Sarkar told IANS.
He said making the law compoundable will not serve any purpose.
Sarkar is the founder of the Delhi chapter of NGO Save Family Foundation, which organised the protest in association with Bangalore-based Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) that is fighting for shared parenting in case of divorce.
He said Section 498-A must be scrapped as it has been the most misused law in the country.
The Supreme Court in December last said false complaints under Section 498-A against innocent in-laws alleging cruelty and harassment were on the rise.
"For no fault, the in-laws, especially old parents of the husband, are taken to jail the moment a false complaint is filed against them by a woman under Section 498-A. By roping in in-laws without a reason and for settling a score with the husband, the false and exaggerated 498-A complaints are causing havoc to marriages," observed a bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice A.K. Sikri.
"While the Justice Malimath Committee (or Committee on Reforms of the Criminal Justice System) and the Committee on Petitions of Rajya Sabha have recommended that offence under Section 498-A be made bailable, the government seems to be working on making it compoundable," CRISP president Kumar V. Jahgirdar told IANS over phone from Bangalore.
Even now many men are getting arrested in matrimonial disputes on flimsy grounds.
"We are also demanding making of the Domestic Violence Act gender-neutral so that the harassed husbands could also file complaints against the abusive wives," he said.
The constitution, said Jahgirdar, guarantees equality in gender. "Surprisingly, no one believes that the men are also victims of domestic violence. Every year hundreds of married men are committing suicide due to family tensions."
He said the activists, after taking signatures against the biased law, submitted a memorandum to BJP president Shah in Delhi.
CRISP's activists, comprising families of the affected men, from its regional chapters in Chandigarh, Shimla, Delhi and Lucknow participated in the protest.
Social activist Santhoshkumar Potdar from Thelasangha village of Belgaum in Karnataka, who is fighting against misuse of law by women and reached the national capital by covering more than 2,500 km on foot from his hometown, demanded setting up a national commission for men and a separate ministry for the welfare of men.
Gaurav Satle
9 years ago
Laws ike IPC 498a, 376, Domestic Violence Act are gravely misused by women simply to extract more money out of husbands/boyfriends by the way of harrassment and blackmailing. Years of pending litigation, oppurtunists lawyers, rising corruption amongst govt officials and the mindset of the society that men are criminals by default and not see offences by women as crimes makes hell of lives of men. See that stats of suicides in men due to relationship disputes. Its on rise and increasing manifold every year.
Supreme Court of India and various committees have recognised these and have recommended the government to change or abolish such lopsided laws and make laws gender neutral. But its pleas have fell on deaf years as the government is more interested in votebank politics. Media rides on noises of women safety for business reasons. Innocent men have been alone in their struggle and remain isolated from the society. This is not a healthy symptom of a prospering nation.
Its time we bring in a positive change.
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