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major wars b/w men and women supporters over dowry law changes

For justice and dignity

Dowry wars: The big issue that has India divided

Men say their rights are violated by a law that protects brides.

 

A bride in Delhi. The payment of dowries was banned in India in 1961 but is still commonplace. Refusing to pay a dowry can result in brides being harassed, attacked or murdered

A bride in Delhi. The payment of dowries was banned in India in 1961 but is still commonplace. Refusing to pay a dowry can result in brides being harassed, attacked or murdered

 

 

An intense lobbying battle is being fought as the Indian government prepares to amend landmark legislation introduced nearly three decades ago to protect women who were being attacked, harassed and even murdered for refusing to pay dowries.

Amid an increasingly vocal campaign by "men's rights" organisations, who claim the law has been misused in order to extort money from husbands, the government has asked its legal advisers to investigate and suggest options for reform.

Women's groups say the legislation is vital to protect countless numbers of brides against violent demands for dowries and must not be watered down. They claim that up to 25,000 Indian women are killed every year because of the inability or refusal of their families to make such payments to the family of grooms.

The payment of dowries was banned in India in 1961 but remains commonplace and may be on the rise. In 1983, Section 498a of the Indian penal code was introduced to offer additional protection to women, by ruling that any husband or member of his family convicted of "cruelty" or violence associated with attempting to force such payments should face up to three years in jail.

The culture war being fought in newspapers and between activists highlights subtle changes in Indian society and an increasing willingness among some women to report domestic abuse. Women's groups say the campaign by men to change the law is nothing more than a backlash from those opposed to female empowerment.

Mithun Kumar is typical of those who say the anti-dowry laws are being misused. The 30-year-old from Bangalore, employed in the IT industry, had an arranged marriage in 2007. He claims he discovered his wife was continuing to keep in touch with a previous boyfriend and wanted to maintain an affair with him. "She said if I didn't go along with it, I would go to jail," he said. Mr Kumar said his wife and her family then filed a case against him with the police, claiming he had demanded a dowry from them. He told the police he was innocent, but was arrested anyway. He is fighting the case in court.

Rajesh Vakharia, a self-employed 42-year-old from Nagpur, claimed his wife and her family made similar allegations five years after their arranged marriage in 1999. "I was held for six days in the police station," he said. "She wanted to extort money from me. I would not pay and fought the case. Eventually I won, but for fours years I was not able to see my son. What is happening in India is very sad. There is no protection for men."

The campaign to scrap Section 498a is being led by groups including the Save the Family Foundation. An official, Niladri Das, claimed men in India were increasingly resentful of "biased" laws. He said that more than 95 per cent of men charged under 498a were later acquitted and that was proof the law was being misused. "A woman can make any accusation she wants," he said. He said claims that 25,000 woman a year were killed was "a lie propagated by feminists in order to get money from international NGOs". He added: "We are not saying there are no cases, but these figures are highly inflated."

The government appears to agree with the men. Law minister M Veerappa Moily recently referred the legislation to the country's law commission, which advises the government on legal reform. The commission's chairman, PV Reddy, a former supreme court judge, said they would soon be publishing a consultative paper. "There is misuse, it's been referred to in court judgments," he said. "There is misuse in regard to any law, not just this one. But this is not an ordinary crime. It's about marital discord. It's a very sensitive issue."

Women's rights campaigners say any dilution of the act would be a big mistake. They argue that women face widespread s*xual and physical abuse in India and say that if a law is being misused, then the police and courts need to act more efficiently rather than change it. They also argue that the continued practice of dowry payments in the country, and the attendant preference for male children, has helped contribute to the widespread abortion of female fetuses. The problem is so prevalent that in some parts of India there is a marked gender imbalance. A 2001 census found that in Punjab for every 1,000 boys there were only 793 girls.

Donna Fernandes, a veteran women's rights campaigner from Bangalore, said she knew of no empirical evidence that showed 95 per cent of men charged under Section 498a were acquitted. Furthermore, she insisted, an acquittal did not necessarily amount to a misuse of the law as women may withdraw an allegation because of pressure. She said: "Women are moving ahead. Today they are more economically independent. They don't need marriage. They say 'To hell with it if he can't respect me.'"

Ms Fernandes said her organisation, Vimochana, collected statistics from Bangalore that showed up to 100 married women were being murdered in the city every month, though not all were necessarily related to dowry payments. She added: "If this law is being misused, then why are so many women dying?"

Among those urging the authorities to retain the law is Girender Singh, from Delhi. His 24-year-old daughter Anshu was found dead in January last year, just 45 days after she was married. Mr Singh said Anshu's husband's family had repeatedly made demands for money and while he did not pay a formal dowry, he handed over around £6,000. His daughter's husband was arrested on a charge of murder and the case is before the courts.

Mr Singh declined to talk about Anshu's case but instead forwarded a copy of a letter he had sent to the authorities in which he expressed his "pain and agony" and asked they not dilute the legislation. "In truth, is there any law to save girls and married women in India except 498a?" he wrote. "A little fear of 498a might save the girls and women from heinous crimes which are on a rising trend in our great Indian society."

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/dowry-wars-the-big-issue-that-has-india-divided-2229498.html


Total likes : 3 times

 
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propra

So called "men's rights" lobbys are overlooking the basic facts.

 

 

Every law and every legal provision is misused through the loopholes....

 

This law was made as a deterrant, knowingly .......................................

 

 

There can't be smoke without fire!!!

 

 

If any wife dares to husband or holds him on ransom for her unjustified demands/concessions against  "a threat of  FIR of 498a"/blackmailing................then in practice no would tolerate...and 1 in 50000 women won't dare to do such an act....Won't these so called 'errant wives' be bothered of aftermath....

 

 

Woman thinks hundred times before filing 498a ..................when it becomes unbearable, unspeakable, suffokating and intolerable.......................... It is like an extreme measure by wife against husband and in-laws.

 

 

If a wife misuses it for pervert reasons...it comes out within a short span...and genuine husbands (after commng out of jail/custody) don't miss to teach her a lesson!!!

 

 

So...498a is like a double edged sword, and it can make harm to wife also if one makes misuse of it....

 

 

But women should't be stripped of this double edged sword!!!and shouldn't be made powerless!!!!

 

 

There may be  very sparing cases of such a kind of errant wives but it is absolutely not a representative of women in general.

 

 

But dowry is still incessantly prevalant in society and without any fear......and in sneaking and chickish manner,  it is still being extorted except 1 in 1000 marriages!!!

 

 

Legal provisions in regards to 498a (caw, bail, ab, proceedings, end-to-end) should be kep untouched as it is!!!! except plugging the loophole against misuse......................otherwise it would become yet another useless and redundant law.

 

 

If any one misuses it, that woman be dealt with harsh punishment.


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Consultant

NO THEY SHUD BE GIVEN ONE OR TWO MORE SWORDS AND KILL ALL MEN , MOTHER IN LAW AND SISTER IN LAW IN INDIA.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED , WOMEN HAVE USED THIS LAW TO AVENGE NON ADJUSTMENT IN MARRIED LIFE AS A TOOL TO EXTRACT MONEY BY BALCKMAILING TO SEND HUBBY , MIL AND SIL TO JAIL FOR NO FAULT OF  THEIRS .

EVEN MARRIED SILS LIVING THOUSANDS OF KILOMETRES AWAY WERE ACCUSED OF CRUELTY U/S 498A .

LAW IS NOT THERE IS TO GIVE SWORD TO ANYONE. LAW IS THERE TO MAITAIN EQUALITY AND JUSTICE IN SOCIETY.

CIVIL ISSUES CANNOT BE GIVEN CRIMINAL TONE JUST BECAUSE A PARTY IS LOOSING CIVIL CASE.

WOMEN OF 2011 ARE MUCH AHEAD OF WOMEN 30 YEARS BACK WHEN NO WOMEN WUD LIE TO AVENGE.

IN 1980S WOMEN WERE BEING BURNT ALL OVER INDIA. THOUGH THIS STILL EXISTS , BUT IN MOST OF CASES THIS LAW IS BEING MISUSED AND SO MUCH IS EXTENT OF MISUSE THAT EVEN REAL VICTIM'S CASES HAVE STARTED LOOKING DOUBTFUL.

NOW MEN GETTING TORTURED AND BECOME ATM MACHINES AND SUICIDE RATES OF MARRIED MEN IS THREE TIMES THAT OF MARRIED WOMEN.

LAW SHUD BE MODIFIED IN A MANNER

1. MILDER ACCUSTIONS SHUD BE BAILABLE AND COMPONDABLE AND NON COGNISABLE

2. GRIEVIOUS OFFENSES LIKE BURNING MORE THAN 20%  , GRIVEOUS HURT WITH REAL PROOFS SHUD BE NON BAILABLE, NON COMPOUNDABLE AND COGNISABLE WITH MINIMUM PUNISHMENT OF 5 TO 7 YERAS INSTEAD OF 3 YRS NOW

3. BRIDE MURDER CASES WITH PROOFS BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT SHUD BE GIVEN ONLY AND ONLY DEATH PENALTY WITH HANGING IN PUBLIC.

4. WOMEN MAKING TOTALLY BASELESS ACCUSITIONS BEYOND DOUBT BE GIVEN 3 YRS PUNISHMENT.


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Self Employed

If there are ANY FALSE CASES,false complainers must be punished...I agree

 

So that cases of genuinely wronged women only are considered.

 

BUT

 

Whether the case is false or not,must be decided only after  excellent scientific investigation.

Else,a wronged woman,whose case could not get proven because of poor investigation or because of her inability to pay lawyers' fee or becuase of corruption in judiciary,will get unnecessarily punished.

This will be very very bad and barbaric towards an already harassed soul and her family.

 

So,following things are reqd. for tackling false cases and only trying genuine cases:

 

1. Excellent,failproof investigation techniques.

 

2. V. honest,brilliant and experienced lawyers who will fight the victims' cases

 

3. Honesty in judiciary (judges,police officers,IOs,etc.)

 

4. Free and very very efficient legal aid to all women

 

If even of one these essentials are missing,we can't expect to reduce heavy burden of cases on judiciary,owing to so many false cases,if there are any.

 

 
Reply   
 
propra

All the above things as mentioned by you were absent and really difficult to change the SYSTEM...and hence they came up with this law as a deterrant.

 

OUR Society needs and deserves at least a few such kind of laws.......

 

 

Misuse would reduce drastically/stop eventually, once society wakes up to the plight of mischievous 498a plaintiffs.

 

A few 498a good convictions would rather change the perspective.........the plaintiffs are still benevolent by their attitude, they just let off  and they aren't seen pressing for 'conviction' of culprits but just give the taste of it to husbands....and compromise to pardon husband!!!

 

If 498a-wives vow not make their case weak ........and vie for the blood (like a Durga Avatar!) and nothing less...then people would start saying...that......earlier option was better...that...

 

"498a arrest/custody just for a couple of days,...bail,...no conviction ....... due to intensionally weak case by wife ...............than full fledge RI in jail'

 

 

Females by nature are not vindictive....as they think from their heart...and pardon 100 times before retaliation...

 

 

 

If all 498a plaintiffs get serious and make up their mind to fight untill conviction occurs...then its not difficult for them ...............and if they do not get buckled to pressures to compromise.(some times due to match-fixing/pressures from their own lawyers also!!! to let the husband off and for which they do receive kickbacks from husbands also !!!),

 

 

Unbiased, uncorrupt judiciary and integrity of lawyers towards clients, in adversarial system of law, are very big assumptions which are far from reality.

 

 
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Self Employed

If females are expected to fight out till the very end-No problem!

Provide them with free legal aid and with brilliant lawyers,who stand with them till the very end.

 

Make it compulsory that all 498A cases will be solved in minimum 6 months and maximum 1 years.

 

Can we do atleast this much?

 

If yes,females can fight till 1 year easily.

 
Reply   
 

There is no need of V. honest,brilliant and experienced lawyers. Even normal lawyers can do justice in these cases. Only things is that the established rules and law when followed correctly by all then definetly the innocent will win and the wrong doers will loose the case.

But what is happening is that these cases are getting delayed for years especially by wrong doers, which the innocent are facing lot of problems.

As said above the best solution for this is these cases should be completed with in 6 months minimum and maximun 1 year so that people will think twice before they behave badly. But this is very difficult reason being as long these cases are there, many people are earning money in these cases so they will make sure these cases continue for years.

 
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Self Employed

Originally posted by :Sreenivas V
"
There is no need of V. honest,brilliant and experienced lawyers. Even normal lawyers can do justice in these cases.

 
"

 

 

Sreenivas jee

 

I don't understand what you mean above.

Any lawyer who fights a case must be brilliant,honest and experienced.These are the basic minimum requirements.

 

I am not saying that the lawyers should be some supernatural beings who will win in one day.

 

I am asking for very basic qualities like honesty.

 
Reply   
 
Nationalist

Dowry seekers can go to any extent and devise all the new method for dowry. In rural India position of women has not changed. Even she gets married for one day and get divorced then almost no one would accept her as daughter in law. Only option with her left is to go for love marriage.

In this regard still the position of Women is like eatables, if fallen in the road, no one will take/lift back. 

 
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student

isn't this proxy war going on in this forum also?

 
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