Saturday, 27 July 2013

Gender Biased Laws and dangers to the society.................................!!!!!!!!!!!

Gender Biased Laws and dangers to the society.................................!!!!!!!!!!!
Over the years it has been observed that number of women related crimes are ever increasing despite implementation of newer laws to protect their interest. It is therefore appropriate time to
relook at some basic facts that had been overlooked over the years.
Increase in women related crimes – is the statistics right?
There is ever increasing concern that in-spite of having so many laws and regulations in favour of women, women related crime in this country is on increase. Let’s take a look at how the statistics is generated.
In India, we have a general notion that women are backward and hence only they are prone to violence. In different laws we have given them benefit of lodging complaints against men and women (mainly in-laws under family laws) even without any proof. Most of these complaints are criminal in nature and there is no punishment for the complainant even for filing false complaints. Any woman thus can file multiple complaints for the same crime under different penal provisions. Thus recording the same crime multiple times and exaggerating the statistics.
For example, girls filing a DV ( Domestic Violence ) case are encouraged by the police officers, service providers and magistrates to file 498a by sec 5 of the act. This increases the official numbers reported and the same crime is reported under different sections. In most of these cases girls are encouraged to file false cases for their monetary benefits. This is leading to exaggerated reporting and these cases are choking the Indian judicial system with false cases and poor conviction rate.
This is leading to rampant misuse of gender biased laws and we would also like to pray to the competent authorities to kindly re-consider the provisions of the said acts. DV act was formulated based on Article 15(3) that allows ‘Special Provision’ for women and in a way can be considered as exceptions to Article 14 and 15 of Indian Constitution that talks about ‘Equality Before Law’ and ‘Prohibition of Discrimination’ respectively. However, we would also like to plead to the competent authorities to look into the ‘extent’ these ‘special provisions’ can be granted. We would like to bring to your kind attention the following analysis of different Articles of our constitution and the exceptions outlined for each of these –
Article 16 – Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment. Exemption 3 – Laws regarding some jobs being kept reserved for local population accepted by constitution. However, this exemption does not ensure all jobs in one state reserved only for people of that state.
Article 19A – Freedom of Speech and Expression, exception – restricted to reasonable extent by state. However we have experienced reasonable freedom of speech and also freedom for Indian press over the years.
Article 19B – To assemble peaceably and without arms, exception – certain religions are allowed to assemble peaceably with certain arms. However, in the name of exception people are not allowed to assemble peaceably with dangerous arms like AK47 etc.
Article 19C – To form associations or unions, exception – Freedom is restricted and the organizations are banned if its activities affect law and order of the state.
Article 19D – To move freely throughout the territory of India, exception – we need permission to visit certain states like Arunachal Pradesh but the number of states that require prior permission is still insignificant compared to total number of states in India.
Article 19E – To reside and settle in any part of the country – with reasonable restriction on settlement in states like J&K.
Article 19G – To practice any profession or occupation but not any that is otherwise illegal or lead to illegal acts.
In the light of above discussion we can see that in many articles in our constitution there are provisions for exceptions to ‘reasonable extent’ only. But for acts like DVA and 498a which were formulated in exception to Articles 14 and 15 of our constitution according to the ‘Special Provisions’ of Article 15(3) gives sweeping powers of extortion, legal damage and cruelty in the hands of daughters-in-law simply by virtue of their marriage. Thus these special provisions completely violate Articles 14 and 15 of Indian Constitution.
Over the years it is observed that whenever any pro-woman law is made that is justified per Article 15(3) of Indian Constitution 1950. However, now slowly Articles 14 and 15 were ignored and abused
and a severely biased society is created. The ‘Special Provisions’ for women as per different special provisions of law are listed below –
1. NCW Act 1990 – Formed a national body aided by the govt. with govt. resources exclusively for women and their empowerment. No such national or local body formed for men.
2. DV ( Domestic Violence ) Act 2005 – Formed with the following benefits to women – DV cannot be filed by men against women, DV can only happen on women, no liability on the informant even for filing false DV case, employing a protection officer at govt. expense, registering a complaint without any proof, legal aid, informing her to file even more cases thus only increasing burden on Indian judiciary, govt. shelter home for women, service providers to restore DV act and they are FREE to do anything they want without any fear of legal action, treatment in any medical facility in the vicinity of the act if asked by the victim, application for relief under different provisions in one form even without starting different lawsuits, expediting the service of notice and the onus is on the protection officer and only a declaration by the protection is officer of serving the notice is enough unless the contrary is proved, speedy trial in such cases, assistance of welfare experts, Right to reside in a shared household whether or not she has any right in that house, aggrieved person shall not be evicted from the shared household without the provision of law, Protection orders for women, residence orders and eviction of offenders sometimes from their own houses, custody orders of children at any stage of the case (even on mere DV complaint), payment of compensation and damages even before the proof of charges, interim and ex-parte orders easily given only on the basis of affidavit, court to give copy of order free of cost, the protection order shall be in force till the aggrieved person applies for a discharge so women can enjoy these benefits lifelong and they need not have to earn a living at any stage until there is any counter case, multiple reliefs can be sought under different legal provisions for protection, custody, monetary, compensation creating a huge imbalance, breach of protection or interim order (and subsequent jail for the offender) may be granted only on the basis of victim’s statement and without any proof, no suit, prosecution or legal proceedings can be done against the protection officers for any of their acts.
3. IPC 493 – Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage shall be punished upto ten years and fine. No such provision for women.
4. IPC 497 – Only men are found guilty of adultery and jailed but adulterous women are exonerated.
5. IPC 498 – Enticing, taking away or detaining a married woman with criminal intent. Punishment two years imprisonment for the man. No penalty for women committing the same crime.
6. IPC 498a – It is considered that only husband or relatives of husband can subject women to cruelty, cruelty is defined only for women but the same acts done by women are not considered as cruelty.
7. CrPC 198a – Women, according to local customs and manners, ought not be appear in public.
8. CrPC 198(2) – No person other than the husband of a woman (with some small exceptions) should be aggrieved under section 497. What about husbands’ family whose name is ruined in the society for adultery of their DIL.
9. Sec 13(1)(i) of Hindu Marriage Act, Section 27(1)a of Special Marriage Act, Section 32D of Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936, Section 10 of Indian Divorce Act says adultery as a ground for divorce – No women can be blamed for an adulterous relationship and no child can be called illegitimate until there is conclusive evidence in support of this claim. Here there is no way left for the husband to prove adultery of his wife – DNA test reports can be done only by the order of a competent court, e-mail / electronic evidences are considered supporting evidence and not conclusive one, eyewitness statements not possible in any intimate physical relationship, courts may not order DNA test in order to save the child from losing parenthood and can be ordered only if it is in the interest of the child. Charges of adultery should be specific and should be established in all probabilities. The nature of these cases is quasi-criminal i.e. higher standard of proofs needed for than mere preponderance of probabilities. This in itself encourages women to be in adulterous relations and men on the other hand have no weapon to prove his wife’s misconduct.
10. Section 112 of evidence act 1872 – states that a child born during a marital bond or where the spouses have access to each other or within 280 days of divorce will be considered as legitimate child from the marital relation no matter whether s/he was born out of marital bond. An illegal act by a woman is legalized by this act without punishing her and thus prostitution is promoted. The same immoral act by the husband would not only attract legal prosecution against the husband but also heavy financial burden of the wife in the form of maintenance will be granted in woman’s favour. The reality of the society is changed manifold since 1872 but the law remains same thus encouraging more women to have adulterous relations.
11. Section 494 and 495 of IPC (bigamy charges) – Only the aggrieved person can file but if it is the wife who is aggrieved then her father being the lineal ascendant can also file complaint.
Advantage given to the women.
12. CrPC 125 – Any person refuses to maintain his wife…. Maintenance provision only for women. Violation of equal right and discrimination in the eye of law.
13. Innumerous provisions for maintenance for women. – In addition to DVA, sec 125, we have Sec 25, HMA, Sec 20 of HAMA. Not for men.
14. Sec 298A and 298B – 3 months jail for eve teasing. No law for men when they are bullied by women in the same way.
15. Sec 292 – If a man shows pornographic or obscene pictures, books etc to women he will be punished. No law when the offender is a woman.
16. Sec 354 – A man guilty of assault or criminal force to outrage a woman’s modesty. No such law to prevent male abuse by women.
17. IPC 509 – Man can be punished for intent to insult the modesty of any woman to intrude upon her privacy by a fine and one year in prison. No such punishment for women having intent to intrude in man’s privacy.
18. Protections under the Factories Act –
a. No women should be given any shift other than between 6am to 7pm (Sec 66)
b. Prohibits women from being employed in certain jobs unless certain conditions are met.
c. Suitable sanitation facilities for women.
d. If more than 30 women are employed, the employer must provide a crèche with certain facilities in the factory premises.
e. No change of shifts except after a weekly or other holiday.
f. Maternity leave to be included in the overall experience of the woman employee.
19. IPC 375[1], 1860 – A man doing sexual intercourse without a woman’s will. No guideline as to prove a woman’s will here. She might have had consensual sex and still allege rape with a vindictive attitude.
20. IPC 376 [2] – Marital rape to be punished for two years and / or a fine or both. However, no definition or punishment for rape when women pressurizing men for sex in marital relations. No punishment for women raising complaint with malicious intentions.
21. IPC 376B/C/D – Public servant/higher ups seducing a woman under his position and having sex with her is liable to imprisonment. No such punishment when women want sexual favours from men. No protection of men from any false and frivolous allegations made by women with malicious intentions.
22. 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment (1993) – One third of seats be reserved for women.
23. 84th Constitutional Amendment (1998) – 1/3rd reservations in parliament and state legislature.
24. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 – Females offenders found guilty under sec 7 & 8 of the law is sent to correction centre and not to jail.
25. The Married Women’s Property Act, 1874 (3 of 1874) – Husbands don’t have any rights over wife’s property on marriage and also no protection of husbands from wife’s pre-marital debts.
26. Protection of Women against sexual harassment bill 2010 (tabled in parliament) – Completely biased against Indian men. This kind of bill only portrays a picture of Indian corporate that sexual harassment is rampant in the industry whereas the reality is completely otherwise.
Various welfare measures taken to empower Indian women
1. Mahila Sammridhhi Yojana (1993)
2. Rasjtriya Mahila Kosh (1992-93)
3. Indira Mahila Yojana (1995)
4. DWACRA Plan (1997)
5. Balika Sammridhhi Yojana (1997)
6. Convention of All Forms of Discriminations against Women (CEDAW) in 1993
Miscellaneous other benefits given to women
1. AIDWA, UNIFEM – National and international bodies for women. No such bodies for men.
2. Local Mahila Mandals
3. Interim Alimony Benefits
4. Pro-wife investigating procedures
5. Child Custody
6. Public, Judiciary, Politicians, Media, Police sympathy
7. Movies, Ads, Entertainment along violence against women
8. Tax Benefits
9. Loan non-repayment concessions
10. Education benefits – fee waivers
11. Special score waiver in IITs and IIMs
12. Live in benefits
13. 1-way share in husband’s properties
14. Special transport in Metro cities
15. Statement power to file cases (rape, 498a etc)
16. Public prosecutor, Legal aid
17.No punishment even for misuse of laws
Here, we would like to bring the point that the special provision in our constitution (Article 15(3)) was drafted as early as in 1950 when the ground reality in terms of women’s social status,
independence, education, ability to earn etc. was far less compared to present women. The Human Development Index (HDI) as per UNDP Human Development Report 2011 is 0.547 below the SE
Asia’s average of 0.548. Per ranking we are ranked 129 out of 146 countries in the world. According to the same report this low performance is largely due to poor healthcare, education and less
participation of women in workforce. So the need of the hour is to ensure that women get education and they participate in workforce to take our nation ahead.
In those early years as we have seen our childhood most of the women used to be inside their house and were hardly literate. Also the job opportunities for them were far less. Modern city women on the contrary are not only educated, well mannered and well trained but also are independent and have options to choose their own career. They go to pub, discs, smoke / drink / smooch openly signifying a sea change in the women’s world. Under this changed social scenario when the govt. has already spent crores in different programs to upgrade women’s status in the society, any hefty demand for alimony and maintenance not only need to be discouraged but also be refuted in most cases. This will ensure that all able bodied individuals earn their livelihood in a decent manner and contribute to the growth of this country rather than being dependant on someone else. Unfortunately these legislations are only creating more imbalances in the society and are acting as hindrance
in women’s psyche as they continue to think themselves as destitute.
So the question is –
Are we really helping women by these pro-women laws? or
Are we still pushing them backward by constantly telling them that they are weak and hence need these extra benefits?
Why don’t we spread legal awareness and awareness of women’s rights among the poor and illiterate in villages and help the real sufferers rather than creating an imbalanced society?
In this process very often we forget the importance of security and safety for senior citizens in the society. Also as the number of such law abuses increase there is a greater risk in our society
today of our sons not willing to marry in the fear of future extortion by the bride’s side. This can lead to a greater danger to our society as more and more people opt out of marriage, we will only have more number of parentless children in the coming years. Also these single parent children will have all psychological disorders and hence our country’s growth will be seriously hampered by this unhealthy trend in our society.
Over the years we have seen umpteen numbers of families being ruined by misuse of these acts. Freedom and mental peace of senior citizens robbed with these misuse. It was observed that even other women and children were not spared in the name of speedy justice.
Also it is seen that these criminal cases run for years and at times even after the divorce of the couple and only the male partner’s family runs for cover all these years. Therefore the male partner would spend most of his productive years of life running behind court rather than excelling in his life goals. Sword of Damocles hanging perilously over his head for over many years may wreck his entire career. Adverse media coverage would add misery even if the accused is eventually acquitted of the case. Moreover if both partners don’t resettle at right age, they may not be able to resettle in their entire life.
The irony here is that when in the end these cases (~ 97%+) are proved to be false (as most case are and honorable SC has already made this observation) even then there is no punishment for the DIL’s side. By then the man and many of his family members would have wasted a lot of their valuable time, money and energy that would have otherwise utilized in the progress of this country. Thus defeating the basic purpose of Article 51A (J) of our constitution that talks about striving to achieve excellence in all fields so that we as a nation can march ahead. You can easily understand from this analysis that the people filing such false cases actually work on the contrary of this clause and hence need to be punished severely not only for ruining a family with cruel intentions and for misappropriating national assets (Judiciary, Police and other related assets) but also for violating Fundamental Duties outlined in the Indian Constitution.

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