Fighting back against misogynistic forces in India


by Rumbold
29th December, 2010 at 9:26 am    

This is an edited crosspost from the 50 Million Missing Campaign

498A is a significant law in India that is meant to protect married women from violence inflicted on them by their husbands and in-laws, and ensure justice in case they get killed. These cases may or may not involve dowry. The law is cognizable (i.e. a police officer can investigate and arrest without a warrant) and non-bailable (i.e. the court has the power to grant or refuse bail). The maximum sentence under this law is only 3 years.

Over the last few years there has been a very powerful, wealthy, lobby of Indian men, many living outside India (married to women from India), who have funded a strong anti 498A drive and have managed to put the law before the Indian administration for amendment. Their complaint is that many women are making false claims of torture and harassment under this law. They want the law to be made non-cognizable and bailable.

The 50 Million Missing Campaign will be sending this memorandum (letter below) to the Committee protesting this amendment. We request that you put your comments in the boxes below [HERE] supporting our protest. Your email address will not be published. You can also send an email (by Dec 30) directly to rsc2pet@sansad.nic.in.

TO: Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chairman,The Committee on Petitions of the Rajya Sabha

FROM: The 50 Million Missing Campaign

A Memorandum Protesting Amendments to Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Respected Committee Members,

The 50 Million Missing Campaign is an online campaign, for advocacy, support and change, that for four years has been working to raise public awareness about the various factors that have contributed to the systematic extermination of millions of girls and women from India’s population.

We are appalled that the 498A law which is meant to protect women and ensure justice in dowry related cases of violence/ death, should be targeted for change, when the need for legal and judicial protection of India’s girls and women is so dire.

We would like to submit to you the following reasons for why it is imperative that the 498A be not weakened any further, as well as some constructive suggestions (In the comment boxes below are feedback from the campaign’s supporters)

1) IT IS ALREADY VERY DIFFICULT FOR FAMILIES OF WOMEN VICTIMIZED TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE POLICE

In many cases it is almost impossible for the family of the woman victimized to lodge a complaint or even file an FIR with the police. This is a problem that even the Supreme Court has acknowledged. In giving an angry directive in August 2008 Justice B N Agrawal said “In India, officials act only on huntering (flogging). India understands only ‘chabuk’ – this is the meaning of swaraj and this is the concept of swaraj (self-rule).”

Roopa

In one of our cases, the victim Roopa had her husband, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law pin her down and pour acid down her throat. We managed to get her medical and surgical help, which saved her life, but her father-in-law was a sarpanch, and influential, and the local district court and police in Roopa’s in-laws’ village, in West Bengal, refused to allow Roopa’s parents to file a case. So the HRLN (Human Rights Law Network) – Kolkata, which took Roopa’s case, on basis of inaction of the lower courts and police, finally was compelled to try to file the case at the High Court in Kolkata.

2) THE SYSTEM ALREADY TAKES A VERY LONG TIME TO HEAR A CASE AND ARREST THE SUSPECTS

Anshu Singh

In one of the cases we have been supporting, that of Anshu Singh, who was only 23 years old, and was killed just 45 days after her wedding, it took Anshu’s parents 8 long months of fighting the system to get a hearing in court and get the suspects arrested. For those eight months the suspects were free to do whatever, go wherever, with no legal accountability. But if it took that long for the Singh family, that is educated, middle-class, and can afford legal help, just imagine how unfeasible it is for other families who are not.

3) MISUSE OF THE LAW IS NOT A PROBLEM OF THE LAW BUT OF THE POLICE AND JUDICIARY

One of the arguments made against the 498A is that women are apparently misusing the law to blackmail their husbands and in-laws. We at the campaign have not come across any such case. However, we are not saying that this is impossible. What we are saying is that it is reckless to modify the law that is there for the protection of many, and indeed by the number of women that are violently abused, tortured and killed, is still isn’t sufficient to ensure their safety.

The law as it is — is still grossly ineffectual. And the problem for this ineffectuality, both in the case of “false” cases filed under 498A, and the thousands of cases where it has failed to give justice to women so killed, is police and judiciary system. If cases are not filed, if the police investigations as well as autopsies are not carried out in time and according to proper procedures, how can the law be effective? It is the job of system to root out false cases through a careful and accountable process. Take other criminal activities for example – theft and assault. If people start filing false theft and assault cases, would we weaken the laws on theft and assault?

4) SO CALLED “FALSE” CASES MAY INDEED BE TRUE

This is unfortunately a very common phenomenon in India. Women who are subject to torture and attempted murder by their husbands and in-laws often return to their marital homes.

In Roopa’s case she returned to her marital home just a few days before her lawyers could file the case in the High Court. The reason women in India do so, is because they face immense social rejection by their neighbours and communities when they leave their husbands or try to prosecute them, even when they are the victims. Roopa was in the hospital for more than one month, and not one neighbour or relative came to visit her in the hospital during that time. When she was brought come they crowded around her house, like she was some strange animal on display. After that, they did not visit her, did not ask about her, and continued to spread malicious rumours about the reasons she left her husband.

Any woman who leaves her husband in India, even to save her life, gets branded a “prostitute”. These are people who have known her family from before Roopa was born, but they treated her with the most inhumane callousness. Roopa began to feel like an out-caste. She felt ashamed of herself. Most of these women, through long abuse and violence, already have very low self-esteem. In a society like India’s, where community approval and standing is such an important factor in social survival, is it surprising that most women choose to return to their husbands? In a country that tells women “Pati-parmeshvar” (Your husband is God) – and so it does not matter what he does to you, you must obey and respect him, is it surprising that women in India choose to return to their husbands at the risk of their own safety and life? In a country where for ages we have traditions and sayings like – “A daughter leaves her parents’ house in a doli (marriage palanquins) but can return only in a coffin,” is it surprising that many women choose to return to their husbands’ house?

It is not the law that needs changing, it is India’s social attitude that must be changed! It is India’s human priorities that need to be changed!

5) RECOMMENDATION IN LIEU OF CHANGE TO 498A

In view of the extensive violence that girls and women in India are subject to, one that has led to the systematic annihilation of millions of girls and women, it is critical that the criminal and legal system stands strong in combating such a gross violation of human rights of this one targeted group.

We have a whole social killing machinery here in action in India: female feticide, female infanticide, the deliberated neglect or and often abandonment of infant girls, mob molestations, rape, gang-violence by husbands and in-laws, dowry murders, “honor” killings and “witch” hunts.

India now ranks even lower than our neighbors Pakistan and Bangladesh in the Global Gender Equity Index. This is more than a national shame! It is a national calamity! Recently the Supreme Court Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said “The hallmark of a healthy society is the respect it shows to women. Indian society has become a sick society. This is evident from the large number of cases coming up in this court and also in almost all courts in the country in which young women are being killed by their husbands or by their in-laws by pouring kerosene on them and setting them on fire or by hanging/strangulating them.”

Therefore, please do not weaken any of the laws – which have already proved quite inefficient in protecting girls and women.

Instead we recommend that each city and town have a separate police and judiciary wing set up to deal specifically with all the issues impacting on the safety of girls and women we’ve mentioned above. There should be police and investigative officers, psychologists, a medical team, autopsy team, lawyers and fast-track courts – all of who must have specialized training. This can also be the hub for organizing and monitoring community sensitivity, legal effectiveness, political impact and social responsibility with regards to the safety of India’s girls and women.


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  1. SG — on 29th December, 2010 at 11:30 am  

    Dear author,

    What provisions do you have for the benefit of WOMEN who are falsely trapped in these cases (mothers and sisters of the husband) ? Please do spare a thought for such women also when you are talking about “women” in general. I know some such women who haven’t even stayed with the bride for a single day and are facing false 498 A cases. Infact 498 A abusers are the biggest misogynists … they are earning a bad name for the entire womenfolk in India. And they are responsible for the harassment of thousands of mothers and sisters of this country.

    People realise this only when the wife of their brother / brother-in-law implicates them / their family members in false cases …

  2. The 50 Million Missing Campaign — on 29th December, 2010 at 11:41 am  

    @SG — The problem that you are talking about is a problem of police and judiciary (indeed the system) — not the law! And you can have that problem with any law! The law is there for the protection of women — and it is insufficient. In Roopa’s case for example — which is essentially attempted murder, it is likely that the perpetrators would have got only 3 years! In other cases like Anshu’s where there was a murder — they still need this law to establish that there was dowry related harassment and abuse prior to her murder. And even then even in Anshu’s case that would have still got them maybe another 7 years. It is only now that the Supreme Court is saying that these are murders. The problem with murder in India is that you get the death penalty. That’s the reason they have these weak laws because it is very difficult to convict people (even in these dowry murder cases) for murder or attempted murder!

  3. SG — on 29th December, 2010 at 1:01 pm  

    Yes, as u said, for a murder as well as for doing nothing, you get the same punishment. So, this teaches the society to instead do murders. But what you said “It is a problem with the system, not the law !” is not true. It is a problem with this law that it covers just any relative of the complainant woman’s husband .. also it covers a very wide definition pertaining to physical and mental cruelty. Now for an ill-minded woman, even asking her to open the door can be “mental cruelty” ? Also not obeying her blindly or not giving her the money she demanded on honeymoon is also “menal cruelty” ? … Tell me one thing, irrespective of whether you are a man or woman, if your spouse on honeymoon asks you for money to fund her family’ debts and you are not in a position to pay and you tell her that you are not in a position to pay her that money immediately, would that be termed as mental cruelty ? … Then, as I said, the “law” needs to be amended !

    Even kids from the husband’s family can be implicated … would your kid demand dowry from his newly married aunt ?

  4. damon — on 29th December, 2010 at 5:11 pm  

    Is there a civil society that is fighting back in India?
    I never noticed it when I was last there ten years ago.

  5. greta — on 29th December, 2010 at 5:25 pm  

    damon

    I never noticed it when I was last there ten years ago.

    That’s suprising because you are so bright.

  6. Siva — on 29th December, 2010 at 6:11 pm  

    Dear The 50 Million Missing Campaign. You need to first know the diffence between IPC 498a and IPC 304B. The later deals with Dowry death and has stingent punishments. No one is asking to change or remove IPC 304B. It is IPC 498a which is widely misused by women to take revenge or to extort money from her husband. In this process lakhs of inocent women (In some cases even school going girls and pregnant women) are arrested each year. The only sin these inocent women have done is being a relative of a male. By this wide spread misuse of this dowry law the whole Judicery is being clogged with these false cases (it is been estimated to be 30-40%) and eventually real victims like Roopa would not get justice and many women who really suffer would not come forward and face such a lengthy litigation form our already ineffective judicery. Do not blame on police or judiciary, this dowry law itself states that when a women gives a complaint (Even if it is false- as this will be determined only at the stage of trial) the police has to arrest who ever smt 498a point the finger and it does not matter even if the so called accused is women/minor girl/pregnant and live miles away or even on other city and have not ment ths smt 498a. Even in murder cases the prosecution has to prove the guilt of accused but in this world famous law (IPC498a) the accused are presumed guilty and he/she has to prove the innocence. Even befor the trail starts he/she would be punished by getting arrested and being humiliated by the police and made to run from courts to courts for a minimum of 5-8years. The parliment is planning to ammend this law to prevent its misuse and make it more stonger so that real victims like Roopa would get justice. A right thinking feminit or women’s organization who really care about women empowerment would not oppose the ammendment but only would welcome.

  7. Sunil Dhiwa — on 29th December, 2010 at 6:12 pm  

    Only 2% case a true rest are false
    so this act need amended.
    Who is misuse they are able to heavy panishment
    Sec 498a is like that husband & all his close family members are arrested then who is going to help them to get justice if they are inocent.
    now a days out of 1000 family only 1 family is live as joint family i.e. husband, wife, there childs & there parents.

  8. Rumbold — on 29th December, 2010 at 7:58 pm  

    Siva and Sunil:

    Do you have any links/evidence for your claims?

  9. Abhishek — on 29th December, 2010 at 8:34 pm  

    This utter stupidity and confusion by mixing IPC 498a and 304B is the creation of feminists and even the successive ministers manning the WCD and Home and Law ministries.
    This campaign here is a fallout of such mixup and is propagating these lies further.

    LET US TALK HERE ABOUT THE 498a (Dowry Harassment/Cruelty) and NOT 304B
    304B is also widely misused, but that can be discussed separately… don’t mix up these two things for the time being!!

    People asking for evidence about misuse of 498a are the ones who have not interacted much in society at ground level and believe just by looking in some news/media article that women are being harassed/killed for money. Such people will not get satiated even by the NCRB statistics that over 90% cases were found to be without sufficient reason and hence the accused are not convicted finally.

    IPC 498a is infact a bane for women itself. This act asserts rights of one woman in a family system (WIFE) over and above and by vitiating the rights of so many other women in family(mother, sister, aunt etc.). Is there any one agency/govt body that can take care of these women, even if we don’t talk about men for a moment?

    These 498a cases are often filed in the heat of moment just as a tool of vengeance or to teach a lesson to hubby’s side. Normal tussle of day-to-day life is turned out into a dowry related issue even if there is nothing of that sort.

  10. Abhishek — on 29th December, 2010 at 9:02 pm  

    @Rumbold
    It’s clear from your “About us” info that you have only a superficial understanding of the ground realities of India.
    There are more than a dozen laws(and may be more) in India which are hugely gender-biased and work only in favor of women that too mostly wives. And still there are new laws are in the making which do not consider the rights of men/husband be it at home or work.

    These laws violate the principle of basic “HUMAN RIGHTS”, but then who cares about the human rights in India when even fundamental rights of people are being violated.

    According to dowry prohibition act of India, enacted way back in 1961, the dowry giver and taker both are criminals. The ground reality however is that millions of people in India have been tried till date for “taking” dowry but none tried (forget punished) for “giving” dowry.
    The net result is the root of evil has not been attacked. It’s like in a corruption scenario, you let the “bribe giver” enjoy and put all the blame on the “taker”

    Most of these dowry harassment cases are being filed by well educated women who want to unleash their wisdom after having “good education”, and want to control the husband. They want to shun the joint family system, and if the husband insists to live with the joint family the whole family is booked with dowry harassment charges. These charges are cognizable, which means police directly knocks on the door of accused and taken into custody without any investigation. And, the accused are PRONOUNCED as “GUILTY” against the principle of natural justice which demands that all accused be taken as “innocent until proven guilty”

    On below link, go thru the contents of the original petition which has been presented to the Parliament of India, to know more reasons on why such cases are filed.
    http://164.100.47.5/newcommittee/Petitions/Committee%20on%20Petitions/Petition%20498A.pdf

    I know many of my friends who have been falsely accused in such cases and made to run from police to various courts to prove their innocence.

  11. Rumbold — on 29th December, 2010 at 9:18 pm  

    A well run anti-498A campaign indeed. Plenty of supporters out today.

  12. Abhishek — on 29th December, 2010 at 9:26 pm  

    @50Million missing Campaign:

    You’ve not answered the Qs raised by SG on what protection measures are available for mothers/sisters/aunts !!

    The problem is not actually the police and judiciary. The real problem is discretionary power to arrest and prosecute without evidence of crime!!
    You may be very well knowing how so many land grabs and other corruption are happening in India because of discretionary powers to bureaucracy.

    Why always a crime against wife is mixed up with dowry?

    Tell me, if a person who kills or attempts to kill his/her sibling/parent, what he should be charged with? – culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt etc.! Correct?

    What charges to be imposed on a wife who gets her husband killed (these cases are happening routinely in India where wives kill their husband with/without help from her paramour, or may be in the heat of moment)?
    - culpable homicide ! Correct?

    Then why these charges change in the case where a husband beats/kills his wife? Can it not happen in the heat of moment? Why paint every complaint from a wife with dowry harassment?
    - It is routine in such cases to add a dowry angle to the whole thing and then PRONOUNCE the accused as “GUILTY”.

  13. Abhishek — on 29th December, 2010 at 9:36 pm  

    @Rumbold:

    It’s actually the opposite!!
    It’s the women NGO’s and ministries which dole out money to further the lies and run campaigns in support of gender-skewed laws…

    There is no ministry for men in India.

    The voices you are hearing here must most certainly be from victims of FALSE-498a themselves.

    And I do not know of any FUNDED NGO working for men’s rights in India. If you know of some, do publish here.. It’ll be of great help to many!!

  14. Siva — on 29th December, 2010 at 9:50 pm  

    @Rumbold do you need evidence/link. Here I have a link -read with open mind and I am hoping it might help you understand the ground reality.

    http://www.indiatogether.org/manushi/issue148/dowry.htm

    This was written by Madhu Purnima Kishwar who is fighting for real women empowerment. Here is her profile

    http://www.manushi.in/pages.php?pageid=7

    For more proof just type IPC498a in google. “It wont smoke without fire”

  15. damon — on 30th December, 2010 at 12:46 am  

    That’s suprising because you are so bright.

    Greta, that’s just what it’s like when you’re there as a western foriegner.
    I wish PP would give some more insight to what is actually going on in today’s India.
    These days I only know some Indian people in London who think it’s OK to have maids and drivers back in India. Who know everything about the latest mobile phones and computors … work in health care, are nationalistic, but care nothing for the poor of Bihar and such places.

  16. Prakash — on 30th December, 2010 at 3:15 am  

    @Rumbold , how many evidences do you need.
    You can take the 498a list from Indian government and go and meet any one out of the list and I am sure 8 out of 10 are innocents. If you still have any trouble i will be glad to help you.
    Also, all that we are requesting Indian gov is close the loop hole and punish those who are misusing these laws. I dont understand why are some groups scared of being punished if they are not misusing.

    Thanks
    Prakash.

  17. SG — on 30th December, 2010 at 4:10 am  

    U R Right Abhishek,

    They are not concerned with MOTHERS and SISTERS as mothers and sisters are NO MAINTENANCE groups and do not have source of money to fund anybody and get favours. Then they should stop using the word women as this word covers more numbers of mothers and sisters than wives.

  18. SHIV — on 30th December, 2010 at 4:44 am  

    Any law which is not neutral tend to be misused. Before making any law, there has to be a provision to prevent its misuse. There is no such prevention in 498a and that’s why it is being misused heavily. It is one of the main reason for Senior citizen harassment in India as per WHO.

    When Indian society is progressing and heading towards equality then first we should make all these matrimonial laws gender neutral. Otherwise we can not claim real gender equality in society.
    This 489a is really heavily biased towards women and thus needs to be amended.

    There are 1000s of false cases where a NRI woman come back to India just to file this dowry case against her husband and in-laws who are sitting back in India and does not have anything to do with the NRI family.
    Where is the justice in this. This law was not meant for this. It is grossly because of the weakness in this law 489a. It is high time to change this and many other laws which are gender biased NOW before it is too late. Many families( believe me when i say mostly woman related to the husband family) have suffered too much already. Many have does suicide because of this.

    Please wake up guys and girls, look into the reality, try to look into both sides of the coin before talking a easy way out like this law into your own hand.

  19. SG — on 30th December, 2010 at 5:18 am  

    You said : “THE SYSTEM ALREADY TAKES A VERY LONG TIME TO HEAR A CASE AND ARREST THE SUSPECTS”

    As far as I know, arrests in 498 A are made very quickly and even without ascertaining the role of each and every accused involved. Old parents, younger brothers and sisters of the groom are arrested, some of them do not even get bail easily !! Imagine one fine day suddenly police comes and arrests you …. do you understand how traumatic it is to be arrested for a crime that you have never done and has infact never taken place ?

  20. Pardeep — on 30th December, 2010 at 5:22 am  

    @50Million missing Campaign
    It’s ironical and I am amused by your own recommendations that
    “Therefore, please do not weaken any of the laws – which have already proved quite inefficient in protecting girls and women.”

    Here u yourself is accepting that thses gender biased laws are already proved to be inefficient in protecting girls and women, So Who are benefitting through these laws ? Ofcourse its so called Women NGOs, who wants to keep alive Dowry by misrepresentation of data, mixing of 304 B & 498a, and false propaganda. in order to secure free foriegn & government funding.
    When everyone is accepting that these laws are not helping women & girls, WHY keep them for misuse and as a legal tool for extortion. Be progressive in thinking and leave radical campaigns of breaking the family system to save the glorious Indian Family System, well known in world.

  21. Pardeep — on 30th December, 2010 at 5:35 am  

    @Rumbold :

    No statitistics or data is required here simple logical thinking can make u realize that these laws are made to very minimal population of Inda.
    U know India has half(50%) population of women. Now, out of this 50%, u can simply guess how many are unmarried girls? how many are MILs? how many are old above 50-60 yearsz old ladies ? and How many Sister-in-Laws would be there ? thses all are excluded from this law.
    This law is simply made to make money by Women NGOs, some Kitty party urban Women through legal extortion and terrorism as well said by the Apex Court of India, the Supreme Court.
    The no. of real victims of dowry are far more less than the harrased and extorted persons(almost 1:5 ratio).

  22. Rumbold — on 30th December, 2010 at 8:33 am  

    I must say it is telling that so many new people have turned up on this thread. While everyone is welcome (of course), everyone seems to be saying the same thing.

    I don’t doubt that there are some wrongful arrests under this law, which is of course wrong, and happens under every law. But dowry and general harrassment of women is a serious problem in India, and when the critics are complaining about:

    There is no ministry for men in India.

    You do have to wonder.

  23. Pardeep — on 30th December, 2010 at 9:14 am  

    @Rumbold
    “I don’t doubt that there are some wrongful arrests under this law, which is of course wrong, and happens under every law. ”
    this is what is a lame excuse to just carryon with harrassment,extortion and arrest of innocent citizes of all age under 498a and everytime put forward by Feminists & women NGO. But they forget to realise that this is the only law in whole of IPC whose misuse is far more than any productive use. and in this article itself it is accepted that this law is not serving the purpose of protecting & safe guarding the women/girls. So what’s the harm in amending it, so far as to add panelity clause in it for the misuser.Or u mean to say Miuser should be let off with more money, pride and as State Guest.

  24. Abhishek — on 30th December, 2010 at 7:15 pm  

    @Rumbold
    I can understand your state of mind, when sitting in arm-chair you can easily comment that “every law is misused”, because you probably never went thru some “unlawful” arrest, or your basic human right of liberty and freedom not compromised.

    Do you share the same emotion for people incarcerated at Gitmo?? Whole world criticized that because it was in international media and happened in a country which has a better track record for human rights.

    Do you know that US had issued advisory for Non Resident Indians (NRIs) in US specifically warning them how NRIs are trapped in these laws when they go back to marry in India?

  25. vijay — on 30th December, 2010 at 8:56 pm  

    @Rumbold
    Do you ever meet anyone suffering from the misuse of this law ??

    well peace living families have been spoiled through the misuse.

  26. Ari — on 30th December, 2010 at 9:07 pm  

    In a country that is rampantly corrupt and full of scams (NGOs that exist only to have plush offices and to obtain funds from foreign aid agencies such that they can become more powerful), crooked politicians, murderous police thugs, dishonest lawyers, greedy women whose only interest is jewelry and how to usurp their in-laws property, selfish women who want sons whom they can emotionally blackmail into looking after them in their old age (since these women outlive their husbands by an average of 20 years), how can all women be angels? Those that seek gender-biased laws do so only to misuse them. Their excuse is that all laws are misused in India, and therefore they want to be queens of their jungle raj.
    If all women were decent and honest and brought up their children the same way, there would not be any dishonest or abusive men in this world. However, the fact is that their are more devious and dishonest women than men in this world.

  27. douglas clark — on 30th December, 2010 at 9:32 pm  

    Pareep @ 23, Abhishek @ 24 and Ari @ 25.

    You do know that you come across as a shower of male chauvanist pigs? You do know that, don’t you?

  28. damon — on 30th December, 2010 at 9:44 pm  

    Edited out.

  29. prashanth — on 31st December, 2010 at 12:08 am  

    according to your main article
    “Instead we recommend that each city and town have a separate police and judiciary wing set up to deal specifically with all the issues impacting on the safety of girls and women we’ve mentioned above. ”

    this is what we are aksing , instead of arbitrarily arresting innocent ppl , why don’t you make the section 498a bailable and trial it in the fast track court to punish the real guilty.
    for a moment just forget aabout the mens rights in india..we are talking about women’s rights and senior citizen rights , my mother aged 60 years went thru eye surgery 30 days prior to her arrest and jail , my two sisters who has two kids each working for central govt no where linked to my marital dispute were jailed witout any invenstigation , bail not granted for 5 days..forget about me and my father , how do you justify the arrest of these ppl under 498a for the god sake my wife still alive and going on revenge rampage till now.

    what do you propose for the rights of these women arrested , aren’t they women? why dont you talk about them? how can endager the human rights of the above women just for the sake of wife..do you know what could be a mental truma of a person who went to jail without doing any mistake…understand the reality of 498a extortion rocket ,do a case study of 10 cases and come to a conclusion.

    think with a open mind and approve the amendments..do not forget we are taking just about 498a.

    1. Make 498a bailable so that innocent will not be jailed with out trial.

    2. Open fast track courts to trail all 498a related cases with a time bound of 6 months to 1 year.

    3. If the allegations are proved false, provide an option for the husband to seek for divorce with no alimony or maintanance.

    4. If the allegations are proved true , provide an option for the wife to seek for divorce and surrender all property of husband’s to the wife.

    5. Non-compoundable—once the 498a filed there should not be any quashing of cases , the trail must of come to a logical conclusion based on merits. This way all the illegal settlements can be stopped .

    DOESN’T IT NOT SOUND FAIR FOR YOU ?

  30. KJB — on 31st December, 2010 at 12:39 am  

    Wow, a shower of evidence-free misogynist scum on this thread indeed! It’s like the age of consent controversy all over again.

  31. Ps — on 31st December, 2010 at 1:34 am  

    This whole article is creating confusion and distortion of facts. Ipc498a is nothing but a tool in the hands of unscrupulous wives to wreak vengeance and havoc in the lives of innocent men and his family.

  32. Parthasarathy — on 31st December, 2010 at 1:45 am  

    Members of the fathers’ rights movement state that feminist organizations invoke the specter of domestic violence as propaganda directed against fathers and fathers’ rights groups.

    They point to domestic violence studies based on the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS), which show that men and women act violently toward their partners in about equal percentages. They argue that men comprise a “significant portion” of the victims of domestic violence, and they call for more services to be provided for male victims of domestic violence.

    Advocates cite government statistics that show that in 15% to 38% of the cases of intimate partner violence the victim is male.[citation needed] Furthermore, according to a 2000 CDC/Justice study, “Approximately 23% of the men who had lived with a man as a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant, while 7.4% of the men who had married or lived with a woman as a couple reported such violence by a wife or female cohabitant.” Researchers from Charles Sturt University argue that the real numbers for violence against men are likely to be higher, since male victims may be less likely to report abuse than female victims due to social stigmatization. They also assert that the percentage of shelters for battered men should make up a respective percentage of all shelters. The National Coalition of Free Men has sued several women’s shelters with the goal of allowing battered men and their children to be admitted and to receive assistance from shelters (see Violence against men). Many women’s shelters will assist male victims of domestic abuse but do not house men, instead offering hotel vouchers, counseling, case management, legal services and other support services.

    Critics such as Michael Flood accuse men’s right enthusiasts of misrepresenting male violence or statistics about domestic violence. Michael Flood and Michael Kimmel criticize the methodology of the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) arguing it excludes information about “intensity, context, consequences or meaning” noting that women are more likely to sustain injuries, fear for their lives, and experience sexual abuse and that the study omits data on intimate homicide, sexual abuse, and violence as self-defense. He concludes “[CTS] relies on only one partner’s reports despite poor interspousal reliability” and agrees that while studies do show men are likely to under-report subjection to domestic violence, there is no evidence men are “more likely to under-report than female victims”. He further notes that men under report their own violence committed against women and women do the reverse (Kimmel 2001, 10–11). He states “crime victimization studies based on large-scale aggregate data, household and crime surveys, police statistics, and hospital data all show that men assault their partners and ex-partners at rates several times the rate at which women assault theirs and that female victims greatly outnumber male victims (Tjaden & Thoennes 2000, pp. 25–26)”.

    In response to criticism about the influence of former (rather than current) partners – further studies based on the CTS 2 scale continue to show that women initiate violence at least as often as men, and perpetrate serious violence as often as men. In a study specifically examining the behaviour of former partners, Dutton & Winstead (2006) found that women initiate revenge behaviours more frequently than men.

    The Violence Against Women Act in America is being vehemently opposed by rights groups for discriminating against men. Similarly, laws such as 498a in India, outlawing cruelty to women by their husband or his relatives, are being fought by groups such as Save Indian Family Foundation.

  33. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2010 at 2:21 am  

    Ps,

    I am a man. Would you care to expand on your rather short and terse post to explain why legislation that appears to try to rectify a wrong is, as you say about:

    unscrupulous wives to wreak vengeance and havoc in the lives of innocent men and his family.

    Who are these innocent men? Why is it that divorce is not an acceptable way of ending a failed marriage in India? Whose nose is out of joint and why are the men always innocent and the women always guilty?

    Which seems to me to be what you are saying. That just seems to me to be mere advocacy of a point of view.

    Are you a man?

  34. SG — on 31st December, 2010 at 4:32 am  

    I am a female victim of 498 A misuse… And I can clearly claim that 498 A against me was SOLELY intended to extort my brother’s ASSUMED wealth ! Infact all my relatives / friends have seen what happened in our case and they share the same opinion and they are afraid of getting their sons married now …

    So Rumbold, you did not answer me… what sympathy/ provisions / help do you have for “women” like me when you are calling 498 A pro-women and being so sympathetic towards SOME women ? Why are you so concerned with those women while so indifferent towards the problems of females like me ?

    Do spare a moment to read this :
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kids-accused-of-aiding-dowry-torture/articleshow/2215850.cms

  35. SG — on 31st December, 2010 at 5:12 am  

    Douglas,

    Who said “men are always innocent” and women “always guilty” ? .. infact I said that there are women in both the categories “innocent yet accused” as well as “ill minded and law abusers” … but there are people here speaking in favour of those “law abusers” and completely neglecting the plight of those who are “innocent yet accused in false cases” !!! So, it is ppl like you who are acting in a biased and irrational manner …

    Moreover, to know how a woman can spoil your life by misusing 498 A, just come to India and marry an Indian woman (I will suggest you a “suitable” match) for less than a week (she will not even need to stay with you for any longer to be able to implicate you in false cases) ! Maybe you do not even know the meaning of “dowry”, but that doesn’t exempt you from a dowry harassment charge !!

  36. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2010 at 6:12 am  

    SG @ 33 / 34,

    I put my points to Ps.

    Why should anyone take your statement at 33 at face value? I am not saying you are lying, I am saying that you seem to have an axe to grind.

    Infact all my relatives / friends have seen what happened in our case and they share the same opinion and they are afraid of getting their sons married now …

    Well, they wouldn’t be blood relations or chums if they didn’t, would they?

    That is not what justice is about. It is about a neutral judiciary and jury deciding whether or not a crime was committed. If they decide it was then one is guilty, if not, so be it. It seems obvious to me that blood relations and chums shouldn’t influence that decision.

    Anyway,

    I regret that I shall not be coming to India – which has some of the most beautiful women in the world – in order to meet or marry a woman of your choosing. That is not the way my head works!

    I make my own mistakes, and of that there have been a few.

    And I do, indeed, understand the word dowry. We have a similar rite of passage. It is called ‘paying for your divorce, or the perils of buying a second house in an inflationary market’.

  37. SG — on 31st December, 2010 at 6:34 am  

    Doughlas,
    Thats the point .. “why shud anyone take anybody’s statement at FACE VALUE !!” … this is done specially in case of 498 A when arrests are made …In most of such cases only BLOOD relatives of the law abuser at the most support her claims … why shud you believe them at FACE VALUE ? Infact you are supporting this law misuse only on the ASSUMPTION that it is not misused, aren’t you ?

    And then about my relatives and friends, I am sure even her’s would claim the same and none of them (except her immediate family who are getting monetary gains from these false cases) will support her as she has never stayed with the people she has falsely accused (even evidently) !!

    You said “We have a similar rite of passage. It is called ‘paying for your divorce, or the perils of buying a second house in an inflationary market’.” .. well then, why don’t you demand for a law like 498 A in your country for the betterment of your women ? Or, according to you, only the MOST BEAUTIFUL Indian women deserve to be protected by such laws ?

    (M sure you haven’t seen these law misusers, else you would not call Indian women as MOST BEAUTIFUL.. Its a mind that can make a person beautiful or ugly and an ill intentioned law misuser is not even a WOMAN in its true sense, leave apart being beautiful !!)

  38. The 50 Million Missing Campaign — on 31st December, 2010 at 7:00 am  

    Once again — Any law can be misused! People can file false complaints under the laws for theft, for arson, etc. Do you weaken the laws? In cases like Roopa’s where 3 people attempt to murder her by pouring acid down her throat — do you just let people be always entitled to a bail? To just walk out and lead normal lives? Because that is what the amendment is asking for! Right now the police has jurisprudence — they have to investigate before they arrest. And the judge has jurisprudence — he can accept or deny bail depending on the evidence. If the wrong people are in prison — it is because the police and judiciary is not doing its job!!!! Do you understand that??? That is where you focus needs to be! For someone else who pointed out that a “dowry death” (really murder!) come under 304B — yes but when there is dowry related violence that precedes it as “dowry death” indicates you also have to file 498a.

  39. The 50 Million Missing Campaign — on 31st December, 2010 at 7:10 am  

    1) someone pointed out this is about “femist” groups. No unfortunately the women’s groups in India are not as well coordinated or firm in their aim to protect women’s rights as you guys are to further this women killing machinery in India!!! That is evident enough!

    2) someone mentions “well funded” feminist groups. Well we are not a women’s group. We are a human rights group. And we have no funds. It all runs on volunteer effort!!! And it works!!! Also Most of our campaign administrators are men if you notice. We believe that the systematic annihilation of women in India is a genocide as it would be if the targeted group was of any religion or race.

    3) Finally — we don’t know how you classify Madhu Kishwar as a feminist. We certainly don’t classify her as a “feminist.” Not for a woman who has merrily spoken up in favor of sati and of the inherent logic of khap panchayats and their “honor” killings!

  40. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2010 at 7:49 am  

    SG @ 36,

    I am having some difficulty in understanding you. Please do not see that as an insult, but I just am.

    I am commenting, as best I can, on your posts @ 33/34.

    Could we be clear about that?

    It was this bit of your posting history that I took exception to:

    Infact all my relatives / friends have seen what happened in our case and they share the same opinion and they are afraid of getting their sons married now …

    But you knew that already, didn’t you?

    If not, refer back to my comments @ 35.

    I am asking you why we should take your statements at face value. There is a clear conflict of interest here. Whether you recognise it or not. It is for other people reading this to decide.

    __________________________

    I happen to think many Indian women are beautiful. However your disgusting ideas about prostituting them to win a debating point is frankly obscene. I cannot be arsed with the entire notion. You can go fuck yourself with that idea.

    I refer you to the answer I first gave @ 35:

    I regret that I shall not be coming to India – which has some of the most beautiful women in the world – in order to meet or marry a woman of your choosing. That is not the way my head works!

    Why are you so upset? You should be vaguely pleased that I rejected your stereotype.

    Well, in your case, very vaguely….

    Women are not chattels, to be played around with like that. It is frankly rude to half of the human race and you should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting it,

    _________________________

    I like or dislike people without fear nor favour. And some of the people I quite like includes Rumbold who wrote this OP. And the editor of this blog. It is people like you that would divide us. What with your silly sexist sexism. On the odd occasion that I have entered these sort of discussions I have always stood up for the underdog, and in almost every discussion of this type it has been women that are unjustly castigated.

    It is interesting that Ps and SG are sexually neutral terms. I’d be curious as to whether Ps and SG are men or women.

  41. SG — on 31st December, 2010 at 8:26 am  

    Douglas,

    Thats the point again !

    Your frustration proves your bias. And now you are asking whether we are men or women ? .. then u r a sexist ! .. we do not differentiate human rights on the basis of mens’ rights or womens’ rights !!!

    Rest all the things u just said are insane … and I wont use the kind of bad language that you do ..

    That’s the true culture of India and that’s the real Indian Beautiful Woman … not the ones u are talking about !!!

  42. SG — on 31st December, 2010 at 8:54 am  

    Douglas,

    Why do you think only “U” have the right to ask others ? … I am asking “you” why should a complainant womans’ words be taken at face value before arresting the complete families of in-laws including kids ?

    Regarding my words to be taken at face value, you may not even believe them, it does not matter as I have never asked for a favour to anyone and also, I am not filing a false case on anyone …. Still it is a fact that the law misuser has lied while what I am saying is the TRUTH. People have the liberty not to believe even my truth because I do not have a law like 498 A to protect me from false cases and harassment therein while the law abuser has one available to misuse against me !

  43. Innocent Fight — on 31st December, 2010 at 10:07 am  

    50 Million Missing is not really 50 Million Missing, its actually 50 Million Misguiding and 50 Million Misleading………….. I dont know how can they state that for every pragnant lady with a Baby Boy in tghe womb the other alternative Pragnant Lady will have Baby Girl Child.
    If this is that simple fundamental then I think people with such fundamentals should be awarded with NOBLE PRIZE for BIOLOGY.

    Agar aisi illogical auratoon ka bus chale toh yeh bhagwan par bhi 498a laga de.

    Stupid 50 Million with Stupid 50 Million Comments

  44. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2010 at 10:26 am  

    SG @ 40 / 41,

    Fascinating stuff. Y’know what?

    If you and Ps are women I’ll eat my hat.

    You say:

    Still it is a fact that the law misuser has lied while what I am saying is the TRUTH. People have the liberty not to believe even my truth because I do not have a law like 498 A to protect me from false cases and harassment therein while the law abuser has one available to misuse against me !

    As you are presumeably a decent chap it is up to you to defend yourself. Law tends to be based on prosecution and defence. Quite why you would see it otherwise is strange.

    My frustration makes me swear a lot. It doesn’t prove a damn thing about bias.

    I’d ask you to explain this bit of evidence:

    In many cases it is almost impossible for the family of the woman victimized to lodge a complaint or even file an FIR with the police.

    Why would that be SG?

    What sort of justice system do you want? It seems that you want jutice bent in favour of men, but that can’t be right either can it?

  45. Innocent Fight — on 31st December, 2010 at 10:55 am  

    The 50 Million Missing Campaign What a Funny Name…… I read somewhere in the comments -
    1) No unfortunately the women’s groups in India are not as well coordinated or firm in their aim to protect women’s rights as you guys are to further this women killing machinery in India!!! That is evident enough!

    My Reply to This: Is your father also a killer machine…..looks like you have a brutal father, he must have been coming to home drunk…..then he starts beating your mother who works as a maid cleaning utensils…… then he takes away all the money from your mother and goes out again on Desi Dukan to get another bottle of Desi tharra…… what a filmy storey…..even this is true then I pitty on you as people like you from such backgrounds tell the half story……… let me complete the story……. one day your father leavs to desi sharaab ki dukaan and never returns back…….you and your mother comes to know that he has become a victim of Hootch (Low class daru) and he is dead…….you are the first one to go and start beating in front of camreas (although internally you have many times thought about killing the man)………….then you go to government to ask for compensation………..you and your mother takes that compensation and starts enjoying the life with another man who unfortunately (fortunately for you) is another drunkard……….
    My question is when you are raising such a hue and cry for the man drinking then why dont your mother simply divorce him……..and when it comes to compensation you are the first one in the line…. then where are those hue and cry and where are the 498a cases and all…….VAMPS like you are very common in every part of India as your broughtup is such….. its no fault of yours…….. jub beeja babool to aam ka pedh kahan se oogega

    2) someone mentions “well funded” feminist groups. Well we are not a women’s group. We are a human rights group. And we have no funds. It all runs on volunteer effort!!! And it works!!! Also Most of our campaign administrators are men if you notice. We believe that the systematic annihilation of women in India is a genocide as it would be if the targeted group was of any religion or race.

    My Reply to This: You call yourselg Human Rights Group— wow—–arn’t sister-in-laws, Mother-in-Law, nephew, kids I mean all the family members of Boy side HUMANS………. You are not Human Rights Group You are Human Dies Group or Daughter-in-law Rights Group…….Its right to comment that you are well funded as its a well knitted mafia of Police, Women Cell, Women Rights Group and some crooks at Judiciary level …. if you are Human Rights Group then what provisions do you have to protect people who have been falsely implicated in such cases…. did you make an effort to ask government to ask for Punishing Girls Side who misused this law with the same panelty that may have been imparted to Boys side if proven guilty……you can extract money from Boys side as most of the boys are the earning members….hence for financial gain of your members (male as well as females) you are supporting such biased laws….

    3) Finally — we don’t know how you classify Madhu Kishwar as a feminist. We certainly don’t classify her as a “feminist.” Not for a woman who has merrily spoken up in favor of sati and of the inherent logic of khap panchayats and their “honor” killings!

    If you cannot classify Madhu Kishwar as a feminist as feminist then what was your duty as so called “HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP” when Renuka Chaudry spoke “Its Men to suffer now”. Dont you think she is targeting Humans who are unfortunately Men for taking out frustration of her own…….. where did your so called “HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP” agenda go then……..

    I guess all you people need is money thats why you never fight for a cause………. you fight so that the well run side and dark business of Police, Lawyers, and Women Activists keep running…..

    I guess you have found a principle of finding The 50 Million Missing Women……… and as per your views its…… if you cannot find The 50 Million Missing Women…….make sure you kill The 50 Million Men and hence achive the goal…….

    Nice tantrum and banner of “HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP”…..

  46. douglas clark — on 31st December, 2010 at 10:56 am  

    Innocent Fight @ 42,

    It is now predictable what the sex of your child might be. Allegedly, quite a lot of Indians prefer to have boys than girls. Abortion is available. Is this not likely to cause a bit of an imbalance? Given that girl foetus are killed and boy foetus are not. You could be reshaping your entire society by design. It can’t be too long until the lack of girls reverses the dowry system, which obviously doesn’t exist in modern India. Or does it?

  47. Innocent Fight — on 31st December, 2010 at 11:51 am  

    If you belive me then 498a and DV acts are a initiation of Leagal Reverse Dowry System…….. girls take away a hell lot of money to end false cases against boy sides…..in some cases…girls have been find to run a business……I agree that gender of your clild is predictable……but its banned (a criminal offence) in india……but its still persistant in some parts of the country under cover…….but do you think for ineffectiveness of Police and administartion old parents of boys needs to pay by introducing such illogical law…….this would only add to furthet injury and open another channel for police and crooked women activits to make money at faster pace….. I hope I am able to convince you on the facts stated

  48. Rumbold — on 31st December, 2010 at 12:02 pm  

    Douglas:

    It is not worth bothering. This thread has been overrun by a well-organised campaign. Note how all the posters are saying exactly the same thing, just in different ways:

    (1) The women using the law are just greedy and twisted
    (2) Men have it worse in India then women

    I am closing comments on this thread.

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