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IPC Section 498-A: Misuse

Dedicated to the Victimised Indian Families, Who are falsely threatened & Blackmailed by the Indian Daughters-In-Law & her family members, and those Victimised families who are already falsely charged under the Section 498A. Its all about False charges of Dowry Law, Domestic Violence, Alimony, Marriage and Divorce. NOTE: All articles are my personal copyright. They may be republished if the source is acknowledged and a link provided to this site. This is not an Anti-Women Blog. Read Disclaimer.

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Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Women go to the police with a complaint (may be false), but the system provides to record that as a criminal complaint and that data adds in to the National Statistics of Crime Against Women. When male goes with a genuine complaint the police at max can record a Non Cognizable offence against the women. That will never reflect in the statistics. Then how will one guage crime against men? Every 100 Suicides in India have 63 Males and 37 Females. Every 100 male suicides have 45 married males, and every 100 women suicides have 25 married Women. Married women suicides have default arrests of the inlaws under presumed dowry death. Married men suicides entitle wife for a 50% share in property. What kind of equality is this? I thank you for visiting my blog, Please visit again. And I welcome you to participate on my Blog. [indianhusbands (at-the-rate) yahoo (dot) com]. Click here for Main Page

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stree Hatt.

I am sharing a very disillusioning event that I witnessed in the court rooms. It tells that these places are basically apt for murder type case hearings but not for arguably civil procedures, such places in long run are waste of resources, thus discounting the seriousness of its purpose and operations.

It was a day of mild shower in Mumbai, Shravans father, a senior citizen had his eyes wet too. He had requested me to take a day off and be present for the moral support for bail hearing of his family with the courtesy of the false charges on them by their daughter in law, where as the real reasons were different. I came across this family through helpline.

His 40 yr old son’s estranged wife was caught red handed in a rekindled lost affair, as a result, she had to face the heat of Shravan. Her retaliation was no different from most of the cases, she called the shots and dictated terms with a false 406 and 498a that would support her decision of dispute and get the guy to obey rather than negotiate with her terms. She went to the court rooms inspired by what is heard and said. But the reality was soon to be revealed as too how un-filmy the real life is from what these women contemplate.
This hearing was supposed to take place at 2.30pm in the afternoon, but eventually it got delayed by other pending cases that were carried forward since morning. Only at around 3.45 pm Sharvan’s case was called. Shravan was sweating and almost getting a bout of his asthma attack, he was trying to be stable. Amid all, he was missing his 9 yr old son whom he has not seen since 8 months.

All may think that courts are happening places, like we see in movies but well it is different than what we think. First of all, the lawyer of Shravan came in very late thus giving him anxiety. After reaching there by the time the case could be taken, he dozed off waiting in the court room. The lawyer of the wife was also competing with her counterpart in dozing. It was tough to say who won in dozing. While, the hearing of piled up cases since morning was going on, there were two other female lawyers disinterested at the corner of the bench busy gossiping. Must be about their nail polish as they were caught by my eye comparing colors in the court room later they were also observing the nails of the legs and those pedicure and manicure stuff. I also observed in other cases that fates hung for nearly 2 months for the next hearing that would last for 2 minutes and then again get a suspension state for another 2 months.

Shravan’s case was called. Both the lawyers woke up from slumber. The wife had 2 lawyers one hired and other was the public prosecutor, the public prosecutor and defendant’s lawyer locked horns on bail. The husband and wife must have fought in the house, now these lawyers looked like as if they were the horses running in the race and sponsored individually by the couple of which the public prosecutor was sponsored out of the tax of the junta (of which more and max is paid by the males, sharavan was one of them).

The judge heard both the sides and gave a very balanced verdict from his point of view but it was a lose:lose for both husband and wife. How? Well, wife wanted the so called disputed property which she thought would get it the next day. But the bomb fell on her head when the disputed value of amount deposited to the court was held valid for 2 years and then renewed if required till the case gets over, she realized that if she had chosen for mutual settlement then this matter would not have gone in a loop of 2 years. It was Rs.50000/- in lieu of the fictitious ornaments that she claimed that were hers which were already accepted by the boy to pay by cash.

But she would not budge and hence the surety and bail too came in picture. Total 5 women and 2 men were accused. Sharavans 3 sisters, 1 aunty and mother including his father and him. For all of them a cash of Rs.70000/- (exceeding the disputed amount) as a surety was deposited that exceeded the disputed amount and also gave a 406 with a 498a. but the prosecutor argued for a guarantor for each one of them, what a torture! I was not sure what exactly was going on 406 or 498a but I was there to support morally by prescence.

Finally judge overruled the argument of the prosecutor but held that the family cannot move without court permission out of the city. This was a lose situation for Sharavan apart from a loser in money and family. But that is how the proceedings went. We went out of the room and we thought it was over but suddenly the peon popped from nowhere stating “me baghitla tumala” (I saw you) and he was asking for his tip (Chai Pani), sharavan had to shell out Rs.150/- for him too with a whispered bargaining and then he said “file ka khayal rakhega nahi to time lagta” (for smooth clerical proceedings) then he proceeded towards shravans’ wife group. Sharavan did not understand what he said but went on and apologized and thanked me for the trouble taken and being there.

He asked me what I felt and I said “It is all because of stubbornness of ONE lady that is Stree Hatt, so many have to suffer. Courts have to handle such frivolous matters and attend to the paper work. The national machinery of public prosecutors have been misused for 98% of times. A son and father are deprived of each others love and son is counseled that his father is a bad man. Her relatives had to come all the way to support her based on her statement and Sharavan’s Family had to face the 498a and 406 horror. And it was a lottery time for the lawyers and other members that formed that team.” I saw the faces of the girl and her relatives they revealed lets-us-sort-it-out-now attitude and the girl now probably realised that the damage was done to a greater extent and she had closed all the doors the moment she involved force to justify her stubborness.

Sharavan’s Father told me about Kaykay’s and both Sita’s and Surpanakha’s Stree Hatt in Ramayan. And he too repeated that “it was All because of stree hatt (a Woman’s Stubbornness) that his family too was in trouble.”
Though the father and son looked relieved on getting bail but still I realised that all this could have been avoided if the girl was more mature.
I witnessed another Lose Lose situation.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Thank You Ponds (HLL) and O&M

My Parents were discussing today, that they will now use HLL products after a one month ban in my house. Because on 27th Nov 2006 after meeting with HLL team, I had decided to throw all the HLL products from my house. And my mom and dad already were taking a stock of what all things were to be thrown out, reminiscing how Dadaji and Baa during pre-independence period did. My meeting with the HLL at the Advertising Standard Council of India did not go smooth but I think they did realise the danger to the society in promoting the ad.

SIF was ready to file a complaint to stop the Ponds ad by HLL that promoted the controversial Domestic Violence Act in a surrogate way that even Supreme Court has called clumsily drafted . I was about to write this in SIF but did not react immediately. But something told me that the ads would stop, though the communication in meeting was of 2 years campaign later max upto 1st week of Jan 2007. But in retrospect the effect was immediate.

So I decided to wait and watch for the ad or more reports from anyone anywhere. SIF Vanarsena was already deputed for this Job from that day. But repeatedly I was told by deputes “Uncle where is the Ad these days, shayad vapas le li?”. And then on 28th Dec 2006,
DNA confirmed the news. But what mattered was the purpose of SIF, which was served, as this ad otherwise carried a risk of “Kan Bharnewali Saheli” (a she friend provoking another to provoke to workout such a situation) instead of a guide to the real Victim Women as intended.

Though this was a genuine attempt of HLL-O&M in selling by promoting awareness as they were focused on the victimized women but they missed out on realizing the side effect of misuse as highlighted by SIF. But I would say that the beauty of statistics represented by Women Empowerment Organisation have misled and claimed many victims to it, one of them is the corporate sector who generously donates for the cause without even contemplating or questioning the statistics. HLL was one of them as they too realized it. Just like
Nobel invented dynamite with good intentions but it is largely misused.

Next point presented was the one that no one has been able to answer (Not even the Human Rights Commission) as to why there is no provision for the males to register complaints based on truth if against females and wife. Unlike the wife who has provisions, but is still supported by ever cribbing mahila sansthas who talk about rights but not the responsibilities. Leaving poorly drafted laws, which act as fatal VIRUS (DV Act and 498a) in the system.

HLL and O&M did give me a fair chance to talk to being with. They were surprised with the statistical argument. This was just 2 days before the
Washington times correction else it would have been an easier task for both of us. They did work pretty hard for this poorly researched campaign with good intentions as I was told that they had signed an MoU with UNIFEM who would use the 2 rupees donation by ponds on every pack for counseling before using the law. This was actually very utopian and impressive but bookish in front of what has been prevailing since 1983 with 2% conviction rate in 498a.

But SIF argued and they were left thinking, when doubts were raised on a situation where if a girl is motivated by this ad planning a misuse in silligudi (where as on date, there is no judge for past 3 years in the matrimonial court) what would she do? Would she go to the UNIFEM? No!!! Would she go to the dowry prohibition officer or Protection officer (now what is that) ah if the case is genuine she may look out for this fictitious character that exists in the law books. Well otherwise she would go to the police.

And even the police have agreed that once they intervene even for good, the matter is never resolved in reconciliation but has always landed up in divorce, on taking complaint they have called themselves helpless in front of Women Organisation who threaten a complain against them affecting their Job. so overall it would do more harm than good to the society. I think all this must have stuck them the most. (there were more discussions, debates and exchages of thoughts but I am responding to the contents of article that has come in DNA)

They did their job of justification and I did my job of preventing misuse. They sure realized what they missed out.
Henpecked-Handcuffed, Nobel, Zidane has been a great examples that explains the plight of similar kind that traps the Indian Husband and misuse of laws. Even HLL and O&M realized. They also took a note of Domestic Harmony Ad instead as suggested by SIF. We parted peacefully but on a polite disagreement as I walked out of the room. With an option of filing a complaint with ASCI open. But the ads never went on air since that day. They also said that we would take care of this aspect too henceforth which was relieving.

I am quite thankful to Katyayani to point this news out, and Rakesh to initiate the whole process of meeting with the ASCI. Special acknowledgements to Mr Guilbert Pariera Secretary with ASCI who did a wonderful job of a fair mediation. And definitely HLL and O&M has set up a good precedent by not pretending sleep and following my favorite words of Mahatma...

“A devotee of truth may not do anything in deference to convention. He must always hold himself open to correction, and whenever he discovers himself to be wrong he must confess it all costs and atone for it.”

I very Humbly Thank YOU, Ponds (HLL) and O&M,

My Googly Woogly Woosh to HLL, O&M and ASCI,

Thank You God for giving us this strength,

Jinesh Zaveri.
Happy New Year to all of you.