Mental Cruelty: Defining a Moot Point.
Case of Appasaheb was worth giving a 2nd look, which is never done if the accused is a male. Asking for emergency local expenses from wife was finally declared as NOT Dowry. This was upheld by the Apex Court. Further, Pinky Anand had impressed the victims with her argument during the DV Act Media Debate that it is indeed ok for a wife to help her husband and it is ok for a husband to ask for money from wife for local expense in this gender equality era. There are some guys who correctly argue that what is the fun in marriage where one is at the mercy of interpretation of the other partner. Contribution from both the partners has to come from some way or the other.
Mental Cruelty is a very relative definition, it is like defining a moot point. Einstein had described theory of relativity to a teenager as putting your hand for one long minute in a fire v/s holding a hand of a beautiful girl for just one day. Similarly it is very difficult to say what is not mental cruelty and moreover guys are equally vulnerable to it as human beings.
What is clearly hated by the Indian Junta is the fact the attitude of some individuals who claim to represent Women Liberation Movement in India by virtue of their association with some national bodies of women welfare that speaks as if Mental cruelty is a product and Indian Women have the monopoly to define it, by the way Indian Males do not require any law for their protection is what they say. Gurdarshan a Volunteer of Save Indian Family Movement and a Director of Save Family Foundation asked one of the basic fundamental question that even this blog has been asking “What law is there to protect Indian Husband or any of his relatives?” and Ms.Ranjana Kumari bluntly answered there is no Law required. Madams we are all watching you all. And we know what we want.
Further since there is no law for Indian husbands and his parents how can there be statistics available? Treating law like a cosmetic-for-ladies-not-available-for-men is not fair. As if quacks announcing that medicines are required only for females and not males as they cannot fall sick being strong. One can’t become taller by cutting the other short. Remember NCW’s answer to Indian Govt? An adulterous woman is a victim and hence cannot be punished, let the law be reviewed and the crime should be made civil. They have it all, from a modesty law to 498a to the great DV Act.
There is still a long way to go: After calling Misuse of 498a as Legal Terrorism, SC has defined Mental Cruelty, it means till date the definition was not as clear. And though I would call it as a great gesture to attempt a definition, but still I see a room for improvement, as half defined laws are like Glass Half Full which may be interpreted as Glass Half Empty. Samar Ghosh’s 69 page verdict was defined where for 17 years the lady refused to cohabit with her husband and other side we have laws like Maritial Rape.
In other words there have been cases where constructive cruelty is attempted. Where the so called victim has worked her way to circumstances that lead the opposite party to frustration. What is argued as indifference may actually be intended to do so to frustrate the opposite party. What seems as a cruelty by language may be actually worked upon to provoke a Zidane to get him a legal red card. As usual I am concerned about the misuse.
Some Arguments still unanswered: If DV Act was for Rural Women, why have Live In Relationships been included In that act? Is that a Rural Lifestyle? The justification is the majority of women (70%) are in rural areas.
Similarly if laws are made for rural women at large, if “not cooking” by wife was defined as mental cruelty, there should be no opposition by feminists on the theory of also working and cooking for women as that largely happens only in urban areas, otherwise as per their definition women are at home . This is purely by their arguments.
I would say, when marriage is mutual so has to be divorce. While some benches in Indian courts seem to take mature decisions (like the one on irreconcilable differences), it also takes maturity for both the parties to decide their bond for future. It is better to part mutually, with no nuisance to the society and courts rather than letting a 3rd party decide at 3 levels (Lower, High and Supreme Courts, with moot points and one sided laws) as to who is right and who is wrong. Well its all said and done there is a problem else there would not have been this day. It is better to mutually call it off.
But on the positive side, thank You Supreme Court for not being mute on this moot point. Now the Indian male before hopelessly committing suicide *may* contest his case in the Supreme Court.