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Archive for April 28th, 2007

Indian women reaching menopause at 30: Study

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

NEW DELHI: In a shocking finding, a study has found that Indian women are now attaining menopause as early as at the age of 30. It also puts them at a higher risk of being affected with osteoporosis, heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer, says a study conducted by Bangalore’s Institute for Social and Economic Change.

The study, conducted by T S Syamala and M Sivakami, said that women living in rural areas are more prone to “premature menopause”.

It is of great concern that women are attaining premature menopause. Some women are attaining it as early as 30 years said Syamala.

Early menopause may be a risk factor for earlier mortality from diseases related to decreased estrogen levels and may promote increased incidence of osteoporosis, heart diseases , diabetes, hypertension and breast cancer she said.

Natural menopause occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years with a mean age of incidence around 51 years worldwide.

“The mean age of menopause in India is 44.3 years. This is the time when a woman’s life undergoes a transition from the reproductive to the non-reproductive stage,’’ Syamala said.

During this stage, the menstrual cycle stops for over 12 months and there is a drop in the levels of the two most important hormones in the body of women—estrogen and progesterone.

The data for the study, which was based on the National Family Health Survey of 1998-99, collected information from a sample of more than 90,000 married women aged between 15 and 49 and covering 99PerCent of India’s population living in 26 states. The report, which was presented in Parliament, has said that in India 3.1PerCent of the women are already in menopause by the age of 30-34, and the incidence rises to 8PerCent for the age bracket of 35-39 with menopause setting in quite rapidly after the age of forty.

Syamala said women who marry late need not panic as they have children late, resulting in delayed menopause. The study said that there are a higher number of illiterate women who are in premature menopause as against those who are educated.
Source : Indian women reaching menopause at 30: Study

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Fight to stop Legal Terrorism In India

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

More than 30 Years Back , millions of child born in this country with the Ideology of Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar, Raja Ram Mohan Roy. When they born all grand parents wish one day they will be the Icon of IIT, IIM,IT, India’s Top Most Institutes. Few of them bong in a Village of Kerala, West Bengal , Maharashtra along with City like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi also.

As predicted some of them became the Rank Holder in IIT, some became gold medalist of India’s Top most Engineering College, some became the Icon of IT industry, some able to presence their mark in the Corporate Marketing and Media industry, not only in India, along in the whole world.

But maximum of them done a biggest crime in their life.

No, it is not murder, it is not rape, it is not eve teasing, it is not extortion, it is not cheat their lover, it is not taking drug or beating their wife !!!!!

Their crime was, they all loved some one, make them their life partner and given the most respected word for their loved one “Wife”.

Their crime was, during marriage, they given the more respect to their wife’s parents, instead of their own Parents.

Their crime was, refuse to give their wife, their own Bank’s ATM card password.

Result , they all termed “Criminal” with by a sweet word from their beloved wife’s family, and became the Victim of Legal Terrorism under 498a, DV act, maintained act..Etc, where the law in the assumption that all the wife’s born in Raja Harish Chandra Family (they never tell lie) along with their age old parents, pregnant sister (in spite they never lived with them after marriage).

But the irony is before marriage and after marriage their wife’s used to call them “Janu”.

But today the same word changed with a Question: When your Mother and sister will die?

The temptation of using 498a, DVact , Maintenance act to settle their personnel score , teach a lesson attitude by their so called “Janu” term them as a Criminal and convert their Small domestic and relationship dispute to a War and Violence.

Few of them preferred to end their life and it is shocking that , non of their wife had been questioned by Indian Judiciary or Police system, forget to register any criminal case against them.

Their Bank statement, all the happy photographs, Voice recording, even video recording , all became use less in front of Judge, In front of Police, In front of Media, in front of their own society, in front of their own work place.

In year 2000, one of them write his story in Internet, then a lot are coming together and join hands to fight against this Legal Terrorism in India and today the same recognized as “My Nation”.

They decide their Campaign in internet, media, judiciary, Political Party, as a result, the Movement Start in 2004 “Save Indian Family”.

Year 2005 Onwards their campaign recognized and Supreme Court of India shown their concern and say “Stop Legal Terrorism.”

But their path was not as smooth as looks. A lot of people to destroy their movement , term them as the World’s Most stupid People, some them as Gay, some term them as Mad , some term them as Media Hungry , and in this blame game not only by their enemy , this includes some of their so called own brother and sister also.

But they stand like a Mountain Rock and Move towards their goal with more determination and with more energy and faced all the attack, their brave heart made their campaign more and more strong. Reached more and more Common People and make them caution from those 498a Girls Family’s Legal Extortion.

Result the voice reached to Supreme Court also, when they find the fault in Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

Their voice supporter by various Media’s Honest Journalist and refuses to accept the “Yellow Journalism”.

Their Voice supported by Millions of mother, sister and unmarried guys.

Their voice understand by the Corporate world also, when the Ponds provocation ads withdrawn.

Their Campaign and dream for Domestic Harmony Act is not too far to reach as more and more people today rising their voice against this “Legal Terrorism In India ”

As a result born of another “Save Family Forum” organizing a National Seminar at Delhi on 28th January, at 2.00PM in association with My Nation, Save Indian Family Foundation, Asha Kiran, Protect India Family and BHARATIYA PARIWAR SHANTI SANGATHAN.

Hope the best wish to them and let hope that Legal Terrorism in India will stop very soon and their aim promoting “Domestic and Marital Harmony and Discouraging the Misuse of Gender Biased Laws” will be supported by all honest citizen of India.

With regards

Swarup Sarkar

Source : Fight to stop Legal Terrorism In India

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Hubby ‘gives away’ wife to her old flame

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

PURNIA: This love story is likely to put most soap operas to shame. An auto-rickshaw driver has not just given up his wife and mother of three children, but even married her off to her old sweetheart.

Going another step forward, Arun Kumar Paswan also did kanyadaan of his wife Anita Devi during her marriage ceremony to old flame Shanker Brahmachari.

The much-talked about marriage took place on January 11 in Kabir Mohalla behind the railway station in Purnia. All the three adults claim to live happily now, and even the people living in the area seem to have given their approval to the entire event.

Anita, who now lives with her new spouse Shanker at a stone’s throw from her old sasural, does not suffer any compunction. She admits, rather candidly, that she was in touch with her lover for long. “Mere pati aur sasural waale har tarah ka lanchhan lagate aur mujhe tang karate (My husband and parents-in-law always inflicted mental anguish and torture),” she now claims, adding that she had known Shanker even before her previous marriage.

For Arun’s family, the marriage has been a huge relief. His father Ram Bhajan, who works as a labourer at the railway godown, says, “Kya karta? Woh yahan rahana hi nahi chahti thi (What could have we done? She never wanted to stay with us).”

The family has kept the two boys, but Anita has taken her baby daughter with her. A neighbour, Asha Devi, says it was for the best. Anita faced a lot of social stigma for her romance with Shanker. So, when Arun wanted to get rid of his wife, the panch readily agreed. Arun, who plies an auto-rickshaw, generally leaves his home around 6 in the morning and returns late. Shanker told TOI: “I am a tabla player with Akashvani in Purnia and have performed at Patna, Darbhanga and Bhagalpur.” An MA in Music, he had unsuccessfully contested the assembly poll in 2000 from the Banmankhi (SC) assembly seat.

The only son with one married sister, Shanker is over the moon. “Yes, I have known Anita before her marriage to Arun. We would often meet on roadsides and chat freely,” he said, even as he played with Anita’s kid at his home. “Hum logon ke beech achanak pyar badhne laga aur laga hum log alag nahin rah sakate (Love began to blossom in our hearts and we felt we could not live without each other).”

Source : Hubby ‘gives away’ wife to her old flame

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Mail to NHRC

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Sir,

I would like to bring to your attention the rampant misuse of empowering provisions by unscrupulous women for violating the human rights of their husbands and their family. IPC 498a warrants impromptu arrest simply on the basis of a verbal/written complaint of the alleged victim.

This provision is being misued to blackmail the unsuspecting husband and his family to extort easy money (to the tune of tens of lakhs) by unscrupulous ladies who have turned the institution of marriage into a money making enterprise. This is a non-bailable and non-compoundable section and hence the arrested person has to make provisions for running around lawyers and courts. What this entails is a social stigmatization, financial loss, loss of livelihood ,loss of liberty and rendering the victim vulnerable to blackmail and extortion. The victimization does not end with the arrest. If the victim stands up to face this oppression he is dragged into court case which takes 3-5 years to resolve on an average.At the end of this legal battle the verdict loses any significance since the damage has already been perpetrated.

As the commission would appreaciate subjecting a person to such mental torture even before establishing his guilt goes against all legal norms. The Honorable Supreme Court in its judgement of 19/7/2005 in Writ Petition (Civil) Sushil Kumar sharma Vs. U.O.I. and Others has acknowledged the dangers of “Legal Terrorism” due to misuse of 498a. They said,” Dowry Law is a Shield, not an assassin’s weapon.”

Andhra Pradesh High court Saritha Vs Ramachandra reported in I (2003) DMC 37 DB records that educated women are approaching the courts for divorce and resorting to proceedings against in-laws under section 498a IPC, implicating not only the husbands but also their

family members whether in India or Abroad. This is nothing but misuse of the beneficial provision intended to save the women from unscrupulous husbands. It has taken a reverse trend now. In some cases this kind of actions is coming as a formidable hurdle in the reconciliation efforts made by either well meaning people or the courts and the sanctity attached to the marriage in Hindu Religion and the statutory mandate that the courts try to save the marriage through conciliatory efforts till last, are being buried neck-deep.

Judgement of High court of Karnataka Justice Kabbin April 15 2005 CRLP 4121/2005 states that there may arise quarrel between husband and equally or more qualified and earning wife for many reasons and unless such quarrels, where in wife alleges harassment by husbands and relatives, is relatable to dowry demands,such harassment cannot be termed as dowry harassment or violence.

There are tonnes of media articles recording the misuse of these provisions.Some are cited below :-

TimesofIndia article on NRI protest over 498a :-

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NRIs_cry_foul_over_IPC_498A_dowry_law/articleshow/1184646.cms

498a and DV misuse statistics :-

http://www.ipc498a.org/498a.ppt

Hindustan Times :-

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1899255,0008.htm

Khaleej Times :-

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/subcontinent/2007/January/subconti nent_January513. xml§ion=subcontinent& col

Women misusing anti-dowry law: HC

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47076137.cms

Dowry act misues quite common

http://www1.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/articleshow?artid=37704054

Check dowry law misuse by women: HC

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47102038.cms

Majority of dowry cases are false: SP

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/136812.cms

Some brides are `villains’, not victims: lawyers

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/8498047.cms

Given these facts and the tremedous mental trauma such a misuse induces on the victim without establishing his guilt or otherwise, I would urge the commission on behalf of thousands of Indians who are caught in this quagmire to safeguard their human rights as enshrined in the universal declaration of human rights and which are impinged upon by this law.

The relevant articles of UDHR are quoted below.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, fundamental human rights are violated when, among other things:

- Men and women are not treated as equal. (Article 2) : Men cannot lodge a complaint under 498a.

- Life, liberty or security of person are threatened. (Article 3) : Victims suffer Suicides, Mental harssment , Financial extortion, Loss of freedom

- Punishments are dealt arbitrarily or unilaterally, without a proper and fair trial. (Article 11) : Threat of arbitrary arrest without being given a chance to defend oneself on the basis of a verbal/written complaint of another individual. This itself is teh biggest punishment for law-abiding citizens.

- Arbitrary interference into personal, or private lives by agents of the state. (Article 12) :Arrest of aged parents, relatives (who may have nothing to do with the matter) at odd hours for harassment

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

which India Ratified on 10th April, 1979

Article 10 of this covenant requires that

1. The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family, which is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, particularly for its establishment and while it is responsible for the care and education of dependent children. Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the intending spouses.

- Misuse of IPC 498a is a guarenteed family breaker which leaves no chance of future reconciliation. It provides a convenient mechanism for unscrupulous ladies to walk out of a family relationship with a huge bounty of their husband’s har earned money.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

which India Ratified on 10th April, 1979 enshrines the following principles which again are violated due to misue of IPC 498a.

Preamble

Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Recognizing that these rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human person,

Recognizing that, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ideal of free human beings enjoying civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights,

Considering the obligation of States under the Charter of the United Nations to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and freedoms,

Article 2

(b) Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes: To ensure that any person claiming such a remedy shall have his right thereto determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities, or by any other competent authority provided for by the legal system of the State, and to develop the possibilities of judicial remedy;

Article 9

1. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

5. Anyone who has been the victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation.

Article 14

1. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.

2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

Article 17

1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.

2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks

Article 23

1. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

2. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.

4. States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children.

Article 26

All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Last but not the least our constitution guarentees the right to equality to all citizens irrespective of caste,creed, sex. In particular everyone is considered equal before law. Then why should one sex be subjected to arbitrary arrest on account of misuse of provisions by another sex when the victims do not have any such provisions available to them. Why are safeguards not put in place to prevent this misuse.

All right thinking Indians will be in conformity with provisons for empowering the women but that is for providing a level playing field to those who are genuinely needy. The commission will agree that misuse of these provisions for petty personal gains by already empowered individuals is unethical,immoral and plain wrong.

I pray to the commission to make provisions for urgent and stringent safeguards in these laws to prevent their misuse for safeguarding the human rights of the victims who are suffering on account of these draconian provisions.The supreme court observation in this regard are noteworthy in Writ Petition (C) No. 141 of 2005 “In such cases acquittal of the accused does not in

all cases wipe out the ignomy suffered during and prior to trial. Sometimes adverse media coverage adds to the misery.”. I urge the NHRC which is the watchdog of human rights in India to take steps to set right the wrong the safeguard the rights of suffering individuals and families whose numbers is swelling by the day.

Thanks and regards,

Prateek Khanna

Source : Mail to NHRC

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The price of adultery

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

The Indian law on adultery, drafted more than a century ago, makes it a punishable offence for men alone. The recent proposal to punish women too has generated much debate. Shoma A. Chatterji looks at the archaic law in the light of changing social mores

How fair is the National Commission for Women’s (NCW) stand against the Union Government’s attempt to amend Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code regarding the reverse gender bias contained in the country’s age-old law on adultery ? It is proposed to include women within the purview of Section 497 as against its present rules that expressly state that a married woman cannot be punished even as an abettor in a case of adultery. Whether the woman is a victim of adultery or is herself an adulteress, she is completely free of being penalised for her misdemeanour. Should this bias continue into 2007?
The question is a tough one to answer. The bonds of marriage have a religious, social and legal sanction in India. Thus, any sexual liaison that defies this bond spells noncompliance with social norms. It is a violation of the sacred marriage vows religiously and morally held to be sacrosanct and is punishable under the laws of the land. Bigamy for all non-Muslims is a crime

Illustration by Aditi Chahar

vide Section 494 of the IPC. Why should women remain immune to the law today?

What is adultery

Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) defines “adultery” thus: “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.”

Section 498 is stated as “Enticing, taking away or detaining a married woman.” The ingredients of this offence are:

Any person, man or woman, must entice another woman;

He must know that the woman is the wife of another man;

He must entice her from the person who is in charge of her and takes care of her;

The enticement must be within the intention that she should have illicit intercourse with another person;

Any person who conceals or detains any woman with that intent will also be punished.

Feudal mindset

The punishment for the offence is imprisonment up to a period of two years or fine or both. In 1959, Justice Gajendragadkar said that Section 498 was an anomaly in modern times. He opined that ‘detention’ is a crime for the man never mind whether the woman has consented or not because, according to the Supreme Court, the gist of the offence committed by the adulterous man is ‘not intended to protect the woman from unlawful enticement and detention’ but is actually intended to protect her ‘husband’s exclusive right’ over his wife. Thus, the law clearly shows that the adulterous man must be punished because, by detaining and enticing another man’s wife, he is depriving the ‘husband of custody and control over his wife’. Thus, in effect, keeping women beyond the purview of the law is actually to ‘benefit the husband’ so that he can regain custody and control over his wife by getting the adulterous man punished.

This also implies that the wife who had consented to an adulterous relationship does not have the freedom to come out of her marriage and make a new life with her new partner even if she is oppressed in her present one. In other words, this suggests that she is brought back to the husband she wants to leave but fails to because the legal statutes, by simply ignoring her because she is a woman, force her to stay in a marriage she may not want to remain in. Adultery committed by an Indian woman, across boundaries of language, culture, education and economic status, may often be more a question of seeking security and self-esteem than love or sex beyond the parameters of marriage. It might perhaps be a search for confidence and self-assurance which a boring marriage to an indifferent spouse has destroyed.

Another clause in Section 498 states that the adulterous man (other than the husband of the woman) should “entice” her from the person who is “in charge of her and takes care of her.” This assumes that no married woman is capable of taking charge of her own life and taking care of herself. Granted that this may have been true in 1847 but it is certainly not true in 2007.

Gender bias

In 1985, Nalini Chidambaram and Seita Vaidalingam, two lawyers, challenged the law on adultery drafted in 1860. They argued that this ‘protective’ provision in the IPC was sexually discriminatory and therefore, unconstitutional. Their charge was based on the fact that this law was drafted more than 100 years ago when men could have many wives and some of them were neglected in favour of others within the zenana. Times have changed. No woman who participates in an adulterous relationship either through consent or by active involvement should be allowed to remain beyond the purview of the law.

The lawyers added that including women within the law would actually help women to free themselves from a marriage where the husband has committed adultery with another woman. It would offer her the choice of avoiding the social stigma that is attached to the wife of an adulterous husband, not only in her marital home, but also in her natal one. Alternately, if she has entered into an adulterous relationship with a man, immunity from penal action would not necessarily ensure her freedom from greater torture and humiliation within her own home by the members of her own family. A case in point is Aparna Sen’s path breaking film Paroma, where the adulterous housewife (Rakhee) is ostracised within her own home when they learn about her affair through some revealing photographs published in an international magazine!

Four years after the Justice Malimath Committee suggested a radical change in the law on adultery in 2003, things remain pretty much the same. This Committee recommended amendments to the provisions of the IPC that disallow prosecution of women for offences under the law.

Psychobabble

Psychology has a completely different story to tell. Psychologist Lucy Gray says that there is no single person on earth who does not have an extra-marital relationship – be it sexually or mentally. “If anybody denies it, he/she is either a hypocrite or not worth it.” In the dictionary of psychology, adultery is neither a sin nor a sacred act. “It is more a matter of body than of the heart. It is first and last, a satisfaction of the sexual urge. Sexual fidelity is not the same as love. An adulterer may be as genuinely in love with his spouse as she is in love with him,” says Mahesh Gandhi, homeopath-psychiatrist who specializes in anxiety disorders.

Psychologists attribute compatibility or drive orientation as vital tools for a successful marriage. A partner with a predominant sex drive would be a terrible mismatch for a partner bereft of such feelings. Economic, emotional and intellectual incompatibility could also lead to marital disharmony and adultery. Different social upbringing could throw up differences in the values each partner holds for permissive behaviour and sexual taboos and unless they arrive at a common understanding about each other’s needs and adjustments, problems are bound to follow. Sublimation of an instinctual drive like sex requires tremendous exertion of will few are capable of. Adultery, therefore, could be a healthy and natural outlet for many.

Prohibitions and taboos on adultery, written or customary, are a part of the marriage code virtually in every society. Adultery seems to be as universal and, in some instances, as common as marriage itself. The attitude may differ from culture to culture. Under the ancient Hindu law, marriage was an indissoluble sacrament. Not even a wife’s adultery unattended by degradation could sever the marital tie and dissolve the marriage. According to the modern Hindu code, divorce will be granted to either offended party, but not for occasional violations.

Libertarian view

Marriage, today, as a man-woman relationship, has evolved from a socially useful and effective institution into a free-floating, personal relationship. Curious strains of feminism, individualism and vaguely Marxist influences have conspired to ‘privatise’ marriage into just another set of choices. The libertarian view that governments have no entitlements to pry into the private lives of their citizens, much less regulate them, is a concept that finds favour with young couples of the 21st century. Yet, it is inconsistently libertarian, as true libertarianism would insist that individuals also pay for the consequences of their choices.

The principle of equality before the law requires the revision of the existing law on adultery by including both partners within its scope. It should include both the man and woman in an adulterous relationship because adultery means departure from marital fidelity and both partners in a marriage are equally responsible for any violation of marriage vows. At the same time, every immoral act cannot be considered a crime because there are areas in which legal provisions and moral doctrines may not coincide and may even be in conflict. If legal and moral doctrines appear to be in conflict because principles of morality are changing, it is necessary to bring about amendments and revisions in the old legal principles to fit into changing moral doctrines.

Making of the code

According to Macaulay’s Code, the first draft of the Indian Penal Code framed in 1837, adultery was not a crime in India either for men or for women. His argument was that in the social infrastructure that existed in those times, the secondary and economically dependent position of women was not conducive to punish adulterous men. So far as women went, Macaulay’s argument was that considering the social purdah among Hindus, especially among aristocratic, high-caste and affluent families, the question of adultery among women did not arise. Besides, Macaulay was convinced that since polygamy was an everyday affair at that time, the wife was socially conditioned to accept her husband’s adulterous relationship. She neither felt humiliated nor was it a culture shock for her.

The Law Commission of India under the British rule declared adultery a crime committed only by men. The law on adultery was drafted in 1860. It did not agree with Macaulay’s stance that any punishment for adultery would be detrimental for the dependent wife and would threaten the unity of the family. The Law Commission’s stand was based on the premise that adultery struck at the very core of the family unit, eroded all close ties within the family, and all that the family as society’s basic social unit stood for. However, the Commission maintained that only male offenders would be punished under this law. Women offenders would be kept beyond the purview of the legal machinery. This was based on the reality that women were already living in humiliating and oppressive conditions within the family.

42nd Law Commission, 1973: In view of the changed status and position of women since the days of Macaulay, “there is hardly any justification for not treating the guilty pair alike.” It suggested that the sexist disparity in the law on adultery be removed by bringing women within the scope of the law. Another suggestion made was to reduce the previously fixed duration of imprisonment for men from five years to two years. Facts reveal that the 1847 Law Commission’s stand on the wretched position of women was not wrong because between 1847 and 1973, a span of 126 years, few men, if at all, were imprisoned for adultery. Though women were kept beyond the legal implications of adultery, few of them dared to take their adulterous husbands to court. Women’s immunity from any penalisation for adultery had not, in any way, contributed to a rise in their social, economic or legal status. So, where was the point of penalising men alone and keeping women outside the purview of the law?

NCW response

The Justice Malimath Committee, assigned the task of suggesting reforms in the criminal justice system of the country, in 2003 suggested the suitable amendment of Section 497 of the IPC to the effect that “whosoever has sexual intercourse with the spouse of any other person is guilty of adultery.” The Committee expressly stated: “The object of this Section (Section 497 of the IPC) is to preserve the sanctity of marriage. Society abhors marital infidelity. Therefore, there is no reason for not meting out similar treatment to the wife who has sexual intercourse with a man (other than her husband).”

Recently, the Centre asked the National Commission for Women, (a statutory body for women in the Indian Union established under specific provisions of the Indian Constitution) to review Section 497, which does not envisage prosecution of the wife by the husband for adultery. The NCW, however, has struck down this recommendation to revise the law and bring women within its ambit.

In response, it has made the following observations:

Adultery should be converted from a criminal offence, as it currently stands, to a civil offence.

This should be done only after a national consensus on the issue.

Women should continue to remain free from criminal action for adultery, as they now are, because they are always victims and can never commit any crime.

Section 198 of the Criminal Procedure Code should be amended in order to allow women to file complaints against unfaithful husbands and prosecute them for their promiscuous behaviour.

Source : The price of adultery

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Frivolous litigants should not be let off lightly

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

If judges do unto other cases as they would do unto cases against themselves, it would go a long way in deterring busybodies from filing frivolous cases.

In the last session of Parliament, the government introduced a Bill breaking new ground in dealing with frivolous cases. The pity is that it does not cover all varieties of frivolous cases but only those that call into question the integrity of a judge.

Section 26 of the Judges (Inquiry) Bill 2006, for the first time, imposes a penalty of imprisonment for filing a frivolous complaint. In terms of deterrence, this goes far beyond the measure of monetary penalties contained in some of the existing laws such as the civil procedure code and consumer protection Act.

Since the Bill was drafted by a former SC judge (Justice M Jagannadha Rao), in consultation with two successive CJIs (Justices R C Lahoti and Y K Sabharwal), it betrays an anxiety on part of the judges to discourage people from filing frivolous cases when it comes to the admittedly sensitive issue of judicial accountability.

The Bill lays down that if a complaint against a judge is found to be frivolous, the complainant is liable to be punished with imprisonment extending to one year. Adding teeth to this substantive provision, the Bill says that such an offender shall be tried summarily.
The proposal to escalate sanctions against frivolous litigants is welcome provided it does not smack of according preferential treatment to cases involving the interests of judges themselves.

n fact, the precedent being set in the Judges (Inquiry) Bill should soon be followed up by introducing similar penalties in laws concerning people at large.

For, frivolous cases do not undermine just the independence of judiciary; they also clog courts and needlessly embarrass people or institutions targeted by them. Clearly, the issue of frivolous cases concerns everybody.

For all the outrage expressed from time to time by the SC and HC, the existing approach of slapping monetary penalties has proved ineffective in deterring publicity seekers or meddlesome persons from filing frivolous cases.

This is not to suggest that monetary penalties should be abandoned and that imprisonment should be the preferred sentence in all frivolous cases. Rather, courts should have the option of resorting to either or both forms of penalties, depending on the magnitude of the case concerned.
There is also a need for Parliament to enhance the upper limits of monetary penalties. For instance, the maximum penalty of Rs 3,000 that could be imposed under the Civil Procedure Code is too meagre to deter frivolous litigants.

Courts on their part need to display a greater willingness to enforce punitive provisions against frivolous cases. They have a record of letting off frivolous litigants lightly. The activism shown in recent times against those who commit perjury (lie under oath) should be extended to frivolous litigants as well.

Superior courts should also set an example by not initiating or even entertaining frivolous PILs. Take the PIL on which one of the sitting judges of the SC had in his earlier avatar as a high court judge ordered special privileges for judges in the matter of traffic control regulations!

The task before the government is equally clear-cut. Besides piloting the necessary amendments to introduce imprisonment as a penalty and enhance the quantum of fine for frivolous litigation in all spheres, the government has to mend its ways as a litigant.

One of the major reasons for this dubious distinction is the tendency of bureaucrats to play it safe and contest every issue or file appeal in every case.
There is also a need for Parliament to enhance the upper limits of monetary penalties. For instance, the maximum penalty of Rs 3,000 that could be imposed under the Civil Procedure Code is too meagre to deter frivolous litigants.

Courts on their part need to display a greater willingness to enforce punitive provisions against frivolous cases. They have a record of letting off frivolous litigants lightly. The activism shown in recent times against those who commit perjury (lie under oath) should be extended to frivolous litigants as well.

Superior courts should also set an example by not initiating or even entertaining frivolous PILs. Take the PIL on which one of the sitting judges of the SC had in his earlier avatar as a high court judge ordered special privileges for judges in the matter of traffic control regulations!

The task before the government is equally clear-cut. Besides piloting the necessary amendments to introduce imprisonment as a penalty and enhance the quantum of fine for frivolous litigation in all spheres, the government has to mend its ways as a litigant.

One of the major reasons for this dubious distinction is the tendency of bureaucrats to play it safe and contest every issue or file appeal in every case.
There is also a need for Parliament to enhance the upper limits of monetary penalties. For instance, the maximum penalty of Rs 3,000 that could be imposed under the Civil Procedure Code is too meagre to deter frivolous litigants.

Courts on their part need to display a greater willingness to enforce punitive provisions against frivolous cases. They have a record of letting off frivolous litigants lightly. The activism shown in recent times against those who commit perjury (lie under oath) should be extended to frivolous litigants as well.

Superior courts should also set an example by not initiating or even entertaining frivolous PILs. Take the PIL on which one of the sitting judges of the SC had in his earlier avatar as a high court judge ordered special privileges for judges in the matter of traffic control regulations!

The task before the government is equally clear-cut. Besides piloting the necessary amendments to introduce imprisonment as a penalty and enhance the quantum of fine for frivolous litigation in all spheres, the government has to mend its ways as a litigant.

One of the major reasons for this dubious distinction is the tendency of bureaucrats to play it safe and contest every issue or file appeal in every case.
As a result, a lot of government cases turn out to be frivolous because they are pursued all the way to the SC without any cost benefit analysis and regardless of whether any principle is at stake or not.

The government would be well advised to adopt Justice Sabharwal’s recent suggestion to put in place an in-house mechanism to weed out cases that are avoidable.

As he said, “It would save government’s money and courts a large number of frivolous cases.” After all, the system should not be concerned only about cases that affect judges personally.

Source : Frivolous litigants should not be let off lightly

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Facts and Figures about Domestic Violence

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Facts and Figures about Domestic Violence

There is no reason to be ashamed or frightened of seeking professional help if you are the victim of domestic violence. Sadly it is an all too real part of the society we live in. It can affect the wealthy or the poor, black or white, straight or gay and the victims can be men or women. Just look at the facts and judge for yourself:

1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic violence over their lifetimes. (Council of Europe 2002; BMA 1998; Home Office Research Study 1999)

Domestic Violence accounts for at least 16% of all violent crime, and has more repeat victims than any other crime. (Home Office 2005)

On average there will be 35 ‘hits’ before a victim calls the police. (Home Office 2005)

It is estimated that domestic violence costs more than $23 billion a year through suffering, time off work and services such as health and criminal justice. (Home Office 2005)

An average of 2 women each week were killed by current or former partners in England in Wales in the year 2000/1. (Home Office 2001)

It’s estimated that police receive a call from a victim of domestic violence every minute.

Men find it much harder to seek help as victims of domestic violence, often because they are ashamed, or they think nobody will believe them.

Domestic violence incidents make up nearly a quarter of all violent crime. (Crime in England and Wales, Home Office, July 2002)

Less than 35% of actual domestic violence is reported to the police. Some surveys put it as low as 11%. (Crime in England and Wales, Home Office, July 2002; Home Office Research Study, 1999)

Just under half of victims are prepared to tell a relative or friend. (Home Office Research Study 1999)
Out of an estimated 635,000 incidents of domestic violence in 2001/2 in England and Wales – 81% of the victims were women and 19% were men. (Crime in England and Wales, Home Office July 2002)

In a study of the take-up of services by Asian, African Caribbean and Middle-Eastern women it was found that about half the women who had experienced domestic violence waited 5 or more years before they sought help. (Rai and Thiara 1997)

Source : Facts and Figures about Domestic Violen

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Now, battered husbands fight for their rights

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Now, battered husbands fight for their rights

Sanjay Singh
Thursday, January 18, 2007 22:27 IST

PATNA: The day’s not far when law-makers will have to come up with legislation for the protection of married men from mental and physical abuse by their wives.

The idea does not seem far-fetched considering the many incidents of husbands complaining of torture by their wives. Around 50 such husbands assembled in the state capital a couple of days back to narrate their tales of woe.

It is learnt that 22 battered husbands met in November last year and formed an association named the ‘Bhartiya Purush Parishad’ to put up a joint fight against atrocities by women.

If Raghavendra Srivastava, the national president of the parishad, is to be believed, there are 750 members in the body. One- third of the members are from Bihar, said Malay Kumar, head of the Bihar unit.

Kumar, a professional engineer, has moved the court fordivorce after he got married against the wishes of his lawyer father. Kumar’s six-month-old marriage soon turned sour and he claims it finally became so traumatic that it led to his father’s demise. “My wife and her relatives started interfering in my family affairs. They humiliated me and my family members on any small pretext,” said Kumar.

Raj Kumar Jaiswal(50), another victim, recounts similar hellish experiences. Jaiswal said his objection to his wife’s illicit relationship with his brother caused major differences between him and his wife.

He claims he was not only beaten up by his wife on a regular basis, but was also framed in a number of false and fabricated cases which even landed him in jail for two years.

The story of Sunil Kumar, a businessman from Patna, goes along similar lines with claims of false charges of dowry and torture being levelled against him.

According to him, soon after their marriage in May 2006, his wife and her family members tried to dictate terms to him and tried to force him to leave his family. It was when he resisted, that they slapped false charges against him and his family, he claims.

According to Raghavendra Srivastava, lawmakers have only framed legislations for the protection of wives. But now the women are taking advantage of such legal protection to harass and blackmail their husbands. He strongly advocated constitution of a national commission for men on the pattern of the same for women.

Source : Now, battered husbands fight for their rights

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Questions for National Level Seminar on Laws against Domestic Harmony

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

As National Level Seminar Organised, we are Pleased to announce, if you have any questions or concerns about IPC 498A (Dowry Law),Domestic violence Act or any other Gender biased laws which are Against Domestic Harmony; you can post your comments, Questions, here,
Out of all, 15 best questions will be put forward to Dignitories and media.

National Level Seminar in Delhi to Stop the Legal Terrorism in India
Date:
28th January, 2007 (Sunday) Time : 2 p.m. onwards
Venue:
Indian International Law Society
V K Krishnan Menon Bhavan Bhagwan Das Road
Opposite Supreme Court of India
New Delhi
Contact Numbers:
Rajiv – 9891369616
Swarup – 98106 11534
Ashish – 99111 19113.

PLEASE POST ALL YOUR QUESTIONS HERE

OR Mail to:
info @ mynation. net
bharati8000 @ yahoo.com
hell4unme @ yahoo.co.in
amukhi @ del.aithent. com
maheshk_tiwari @ yahoo.com
swarup1973 @ gmail. com

Source : Questions for National Level Seminar on Laws against Domestic Harmony By : Rudolph Dsouza.

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Anti-dowry law often misused: Delhi HC CJ

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

New Delhi, Jan 13: The anti-dowry law is more often being misused than used and caution should be exercised by the judiciary in dealing with such cases, Delhi High Court Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen said Saturday.

“Don’t allow it to happen as the misuse of Section 498(A) of the Act (which allows criminal proceedings against husbands and their relatives) often nullifies the genuineness of the cases. This is a note of caution,” he said at a seminar here.

Expressing concern over some lawyers advising their clients to add more offences under the Act to their complaints which are actually civil in nature, Jain said, “Section 498(A) is more often misused than used. Because of this vast misuse, it (cases) needs circumspection.”

He also expressed hope that the newly-enacted Domestic Violence Act would provide immediate relief to the aggrieved women.

Highlighting the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, Sen said, “What was found was that what they really needed was civil protection and this has been the most important feature of the step.”

“What it seeks to be a view is civil protection — be it a wife or an ordinary women in the family. It protects your residence,” he said.

Bureau Report

Source : Anti-dowry law often misused: Delhi HC CJ

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SC dowry ruling: Reality not taken into account

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Dowry is a fairly well-known social custom or practice in India, says the Supreme Court. May be, but the devilish intention of bridegrooms’ parents in adopting this social route to satisfy their greed led to enactment of Dowry Prohibition Act 45 years back.

The greed of the boys’ family in demanding money came in various forms to buy a scooter which graduated to car in the liberalised era, watches became branded ones, gold retained its lustre while a flat was a must later on.

Money, when demanded from girls’ parents, was never spelled as dowry but the need of the boy to lead a happy married life.

A recent Supreme Court judgment just legalised such demands. The court ruled: “A demand for money on account of some financial stringency or for meeting some urgent domestic expenses or for purchasing manure cannot be termed as a demand for dowry.”

Does this mean it is legitimate on the part of boys’ parents to “demand” money from girls’ parents? Why cannot they seek such financial help from their relatives like boys’ uncles?

In the coming days, this ruling is sure to increase financial stringency, urgent domestic expenses and need for manure in boys’ families, who treat daughters-in-law as credit cards not requiring repayment.

Source : SC dowry ruling: Reality not taken into account

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Now, an all male fightclub – Hindustan Times.

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Web surfers should not be surprised if they stumble on to blogs like Indiatalking, genderindian, chaoticlaw, menempowerment, marriageinmind, harassedhusband, don’tkillus, politicalgender, batteredmale and indianbakrablogspots. The screaming headline, ‘We are dowry law victims’ posted on victims-of-law.blogspot.com is full of heart-rending tales of hundreds of battered husbands facing unending legal battles along with their aged parents.

According to Mumbai-based PR Gokul, there are 70 active blogs and five major websites dealing with men who have got the wrong end of the stick from their wives. Dubai-based Rudolph D’Souza puts the figure of blogs at 200.

Already, demands for setting up men empowerment organisations (currently, there is not a single one, whereas there are 100 women’s organisations in the country) are getting louder as the closely-knit group of battered men move on from e-mail exchanges to sharing monthly meetings and trips to Shirdi for spiritual solace.

Mumbai’s Jinesh Javeri says, “I am positive about life even after a bitter experience. Blogging is like my diary to the world. It has proven to be a good anti-depressant for me.”

Javeri says that of a total of 58,319 dowry cases registered in the country in 2004, as many as 10,491 (18 per cent) could not even be charge-sheeted as the grounds were frivolous. Of the 47,828 (82 per cent) charge-sheeted, only 5,739 (9.8 per cent) were convicted. In other words, 24,127 (41 per cent) were acquitted as they were innocent, needlessly harassed due to faulty investigation, false complaints and bad prosecution. The Centre for Social Research has indicated that 98 per cent of cases filed under IPC section 498A are false.

for his dedicated service to fellow victims, says that he has been exchanging at least 200 mails every day for the past one year. He also claims that he has been spending eight hours daily for the last seven years to listen and guide others.

His hunt for justice started after his arrest (he was falsely implicated) in 2000. In his endeavour to know more about 498A, he searched sites and later hosted all information that he had collected on free sites.

Now he has a yahoo group called ‘misusedowry act’. “I spent almost Rs 7 lakhs, lost two jobs, but will not give up,” he says. “I have had to come back to India nine times to attend court hearings.”

PR Gokul launched his first site in July 2003, a couple of months after he was falsely accused in a dowry and harassment case. Gokul, who is now director of Protect Indian Family, an NGO that was registered in March last year, says, “Usually when a man tries to talk about his harassment, no one listens; many laugh at him. Few men expressed themselves when the movement started in 2000.”

Active members of the misusedowryact yahoo group formed NGOs like Sangabhalya and Asha Kiran in Bangalore in 2003, which together formed the Save India Family group in 2005. Around the same time, victims from the US started another website, 498Aorganisation.

The online male lobbyists now feel that they are being heard much better in the media, by the judiciary and in circles of authority and society.

Their future plans include media/public campaigns, judicial campaigns and political campaigns to bring about changes in the gender-biased laws so that it ‘protects’ the ‘victims’ and curtails misuse of it.

Source : Now, an all male fightclub – Hindustan Times.

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Girija Vyas on Petrol pump scam

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

NEW DELHI/ UDAIPUR, OCTOBER 23: Yamuna Filling Station is the first petrol pump as you drive out of Udaipur onto National Highway 8, heading to Ahmedabad. Just like the over two dozen pumps on this 8-km stretch. It’s only when you stop, walk right to the glass pane that you see, in bold letters, the name of the dealer: Dr Girija Vyas.

She is the only senior Congress leader—she is the party’s chief spokesperson now—whose name figures on the list of 297 allotments of petrol pumps, LPG and kerosene outlets that the Supreme Court wants cancelled. This follows The Indian Express investigation that blew the lid on a story of patronage during the BJP-led NDA regime, one that the Congress then used to claim the moral high ground.

Today, however, Vyas says she is not giving up her pump. ‘‘I haven’t done anything wrong,’’ she claimed to The Sunday Express, ‘‘and will present all the facts before the court or commission or whoever is going to probe this issue. It is my right to do that. And it is my duty to go by what the courts decide eventually. I am not surrendering yet.’’

Yes, it’s Vyas’s right to challenge the cancellation but the findings of the two-judge committee show that she will have a tough time doing it. For, the panel has pinned her down on four specific counts: using influence to fix her interview; using her position to bear upon selection of board members, submitting wrong income-tax returns. And, not giving up her membership to Parliament after selection.

The panel’s findings flesh these out:

• Although her interview was first fixed for April 23, 2001 and then on June 4, it was shifted twice on Vyas’s request to June 6. Her interview was very short, held barely before the end of the time fixed for the interviews.

• This, the committee, felt was the first sign of ‘‘latitude’’ to Vyas by the Dealer Selection Board. Incidentally, she was not only an MP but also a member of the Petroleum Ministry’s Consultative Committee.

• That position also helped her against her competitor to score high marks on qualification, said the judges. A better candidate, they felt, was runners-up Namita Jain, who was a graduate with post-graduate diploma in computer science, and had worked in the Urban Cooperative Bank where she was given a commendation certificate for handling customers. In addition, Jain was a widow as her husband had passed away in 1994.

• Considering that two members of the DSB were officers from oil companies which is controlled by the Petroleum Ministry, the judges were of the opinion that Vyas’s position in the Consultative Committee resulted in a biased evaluation of qualifications.

• Vyas failed to fully disclose her income. A letter from Registrar of Mohan Lal Sukhadia University showed that Vyas was working as an Associate Professor until October 10, 1999 whereas the income statement furnished by her did not indicate the amount received from the University during April-September 1999.

• Vyas did not include the pension she receives for being an ex-MLA while certifying that her income was below the mandatory Rs 2-lakh ceiling. Vyas was MLA from Udaipur City during 1985-1990.

• Dealer selection rules seek a full-time dealer to run the pumps. The committee was of the view that Vyas should have resigned from Parliament after her selection. Vyas did not do so.

• In fact, her affidavit, submitted after the scam probe started, made it clear she had no intention to do so. She had, therefore, failed to abide by the pledge she had submitted while applying for the dealership.

At the pump, sitting in the shadow of “Super Seller” and “Best Volume Growth” awards, Vyas’s nephew Hari Sharma has a resigned air. ‘‘In India, the courts are supreme and there is no question of fighting against them,” he says. “Girija ji wanted to surrender the place the minute her name figured on the blacklist. But we argued with her and told her to put her emotions aside and be practical. This is her only source of income. Once this goes, she will be on the road.”

Sharma says Vyas quit her university teaching post to qualify for the allotment. However, papers with The Sunday Express show that Vyas was on leave from the Mohan Lal Sukhadia University since October 1999, almost a year before the advertisement for dealership was issued on August 2000.

But Sharma is not willing to let go so easily. ‘‘We were given this deal for five years and for the last four years we have invested accordingly. With nine months to go they will scrap it and leave us with nothing. It is just not fair.’’

‘‘Look at all the work we have done here,’’ he says. ‘‘The lawns, lighting, everything has cost us money. We have spent up to Rs 30 lakh on this and with just one more year of our dealership contract left, they want to take it all away. Who will compensate for our losses?’’

That’s a question Vyas should have thought of before she painted her name on the glass pane.

Source : Girija Vyas on Petrol pump scam

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Girl foils stepmom’s plot to murder dad

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

In a bizarre case in Thane, an estranged daughter rushed to rescue her father from a bid on his life by his second wife and her lover.

On being alerted by his daughter Mamta, 20, Manoj Mishra, 38, filed a complaint at Vartak Nagar police station in Thane on Friday stating that his wife Khushboo, 26, and her paramour Imran, 20, have given supari to a certain Ranjit to get him killed. The police have registered a case and are now on a look out for the three absconding accused.

Manoj runs a photo studio in Thane. He met Khusboo nine years ago while doing a photo shoot. Though he was already married,Manoj fell for Khusboo and got married. For nine years, everything was going smoothly. “We were happily married. Ten months back, we even started a studio and both of us used to work togather.

Two months back, I found that Khusboo was having an affair with Imran, one of our employees,” said Manoj. He immediately sacked Imran.

“<b>Khusboo, however, disliked the fact that Imran had been sacked. She picked up fights with me on many occassions to get him back. I stood my ground and told her that I knew about her affair.</b>”

On Thursday, Manoj was shocked when Mamta, his daughter from his earlier marriage, told him that Khusboo and Imran had hired a contract killer to finish him off. Mamta had recorded a conversation she had with Khusboo.

In the taped conversation, Khushboo told Mamta, “<b>I want him to die. We have given Rs 55,000 to Ranjit. But still, work is not getting done. I can’t stay with him any longer.</b>”

“Khusboo contacted Mamta thinking that she would help her. But despite the fact I had not seen my daughter for years, she decided to save my life,” said Manoj.

Manoj then lodged a complaint at Vartak Nagar police station.

“We have lodged a complaint of criminal conspiracy and will arrest all those involved soon,” said a senior police officer from Vartak Nagar police station.

Source : Girl foils stepmom’s plot to murder dad

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Ninth Schedule: What the Supreme Court judgment means

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

January 11, 2007
The Ninth Schedule, which finds itself under debate after the Supreme Court judgment on January 11, 2007, was added to the Constitution in 1951, primarily to deal with a situation in which the Supreme Court struck down land reform laws.
In order to remove all such land reform laws from being struck down on the ground that compensation was inadequate or on any other ground, Parliament amended the Constitution to create the Ninth Schedule.

Article 31B of the Constitution stated that any law in the Ninth Schedule could not be challenged in the courts. The perception quite clearly then was that the judiciary was the last bastion of vested interests and hence the role of the judiciary in striking down such laws had to be taken away.

This was a progressive measure and a look at the Acts inserted in the Ninth Schedule over the years shows that all land reform laws were put in the Ninth Schedule making them beyond challenge of the Supreme Court.

A turning point in 1973

In the Keshavananda Bharati case (a case argued by the late lawyer Nani Palkhivala challenging the Kerala Land Reforms Act 1963 and the amendment to the Act made in 1969), the Supreme Court for the first time held that any law, including a Constitutional Amendment, which altered the basic structure of the Constitution could be struck down.

This judgment virtually made the judiciary the arbiter of what is the basic structure of the Constitution, as the Constitution has no such listing. It gave the judiciary enormous powers to write or rewrite the Constitution through interpretation.

What judgment on the Ninth Schedule was delivered on January 11?

The Supreme Court has held that it can strike down any law which is included in the Ninth Schedule, if, in its opinion, the law violates the basic structure of the Constitution and if it was inserted after April 24, 1973 (the day the Keshavananda Bharati judgment was delivered.)

The January 11 judgment virtually repeals an important provision of the Constitution, namely Article 31B, and undoes what was done in 1951. In other words, it gives to the Supreme Court the power to strike down any law on the ground that it violates fundamental rights resulting in the violation of the basic features of the Constitution.

It would seem the court is saying that any violation of fundamental rights results in the violation of the basic features of the Constitution.

Thus, the final arbiter on what are fundamental rights, what amounts to a violation of fundamental rights and what are the basic features of the Constitution is now the Supreme Court.

The significance of the January 11 judgment

There is no doubt that the Supreme Court has established its supremacy over Parliament in the matter of basic features and fundamental rights. The judgment is likely to have devastating results and raises several questions.

Will land reform laws enacted after 1973 be struck down on the ground that they expropriate the landlord and thus violate the basic feature of the Constitution, the right to property?

Will Urban Land Ceiling laws be struck down on the same ground?

The majority of the laws in the Ninth Schedule deal with land reform and now can be struck down if some judges of the Supreme Court feel they violate the basic structure of the Constitution.

Bonded labour laws and the Kerala Agricultural Workers Act 1974 feature in the Ninth Schedule. These could be challenged on grounds of violation of the basic features of the Constitution.

We live in times when the Supreme Court believes that liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation are good for the country and any law that hinders these will violate fundamental rights and hence, the basic features of the Constitution.

Therefore, for example, when policies or laws regarding compulsory licensing of life saving drugs are challenged by the pharmaceutical industry, on the ground that a particular policy or law, restricts the freedom of trade and hence prevents globalisation, and if such a law were put in the Ninth Schedule to protect it from challenge in the public interest, the Supreme Court may well say the rights of the pharmaceutical industry are violated and hence, the basic structure.

Thus, the Supreme Court becomes the final arbiter of what is in the public interest. This function can no longer conclusively be performed by Parliament.

If the Contract Labour Act, preventing permanent jobs from being given on contract, is put in the Ninth Schedule, the Supreme Court could well strike it down on the ground that it violated the fundamental rights of employers and hence the basic structure.

Certainly, the Supreme Court will have a busy time deciding the fate of laws and Constitutional Amendments reserving jobs and seats in educational institutions for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes, on the ground that they violate the basic features of the Constitution.

The impact of the January 11 judgment

It makes the Supreme Court one of the most powerful courts in the world and also one of the most unaccountable, as it is a self-nominated judiciary.

The court now has the power to embrace any economic policy it chooses to interpret as an infringement of fundamental rights. It retains the power to strike down any legislation enacted by Parliament pursuant to the political aspirations of the nation, on the ground that it violates the basic features of the Constitution.

The function of the Supreme Court now becomes quite clearly becomes setting and unsettling political agendas, through its power to decide what are the basic features of the Constitution and what policy considerations it will take into account for interpreting fundamental rights.

Source : Ninth Schedule: What the Supreme Court judgment means

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Mom kills two disabled kids, self

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Pune, Jan 10: Living with disability can be as much of a trauma for the patient as it can be for those living with him/her.

Perhaps the most relevant example in such a case can be of a parent’s, who has to bring up a “special” child with care and sensitivity.

But in what seems to be a tragic reminder of how the society views and deals with special children and the trauma that comes with it, a young mother killed herself and her two sons because both the children were mentally challenged.

Thirty-five-year-old Neha Khatan drove her Opel Corsa with her two sons – two-year-old Nipun and 12-year-old Chahat – into a deep ravine on January 3, ending what she felt was a tough life.

Neha left a note saying she committed suicide and killed her sons because of their physical and mental condition.

The incident was initially thought to be an accident by the investigating agencies.

But further probe revealed that it was, in fact, a suicide.

“We initially thought it was an accident. But the bodies were charred really badly. When investigations were carried out, we realised that the lady had left a suicide note,” said a police officer from the Paud range, Ravindra Rasaal.

Neha, in her suicide note, has expressed deep regret for not being able to help her disabled sons.

The two children were bedridden and she suffered a lot due to this, said Rasaal.

The Khatan family is shattered.

Neha’s husband Manoj, a businessman, was out of town when she killed herself.

The couple also have a five-year-old daughter who was with Neha’s mother at the time of the suicide.

Source CNN

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Mother arrested for selling new born

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Ranchi, Jan 10: A woman in Jharkhand has been arrested for selling her day-old son for Rs.10,000.

Police said Chameli Devi of Iccak block in Hazaribagh district gave birth to a baby boy on Sunday. The next day she allegedly sold the baby to a man called Herralal who stayed near her home for Rs.10,000.

Herralal has also been arrested after a neighbour complained to the police.

Reports reaching here said the Chameli Devi already has four children and was driven to selling her fifth born by sheer poverty. Herralal and his wife do not have a child.

IANS
Source : IANS

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Marrying an NRI ? Centre tells you how

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

NEW DELHI: For women who unknowingly step into marriage traps laid out by some NRIs, the government has extended a helping hand. Concerned by the regular complaints of cheating and abandonment registered by Indian women married to NRIs, the government has decided to provide legal assistance and counseling to the women victims through Indian missions and NGOs.

The ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (OIA) has decided to strongly publicise the importance of verifying the antecedents of prospective NRI bridegrooms and their parents, their employment and marital status, earlier marriage, divorce and financial positions.

Since the efficacy of the Indian legal system is limited, the government has come out with guidelines to help alliance seekers and to those already married to NRIs. While it has been suggested to get marriages with NRIs registered, brides have also been advised to keep all original papers including passports and affidavit of spouses giving present marital status along with insurance documents.

But all this is with a word of advice to not use the dowry laws and laws on cruelty as a weapon to harass. It doesn’t pay in the long term.

The OIA ministry has been regularly receiving complaints from Indian missions abroad regarding cases of fraudulent marriages and cheating.

Many cases also related to physical abuse of women on foreign soil.

Among typical cases of frauds is abandonment of a woman married to an overseas Indian even before she reaches the foreign country.

To prevent all such mishaps, the Supreme Court has recommended the registration of all marriages as compulsory where NRI grooms are involved. However, very few states have followed the order.

The government is setting up Overseas Indian Centres in locations where there is significant presence of Indian population. To start with five centres —— one each in US, Gulf, Europe, Africa and South East Asia —— is being set up. These centres will provide legal, medical and social counselling to those who face problems of fake, fraudulent or failed marriages and will operate helplines to respond to women who are facing difficulties in marriages.

Source : Marrying an NRI ? Centre tells you how

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Marriage is talking point of PIO meet Custody Battles, Legal Aid, Disputes Discussed

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

New Delhi: From parents looking for a ‘‘homely’’ bride for their son to a younger generation who is not so hung up on an Indian alliance, marriage was much in discussion at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas-2007.

And it is not just that some delegates are keen on renewing an Indian connection by getting a spouse from the mother country, as the more grim scenarios of ‘‘marriages made in hell’’ also got a fair deal of attention with discussions on legal issues of divorce, alimony, custody of children and marriage laws.

Says Komala Devi, a fourth generation Indian living in Malaysia, also parliamentary secretary in the education ministry, that given a choice she would be keen on a bride or groom from India for her children. ‘‘It is not to say that people from other countries don’t make better spouses but the language, cultural ties and knowledge of fine arts that a girl from Tamil Nadu has will not be found anywhere,’’ Devi argues. Members of Devi’s delegation agreed, citing existing familial ties as a great bond.

The younger generation’s responses are divergent. While an Indian from Israel was of the opinion that Indians made good husbands, there were others who felt that they would be more comfortable with someone with a similar background as theirs.

Government, too, appears to be taking the ‘‘NRI marriage bug’’ seriously. With an increasing number of marriages ending up in litigation, cases of husbands deserting wives, cheating on finances or dowry demands, the ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has begun to pay attention to these matters.

For one, the PBD itself has two sessions where marriage-related issues are likely to be taken up. At a session on international law, Congress leader and advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi dwelt at length on the need for bilateral treaties to tackle problems of custody battles, legal aid and marital disputes. A session on the plight of women in India on Monday is also likely to address some of the problems faced by women in such marriages.

As a preliminary effort, the ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has launched a booklet that gives information on legal provisions, provides helpline numbers and informs women about their legal rights.

The ministry also hopes to engage NGOs and women rights’ activists in providing legal support to women in need. ‘‘We will soon launch the legal assistance scheme that will be taken up by voluntary organisations and NGOs,’’ Vayalar Ravi, minister for Overseas Indian Affairs said.

According to the scheme, reputed organisations would be given financial assistance to help women in legal aid and counselling services in an alien country.

Source : Marriage is talking point of PIO meet Custody Battles, Legal Aid, Disputes Discussed

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Husband demanding money for domestic needs not dowry: SC

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

New Delhi, Jan. 7 (PTI): In an important ruling relating to dowry harassment cases, the Supreme Court has held that the demand for money by husband from in-laws for meeting domestic expenses would not come under the ambit of dowry warranting criminal prosecution.

“A demand for money on account of some financial stringency or for meeting some urgent domestic expenses or for purchasing manure cannot be termed as a demand for dowry,” a bench comprising Justices G P Mathur and R V Raveendran said.

The judgement was delivered while setting aside the verdict of the Bombay High Court which had affirmed the trial court sentencing a man to seven years rigorous imprisonment in a dowry death case.

Appasaheb was convicted for the death of his wife Bhimabai, of village Sanjkheda, who had died after consuming poison within seven years of marriage.

A case was registered against the husband and his mother under Sections 498A (Cruelty against woman for dowry), 304-B (Dowry death) read with 34 (Common Intention) and 306 (Abetment of suicide) of the IPC.

Though the accused was acquitted for the offence of cruelty and abetment, he and his mother were convicted on charge of dowry death.

While quashing the conviction, the Bench said the statement of the mother of the deceased recorded a day after her death did not state that the cause for ill-treatment was “a demand for money and a consequent beating.”

“Accepting the statements of father and mother on their face value, the utmost which can be held is that the husband had asked his wife to bring money for meeting domestic expenses and for purchasing manure,” the Bench said.

“The evidence adduced by the prosecution does not show that any demand for “dowry” as defined in Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act was made by the husband,” the Bench held.

According to prosecution and victim’s parents, she was continuously harassed for dowry and whenever she went to their house, she used to tell them about how her husband and mother-in-law were harassing her and how they used to occasionally beat her.

The court was also informed that the parents along with some relatives went to the house of their daughter and tried to persuade them not to ill treat her after which she was treated well for few months, but later the harassment continued.

Source : Husband demanding money for domestic needs not dowry: SC

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Thought on ‘Responsibilities’ for Indian Men

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

 <b>1.</b> We need to work towards new HR policies at least in private sector – Marital status should not asked No marriage date, No name of spouce in any application anywhere. No discrimination on this information (something like equal rights policy in US). As managers in workplace, we should highly discourage personal, family related discussions. Even invitations for private get-together parties should be drafted as “companion” (in place of wife/ husband). Do not use “Smt/ or/ Mrs” Just Ms. Also give preference to unmarried individual (whether man or woman) over married people.<B>Objective</b> : Marital status is no longer a point of interest. Make this marriage system obselete.

<b>2.</b> Travelling allowance policies – It should be a fixed amount per year or depending on distance etc. It should NOT be based on marriage and only for the individual employee. That means, whether an employee is married or unmarried or even with large family – all should get same amount. This obviously causes disadvantage to a married man with children, but helps majority. The related forms/ documents should not contain the quesions on “name of spouce” etc. It should be only for individual.<B>Objective</b>: Travel allowence is same and does not depend on marital status

<b>3.</b> Medical Bills / policies : This is a matter of discussion – I am bit confused here (may be same as above??)

<b>4.</b> Respect women who has good married life without any history of divorce. This is very important and strong factor to win over our issues. Just promote them, just because they treat their husbands well. Acknowledge their services and contributions openly and make them leaders.

<b>5.</b> Identify the victims of 498 cases both men and women – give them all the support needed. Ample time, allowances etc. Support them with information, finances, legal assistance etc. Even, you can issue a termination order and still make him/her a part of company as part time consultant, with same pay etc. You can keep them out of payroll and still pay them. In the legal eyes, he/ she will be unemployed. Do whatever that is possible. If you have any woman worker who has been into legal problems due the cases filed by the wives of her brothers- give her all the help to fight the bad woman.

<b>6.</b> When a person is getting married, ensure that he understands the legal complications. Indian Law is very clear – Husband HAS TO MAINTAIN THE WIFE DURING AND EVEN AFTER THE MARRIAGE. He cannot escape this. So, every person MUST understand this. Every workplace should have this information. Just imagine, every small software asks you to read the rules (“I agree/ I do not agree”). Why are no procedures are not incorporated in marriage system? We do marriage without knowing the facts. So, we have to sensitize the young generation.This automatically takes care of many issues. (Even marriage strike also has same effects and principles)

<b>7.</b> Discourage early marriages. This also helps. Men should be aware of expenses (a table showing detailed expenses in different cities for maintaining a family – this has be prepared and made available in all work places) in general before getting married. Also, typical 498 cases, judgements should be available and employees should be well informed of these consequences. I must appreciate, acknowledge the good work done by some members on this forum – thanks to the information kept online. But, how many young, unmarried men know this? They are just heated by good looks of young women and want to get married in hurry !!!

<b>8.</b> Discuss the gender biased/ women favored legal systems openly. This makes a good sense. Also, mention the names of websites, discussion forums to make them popular. Just think, why we go to goole each time? simply because we know it well and also it works well too. So, we have to make these websites popular and also, to design them good by different categories. – This is very important !!!!!

Focus on saving unmarried men from future problems and to support those who are already in troubles.
 

Author : Murali mekalu

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58% girls have unprotected, unplanned sex

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Kolkata: She is aged about 18 and dating. When the opportunity arises she and her boyfriend go to bed. Though the sexual encounter was pleasurable, reality dawns the next morning and hounds her till she gets her periods.

The girl is one of 22,000 college-going students, who were part of a six-city survey carried out by Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI). I was dead scared, she said, recalling the horror of the next morning. What if I got pregnant? What made matters worse was that I could not talk about this to anybody, not even my mother.

FOGSI, in its survey — carried out in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Chennai, found that hers is not an isolated experience among sexually active girls. Its report, which will be released at the All India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Kolkata in the first week of January, is certain to startle delegates.

The findings — based on FOGSI’s two-day ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign among college girls — reveals that among sexually active girls, the first intercourse of some 58% is unplanned and hence unprotected. More than a third of the remaining 42% who plan their first sexual encounter do not use contraceptives, exposing themselves to unwanted pregnancy and a range of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).

The report raises questions about the efficacy of efforts by government agencies in promoting safe sex. The findings prove that advertisements on safe sex have hardly made any impact, said Mandakini Parihar, chairperson of FOGSI’s family welfare committee.

Dr Basab Mukherjee said, This trend of high-risk sexual behaviour is alarming, especially because the young get only half-baked information through advertisements. This makes them all the more vulnerable to unwanted pregnancy and STDs.

Parihar said based on the report, it becomes essential that sex education should begin from school. They should be told about the human body, its development, puberty, menstruation and the like at the middle school level itself. Gradually, they should be taught the reproductive system. As they reach the age of 19, they need to be taught about sexuality, contraception and safe sex practices, said Parihar, who spearheaded ‘Let’s Talk’.

The study also shows a majority of sexually-active girls shy away from consulting a gynaecologist, fearing their single status could lead to stigma. With malls and multiplexes, our society looks very modern. But when it comes to sex, it is still very conservative, says a sociologist.

Source : 58% girls have unprotected, unplanned sex

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NRI husbands complain against `biased’ laws

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

NEW DELHI: A group of non-resident Indian (NRI) men have raised their voice against section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on dowry-related crimes.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, on the eve of the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas celebrations, the men alleged that they were falsely charged under the dowry-related laws, particularly 498 A that was blatantly biased against men.

“We are dedicated to helping Non-Resident Indians in the United States and their India-based families, who are falsely criminalised under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code and related anti-dowry laws. Indian anti-dowry laws are unbelievably draconian, assume that the accused are guilty until proven innocent, and place the burden of proof on the accused individuals. In addition, wives who have been separated for as long as 10 years or more are allowed to file cases under these laws. It has been shown that 98 per cent of the cases that are filed are false and baseless, they told reporters.

They charged that many Indian women married successful Indian men living abroad and as it is perceived as an opportunity to lead a better life and to enhance one’s own career potential with the help of the spouse.

Reasons for divorce

“There are several reasons why some of these marriages turn sour and result in divorce including unanticipated cultural differences, domestic violence, prior relationships that either spouse is unable to get out of, delays obtaining visa/immigration documents, concealed or undiagnosed medical conditions, unreasonable expectations of Indian brides for a lavish lifestyle, incompatible personalities and marriages forced by parents,” they pointed out.

No matter what the reason for marital discord is, women of Indian origin have been rampantly misusing Section 498A of IPC to threaten, extort money from, and wreak revenge on overseas Indian husbands and their families, the men alleged.

Source : NRI husbands complain against `biased’ laws

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12-False complaint ‘torture’ in husband suicide

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Krishnagar, Jan. 3: A 30-year-old man committed suicide in a Nadia town last night. Bijoy Biswas’s father told police that he was unable to cope with “mental torture” inflicted by his wife.

The woman had dragged her husband to the local police station on at least a dozen occasions in the past five years, also complaining of “torture”.

But Nadia additional superintendent of police Subrata Mitra said: To be very frank, we never found the allegations true. Villagers always came forward in favour of Bijoy.

As the news of Bijoy’s death spread this morning, about 500 villagers surrounded his house in Hanskhali and ransacked his widow Tagari’s room.

The villagers also dragged her to the police station, where they threatened to kill her if she was not arrested.

Tagari was held after Bijoy’s father Mukunda, a mason like his son, lodged the complaint against her.

Mitra said: “A case has been registered, charging Tagari with the mental torture of her husband.”

Only recently, the Centre promulgated a law to prevent domestic violence against women. According to the new law, even a husband’s threat to commit suicide constitutes mental torture.

Mukunda, 60, alleged that his daughter-in-law had forced his son to live separately in the same house five years ago.

“I was leading a retired life. But after my only son — the sole breadwinner of the family — separated from my family, I had to start working again as a mason to feed my wife and daughter,” said Mukunda.

He added that Tagari had many demands from Bijoy that he was not able to meet with a princely monthly income of Rs 2,000.

Tagari would apparently want from her husband around Rs 500 as pocket money and cosmetics and taant saris.

The father-in-law said that “knowing that the law favoured women, she used to blackmail my son and frequently visit the police station to lodge complaints against him”.

The police confirmed that had the “villagers not come to his rescue, Bijoy would have been arrested long ago”.

An officer working on the case said that Tagari had also lodged complaints against her husband with village elders.

“Shalishi (conciliation) meetings, where he had to prove his innocence, were held,” he added.

Ananda Mondal, an elderly neighbour of the Biswases at Bogula village, around 70 km from Calcutta, said: We know Bijoy since he was a baby. He is innocent. It was because of Tagari that he split with his parents.

“Every time the couple returned home after being advised by the elders to sort out their differences and live happily, Bijoy’s wife started quarrelling again,” said an officer of the Hanskhali police station.

Last night, Bijoy had another tiff, after which he locked himself in his room.

Tagari went to sleep with their nine-year-old son Sunny, a Class IV student in a local school, in another room.

After repeated knocks on the door of Bijoy’s room did not elicit a response this morning, his parents broke it open and found him hanging from the ceiling.

Source : 12-False complaint ‘torture’ in husband suicide

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Man commits suicide after being booked for wife’s death

Posted by 498A_Crusader on April 28, 2007

Express News Service

Phagwara, April 27: After the death of a woman under mysterious circumstances yesterday, her husband committed suicide, after being booked for her murder.
Paramjit Kaur of Dhak Pandori village was found dead in the fields of the village yesterday morning. Rajinder Kumar, brother of deceased, alleged that he had received a call from her in-laws on Wednesday night, saying that his sister had died. He added that she also contacted him that night and said that her in-laws wanted to give her poison. The couple had three children and married over ten years ago.

The family of the deceased had yesterday staged a dharna in front of Sadar Police Station and demanded that her in-laws be booked.
Subsequently, the police booked Charanjit Singh, husband of the deceased, and his parents. Later in the evening, Charanjit consumed poison and before his death informed panchayat member Binder Lal that he has been booked in a false case and was going to commit suicide. He was taken to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

Source :Man commits suicide after being booked for wife’s death

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