Regarding proposed amendment to "Protection of women from domestic
Fighting Legal Terror | August 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Categories: WCD |
7th Aug 2011/ Bangalore
Hon'ble Minister of Women and Child development
Ministry of Women & Child Development, Shastri Bhavan, New Delhi -
Subject: Regarding proposed amendment to "Protection of women from
domestic violence act"
About National Family Harmony Society®: "National Family Harmony
Society®" NFHS is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) promoting the
cause of "family harmony" and "gender equality". It is registered
under "The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960" and is based in
Bangalore. We have branches in more than 16 states and in abroad too.
We have approximately 16500 members all over India. To know more about
us please visit www.family-harmony.org / www.498a.org.in.
Recent media reports suggest that your ministry is planning amendments
to the "Protection of women from domestic violence act" hereafter
referred to as "Act", which was passed by the parliament in 2005 with
good intention to provide protection to women in domestic
We would like to bring to your kind attention and notice that none
other "Act" has gained so much notoriety as this "Act" in a short span
of 6 years. The said Act is being heavily misused and abused by
unscrupulous and greedy women with an intention to settle score with
the estranged husband and his family. Protection and empowerment of
women cannot be achieved by harassing husband and his family members.
A study conducted by our NGO shows that the said "Act" is being
heavily misused by estranged wives by leveling baseless, frivolous,
vexatious and scandalous, allegations against husband in case of any
matrimonial disputes just with an intention to get monetary benefits.
We believe that certain misandric elements, in the name of pseudo-
empowerment of women are all out to destroy the Indian Family System
and values with the active connivance of vested interests that are
harboring a diabolic design and agenda to destroy our traditional
institution of family. These elements are running berserk clamoring
for more draconian enactments that are detrimental to the system of
marriage and family in addition to the existing laws which are totally
anti-men. Our country is already divided in the name of language,
religion and geographic region. But these women-biased laws like "Act"
are bringing in another dimension of division of our society in the
name of gender.
The "Act", was framed and legislated based on a myth and assumption
that only women under go domestic violence. The parliament has not
considered the fact the "softer-sex" i.e., Males are equally
vulnerable to domestic violence in the hands of a female or another
male. Numerous incidents of domestic violence on males covered by
press & media, clearly showing the evidence of violence on males, have
been ignored by the parliament. It is not appropriate to assume that
all "married young women" in our country are Sita Devis. We should not
forget that there are enough number of Surpanakas & Kaikeyis in our
country. Numerous incidents of crime committed by women can be found
in press & media coverage. Some of these media coverage can be
witnessed from our website in the below link.
Anybody can be a victim of Domestic violence, including children,
infants, teenagers and senior citizens. They can become victim at the
hands of their own blood relatives including the mothers of the
children and the sons & daughters-in-law of
the aged parents. Senior citizens are mostly abused by the daughters-
in-law more so by the misuse of these women-biased laws. Even United
Nations Organization has recognized that the misuse of IPC 498A or the
"Dowry Law" is the biggest form of elder abuse in our country. Such
senior citizens in their twilight years should be protected from
domestic violence and abuse.
We wish to bring your notice that this law is being misused by many of
the young, educated & greedy women with corrupt intentions to satisfy
their greed, grudge & fantasies. This law becomes more lethal when
misused along with the Dowry Law or IPC 498A. The case under Domestic
Violence Act is usually filed just after an FIR
U/S 498A is registered for the same cause of action. The misuse of the
"Act" is so rampant that many of the parliamentarians, courts, Chief
justices of various High courts have expressed their concerns over the
misuse of this Act.
Surprisingly, the said "Act" recognizes Live-in relationships. A man
can have any number of Live-in relationships and similarly a woman can
also have many Live-in relationships. This is nothing but a different
concept of prostitution and nothing but polygamy. This issue needs in-
depth deliberation to ensure that the "Act" does not cover live-in
relationships. If live in relationship is recognized then that means
that we are promoting polygamy & adultery, thus making the sections
494 & 497 of Indian Penal Code as Un-constitutional.
When an estranged wife claims for the reliefs of Protection,
Residence, Maintenance orders as per the existing "Act" and complains
and claims for these reliefs, that itself shows that the marriage
between husband and wife has broken down and the relationship between
them is not cordial and that is why she has come forward to complain.
In such a situation it is impossible to think that they can live
together again. In such a case while providing reliefs to the woman,
the husband should be granted automatic divorce decree order if he
moves an application for the same at appropriate court.
The existing "Act" has been designed to provide protection to woman
and not to harass the husband. In such a case husband should not be
denied of his basic rights of being in a family, cohabiting with a
woman and pass on his genes to the next generation, etc. Even those
who are accused under much severe crimes like IPC 302 (murder) or IPC
307 (attempt to murder) will be given a liberty to live freely till he
is proven guilty. Many of the accused people in the 1984 riots &
Godhra riots are freely living while they are still undergoing their
trials. Their basic rights of getting food cooked by their wives,
having children with their wives are not being denied. In such a case
why a husband accused under Protection of women from domestic violence
Act should be punished and should be denied of his basic rights? Since
the existing "Act" doesn't have any punishments like not allowing
husband to eat food or not allowing him to have sex, etc., the husband
should be made eligible for an immediate automatic divorce decree if
he moves an application for the same, so that his basic rights are not
denied but fulfilled by any other woman who is happy to live with him
along with the reliefs being fulfilled under this Act for the
complainant wife. Not doing so results in violation of human rights of
The protection officer in the "Act" does not have any role in
investigating the alleged domestic violence, it is only limited to
writing down the false statements and filling the report as per the
wishes of the wife's advocate. It is mostly observed that the job of
the PO is just to tick mark most of the rows in the DIR on the
insistence of the wife. Even the Honorable Supreme Court of India in
14Feburary2010 observed that "in rape cases the testimony of the
victim cannot be considered to be the gospel truth, though in normal
circumstances her statement has to be relied upon." So in general to
avoid misuse no conclusion should be drawn into the PO report and
interim maintenance should not be passed on PO report.
As there is no provision of punishment in the "Act" hence there is no
fear in the mind of the litigants and they are indulging in leveling
baseless and wild allegations against each other. This is deplorable
and results in considerable delay of the proceedings. It has been
observed that just to get maintenance wife normally puts wild and
imaginary allegations even to the extent of extra martial affairs.
There is no bar on the amount of maintenance an estranged wife can
claim under the "Act". This leads to claiming of exorbitant amounts of
maintenance to the tune of lakhs of rupees. Claiming exorbitant
amounts of maintenance is nothing but misusing the provision which is
meant to protect women. It is impossible to believe that with the
current economic conditions prevailing in our country that a woman
would need lakhs of rupees of money for basic necessities like food,
cloth, and medicines. We have seen cases where the maintenance amounts
have been claimed in the range of 25,000/-, 50,000/- to 200,000/- per
month. Even the Honorable magistrates, Honorable High court judges and
"Honorable members of parliament" are not getting that much amount of
money as their salaries. Maintenance includes only the basic
necessities i.e., food, cloth, medicines & shelter. In any city in our
country these basic necessities will not cost thousands & lakhs of
rupees per month. The magistrates are supposed to pass orders ONLY for
these basic necessities and other house hold expenses which should
never run into thousands of rupees as claimed in some cases. The Act
itself mandates that the maintenance amounts should be fair, just &
reasonable. But that is hardly followed.
Since mostly estranged wife complain of violence hence, in order to
protect these women, the women should be mandatorily accommodated in
Govt. sponsored Shelter Homes. The cost for the accommodation may be
put on the accused/respondents. The cost will be for her maintenance
as per the prevailing rates as declared by the Government.
In view of the above discussion and reasoning we demand following:
We strongly request to make the said "Act" "gender-neutral" by
providing protection to MEN as well.
We sincerely request to increase the scope of the said Act beyond
"young married women" to a cover a much larger section of victims
irrespective of their age & gender.
There is an urgent need to introduce a punishment clause in the "Act"
in-line with section 387 to 389 of Indian Penal Code. A new clause
should be introduced to protect the rights of the respondents by
sufficiently compensating in case of false claim. The clause should
also make a provision to return back any interim maintenance amount
paid during the trial with 10% interest rate in case allegations are
The parliament should clear the confusion on live-in-relation. It
cannot take different stands on the same issue of polygamy. Therefore,
we propose to remove live-in relationships from the context of this
Act OR make sections 494 & 497 of Indian Penal Code as Un-
We suggest/recommend introducing a new clause for protecting the human
rights of the accused husband.
The role of a Protection officer is absolutely unnecessary and should
The trial under this Act should be made in compliance to Indian
Evidence Act rather than in compliance to Criminal Procedure Code.
The magistrates shall ensure that interim orders are passed at the
earliest and at the discretion of the officers and shall ensure the
trial is not withheld over an indefinite period due to non-execution
of interim orders.
The magistrates shall order perjury and contempt proceedings in
respect of exaggerated or false allegation in respect of domestic
violence, cruelty when such allegations are proved to be false. And
spouses making false allegations are to be punished.
In order to stop misuse of this Act as a black mailing tool, we
propose to do camera recording of the counseling/mediation done by the
counselors if the accused/respondents wishes so. The counselor has to
give the certified copy of this recoding to the complainant woman,
accused/respondents and magistrate.
In order to protect these women, the women should be mandatorily
accommodated in Govt. sponsored Shelter Homes. The cost for the
accommodation may be put on the accused/respondents. The cost will be
for her maintenance as per the prevailing rates as declared by the
We submit that our suggestions are just and reasonable and in the
event of non implementation of our suggestions, we would be
constrained to go to the streets with Dharnas, Public Fasting and
resort to other democratic means of protests. Please save the family
and thereby save our great Nation to retain India a "Vasudeva
Jai Hind!! With profound respects,
P Suresh, President, M
Mahesh, General Secretary,
Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi
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