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Women Centric Laws: Consequences faced by Males

It is very well said that excess of anything is very dangerous. Same is here that women have been given excessive freedom from the flexible nature of women centric legislations. This has led to the misuse of such legislations by women and worst consequences had to be faced by men. There was a good intention behind formulation of women centric laws but today it had become a bane for all men around India.

Data shows that maximum males commit suicide due to mental trauma which they suffer from because of false allegations charged by their female counterparts than the stress of workloads or any other reasons. Sec. 498-A, 376 of IPC, 1860 and sec. 125 of CrPC, 1973 have been mostly used by females to humiliate men. These legislations are made by Parliament to protect the women from any kind exploitation but the result of this had backfired and women themselves started humiliating males. This can be the main reason that introducing legislation against marital rape is still a debatable topic.

Women used these laws just to satisfy their ego and mostly the cases are of molestation. Everyone in the society thinks of harassment of women by males but no one gives a light on that somewhere males are also facing humiliation by women. It is so because there is mindset fixed that because a male is more powerful than woman, so it is the woman who always has to suffer and not the males. They are not ready to believe that a woman can also harass a man.

I am not saying that always a woman is wrong but woman are not always right. Legislature needs to see the loopholes in such laws, judiciary needs to interpret it not literally but liberally and at last society needs to change this biased attitude towards men. In this article, I am focusing on such issues where males are being harassed by women and what are the worst sides of such flexible women centric- laws.

Introduction
Whenever it comes to the empowerment of women we used to quote a statement that:
[1]?? ???? ?????????? ?????-????? ????????? ????????? ????????? ????????? ??? ???
?? ???? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ??????? ??: ????? ??: ????? ??: ????? ??? ??: |

This means that:
To that goddess who abides in all beings as power, salutations to thee, To that goddesses who abides in all beings as peace, salutations to thee.

The women (goddess durga) are the personification of all powers, peace and intelligence. Keeping in mind the draconian situation that women had to face in the male- dominating society, govt. had enumerated special legislations favouring women and protecting them from any kind of discrimination or exploitation like Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Domestic Violence Act, 2005, Protection of women form sexual harassment at work place ct, 2013, Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956, Hindu Succession Act, 2005 and several offences and their punishment described in IPC, 1860 etc. These have been bringing into force for betterment of women's condition. Even women had been favoured from reservation to the provisions mentioned in constitution dealing with female issues.

Although crime rate against women is high in comparison to that of males but now- a -days these gender biased laws have been more misused than used. Women use these laws as a weapon against males. All these women favouring laws have straight away women as a victim and male as a criminal. In such circumstances, sometimes an innocent male is held convicted and then it takes years to prove his innocence. Even some women have made it a means of making money.

The women centric laws are much flexible towards and women and much rigid towards men. It has a very bad effect on males. The introduction of women centric laws had a basic objective to stop violence against women and bring them on par with men by maintaining equality but the question is that is it so really happening?

Conditions of Women in different phases
If we consider the situation of women in early Vedic period it was the good. The equality can be best seen in that phase where women had the right to get education, choose their partners, even women do have Janau ceremony like that of men. Women were involved in the debates with intellectual people, no veil (pardah) system was there. As a whole, women have their equal status as compared to men in the patriarchy prevalent at that time.

Women were given equal religious status as that of men and wife was considered as ardhangini (half part of male). The man condition of women worsened from the Mughal era. Pardah system and Child marriage were common practices.

Divorce was prevalent among the Muslims. Women were not allowed to work outside and were restricted to the household chores. Women used to commit jauhar (burn their body in order to save themselves from the enemy). After the arrival of modern period (i.e. British period), women's condition more deteoriated. All type of social evils against women was at par like sati system, dowry system, veil system, sexual harassment/ assault, rape etc. Legislations were made to abolish sati system, child marriage, etc like Prevention of Sati Act, 1829, etc.

After post- independence period, govt. had taken many iniatives to prevent the atrocities against women. Hindu Marriage Act (1955), Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (1956), Special Marriage Act (1954), Dowry Prohibition Act (1961), Domestic Violence Act (2005), prevention of Child Marriage Act (2006), certain provisions of IPC prohibiting sexual offences against women etc. Moreover, Constitution also provides for the enhancement of women status. Women have been given much more freedom in all fields. But the fact is that women had started using these freedoms as a weapon to torture men.

Critical Analysis of Women Centric Laws

Worst Side-effects of women centric laws and consequences faced by men-
Now-a-days we are watching in news, reading on social medias that how women are torturing men by misusing the legislations.

There are many cases happening in daily life of women harassing males and the most cases is related to Domestic Violence. There is no statutory limitation prescribed for filing suit against dowry so women are filing it after a very long time suppose 20 or 30 years later on her male counterparts and in- laws. Even after that wife does not have to prove it and husband did not have sufficient evidence to prove his innocence. Any case in which women is a victim, it is already believed by society that husband is at guilt whether it is proved or not.

These women centric laws had somewhere caused a mental trauma to all the males' sufferers. In order to made strict laws favoring women, legislation had not paid attention to its worst consequences which have been affecting males. Mostly, in family laws, females are strongly supported, like in divorce cases, maintenance if not provided to females, then males can be imprisoned, after separation of couples, child's custody is mainly given to the mother (at least if child is below 5 years of age), in adoption cases, a single male is not allowed to adopt a female child etc. There have been certain loopholes in these legislations which had a drastic affect on males' situation.

Many males who cannot prove their innocence commit suicide in order not to face the sarcastic comments of society. But law does not see all this stuff. Even if a woman is arrested, there are several instructions are made and even easily bail can also be taken but in case if male is arrested, practically they have to face several atrocities.

Although, the introduction of women centric legislations had a justified cause in respect to the conditions of women but with the changing time women's behavior have also changed. I sometimes doubt that it will lead to legal threat. If we talk about gender equality laws, then it should be equal to both man and woman. If the legislature is making any new law supporting female then it should make sure that the consequences of such shall not have a laceration on male's entire life.

The most laws that have been misused are sec. 375, 376, 498- A of IPC, Domestic Violence Act and Dowry Prohibition Act which had been a menace to man and his family. Legislature had formulated various laws for women but not a single law favouring male.

Women had been using these laws as a means of extortion and harassing males. Sec. 125 talks about the maintenance of wife, children and parents but nowhere it talks about maintenance of husband by capable wife. Women have statutory protection from domestic violence done by husband and his family under Domestic Violence Act but if husband is harassed by his wife and his in- laws, then no specific protection is provided to husband.

Tears of a woman are visible to each legislation but every legislation become blind when it comes to that of male's tears. All feminist groups take a stand by sec. 498- A of IPC. This section has been heavily misused leading to social hardships. Now the situation is that more false cases of domestic violence come to the court than the genuine one and innocent is put behind the bars.

On one side our Constitution says that no one should be discriminate on the basis of sex (Art. 15(1)) and on the other hand it grants the power to legislature to discriminate and make laws in favour of women against men (Art. 15(3)). Although, such provisions were made for a good cause i.e. to equalize the status of men and women but women had taken advantage of these types of legislation and tortured their male counterparts.

Adultery under sec. 497(now repealed) was considered as a crime against men and not women although both have sexual consummation with consent. In that both the males have to suffer only i.e. one husband of the wife (who have been indulged in the adultery) and other man (with whom the wife/ married women had been committed the adultery). When the adultery was a crime and both male and married woman had their mutual consent in sexual intercourse then why only man is convicted and woman had liberty not to get prosecuted.

India is considered to be the place where marriage is not considered as a contract but solemnization of two souls. There is no concept of divorce in Hindu ideology. But today, divorce had taken place and there are more breaks than the marriages don not happen. Most of the cause of divorce goes under Domestic Violence Act and cruelty under sec. 498- A of IPC. Most of cases filed today under sec. 498-A is mala fidely to squeeze out the money.

It is presumed that cruelty is always done by superior person to his inferior and it is the mindset of the society that always husband is the powerful one who will do cruelty upon his wife, perhaps, even the chapter 20-A of IPC talks about cruelty done by husband and his family upon wife and instead of cruelty done by person (which includes both man and woman). There is no measuring standard set for cruelty against husband and this had benefitted wife and she can put her husband and her in laws behind bars up to 3 years and fine.

In case of Dr. N.G. Dastane Vs. S. Dastane[2], SC held that although physical cruelty is presumed to be done mainly by husband being the powerful but mental cruelty can be done by both husband and wife. Even wife can do mental cruelty on husband.

In case of Anil Bharadwaj Vs. Nimlesh Bharadwaj[3], court held that if a wife refuses to have sexual intercourse with her husband without any reasonable cause will amount to cruelty.

There is provision to presume that there is a dowry death if wife dies within 7 years of marriage and before her death she had been subjected to cruelty but if vice- versa happens (where husband dies within 7 years of his marriage) then there is no provision to protect the deceased husband. One false allegation against husband ruins his entire career and reputation in eyes of society.

One thought had been set in our country that males are always at wrong side. When a boy comments on a girl, law considers it as eve- teasing and society goes up to his family background and his type of nourishment but if a girl does the same no one is there to condemn her act. I think misusing of laws by women is the main cause that legislation for marital rape is still a debatable topic.

Delhi HC had correctly observed in a case[4] that it had now become a practice that whenever a police report is lodged as a result of matrimonial dispute, it is always tended on behalf of complainant to involve all the members in her in- laws family. Such tendency needs to be detested.

Women centric laws have been made for a good cause and with the changing situations it had a severe effect on all the males. It is so because, women in order to take revenge try to trap most relatives and put them behind prison. Even false cases are filed out of vengeance. Even cases have come where woman marries different men and cheat on them by stealing valuable property. Greed of husband's property led the women to demand for more and more maintenance.

We have always been favouring women empowerment but it does not mean that in order to favour one gender we should cause damage to other gender. When a girl is raped people used to think about her entire life, give her sympathy but about when a false allegation is made against an innocent man, even after proven innocent, he is not able to match his eyes with that of society, cannot walk with pride, society considers him guilty, he is mentally raped.

Generally, a woman approached to that advocate who could use sec. 498-A, 376 and so favouring women as a way to extort the man if their conditions are not fulfilled. A data of 2011 shows that more than 170 married man had committed suicides as they have to face trauma from the false allegation of dowry filed by their wives. Mainly crimes against women are non- bailable and cognizable which becomes a bane for men who are innocent one. Social media had become one of the best platforms for destroying anyone's reputation. Sometimes it is curse where one's privacy is curtailed. Women use these medium more for exploiting males.

Even the women had started misusing the advance technologies introduced. The best example of this is misusing of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971. Those mothers who want only a boy child abort their female one by these modern techniques. The advancement of science and technology for welfare of humanity but these have been misused by the humans. Sex determining machines introduced which had increased the cases of female foeticide. Female infanticide had been a tradition in India since a long and now abortion techniques had enhanced the crime of foeticide also.

The main objective of judiciary is to protect the innocent and punish the accused after proper investigation. But whenever a case comes in court related to crimes against women, there, court is tilted towards the victim's side (i.e. lady) than the accused. It is most important that court should conduct proper enquiry before convicting the accused.

In case of Kanraj Vs. State of Punjab[5], SC held that there must be a strict proof of indulgence of relatives in crime and they will not get arrested for fault of husband.

Conclusion
Law is a multi- faceted concept. Law is needed to be changed as per requirements of people. The main aim to introduce women centric legislations was to prevent any kind of exploitation of women and to protect rights of married women against sexual or physical exploitation or mental torture by her husband and in laws. But as the time passes, women started using these as a weapon against her male counterparts. They started blackmailing, harassing, and humiliating the males by false allegation. These legislations have given an arbitrary power to women to exploit men.

There is necessity to re- look all the provisions which have a severe consequences on males as merely a provision is constitutional this does not give a woman license to use it in any manner and destroy entire life of any man. Court need to do proper enquiry and police proper investigation without presuming that the accused male is guilty and had for sure committed the crime without proper evidence. This could affect the social life of men. Unnecessary involvement of women right activists had also broken many families so there unnecessary interruption should be abated. Even some women organizations have wrongly shown data and statistics and had taken huge amount of funds from govt. in name of women welfare.

The worst consequences of these laws are the suicide of innocent husbands as they are unable to face the sarcastic comments of society. We need to stop this and should frame our own analysis not just seeing what is there in front of us as sometimes what we use to see is not real and what is real is hidden from our eyes.

References:
  1. https://hindi.speakingtree.in/
  2. (AIR 1975) SC 1534
  3. (AIR 1987) Del. 111
  4. Anu Gill vs. State and Anr. (2001) (2) JCC (Delhi) 86
  5. (2000) Cri.LJ. 2993

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