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Women-Centric laws in India: Beneficial or Detrimental?

Ya devi sarvbhuteshu Shakti rupen sansththa namastasey namastasey namastasey namo namah. Ya devi sarvbhuteshu Shanti rupen sansththa namastasey namastasey namastasey namo namah.
These lines 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, salutation to thee.

Women are said to be less strong in contrast with men. Keeping in mind the draconian situation that women had to face in the male-dominating society, government and enumerated special legislations favoring women and protecting them from any kind of discrimination or exploitation.

Women centric laws are made to benefit women who are considered as an oppressed section of the society. But, from the former time, women were exposed to atrocities committed by men. They were considered as a weak and oppressed section of the society so various laws were made from time to time to safeguard them.

These laws are used by women as a weapon to protect themselves. The introduction of these laws had a basic objective to stop violence against women and bring them equal to men by maintaining equality and stop mental torture they face.

Situation Of Women In India And Need For The Women Centric Laws

Furthermore, moving on from the introduction of women centric laws now the second topic comes that was there any need to introduce such legislations or not?
If we consider the situation of women in early vedic period, it was good. Women were involved in the debates with intellectual people. Women were given equal religious status as that of men and wife was considered as ardhangini.

The main condition of women worsened from the Mughal era. Pradha system and child marriage were common practices. After the arrival of modern period, women�s condition more detoriated. All types of social evils against women was at par like sati system, dowry system, veil system, rape etc.

After post-independence period, government had taken many steps to prevent the atrocities against women. Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Prevention of Child Marriage Act, 2006. Women have been given more freedom in all fields.

Laws And Judgements Favouring Women Centric Laws

There are various laws framed after independence to prevent the women like Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, Special Marriage Act, 1954 etc.
  1. Domestic Violence:
    Section 498-A of IPC deals with the subjugation of women to cruelty by her husband and in laws. It is a non-bailable, cognizable offence. Prison for 3 years and fine.
  2. Dowry Death:
    Section 304-B of IPC is a provision made to protect the woman from the cruelty by her husband and in-laws for dowry.
  3. Forced Sexual Intercourse:
    Section 375 of IPC which was enacted to help the women to get justice if they are forced into sexual intercourse.
  4. Maintenance of wife by the husband:
    Section 125 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 mentions that a person is supposed to maintain his wife, children and his parents who are unable to maintain themselves.
  5. Right to Equality in the Constitution:
    The constitution under Article 15(1) prohibits any discrimination based on sex and under the same, Article 15(3) provides that the state can make special provisions for women.

Problems With Women-Centric Laws

It is rightly said that excess use of anything is very dangerous. And, same is with the women centric laws. These laws were made for the protection of women and provide them with safe life. But, with time, women started misusing these laws and consequences had to be faced by men. Women started using these laws in a wrong way by interfering with the right of the males. These laws were also being started to be misused by women to satisfy their ego and also to harass men. Because of these type of laws, males are kept at a disadvantageous position.

There are various legislations which protect the rights of women but none which support the cause of men in the society. There are laws which are made to protect women from sexual harassment at the workplace but there are no laws as such which could help males. Sometimes to satisfy their own ego, women charges fake allegations against men which not only ruin his career but also his reputation in the society.

Data also shows that maximum males commits 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. Section 498-A, 376 of IPC have been mostly used by females to humiliate men. These legislations were made by the parliament to protect women but the result of this had backfired and women themselves started to humiliate males.

Women are able to harass men and misuse these legislations because there is mindset fixed because a male is more powerful than woman, so it is the woman who always has to suffer and not the males. In order to make strict laws favoring women, legislation paid no attention to its worst consequences which have been affecting males. Many males who cannot prove their innocence commit suicide in order not to face sarcastic comments of the society.

Even if a woman is arrested, there are several instructions made and even they get bailed easily but in case in male is arrested, practically they have to face several atrocities. Legislation had formulated various laws for women but not even a single law for men.

Women have protection under Domestic Violence Act for husband and his family but if husband is harassed by his wife, then there�s no specific law for the same. Favoring of women empowerment does not mean that in order to favor one gender we should cause damage to other gender. And, now talking about judiciary, its main objective is to protect the innocent and punish the accused after proper investigation. But, whenever a case comes in court related to crimes against women, court gets slightly tilted towards the victim�s side i: e lady�s side.

In case of Dr.N.G Dastane v S. Dastane, SC held that although physically 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 v. Nimlesh Bharadwaj, court held that if a wife refuses to have sexual intercourse with her husband without any reasonable cause will amount to cruelty.

The legislations which are women centric in nature and are inflexible should be examined properly to remove any loopholes if present in them.

There is a need to protect women so no harm is there in making women-centric laws but the point to be kept in mind is that if any legislation is made to help the women victims then it should not destroy an innocent male�s life. The legislation should be made keeping in mind the rights of both males and females.

The dowry laws are strictly implanted against the groom�s family but still, there are cases related to the same. The reason for its existence is that only te people who take dowry are punished and not the bride�s family who is giving dowry which is also a crime under Dowry Prohibition Act. Mostly, the people who give dowry are the ones who ask for dowry. So, it is necessary that the laws are properly implemented.

As mentioned above that Judiciary also becomes a little biased whenever a case comes in court related to crime committed by women, this needs to be stop and a proper investigation should be done no matter by whom he crime gets commit. Gender equality should be kept in mind before making any legislation. Courts need to do proper investigation and police without presuming that the accused male is guilt and had for sure committed the crime without proper evidence.

Law is a multi-faceted concept. Law needs to be changed as per the requirement of people. Women-centric legislations were at a time made to protect women from abuses in society. It was the need when they were implemented and still the need exists. But, along with it, it is also necessary to see that no one is innocent is getting punished or armed by such laws in any war whatsoever.

Also, a tedious job in the hand of the judges to see that the approach of the society that the women are the ones who are always the women- centric laws should not affect them when they are delivering judgement. The main aim to introduce women centric laws was to prevent any kind of exploitation of women and to protect rights of married women. But, women started blackmailing, harassing, and humiliating the males by false allegations.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Ishika Baheti
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: MA34117113642-22-0521

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