As many of you might be knowing, the Supreme Court of India has recently amended the Domestic Violence Act. It now allows the complainant to name women and children as respondents in the complaint, in addition to the husband.
That means, the estranged wife can now target a husband’s mother, sister and children in his family, in addition to him and his father or his brothers.
From a report published on Oct-10-2016 in The Hindu:
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court has widened the scope of the Domestic Violence Act by ordering deletion of the words “adult male” from it, paving the way for prosecution of women and even non-adults for subjecting a woman relative to violence and harassment.
The Supreme Court is doing this because in its opinion, this change fits better with the notion of equality before law.
We believe that this amendment is extremely dangerous, gives even more power to unscrupulous Indian women, and does nothing at all to advance gender equality in India.
Let us explain.
As we have previously pointed out, almost all the domestic laws in India presume that the woman/wife is the victim and that the man/husband is the aggressor. In most such laws, the complainant woman/wife can complain not only against the man/husband, but also against his extended family, and even children in his family.
The misuse of these laws is a severe law-sanctioned cruelty against every married man in this country. It takes a lot of money, effort and time, not to talk about the stress and social humiliation, for a husband to defend his family and himself. In all such laws, the husband and his family is presumed guilty and they have to prove their innocence, flipping the principle of “Innocent until proven Guilty” on its head.
This recent amendment would have been a welcome change IF the court had removed all gender-specificity from the law and allowed any gender to complain against any other gender. As it is, men are STILL barred from using this law to complain against violence or cruelty perpetrated by their wives.
The only change is that earlier women could only complain against their husbands. Though they could use the draconian and corrupt 498A criminal law against his family, the domestic violence act only allowed her to complain against the man himself. That was a small but measurable relief to a man’s family. In every such case, lawyers charge per person to defend. Each additional respondent means more money for the lawyers, and more trips for aged parents to suffer the humiliation of going to courthouses.
The cruel estranged wives target mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law especially, because they know that targeting the women of the family will break down the husband’s will and make him pay the ransom (called alimony).
Gupta said that the mothers-in-law, who are mostly quite elderly, are the ones who get depressed in jail and adjusting becomes a problem for them.
The nanands or sisters-in-laws who come in jail for few months are mostly aged between 18 and 26 years and also face a lot of difficulty and depression. These women know that their being in jail means they will be ostracised for life in society; they fear that no-one would marry them. It is emotional trauma for them and most are seen crying for days
Moreover, the domestic violence law is used to ask for relief: non-contact, money and maintenance. In almost all cases, the husband is liable to maintain his wife. The elderly and the children are anyway unable to provide any asked-for monetary relief. In these cases, the courts MUST exclude all the extraneous respondents who have been included just at the whim of the complainant. If no relief is asked from them, there is no reason to keep them there, except to enrich the corrupt lawyers.
In this particular case, the Supreme Court has upheld that even minors and elderly women can be named as respondents in a Domestic Violence complaint. This was already possible in the Dowry and related laws. Now a husband’s family has to brace itself for defending itself again under the Domestic violence law as well.
More laws, more money for the lawyers. More burden for the Indian taxpayer.
The feminists are gloating at this “win” for women. But aren’t falsely accused mothers-in-law or sisters-in-law women too? No, according to feminists and Indian courts, any member of a male’s family is a fit target for cruelty to teach the man a “lesson” for his “patriarchy”.
It is perhaps possible for the husband’s mother to hit back at her unscurpulous daughter-in-law by filing a counter case under this law (now that a woman can be a respondent too, Ha!). But we believe that most courts will not entertain cases against errant daughters-in-law. This is because of the inherent bias in Indian courts which regards husbands and their families as aggressors and the “poor” daughter-in-law as an eternal victim.
For men considering getting married in India, we urge you to note this dangerous step in the wrong direction. Understand the risks to your mother, father, and your existing family. These risks are now bigger than ever before.
Beware of an unscrupulous and impulsive woman in India. She now has another state-sanctioned tool to harass your family.