Friday, June 19, 2015

Woman fined for misusing domestic violence law

It is not the case that the country is safe for woman. India is notorious for the bad condition of its woman. The problems are many - the country is highly patriarchal, woman's rights are more in theory, education for woman does not follow the same sense of rights as that for men, violence in the household is at an uncomfortable level for woman. Over the years, there has been a sustained push for ensuring that woman get more rights and a concept of equality in the household - this has been done through education and through laws that are aimed at protection for woman.
And this is where some of the problems are coming up. The laws are meant to ensure that woman can use the force of these laws to protect themselves - so for example, anti-dowry laws were meant to punish those members of the groom's family and the groom who demanded dowry for the marriage. Similarly, the laws for domestic protection were meant to protect women who were living in a household where they were being tormented, and the punishments and police investigation against the accused would bring back the confidence that the woman would have lost because of the harassment that they were facing.
However, like the anti-dowry law, where there are many examples of it being wrongly used, the same is getting true for the domestic violence laws, Consider the case of a woman who is in a dispute with her husband, and has either been advised or has figured out on her own that the use of these laws would ensure that her husband's family and him would come under tremendous pressure, maybe even jailed for some time, and hence would quickly come to an agreement with her. The disincentive for filing a false case did not exist and hence there was no problem is using these cases.
As a result of some of these false cases, courts are much more sensitive, and indeed, even the Supreme Court has been forced to provide some sort of safeguards before the law could act. Now, it would seem that courts are having to come into action for false cases under the domestic violence act (and because the Government of the day does not seem to have any mind to provide some of these safeguards for these laws). In this case, the court has applied a fine on the woman who had filed the case (link to article):
A court here has dismissed a woman's complaint of domestic violence against her husband and in-laws, noting that she misused legal provisions as a tool to extort unjustified money from him for unjustified personal gain, and imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on her. Metropolitan magistrate Shivani Chauhan dismissed the complaint of the woman, a south Delhi resident, saying that she had falsified and concocted various allegations and suppressed important facts in order to harass her in-laws.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 10:54 AM