There is no sure shot formula to completely avoid being hit by false cases based on gender-biased laws. So instead of telling you “don’t marry at all”, we have compiled some practical tips that you can use to protect yourself. If the girl you are planning to marry sounds like the one described below, please stop before it’s too late. Save yourself and your family. There are millions of good girls out there. Continue your search for another partner, you will surely find your soul mate.
Do not marry in a family in which the girl, sister or even a cousin ever filed a 498A case. Our experience indicates that families in which women previously filed false dowry cases will file it in future as well. We strongly recommend to completely boycott girls and families that have filed false 498A cases. Do conduct a background check of her family and verify that they don’t have a criminal background/court cases/unlawful businesses, especially if the girl is from another city. Use a detective if you can afford one. This may sound like wastage but is worth it.
India and Male Dominance
India has been a male dominant country for ages. Women were not treated equally. Men were given the upper hand in everything be it political, social, or economical. The laws of that also were not so as to help in the upliftment of women. But the time changed and so did the society. The society became sensitive towards the need for development and progress. The need for the upliftment of women was felt equally as they formed half of the population. As the society progressed many laws and norms were enforced as to the benefit of the female population. The Domestic violence Act, prevention of cruelty, Rape laws, laws relating to Dowry Death and many more such laws were created just to improve the condition of women.
But today the women who need it are not aware of their rights and privileges and those who are capable enough to fight any adversity use it as a weapon for their personal benefits. This misuse of the laws by the capable and affluent women is a kind of legal terrorism. Recently the Law Commission was once again tasked with the job of reviewing 498A, and once again recommending if this needed to be changed. It is no hidden secret that IPC 498A is a weapon of human rights abuse of husband and his family/relatives.
Judiciary including Supreme Court has given instances of its gross misuse and directives to government and law ministry for prevention of IPC 498a misuse and amendments. Some police circulars have been issued in various states to prevent arbitrary arrests under 498a, but they are often not followed by police. The suggestion to the law ministry for amending 498a has also been pending for 2 years. The loopholes in the laws are such that there is no way out for the innocent men and their families. They are dragged into this for the demand for money or anything as simple as that. The law specifies severe punishments for these offences and thus the trap becomes more firm. This is done in the majority of cases of 498-A and is coupled with some more offences such as domestic violence, demands of dowry etc, which adds to the effect.
Thus men become the victim and women the perpetrator. The scenario is just the opposite in the rural or illiterate part of the country where cruelty, domestic violence, dowry demands still remain one of the most under-reported crimes. The law commission needs to suggest certain amendments into such laws, so as to cover both the contrasting needs of the society and thus bring a more foolproof law not only for the women but for the men as well!
Indian Media supports 498a and Family Destruction
Recently the Law Commission was once again tasked with the job of reviewing 498A, and once again recommending if this needed to be changed. However, the interesting thing is the stand that the media has taken on this whole issue. From the type of media reports of the media, a few salient points are amply clear.
Media was thoroughly enjoying the gender war
Innocent men going to jail, Mothers and sisters being imprisoned, Men coming out with a sense of vengeance. Some men creating ingenious methods like filing cases for giving dowry or thousands of dharnas and press conferences taking place on 498a all made for excellent masala news which the media seemed to enjoy. There is a sense of dissatisfaction in the media that these will cease of 498a becomes billable and people stop suffering. Let us further analyze this paragraph further.
Media’s agenda of family breaking may fail
Let's face it, media loves to see breaking families. Not only does breaking families leads to more spicy news like increasing crime, breaking families brings immense financial gain to the media and its advertisers. How? Here is how ….
Let's say a united family of husband, wife, grandparents and grandchildren share one house, one newspaper, one fridge, one TV and one microwave. The moment the wife is separated from the husband she will need a while new set of duplicate articles for herself essentially doubling the sales of all these articles.
So the more number of times a family divides the more the consumerism increases. Consequently we rarely ever see an article in the Indian newspapers and the television preaching family harmony. In fact, the press seems to almost hail broken marriages and divided families and single parenthood for women is made to look like the cool thing. Women who choose to remain single are projected as role models for women to follow and emulate. Section 498a is a major fascination in family breaking since once this case is filed the chances of reconciliation are virtually reduced to zero. The media is not too much in favor of changing 498a and families remaining united.
The media is solely responsible for portraying the women as a victim theory leads which leads to female feticide in urban India. People are afraid due to this false propaganda that girls are unsafe as they grow where as boys never face any crime. The truth is, a boy has 24 times more chance than a girl to face crime as he grows up. No one is telling this to young urban parents, who believe only girls are vulnerable and hence try not to have more than one girl in the family. However, in 498A coverage, the women as a victim theory is again reinforced.
Misuse of dowry provision is legal
The provisions of Section 498A are not a law to take revenge, seek recovery of dowry or to force a divorce but a penal provision to punish the wrongdoers. The victims (women) are often misguided into exaggerating the facts by adding those persons as accused who are unconnected with the harassment under a mistaken belief that by doing so they are making a strong case.
The court also expressed its displeasure over the misuse of the dowry harassment laws. "I am compelled to observe that provision in the recent years has become the consummate embodiment of gross human rights violation, extortion and corruption and even the Apex Court of our country had acknowledged this abuse and termed it as legal terrorism," it said.
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