Harassed men to celebrate first Barsi of Domestic Violence Act

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New Delhi, Oct 24 (UNI) This October 26, as the much touted Domestic Violence (DV)Act completes one year in force, Men cell, supported by Save Family Foundation and My Nation, will stage an all India protest at Jantar Mantar against the biased women laws in the country.

It took 10 years for the DV Act to come into existence on October 26, 2006. Celebrating the first barsi of this Act, these organisations will raise their voices against the abuse of the pro-women DV Act and Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code(IPC) in marital discord.

Interestingly, unlike Section 498-A IPC, which provides wives with the right to move court against any act of cruelty for dowry, the DV Act covers not only wives and live-in-partners, but also sisters, mothers, mothers-in-law or any other female relative living with a violent man, who can be jailed for a year for beating, threatening and even shouting at them.

While the DV Act provides yet another provision for a woman with ulterior motives to initiate criminal proceedings against the husband, a major loophole in the Act is its Section 14(5). The section reads that the respondents shall not be allowed to plead any counter justification for the alleged act of domestic violence, a clear flouting of Human Rights.

''This world-wide first barsi of the DV Act is being celebrated by the harassed husbands and their relatives, tortured, blackmailed and implicated in false DV and anti-dowry cases all over India and abroad by their unscrupulous wives and daughter-in-laws for ulterior motives,'' said R P Chugh, Supreme Court advocate and President of Men Cell.

''These so called women laws are entirely biased and unconstitutional. More than 90 per cent dowry complaints are false.

As observed, they are verdict before trial, laws of legal extortion and violative of basic human right of equality before law. In fact, men are the victims of domestic violence,'' he said.

The state women commission of Orissa had said that men were being harassed under these laws, he added.

The members associated with these organisations and victims of these Acts (the NRIs) in the US, Canada, UK, Australia. Japan, Norway, Germany, UAE, Russia and New Zealand will protest at their respective High Commissions.

''We are not against women but these dowry prohibition laws have become more like legal terrorism,'' Swarup Sarkar of the Save Family Foundation said.

Various demands on the agenda of these groups are that Section 498-A be made bailable and non-cognizable and it, along with DV Act, be made gender neutral as domestic violence is not gender specific and those misusing these provisions should be penalised.

''These men groups came into existence due to the growing abuse of section 498-A IPC and the DV Act has just given them another reason to continue their fight for justice and amendment in the women laws,'' says Mr Chugh.

UNI

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