Domestic Violence and Dowry Harassment: Why are these cases collapsing?
New Delhi, May 12: The Domestic Violence Act to protect women in distress was introduced with a good intention. However over the years, this act has been abused blatantly and nearly 90 per cent of the cases have fallen like nine pins. There are statistics that suggest that this act has been abused and used as a blackmailing tool in several cases.
What is worse is that there has also been a gross misuse of the Anti Dowry Act and several NGOs have given reports regarding the same to the Home Ministry as claimed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Men's Rights groups have been fighting this issue for years and they see hope in the statement by the home ministry when it says that these acts have been misused.
According to the statistics with the National Crime Records Bureau there were 693 persons arrested out of which 639 were chargesheeted. The convictions were just 13 in these cases, statistics have also revealed.
Several advocates who have been fighting these cases say that the reasons for the low rate of conviction are plenty. In many cases, the woman goes against the husband out of vengeance. These acts are stringent in nature and mandates an arrest immediately upon a complaint being filed.
Advocates say that in many cases, it has been found that the woman uses it as a tool to extort money. She would not just file a case against the husband but against her in-laws as well. In many cases, the money is paid off as the accused/victims are unable to bear the trauma.
The other reason for such cases to fall is because they are fake. Over a period of time even the courts can differentiate between a fake and an original case. In such cases when the complainant feels that the bluff is caught, then gradually her witnesses turn hostile and many times they do not land up in the courts which leads to the case falling.
Legal experts say that there have to be checks and balances. Eradicating these acts is not the solution as there are still several genuine cases and such women need protection.
However there ought to be a better mechanism to deal with such cases. Instead of immediately arresting people upon a complaint, the police should first probe before taking action.