Sub: SIFF presents Research Report on 498A and Alimony/Maintenance to Law Commission of Karnataka
Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) is a non-funded non-profit NGO fighting for men’s rights, Gender Equality and Family Harmony by creating awareness against the misuse of gender obsessed laws like Section 498A, the Domestic Violence Act, and the various Maintenance laws etc. which are systematically breaking down the family system of India.
Gender-budgeting has been happening in India since quite some years and with the institution of Constitutional and quasi-constitutional bodies like the National Commission for Women (NCW) and Women & Child Development Ministry (WCD), a significant portion of the union budget is kept aside for studying women’s issues and addressing them through recommendations provided by NCW to WCD.
Interestingly, in the last 62 years of Indian Independence neither a single rupee has ever been allocated for men’s welfare nor has a single Constitutional/Academic body ever been formed to study the problems faced by men let alone addressing them.
This emptiness has led SIFF to do research on men’s problems, talk to the victimized men, understand their pain, collect data and statistics related to men’s abuse and create awareness about them. SIFF has been doing this research since the last 5 years. Also SIFF and its allied NGOs all over India, have been engaging in various awareness campaigns to create awareness of men’s issues through media, internet blogs and road protests.
SIFF also engages in counseling victimized men and their families – who are victims of social bias and stereotypic presumptions and providing them with moral support. Interacting with them provided SIFF the data required to understand the lacunae in the existing law and legal provisions which formed a core part of study of SIFF’s research team.
Taking note of the constant awareness created by SIFF, the Law Commission of Karnataka headed by Dr. Justice V.S.Malimath invited SIFF to know their views on the existing nature of Section 498A and the necessary changes. After detailed discussions on the 25th of August 2009, the Law Commission of Karnataka requested SIFF to submit a report containing SIFF’s recommendations on the changes needed in Section 498A.
SIFF has submitted its report to the Law Commission of Karnataka on the 22nd October 2009. The report titled “The Perils of Section 498A of IPC – A Report on Changes Required” talks on the need and reasons of making Section 498A “Bailable and Non-Cognizable”.
The main highlighted points of the report are:-
1. A brief technical explanation of the Section 498A of IPC and the modus operandi of its misuse with some curious and famous cases highlighting one or the other lacunae of the criminal justice system.
2. Locus Standi of Experts on Section 498A which includes views of the higher judiciary, some eminent lawyers, noted women’s rights activist Madhu Kishwar, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women Dr. Girija Vyas to name a few.
3. The various impacts created by Section 498A on the Government, Police, Elders, Professional lives of individuals implicated in false 498A cases, and Psychological impact on individuals in particular and the society at large.
4. The fact that Section 498A and the processes around it at various stages like complaint stage, FIR and bail stage, trial stage have made “Suicide – The only way out of a broken marriage for husbands” along with illustrative examples spread over the bandwidth of social strata and case stages.
Additionally, taking cognizance of the media reports on the 12th of October 2009 that the National Commission of Women has suggested radical and vicious recommendations in the alimony and maintenance scenario especially in Section 125 CrPC, which included giving maintenance to “adulterous wives” and forcing man to pay maintenance outside his sufficient means, SIFF decided to prepare a report on the alimony/maintenance front as well.
Keeping in mind that husbands are a major stakeholders in the alimony/maintenance scenario and SIFF being a prominent organization focusing on husband’s issues; SIFF felt it extremely important to articulate the viewpoint of a neglected section of society in lawmaking, namely husbands, on the issue Alimony/Maintenance front and on the 22nd of October 2009, SIFF presented a report titled “Rationalization of Alimony Laws” along with “The Perils of Section 498A of IPC – A Report on Changes Required”.
The main highlighting points of the report on alimony are:-
1. Alimony – Its Origin.
2. Cases where Alimony/Maintenance is justified.
3. Cases where Alimony/Maintenance is thoroughly unjustified.
4. The Rural vs. Urban Women Divide.
5. A recent shift of attitude in the western countries with some case studies.
6. The needed rationalizations.
The second report on alimony has also been accepted by the Law Commission of Karnataka. The Law Commission of Karnataka has greatly appreciated SIFF’s report for its depth in content, research and reliance on hard-facts and accepted both the reports viz. The Perils of Section 498A of IPC – A Report on Changes Required” and “Rationalization of Alimony Laws“.
A copy of both the reports will also be sent to the Law Commission of India and the Ministry of Law and Justice for their perusal, consideration and implementation. We believe that a new beginning has been made with the articulation of the rights and needs of husbands. The same if consulted and considered in every law making procedure, then urgent rationalization of the laws will be complete in addressing the needs and rights of husbands leading to a sane and just society.
SIFF would like to end this press release with a feeling that “Change is constant and required”.
Date: 23-Oct-09 Thanks and Regards
Place: Bangalore Research Team
Save Indian Family Foundation