Subject: All NGO’s working for Men’s Welfare strongly and jointly condemn the legal recommendations made by the Justice Verma committee
This press conference is being conducted by a coalition of NGOs under the umbrella of the Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF). All NGOs are non-funded, non-profit NGOs fighting for men’s rights, Gender Equality, Judicial accountability and balanced laws. This press conference has been scheduled to highlight the shocking level of biased and anti-male legal recommendations released by the Justice Verma committee.
The coalition is shocked and finds it hard to believe that given the credibility and collective legal experience of the committee how could the committee choose and include only archaic and highly dangerous clauses and exclude female sexual predators who are guilty of committing sexual assault .
Presumption of guilt of a man, removal of misuse clause for women and adding an additional section for matrimonial rape in additional to already existing 15 laws for women in a matrimonial setting is something very preposterous on part of the committee. While the human rights, social rights, and legal rights of women were brought up many times by Justice Verma in his press conference, none of the same rights have been conferred on men through his legal recommendations. Men cannot expect to get a fair trial should any of these recommendations come into existence.
The coalition expresses grave doubt on the level of due diligence claimed by the committee in the law amendment recommendations and believes it is essentially a blind copy of the recommendations proposed by a handful of aggressive women’s organizations invited for deposition.
- From the report it is clear that a handful of women’s groups were selectively invited for deposition in front of the committee. Most of these groups invited are widely known for their aggressive anti-male approach to gender laws and inclination to safeguard female criminals from crimes against men.
- That not a single organization working for men’s welfare was invited shows the poor democratic values displayed by the committee. The committee owes an explanation to the citizenry on how it could get the time to listen so many women’s groups but could not find the time to listen to even one men’s welfare group even though men constitute 50% of the population.
- Female sexual predators have been completely exempted from sexual assault just on account of their gender and the perpetrator has been made a man ONLY. This a unbelievably anti-male stance since the legal systems in whole world as well as the Indian law commission and in its years of collective legal expertise believes that women are as likely to commit sexual assault as men are.
- Punishment for Misuse of sexual harassment at workplace has now been removed without any reason whatsoever. Also protection for men from sexual harassment has not been included. World over most of the countries have gender neutral sexual harassment laws, a fact that this committee has ignored for the reasons not known.
- The fact of false rape cases has not been intentionally addressed even as the media and police from various states report that false rapes constitute over 75% to 90% rapes in India. It is believed that rape laws are misused even more than IPC 498A by some studies.
- Marital rape has been included as a DUPLICATE section even though DV act (Section 3(ii)) is more than capable of addressing these issues. This has been done just to duplicate another cruelty law to increase misuse against men with another anti-male matrimonial recommendation and is a clear violation as per the settled principles of Double Jeopardy. It is shocking that instead of reducing the number of laws for cruelty this committee in all its collective experience has recommended the increase of additional law. As always, women sexual predators have been exempted from punishment for sexually harassing husbands and male children.
- The committee has ignored the principles of natural justice and in Rape cases supports presumption of guilt on the accused and presumption of truthfulness on the female complainant. We are surprised on how a committee which such eminent panel members chose to ignore this fundamental pillar of justice even as the police reports states that over 74% to 90% rapes in India are false. These recommendations flout the basic principle for laying down the Laws on India which ensures that innocents would get punished by “assumption of being guilty” and going through “grilling Legal process” without any fault.
- The committee has also not recommended any solution to the overwhelming majority of rape cases in Indian which are consensual sex converted to rape later by women when the relationship sours or marriage does not take place for fault of either of parties.
- A court in Delhi has recently ticked off a mother and daughter duo for habitually filing false rape cases for grabbing property. There are millions more like these who have filed false cases when jilted or with a hidden agenda. Since over 74% to 90% reported rape cases are false in India, a person accused of sexual assault cannot expect to get a fair trial at all if all of the relevant evidence of the alleged victim’s sexual history is not presented before the court. However the committee has recommended that past sexual escapades of a woman will have no bearing on the current cases essentially striking down another defense of the innocently accused.
- The Justice Verma committee has diluted Section 14 of the Sexual Harassment Bill appears concerned that it is liable for misuse , while on the issue of 498a misuse which is widely documented the law commission noted that misuse of a section is not ground for removing it. Why are double standards being followed for men and women ?
The coalition of multinational NGOs supporting this press conference strongly opposes the legal recommendations and amendments and states that these recommendations if implemented will lead to millions of men being denied protection from crimes committed by women. They will essentially be deemed as rapists without any hope of getting a fair trail even as female sexual predators and female false rape case and sexual harassment filers will roam freely in society. The coalition hereby demands that the legal recommendations be scrapped in its entirety and below amends be made.
1. Make Rape Law Gender Neutral as in other countries of the globe with punishment for female sex offenders.
2. Relationship consensual cases should not be allowed to be converted into rape cases as it is insane to do so.
3. Matrimonial rape must be removed as it a duplication of law and will be subject to heavy misuse
3. Sections like presumption of guilt, suppressing previous sexual behavior and any other section that interferes with right to innocence of an accused and prevents the accused from getting a fair and just trial should be removed.
3. False complaints of Rape cases and sexual harassment cases should be punished severely, so that men are protected.
4. Introduce the much required police reforms and Judicial reforms to ensure justice to all.
Save Indian Family Foundation Bangalore, INSAAF, Save Family Foundation Delhi, All India Men’s Welfare Association, Indian Affiliate Chapter of Association for International Men’s Rights Activism and Welfare, MASI , AIFW , MASHAAL, MRA Pune , MILPF, HRIDAYA, Bhavya Foundation
Contact: 9008302822 (Virag), 9818789236 (Swarup), 9845143724 (Anil), 9823788013(Atit), 9890974788 (Rajesh)