At the outset I was not able to believe my eyes when I read the editorial piece ‘India’s Novartis Decision’ in The Newyork Times dated April 4 about the recent Novartis decision by India’s Supreme Court and the subsequent lauding of the judgment and its paramount significance as given in the editorial.
As a brief background, it would be pertinent to mention here that Novartis, a company that manufactures cancer drug called Gleevec, imatinib. Novartis filed a patent in India with a different form of the same drug claiming better absorption capabilities and better bonding with blood. However, the patent was rejected and the matter went all the way to the Honorable Supreme Court that was supposed to decide on the constitutional validity of Section 3(d) of the Patents (Amendment) Act 2005.
Section 3(d) provides for safeguards against obtaining patents for the same type of substance in different forms. Upholding the sanctity of the said section the Supreme Court ruled that Novartis has failed to provide substantial data to show “efficacy” of the drug as mandated by Section 3(d).
The decision by the Supreme Court is a far-reaching one as it provides relief to a large number of poor people in India because if the patent was allowed the drug price would have shot up by at least 12 times making it Rs. 1,20,000 per month making it next to impossible for the poor to afford cancer medicine. Also, India being the largest supplier of generic drugs, and Gleevec being a generic drug, this decision of the Supreme Court of India has global implications.
As long as the story ends here, all’s well because this decision showcases extreme amount of capability in the Indian Judiciary to deal with sensitive issues and to go into depths about chemical nature of drugs and the overall efficacy improvement provided between versions and to chart out a verdict that protects the poor and affects the global generic drugs market.
However, applause takes a backseat when one looks at the performance of the judiciary in matrimonial matters. Without going into too much details, I will just list down some of the important statements/observations made by the great Indian Judiciary, especially the Supreme Court judges in matrimonial matters and in cases filed by women,
1. Do as your wife says. If your wife says “Look Left, then Look Left”, if she says, “Look Right, then Look Right” while rejecting divorce filed by a man.
2. Beg borrow or steal but maintain your wife – to an unemployed man.
3. Even if it was proved that the wife had falsely implicated the husband and his family in dowry case, the Supreme Court ordered the husband to pay Rs. 50 lakhs as alimony to wife.
4. The Mumbai High Court dismissed the divorce case of a man after 17 years of struggle, citing that daily quarrels by wife do not tantamount to cruelty.
5. When a man approached the Gujarat High Court challenging the misuse of Dowry laws, instead of hearing his pleas, the court ordered him to pay Rs. 1 lakh as fine to a woman organization.
6. In a rape case, the Supreme Court observed that mere statement by a woman that she is raped is enough, there is no need for medical examination if the woman does not want a test to be conducted.
These and many other such related incidents in matrimonial cases have left men high and dry. And it is extremely painful to see that the same judiciary that showcases the high brilliance of capabilities in other general matters displays such lack of common sense and an extreme sense of bias and hatred against men.
In fact, it’s not the lack of common sense but more of a sense of male hatred that makes the judiciary give such statements. These statements have very adverse effect on men who are fast losing the trust and faith on the judiciary and taking law into their hands.
Whether it is Amit Buddhiraja or Satheesh Gupta from Bangalore who killed their wives after the men were threatened of false dowry cases, or Pradeep Jain from Deoli who killed his wife and in-laws as they were torturing him and not allowing him to meet his sons or Pawan Kumar of Delhi who shot his wife at Kakkardooma Metro Station, all these incidents have one thing in common.
They were harassed and tortured by their wives and seeing the state of the Indian judiciary they had no hope whatsoever in the judiciary that they would even get a semblance of an iota of justice and hence exasperated, they took law into their own hands, and barring Satheesh Gupta, all the other 3 men committed suicide after killing their wives.
If the judiciary is not more proactive, and continues with the male hatred unabated, then more and more such crimes will take place in the society when the common man, an otherwise a non-criminal, will take the law into his hands and for that, the Indian judiciary would be responsible.