Sub: SIFF opposes Marriage Laws Amendment Bill; demands additional clauses to be inserted
Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), an organization fighting for men’s rights and working to support distressed and victimized men has raised cudgels against the upcoming Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010.
Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 seeks to introduce a new ground for divorce in the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and Special Marriage Act, 1957 – The Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage Ground, providing for a quick no-fault divorce after three years of separation.
SIFF vehemently opposes the bill in its current form terming it as unconstitutional, gender discriminatory and anti-male.
Why is the bill unconstitutional?
This bill is unconstitutional as it violates Article 14 of the Indian constitution. Article 14 says all are equal before the eyes of the law, whereas in the current bill at hand,
- Only a wife can oppose the divorce petition filed by a husband if she ‘feels’ financially insecure with the divorce settlement.
- Only a husband will lose at least 50% of his hard earned property to his estranged wife.
- There is no guarantee that a father would get access to his children post-divorce and the bill does not talk about shared parenting at all.
- The bill does not cater to ‘Social Security’ of men while it caters to ‘Financial Security’ of women post-divorce.
- The does not recognize contribution of men in marriage while it talks about contribution of women in marriage.
Why should men pay?
When it was originally introduced, the bill did not have any clauses of property division. All that the bill talked about was to give a provision for quick no-fault divorce so that warring couples do not waste their lives in lengthy litigations. However, due to interference by some male hating women organizations stalled the bill and got property-division clauses introduced into the bill.
This was a covert agenda to usurp men’s property in marriages in a legalized way and treat men as FREE ATM MACHINES. Amidst all this hoopla about property and the brouhaha to grab men’s hard earned property, the bill lost its original essence of safeguarding multifarious litigations in a matrimonial dispute and to provide quick divorce to warring couples.
Hence SIFF decided to oppose the bill and has also asked the Govt. of India to stop fooling the people of India by trying to pass a law under the bait that it will provide quick divorce, whereas in actuality it will not only usurp the hard-earned property of husbands but also render them bankrupt.
Dangerous ramifications of the bill:
- This bill does not provide any safety to a man from other legal provisions surrounding marriage i.e. it does not bar a wife from filing a case of cruelty against the husband under section 498A / Domestic Violence Act, against the husband while she seeks to obtain a decree of no-fault divorce.
- This bill can literally render a man bankrupt as he will first be extorted by the police under a false case of 498A IPC, then the wife will file a case under the Domestic Violence Act and seek maintenance, custody of children and right to residence, then again she can still go ahead and file a case under Section 125 CrPC to seek additional no-fault maintenance.
- After all this she will still be guaranteed ownership of at least 50% of husband’s property or an amount equivalent to it.
- The extremely anti-male nature of the Indian judiciary puts the Indian men at a position far precarious than one’s imagination.
- The judges, who are highly insensitive towards men, will first give away at least 50% of the husband’s property to wife and then slap additional maintenance, alimony and child support burdens onto the husband.
- In such a case a man will go bankrupt honoring court orders and paying litigation fees and he will lose his property as well.
- SIFF predicts that such a treatment accorded to men in marriages, for no fault of theirs, and such victimization of men may lead to rise in crime in the society.
SIFF’s Stand on the law:
SIFF completely opposes this bill in its current form as it feels this bill is thoroughly poised against men and is poisoned with a social mindset that validates burdening a man with the financial responsibility of the woman even when the marriage is over.
SIFF also despises the notion that seeks to make the wife 50% owner in the hard-earned property of a man without evaluating her contributions towards the building of the property. SIFF seeks intervention from the Honorable Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh in passing this law before consulting SIFF.
SIFF’s demands for the Bill at hand:
SIFF seeks the introduction of the Principle of Exclusive Litigation into the law as stated below:
- Any wife who files a case alleging cruelty against the husband must not be allowed to seek a no-fault divorce under the new law. The cruelty sections include 498A, 406, 506, 323, 307, 34, 120B, the Domestic Violence Act, the Dowry Prohibition Act, Section 125 CrPC, Divorce on the grounds of cruelty etc.
- Any couple that seeks to obtain divorce under the new law citing that they are staying separate for more than 3 years and that their marriage has broken down irretrievably, must compulsorily sign a memorandum of understanding.
- In this memorandum they shall declare that they would not file any other cases against each other except for child custody and visitation related cases.
- SIFF feels that the above clauses are extremely necessary and important to be considered and included in the bill otherwise the problem of multifarious litigations revolving around matrimonial disputes shall not be solved.
- While the wife will walk away from the marriage taking divorce and 50% of the husband’s property, the man will keep on fighting other cases which is grave injustice towards husbands and cannot be allowed to be codified as a law.
- In a country where we are talking of Gender Neutrality and progressive laws, SIFF is saddened by the fact that today we are at the brink of passing an extremely regressive law which, under the guise of “Financial Security to a Woman”, seeks to jeopardize the “Social Security of a Man” and one which does not cater to the social security of a man.
- SIFF feels that social security which comprises of financial security as well, cannot be burdened to a single individual, rather it’s the responsibility of the society to provide measures of social security to its men and women in their old age.
- And burdening a man with a broken relationship is a grave crime against humanity and must be condemned thoroughly.
SIFF also feels that till the time the above “Clause of Exclusive Litigation” is not introduced into the bill and the social rights of men are not safeguarded, there cannot be any discussion about property division.