This is an interesting piece of news I read about cranky wives using the law to their advantage in order to extort their poor husbands. For the first time, I realised there is another side to this whole Dowry related shit that goes on in India. It is not always the male side, the females now are getting all powered up and intelligent to make money and abuse the law which was formulated to protect them. Instead, we have rising cases of poor husbands lying unprotected at the mercy of their stupid wives. The %ge might be low, but this misuse is unexpected and alarming.
Here is the piece from www.khaleejtimes.com
Indian husbands become victims of dowry law abuse
12 December 2006
NEW DELHI – Indian husbands are becoming victims of an anti-dowry law which is being misused by their wives to extort money, a group representing men who have been accused of dowry abuse said on Tuesday.
Dowries — often jewellery, expensive clothing, motorcars and money — are given in India by the bride’s family to the groom and his parents, traditionally to ensure the bride will be comfortable in her new home.
The custom, outlawed more than four decades ago but still widely practiced, is often exploited with the groom’s family demanding more money in return for not abusing the bride.
But members of 498a.org — a group representing thousands of men and their families named — claim there are growing numbers of false cases being registered under the anti-dowry law or Section 498a of the Indian Penal Code that seeks to protect women.
“There are thousands of men and their families who are victims of the abuse of this law, who are locked up in jail and undergo severe mental, emotional and financial and social trauma as a result,” Anupama Singh, a member of 498a.org, named after the dowry law told Reuters.
Singh said the main reason for registering false cases was to extort money, or gain custody of children during divorce.
The number of false cases against husbands was growing by 20 percent every year as “unscrupulous women are realising there is a money to be made by the divorce industry,” he said.
According to statistics 498a.org obtained from the ministry of home affairs, 18 percent of the 58,319 cases of dowry abuse registered in 2005 were dropped due to frivolous grounds.
But women’s rights activists say there is no clear statistics to prove that law which came into force in 1983 is being intentionally abused.
“489a is one of the most important tools in the hands of Indian women who have suffered abuse,” said Yogesh Mehta, legal officer for the National Commission for Women.
“The Commission is of the view that so far we don’t have clear statistics that the law is being intentionally misused.”
Police say the most common form of domestic violence is dowry-related and that there one case of cruelty committed by the husband or his relatives every nine minutes in the country.
But 498a.org says the anti-dowry law, as well as a new domestic violence act which came into force in October is biased in favour of women as no evidence is required by the wife to prove that she has been harassed or abused.
“Under the law, the accused can be arrested and jailed without warrant or investigation, the complaint cannot be withdrawn by the petitioner and it is non-bailable,” said J.K. Grover, a member of 498a.org.
“It’s ridiculous. We don’t want to scrap the laws, we just want to ensure that it is fair and balanced. The government needs to plug all the loop holes in both the laws.”