Friday, April 09, 2010

Press Release : Shoaib Case Created Dangerous Precedent


*Subject:* *Section 498a must be scrapped by Indian Parliament on April 16th, otherwise Shoaib's case will create a dangerous precedent.*

Shoaib Malik reportedly gave 15 Crores (approx 3 million USD) to Ayesha Siddique for putting an end to their dispute after she files a complaint under section 498a of IPC. So, it is clear that the whole drama was for money and nothing else from the very beginning.

Out of court settlement under threats of jailing under section 498a are unconstitutional misuses of powers given to police. Marital disputes are civil disputes. They have to be solved in a civil court or a family court.

If marriage disputes are crimes, then marrying in itself is a crime.

Whether Shoaib's marriage was valid or not, it was up to family court at Hyderabad to decide. Now, the police have acted as courts; dispensed justice by being actors in the dispute, in the settlement process and even created a hostage situation that forced Shoaib to give divorce, without
anyone verifying, if his telephone marriage was valid or not in the first place.

Today, there is a growing tendency to convert every marital dispute into a criminal offense of cruelty or dowry harassment. Instead of using family courts, men are dragged to police stations or crime against women cells. When a marriage breaks, there will be pain and a lot of tears for both men
and women. These side effects of marriage dispute must not be considered as crime against women.

The duty of Indian police is to fight crime. It is not their duty to work as agents of women to issue threats of arrest, jailing or seizure of passports to facilitate exorbitant alimonies.

At a time, when gay sex and premarital sex is considered legal by Government, it is unfortunate if all marital disputes are considered as crime against women by men and instead of solving these disputes in Family Courts, police threats and draconian laws are used to force out of court

This is same as legalizing extortion by trampling the very process of justice.

Who is not afraid of jail, seizure of passports and defamation in society? Criminal Laws must not be used as instruments of blackmail. Government must scrap section 498a of IPC as soon as the parliament resumes on April 16th for budget session, so that this entire extortion racket can stop.
Government has to do this before passing another other laws or amendments or taking any other policy decision.

Scrapping section 498a will put an end to all this extortion under police threats. While the existing Dowry disputes and Domestic Violence disputes can be taken care of by dowry prohibition act and domestic violence act.

Indian Supreme Court warned of legal terrorism due to misuse of section 498a and said, "The role of the investigating agencies and courts is that of a watchdog and not of a bloodhound. It should be their effort to see that an innocent person is not made to suffer on account of unfounded, baseless and malicious allegations."

President Pratibha Patil said, "Instances exist whereby protective legal provisions for the benefit of women have been subjected to distortion and misuse to wreak petty vengeance and to settle scores. It is unfortunate if laws meant to protect women get abused as instruments of oppression."

The solution for Government is to:

1) Scrap Section 498a of IPC

2) Decriminalize marriage disputes and put an end to involvement of police in counseling or monetary settlement of marital disputes.

3) Stop using of Crime against Women (CAW) cells as Marriage Counseling centers.

4) Refer marriage disputes to Family Courts.

The situation faced by Shoaib is not unique. It is faced by thousands of men across India every year. For example, Rajesh Mishra (name changed) is a software engineer in Bangalore. When he told his wife to stop abusing, as he could no longer tolerate it, she threatened to file section 498a to get him and his parents arrested unless he agrees for an out of court settlement of 1 Crore (Rs.10 million) and a divorce. Rajesh did not even had that much money and he suffered further abuse for many months till he approached a men's rights organization.

Men, who do not succumb to the blackmail and extortion, often get jailed along with their parents, brothers and sisters. In 2008, 37,000 women and about 140,000 men were jailed under section 498a. Often, additional sections of IPC were put on them later to force them into exorbitant out of court settlements. This has to end and family courts have to take over.

Thanks and Regards

Public Relations Officer
Save Indian Family Foundation, Bangalore

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Shoaib Malik finds support from NGO working for 'harassed' husbands

New Delhi, Apr.6 (ANI): Amidst the muddle surrounding his marriage with tennis ace Sania Mirza, Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has received an unexpected support from a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which fights for 'harassed husbands'.

Buzz up!The Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) has come in support of Shoaib, who has been accused of 'fraud' and 'cheating' by a Hyderabad based girl, Ayesha Siddiqui, who claims to be Shoaib's first wife.

The SIFF has demanded immediate withdrawal of case filed against Shoaib, and scrapping the Section 498(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) under which complaints have been lodged.

A statement issued by the NGO said scrapping the particular section of the IPC would not harm women, as real victims of dowry harassment or cruelty have access to the Dowry Prohibition Act and Domestic Violence Act to seek protection and justice.

"What crime did Shoaib commit that he is victimised in this way?How can someone force a marriage on a man? If Shoaib and Ayesha were married, where are the pictures of marriage? Moreover, whether Ayesha Siddiqui's claims are false or true is up to a family court or civil court to decide and give a judgement. Where do police come into picture?" the statement said.

The NGO said that marriage disputes before, during and after marriage were civil disputes and they had to be tried under a civil court. (ANI)

Monday, April 05, 2010

Press Release: SIFF demands scrapping of Section 498a


*Subject: SIFF demands scrapping of Section 498a, even as Pakistani
cricketer Shoaib Malik gets implicated in it.*

Save Indian Family Foundation, a men's rights organization, creating awareness about the Legal Terrorism spread by misuse of marital laws like Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act, etc. voices its strong concerns in the matter of a case under Section 498A being filed against Pakistani Cricketer Shoaib Malik.

Marriage disputes before, during and after marriage are civil disputes and they have to be tried under a civil court. It has become a regular habit for women and their families to invoke section 498a for every petty dispute in marriage.

It is dangerous if every marriage or relationship dispute is considered a crime by the Government and it sends police to interrogate, counsel or settle these marital disputes. "What crime did Shoaib Malik commit that he is victimized in this way?", ask SIFF activists.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bow down before your wife's 'diktat', SC tells husbands

NEW DELHI: If you want to buy matrimonial peace just do whatever your wife says!
This is not some piece of advice from a marriage counsellor, rather it is from the country's apex court.

A vacation bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Deepak Verma observed, "Bibi joh boltee hai woh sunno (listen to whatever your wife says), as otherwise it could land you in trouble. Because if you do not listen to her, you will suffer the consequences."

"Hum sab bhogi hai (we are all sufferers)," the bench said in a lighter vein.

The bench further said that a husband has to accept the suggestion of a wife irrespective of the fact whether it is sensible or not.

"If your wife asks you to put your face that side, put it that side. If she says, put it this side, then put it this side. Otherwise you will face trouble. Hum sub bhogi hai," the bench remarked again.

The interesting suggestions from the apex court evolved on Tuesday during a matrimonial case involving an Air Force official Deepak Kumar who complained that his estranged wife Manisha had ruined him and his family by implicating them in false criminal cases including sodomy.

The couple got married 17 years ago but matrimonial disputes surfaced between the two soon after marriage.

A district court in Chandigarh dismissed Deepak's plea for divorce as Manisha opposed it, but a single judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted decree of judicial separation.

On an appeal from Manisha, a division bench granted the decree of divorce as the marriage "had irretrievably broken down" besides directing Rs 10 lakh maintenance amount from Deepak to her.

Aggrieved by the high court's order Manisha filed the appeal in the apex court challenging the decree of divorce.

Deepak's counsel argued that Manisha even though had implicated her husband and his family in a host of criminal cases was yet opposing the divorce despite the marriage breaking down irretrievably.

The vacation bench however, posted the matter for further hearing to July last week as there was no urgency in dealing with the matter.

"You have waited for 17 years, so wait for a few more days," the bench said while switching over to the next item on the agenda.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sailor set to test political waters, raises dowry issue

Captain Sudhir Kumar is thrilled with the kind of support he has been getting, specially from women. Far from the regulated, almost regimental life he is used to, Kumar is sweating it out in the Delhi sun and getting a taste of Indian politics. He is contesting the general elections from the New Delhi constituency as candidate of the little known Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BPD) and is addressing issues that nobody seems to have paid much attention to till now safety at sea for Indian sailors is just one of them.

Kumar, presently working with the merchant navy, has been associated with BPD since its inception in 2006. The volunteers comprise ex-IITians, MBAs and engineers and the target audience is the middle class voter. That is precisely why Kumar chose to enter the battle from a strongly contested zone. "I represent the common man who is fed up with dirty politics. All my voters are decision makers. The New Delhi constituency has the maximum number of people who can make a difference to the legal and administerial way of functioning in the country,'' says Kumar.

The party, that is fielding 11 contestants all over the country, is strongly focussed on family affairs and Kumar is arguing hard against the present dowry laws. "I have been campaigning long hours and going for padyatras too. The response has been phenomenal, specially from women who have connected to the issues I have raised. No civil or uncivil country punishes 10-30 relatives for a crime that is no crime. A marital dispute is between the husband and wife and unless there are bigger issues attached to it, should be dealt with in a civil court and not a criminal court,'' says Kumar.

Kumar is on leave from his job at present, having come to Delhi only 20 days ago to start his campaigning. "I am an honest person and need a job to support my family,'' he laughs, adding that if he is elected, he would have no option but to quit. "I know the competition I am up against but it doesn't deter me at all. I would be happy if I am able to get my message across to the people and make some difference to their lives,'' he adds.

Because of his strong connections with Africa he has been posted there for several years Kumar is also advocating strong ties with the continent. "India is going to be facing a severe shortage of food grains in the next five years or so. Africa can be our food basket and we need to develop our relations with them,'' he says.

Far from the usual promises of roti, kapda aur makan, Kumar has an entirely new agenda up his sleeve which includes urban rebuilding of Delhi, domestic harmony, judicial reforms and freedom of media and private radio.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No more Interpol Red Corner Notices in 498A

Interpol stops issuing notices
April 22nd, 2009


April 21: Interpol, which issues Red Corner notices to arrest criminals all over the world, has stopped issuing notices pertaining to Section 498(A) (dowry harassment) cases registered in India. There are about 3,000 requests for red corner notices from Indian government pending with Interpol.
The inspector-general of CID, Mr S. Umapathi, said there are as many as 120 cases from Andhra Pradesh pending with Interpol for the past eight months.
Sources in the CBI said Punjab tops the list with nearly 300 cases.
According to sources, there is no law pertaining to dowry harassment in US and other developed countries and hence the Interpol is in dilemma whether they can issue Red Corner notice based on the Indian law.
“The mater has been discussed with US embassy officials recently. However, there was no improvement in the status,” Mr Umapathi said. “There was no delay in other criminal cases,” he added.
The external affairs ministry had sent several representations to Interpol explaining the seriousness of the cases booked under Section 498 (A). However it failed to get any positive response from them.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Save family, save nation, vote for Sudhir Kumar

April 20, 2009 was a big day for Save Indian Family movement. One more milestone has been achieved on this very day. Sudhir Kumar Anand, the SIFF commando, has taken the movement of saving indian families against legal terrorism a big step forward . His nomination for Lok Sabha election from New Delhi constituency, through Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BPD), the party formed by IIT/IIM pass outs, was accepted by Election Commission on this day.

Vote for Family