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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