Which is a Bigger Crime?

Which is a bigger crime – Murder of a common man or murder of his faith in Law and Justice?

On the morning of 30 May 2010, Hyderabad woke up to the news of a gruesome homicide where a husband and his family members assaulted and killed the wife and her family members. The reason for the extreme act was ongoing marital disputes between the couple but primarily, it was the case of dowry harassment filed against the husband and his family, and the arrest, humiliation and trauma they suffered as a result.

“I am glad someone did what I could only have dreamt of”, said Govind, who has been fighting false accusations of dowry harassment for the last 3 years. “Murdering your wife and going to jail is better than being jailed on false accusations of abuse”, responded Raj. “I have heard of husbands or their family members committing suicide, but THIS is real justice because, no court will punish a woman or her family members for lodging false cases and sending an entire family to jail or driving her husband to suicide”, added Praveen, venting his bottled-up emotions.

Appalled or repulsed by these reactions?

Welcome to the world of those wrongly jailed under Section 498A of IPC on the basis of a mere complaint of a wife which is treated as “prima facie evidence” of the alleged crime!

Those falsely accused and jailed under this criminal section are overwhelmed with such deep sense of sorrow and indignation that almost everyone has either considered suicide or murder. The meeker ones who cannot even imagine blood on their hands secretly wish that the misusers of the law are simply struck by lightning or run over by a bus.

Hundreds of individuals do, in fact, commit suicide every year, and more recently, several cases of murder are coming to light. There are many more cases of murder followed by suicide as in the case of Amit Budhiraja in Bangalore a couple of years ago.

Why would ordinary citizens prefer murder over judicial process? Is there a greater incentive in taking law into one’s own hands compared to availing legal options today? The answer is unfortunately a resounding yes.

It is a fact that today, our society and law enforcement receive a murderer with much more respect, even if it is only inspired by shock and awe, compared to a decent human being who has been falsely accused of dowry harassment or dowry death. In addition, murderers, like those in the recent Hyderabad episode, perhaps have some sense of personal closure upon finishing off their offenders and voluntarily submitting to the slow and inefficient judicial process which no longer inspires fear or respect in their minds.

Compare this situation to that of a decent, law-abiding individual who is dragged to jail just for being a man or his kin. He loses his job and 4-5 years of his career running around courts for a crime he never committed, his reputation and dignity are destroyed beyond repair, he is faced with the choice of either spending all his hard-earned money fighting a long-drawn legal battle to prove his innocence or succumb to the blackmail and extortion by his wife, her family and the entire state machinery which supports them, AND in the end, when he and his family members are finally pronounced NOT guilty, he has to watch the mischievous wife and all her accomplices walk away scot-free!

While the Hyderabad episode is not an isolated incident, it is certainly the worst imaginable consequence of criminalizing marital relationships and giving free rein to legal terrorism. It is certainly horrifying that five persons were murdered at once, but what is worse is that the incident bears witness to the murder of a common man’s faith in the country’s law enforcement and judicial system.

It may only be a matter of time before more and more law-abiding citizens will be forced to shun their personal inhibitions, morals and scruples and resort to “instant justice”.

Robert Kennedy once said, “Whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes.” While this is true, our present situation warns us that whenever laws undermine basic freedoms, the loser is the man. And when a man loses his basic freedoms, he will be forced to take law into his own hands.

Advertisements

Trial By Media is Violation of Human Rights

Press Release

Sub: Petition to the A.P. State Human Rights Commission to stop telecast/publication of marital disputes as news, spreading half-truths and lies, conducting media trial, and defaming the accused men and relatives

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), Andhra Pradesh Mothers-in-law Protection Association (APMPA), Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) are submitting a petition to the A.P. State Human Rights Commission regarding print and electronic media telecasting/publishing lies and half-truths about family disputes between husbands and wives in the name of news, and resorting to defamation of husbands and their family members by calling them criminals, crooks, cheats, frauds, blood-thirsty demons, money-hungry wolves, and similar terms merely based on the self-serving statements of a complainant wife, thus damaging to the dignity of accused persons.

It has become a regular practice for Newspapers and TV News Channels to publish/telecast disputes between wives and husbands and matters which are subjudice or under investigation, in the name of news. Every news story of this nature has certain common elements –

  • Portraying the wife as weak, helpless creature having low self-esteem, but flawless in their interactions with the husband and his family members, and as innocent victims of the evil practice of dowry.
  • Portraying the husband and his kin as criminal-minded, sadistic persons who constantly harass the young wives for dowry.
  • Channels competing with each other to invent new terms to paint the husband and his family members as the worst villains.
  • Making assumptions about the guilt of the husband and his family members merely based on allegations of the complainant wife.
  • Passing generalized remarks demeaning all men.
  • Passing verdicts about the appropriate punishment for the accused husband and his family members.

News Channels have been pitching a wife as a damsel in distress and the husband and his family members as crooks and pitting them against each other for jerking the last drop of tear out of the viewers’ eyes and to arouse unjustified anger against the accused, to keep the viewers glued to their TV sets and boost the TRPs of the respective Channels.

Newspapers and News Channels, through their gut-wrenching commentary, are building unnecessary pressure on the Police and Judiciary, prejudicing the viewers and making the society arrest-hungry.

Such irresponsible reporting of sensational lies and half-truths on disputes between a married couple, in the name of news, causes immeasurable damage to the accused, most of whom are decent, law-abiding citizens, and also have their version of the story which they may or may not want to share with the media. The media, emboldened by the dysfunctional judiciary brazenly resorts to damaging the reputation of the accused knowing well that a person already embroiled in court cases which will take years for disposal, may not take a chance and file a case of damages or defamation.

Conducting trial by media by publishing/telecasting one-sided versions or forcing the husband and his family to face the TV camera under the threat or risk of being discredited, making unsubstantiated allegations and defamatory statements against the accused, giving derogatory titles to the accused, conducting media trial and passing one-sided verdicts, thus discrediting the accused before the case has been heard or concluded in the Court, all amount to violation of the human rights of the accused. In addition, making generalized statements demeaning all men also amounts to blatant violation of the human rights of fifty percent of the country’s population.

The physical and mental health of many accused individuals, especially elders, are affected because of maligning their personal and family reputation and many young men, their sisters and their aged parents have committed suicides unable to withstand the trauma caused by media trial and defamation in addition to prolonged uphill legal battles.

We are appealing to the A.P. State Human Rights Commission to please render justice to victims of media malice by

1) directing all newspapers and news channels to stop publishing/telecasting of family disputes between wife and husband as news.

2) directing all newspapers and news channels to stop making one-sided statements and conducting media trial on an accused husband and his family members.

3) directing all newspapers and news channels to render a public apology for giving horrendous titles to an accused husband and his family members.

4) directing all newspapers and news channels to stop making derogatory statements on men as a group and to render a public apology for the damage already done to the reputation of men as a group.

5) issuing directives such that in case the accused husband or his family members commit suicide unable to bear the trauma of media trial and public humiliation, the respective Newspapers and TV Channels will be required to compensate and pay for the defamation and damages, without the need for the victims of media-trial having to fight another tedious losing legal battle against powerful media houses.

6) issuing directives to stop media Discussions on ANY matter which is subjudice or under investigation, especially those related to family disputes, and the Hon’ble Forum may make provisions to file suo moto cases of contempt of court in case of violation of this directive.

Invitation for International Day of Families – 15 May 2010

INVITATION

All India Forgotten Women’s Association, India Kudumba Padukku Iyakkam, All India Men’s Welfare Association & True Equity Network (TEN) India invite you for a Seminar on

International Day of Families – 15 May 2010

10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Press Club, Basheerbagh

Seminar Topic

INDIAN FAMILY THREATENED – CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES & THE WAY AHEAD

Pearl S. Buck once wrote,

“The lack of emotional security of our American young people is due…to their isolation from the larger family unit…no mere father and mother…are enough to provide emotional security for a child.  He needs to feel himself one in a world of kinfolk, persons of variety in age and temperament, and yet allied to himself by an indissoluble bond…”

  • How much longer before similar words will be said with reference to India?
  • Are we already there?
  • What do we do now and where do we go from here?

Please join us as we discuss these important questions and pass a joint resolution to restore life, health and longevity to the Indian Family.

Sincerely,

All India Forgotten Women’s Association

India Kudumba Padukku Iyakkam

All India Men’s Welfare Association

True Equity Network (TEN) India

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES – 15 MAY 2010

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES – 15 MAY 2010

On the occasion of International Day of Families – 15 May, 2010, All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA), India Kudumba Padukku Iyakkam (IKPI), All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA) and  True Equity Network (TEN) India are organizing a Seminar to discuss  the various threats faced by the Family in India, the consequences of systematic destruction of the Family, and what we need to do to check the alarming trend of rising number of divorces, single mothers, fatherless children, and disintegrated families.

The United Nations adopted 15 May as the International Day of Families in the year 1994. This day is meant to highlight the importance of the Family in the society. The logo of International Day of Families consists of a solid green circle depicting the society, with an image of a house and a heart in red in the centre. This symbolizes the fact that families are the centre and the heart of the society, and the society should nurture the Family which provides a stable and supporting home for people of all ages.

The much envied Indian family structure is, in fact, based on mutual tolerance and coexistence of persons belonging to different generations, and provides safety and security to individuals at all stages of life. The larger family also acts as a buffer to mitigate everyday stress and helps minimize conflicts between inexperienced married couples. This stable and time-tested cultural institution has suffered the most serious assaults due to the export of family-breaking ideologies originating in the Western world. As a result, the big fat Indian weddings are getting bigger while marriages are getting weaker and shorter. Houses are getting bigger while the hearts are shrinking and the Indian household is shattering into pieces.

Sadly, the United Nations, while observing a special day to highlight the importance of families, is simultaneously contributing to the destruction of the family in many countries around the world, including India, by sponsoring policies and laws which are harmful to the Family.

Criminalization of marriage and family relationships

Several decades ago, under the garb of equality, the communists and feminists the world over have undertaken the systematic destruction of the Family. They have portrayed marriage and family as oppressive institutions for women. They have projected understanding and tolerance to build harmonious marital relationships as a form of slavery. They have portrayed men as criminals and aggressors, and women and children as hapless victims who need to be rescued from them. They have pushed for importing of senseless anti-family laws to India, without any heed to cultural relevance, social consensus, or the presence of a suitable law enforcement system for their proper implementation.

Today, marital interactions in India have been criminalized, so much so that upon the mere complaint of a married woman alleging cruelty or abuse, the husband and his family members are arrested and jailed, without evidence or investigation. Every year thousands of decent men and their family members are confronted with the shocking reality that today, being born a man, giving birth to a male child, or sharing a womb with one is a crime.

In India, marriage is a crime if you are a man, as there is not a single action a husband might do or not do that does not qualify as an offence, and cost not only him, but even his parents and siblings dearly. IPC Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Prohibition Act, and a slew of one-sided laws enshrined in the “Family Law”, are all designed to criminalize an ordinary law-abiding citizen. It is no surprise that the apex court of India observed that the Hindu Marriage Act is breaking more families than uniting, and that IPC Section 498a has unleashed “legal terrorism” in the country.

New weapons of family destruction or more lethal versions of existing ones are always on the anvil, thanks to anti-male, anti-family organizations, and one is never sure when and how they will strike another death blow on the family.

Legal Sanction of homosexual relationships, live-in-relationships, pre- and extra-marital relationships

After creating various fetters to discourage heterosexual marriage and  normal family relationships, there is an upcoming trend of granting legal sanction to hitherto unacceptable homosexual relationships, live-in-relationships, pre- and extra-marital relationships through outrageous remarks and judgments by the judiciary, and even laws made by our elected representatives.

Sexual Freedom i.e. an individual’s right to have unrestrained sex with anyone appears to be the basis for women’s rights. The National Commission for Women (NCW) encourages adultery by women by seeking legal measures for an adulterous wife to claim maintenance from her husband. In other words, a husband is obliged to maintain a woman who is sleeping with someone else! Also, adultery by a man is a criminal offence, but adultery by a woman is, at best, equivalent to a woman’s sexual expression and liberation, and at worst, a civil wrong.

While the NCW is spearheading a sexual revolution, ultra-liberal celebrities like Khushboo are encouraging women to abandon the ideals of premarital virginity and marital fidelity as vestiges of worthless Indian morality. According to them, promiscuous sex should be seen as a morally indifferent and innocuous source of pleasure. How innocuous this source of pleasure can be is indicated by the rates of teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, abortion and foeticide, illegitimacy, and adolescent crime in the Western countries.

American author and judge, Richard Posner, aptly notes in his book Sex and Reason, the “freer women are sexually, the less interest men have in marriage.” With demands for maintenance to an adulterous wife, one should not be surprised, if, in a few years, Indian men, on a large scale, will shun marriage like their Western counterparts, as marriage is not a necessary ticket to a woman’s bedroom. NCW seems to want to transform women into easily disposable sex objects so that there are more and more abandoned, destitute, frustrated, angry women, who hate themselves and men, and NCW’s survival is guaranteed for many more generations.

Promoting a fatherless society

Enjoying the love and affection of both parents is not only a basic right of children, but it is also important for a child’s normal development. Disregarding children’s welfare and best interest of children, anti-family laws have been designed to violate a child’s right to the love and affection of both parents.

Statistics from the United States reveal that, compared to children in intact families, children in fatherless homes are:

  • 5 times more likely to commit suicide
  • 32 times more likely to run away from home.
  • 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
  • 14 times more likely to commit rape.
  • 9 times more likely to drop out of high school.
  • 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances (become drug addicts)
  • 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution
  • 20 times more likely to end up in prison.

In addition, 3 million teenage girls have sexually transmitted diseases, and at least 1 out of 4 teenagers in the age bracket 14-19 suffers sexually transmitted diseases.

While there is ample evidence to show that children need both parents, Indian “family laws” have stolen the right of a father to love and care for his children, but impose unlimited financial responsibilities on the father. Giving unfettered right of access to children to the mother and little or no visitation to the father is the order of the day. Custody laws allow for passing of ex-parte orders to take away the custody of a child from the father on the sole basis of the self-serving affidavits of a complainant woman. In fact, false allegations of abuse are made and cases filed under IPC Section 498a and Domestic Violence Act as a means to strategically eliminate fathers from children’s lives.

The few fathers who succeed in getting visitation orders are left with just the paper orders which even the courts which passed them are unable to uphold if disobeyed by the mother. Fathers who try to make contact with their own children are labelled kidnappers and are constantly under the fear of being arrested unless they give up their desire to see their children.

Why this trend continues and who benefits?

The realization of the communist’s and feminist’s dream of female sexual revolution, responsibility-free relationships, and fatherless homes comes with a huge price tag, which includes the destruction of marriage and the family, increase in the number of illegitimate children, legitimate but fatherless children, juvenile and adolescent crime, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and numerous abandoned and frustrated women. There is also an increase in the number of men committing suicide or murdered by abusive or adulterous spouses.

These dangerous trends continue because most common men are unaware of what is brewing in the name of women’s rights and empowerment. Many of those who are aware think, “I am a good person, and those who are complaining must have done something to deserve the suffering”. Most others think this hue and cry about destruction of the family is a joke. It is certainly no joke, and the thousands of men who have been jailed along with their families, rendered homeless and deprived of their children will tell you why. If not, you can be sure that before you realize it, your own family or a family you know could fall prey to the vicious agenda of radical ideologues.

These harmful trends prevail because people are ignoring the fact that marriage and monogamy are a result of social evolution with inherent benefits and costs to both sexes, involving a lot of compromises and adjustment. Many do not understand that partner violence is a reality but it happens because of three reasons (1) Psychological problems (2) Addictions and (3) Criminal tendencies. Many do not realize that majority of partner violence occurs due to the first two reasons, that violence due to criminal tendencies is very rare, and most importantly, that partner violence is not gender-driven.

Meanwhile, everyday, scores of marital discords are being escalated into criminal cases and legal battles. They give a sense of instant gratification, revenge or a false feeling of control to a disgruntled woman and her family, but in reality, the only people who benefit from this are middlemen – women’s organizations, police, lawyers, judicial officers and court staff – who are eagerly scavenging to get rich at the expense of the decaying family system, not realizing its consequences to their own families and the future generations.

The way ahead

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” It also states, “men and women,…, are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.”

The import of destructive feminist ideologies and anti-family laws has broken many Indian homes, depriving children of a healthy childhood. A report by the World Health Organization cited misuse of anti-family laws as a major factor contributing to the increasing abuse of the elderly in India. Many individuals have ended their lives unable to endure the humiliation of being arrested and the trauma of fighting false cases, which typically span 5-7 years. Many young men have lost the most productive years of their lives fighting false allegations of abuse. There are also an increasing number of unhappy single women and mothers, as the one and only institution that had served as the source of constant support and protection for the woman is now under severe threat.

Unless all responsible citizens rise up against the tyranny of anti-family laws and the system that implements them, there is no hope of survival for the Indian Family.

On the occasion of International Day of Families, AIFWA, IKPI, AIMWA and TEN-India will be passing a joint resolution to restore fairness in the family laws and their implementation, and also to stress on a Domestic Harmony Act, in place of all the family-breaking laws.

A Joint Action Committee will be formed comprising of all NGOs across the country working towards gender-neutral, family-friendly laws to draw up a detailed memorandum with our observations and recommendations to the Ministry of Law and Justice on all marriage and family-related laws including the Hindu Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act, Guardians and Wards Act, CrPC  Section 125, Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act and Domestic Violence Act.

We appeal to the Government, media and society to play a positive role in strengthening the institution of Family instead of precipitating its destruction. The Government of India should NOT allow radical, anti-family organizations or individuals to take part in making or amending laws. The media should stop sensationalizing family disputes and spreading half-truths either in the name of news or entertainment. Every member of the society should understand that the Family is our only system of social security, and must reject laws, policies and activities which harm our families.

AIFWA’s recommendations on Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2010

Ref. No.AIFW/300410/1                                                                     `                                         30 April, 2010

To,

Shri K C Jain,

Joint Secretary (C & PG),

Ministry of Home Affairs,

North Block,

New Delhi – 110 001

Sub: – Recommendations on “Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2010”

Honorable Shri K C Jain and Members of the Committee,

All India Forgotten Women’s Association (AIFWA) is an organization working towards achieving true gender equality under law. We have done extensive research on gender-based laws in India and abroad. We have conducted many awareness campaigns and seminars, all of which have received wide coverage in the print and electronic media.

Below are our observations and recommendations on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2010.

Flaws with the present Rape Law (Section 375 of IPC)

Rape, as a common man perceives it, involves a violent act where a man forces himself on a woman and has sexual intercourse with her (as is depicted in the movies).

According to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code as well as according to the amended Act, a man is said to have committed rape/sexual assault if he has had sexual intercourse with a woman against her will and without her consent.

Even if a woman has given her consent for sex, the man would be deemed to have committed rape when

  • her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death  or of hurt.
  • the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
  • at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.

In addition, a male having sex with a female under sixteen years of age (eighteen according to the amended Act) is rape regardless of whether the act is done with or without her consent.

There is an inherent bias in the definition of rape or sexual assault itself. According to this law, rape or sexual assault is a criminal act that is committed by a man against a woman. Not only that, the crime is entirely in the mind of the female “victim”.

In reality, there are innumerable cases of celebrities being threatened of rape complaints by fortune-hunting women. Successful businessmen, fashion designers, film producers, publishers, and many other simple, honest, decent men are among those who have been threatened and falsely charged of rape.

Incidents of violent rape are relatively rare, and 90% of “rape cases” involve consensual sex. Legal experts have observed that rape complaints are often made by women who have been jilted, by minor girls who have had consensual relationships with older men, by commercial sex workers who have been shortchanged by their clients and by women who are just “caught in the act”. They have observed instances where women admitted to having consensual sex but claimed to have done it “out of fear”, thus, taking advantage of the loopholes in the law and the credibility they enjoy under the law. As the burden of proof is on the accused man, he has to produce evidence that he had consensual sex with the complainant woman.

Another aspect that stands out in this law, as with many other “pro-women” laws, is the urge to protect the female at any cost, even if it means innocent men are thrown into jail, the judicial system is taken for a ride, and public resources and time are squandered to satisfy the whim of a dishonest, criminal minded, depraved woman.

When a crime is so loosely defined and when the law is severely biased towards the woman, and when the sole testimony of the female “victim” is enough to charge or convict the accused, it is very tempting for a mischievous woman to misuse it. Further, the provision for monetary relief to a victim is a strong incentive for a woman to make false allegations of rape to get compensation.

AIFWA recommends that the following amendments be made to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2010 to ensure that (a) laws related to sexual assault are gender neutral, (b) all genuine victims irrespective of gender or sexual orientation can seek equal protection and justice under the law and (c) misuse of the law is prevented:

Section 375

  • All references to “Man” and “Woman” must be replaced with the word “Personor Whosoever
  • All references to His and Her must be replaced with the phraseHis or Her
  • All references to  “He” and “She” must be replaced with the phrase “He or She
  • All references to “Husband” and “Wife” must be replaced with the word “Spouse

Sections 375 b and 375c must be amended or a new section (d) must be included to account for injuries and offences specifically against men, such as sodomy and penile injury and attempts to injure male private parts like the penis and testicles.

Section 376

  • All references to “He” must be replaced with either ‘He or She’ or “the Police officer”
  • All references to “Man” and “Woman” must be replaced with the word “Personor Whosoever
  • All references to His and Her must be replaced with the phrase His or Her
  • All references to  “He” and  “She” must be replaced with the phrase “He or She
  • All references to “Women or Children’s institution” must be replaced with “Institution” or “Men’s, Women’s or

Children’s institution

  • Additional punishment must be given to police officers indulging in brutal male sexual assault.

Section 376A

  • All references to “Husband” and “Wife” must be replaced with the word “Spouse
  • All references to His and Her must be replaced with the phrase His or Her

Section 376B

  • All references to “Women or Children’s institution” must be replaced with “Institution” or

Men’s , Women’s or Children’s institution

  • All references to His and Her must be replaced with the phrase His or Her
  • All references to  “He” and  “She” must be replaced with the phrase “He or She

Section 376C

An additional section (iii) has to be included to take into account injuries and offences specifically against boys, such as sodomy and penile injury and attempts to injure male private parts like the penis and testicles.

Section 509

  • All references to “Man” and “Woman” must be replaced with the word “Personor Whosoever
  • All references to His and Her must be replaced with the phraseHis or Her
  • All references to  “He” and “She” must be replaced with the phrase “He or She
    • Punishment should be reduced to fine of Rs. 1000 for first time offenders, imprisonment for one week for second time offenders, one month for third time offenders and one year for repeat offenders.

Distinguish between violent rape, molestation and relationship cheating

Generalizing every sexual offence as rape or sexual assault amounts to trivializing violent rape and prevents genuine victims from getting proper justice. Given the spate of false cases where even consensual sex is being claimed as rape, the law should clearly distinguish between violent rape, molestation and consensual sex followed by dishonoring a promise of marriage. It should be clearly mentioned as to which of these qualify as crimes under the law, and appropriate punishment should be assigned depending on the seriousness of each offence. Equal punishment should be assigned in each case, irrespective of the gender of the offender or victim.

Standards of proof must be made stringent

Due to the credibility given to the complainant’s testimony and the compassion shown towards women, many accused men are subjected to humiliation, mental harassment and the trauma of lengthy trials before they are pronounced “not guilty”. Very often the witnesses turn hostile during trial, making a mockery of the law and the judicial process. Given the severity of the punishment for sexual assault and the irreparable damage caused due to false accusations, standards of proof should be made more stringent both for filing of a case as well as for conviction.

Eliminate monetary relief for complainant

The provision for monetary compensation of Rs 2,00,000/- for filing a complaint of rape/sexual assault should be repealed, as it serves as a strong incentive to convert consensual sex into rape as per the complainant’s convenience or whim.

Sections 53A, 114 and 146 of the Indian Evidence Act should be struck down

Sections 53A and 146 of the Indian Evidence Act turn a blind eye to the importance of antecedents of the alleged victim. A person accused of rape cannot expect to get a fair trial if all of the relevant evidence of the alleged victim’s sexual history is not presented before the court.

While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims that “everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law”, Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act presumes that the accused man is guilty until proven innocent, thus violating the presumption of innocence and the principles of fair trial guaranteed under Articles 20 and 21 of the Constitution of India, in addition to defying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Hence the sections 53A, 114 and 146 must be completely struck down.

Include a VERY strongly worded “Misuse Clause”

During the drafting of the Sexual Harassment Bill, the Law ministry strongly favored the retention of the misuse clause and provided the below response to the request for deletion of the misuse clause from some groups.

Retention of clause 12 is essential to the check false and malicious complaints being filed and giving false evidence. If clause 12 is omitted, it may lead to situations similar to those being faced in the respect to Domestic Violence cases, Dowry harassment cases etc. In order to have a balanced, neutral and gender neutral, it is important to retain the clause 12.  Further our view is in consonance with the view of Department of Legal affairs in this regard, so we may retain clause 12.”

Every single false case in the judicial system results in less and less resources reaching geniune victims. Therefore, it is mandatory that a much stronger misuse clause MUST be added even in the law against Sexual Assault as follows:

Whosoever deliberately misuses any of the above sections to cause harm, trauma or injury or uses state machinery in any way to harass the opposite party will be sentenced to a term no less than the term of punishment specified had the offence been proved and also be forced to pay a fine

Sincerely,

President

All India Forgotten Women (Regd.)