Here is a recent news which sounds interesting in the vein of “dog bites man” variety, but it hides more than it discloses. We attempt to give the hidden story which has not been shared with the readers of news below:
June 25, 2012 | By SULOGNA MEHTA | Hyderabad
Wrangling over alimony and settlements has been a common phenomenon down the years but cut to 2012. Lawyers now find a new emerging trend in family courts. Instead of men paying alimony and divorce settlements, it’s the women who are now coming forward to pay settlements and compensation to their divorce reluctant husbands so that they can quickly get on with their lives.
The women shell out money to get rid of the legal hassles of lengthy divorce procedures and to quickly move on with their lives. These women are working, independent and mostly aged in their late-20s and early 30s and place a premium on time. “To get a quick and easy divorce, women are coming forward to pay the legal charges, compensation and settlements to their husbands. They just don’t want to contest the case and drag the divorce procedure for years by letting the spouse appeal to higher courts. All they want is to begin life anew at the earliest and don’t mind denouncing permanent alimony,” pointed out family court advocate Anita Salabh Jain.
28-year-old V. Janaki (name changed), working in the telecommunication department, had filed a dowry harassment case against her husband, a government employee. “My husband got bail and said that he would contest the case and even move the Apex Court to take revenge on me for sending him to jail, as it had cost him his job. It would simply mean our divorce case might get dragged on for years while it was impossible for me to stay with a abusive husband. I withdrew the criminal case against him, decided to forego permanent alimony, gave him adequate compensation for his lost job, paid the security amount and all legal expenses, all of which amounted to a few lakhs of rupees,” she said, adding that after a few counseling sessions and all these compromises, her husband agreed to go in for a mutual divorce.
The news story talks about a new trend, however it provides a grand total of one instance of Ms V Janaki cited as proof of the trend. More importantly, it does not give comments of Ms Janaki’s husband who was on the receiving end of dowry harassment case, which might have helped readers on getting the full picture.
Here we attempt to give a more complete and realistic picture of what is happening in society when it comes to marital disputes, separation, and divorces, keeping Ms Janaki’s case as the backdrop.
- Ms Janaki decides she does not want to stay in marriage.
- She checks her options and realizes that getting a divorce in India is pretty much a impossible exercise unless both parties agree to a mutual consent divorce.
- At the same time, her lawyer/advisors (read gold-diggers) advice her of possibility of getting a quick divorce along with a lumpsum settlement should she decide to file on her husband what is commonly known as a dowry harassment case under section 498a of IPC (Indian Penal Code).
- Ms Janaki starts dreaming of hitting the jackpot and getting rid of her husband in one shot. Her advisors start dreaming of possible lucrative cash flow when the game is over and done with.
- She files a IPC 498a case on her husband. The police is all too eager to help since who can turn down a woman in distress, never mind that the conviction rate under IPC 498a is in single digits!
- Contrary to the expected plan, Ms Janaki’s husband is made of higher mettle and decides that there is no point trying to enter into financial settlement especially after losing his job. What more is there to lose anyway? He decides to fight the criminal case even if it takes him a few years.
- Ms Janaki realizes the game did not work out as planned, and wants to cut short her losses (time) and decides to pay to husband. Phew!
Crime doesn’t pay.