Memorandum against abuse and arrests of mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law in Section 498a and DV act cases.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, 2012, we the women representing the community of mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law would highlight the discrimination and abuse faced by us in Karnataka and all over India.
1) We the mothers-in-law are arrested and jailed without investigation and any collection evidence under Section 498A of IPC, which Indian Supreme Court has termed as “Legal Terrorism”.
2) In last 7 years, according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) more than 200,000 women were arrested and jailed without investigation or trial all over India. This is completely insensitive towards old and sick women and also towards young unmarried women or women with small children.
3) The Law Section 498A presumes us as “guilty until proven innocent”, which is against Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 and hence it violates the basic democratic principles.
4) In spite of several Government and Home Ministry circulars and the amended new CrPC 41, police is violating the arrest guidelines and is completely unable to safeguard innocent, law abiding, taxpaying citizens.
5) We have seen several instances of women with small children being arrested at midnight and sent to jail by complete violation of the guidelines that no woman shall be arrested after sunset and before sunrise.
Recently, the Police from neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh arrived at Bangalore and after informing Ulsoor Police Station at 6:00pm, they arrested and took a man, two women and a 2 year old child at 1:30am by Cars to Andhra Pradesh.
6) There are several instances of abuse and assault of mothers-in-law by wife or her parents, relatives or goons. However, police in Bangalore is refusing to file the First Information Report (FIR) when mothers-in-law get assaulted.
7) As far as the issue of dowry harassment and domestic violence is concerned, Karnataka is one of the safest States not only in India, but also in the world.
There were only 32 convictions in dowry death cases in Karnataka State, which has a huge population of 6 Crores even though the burden of proof is on the accused.
8) Often young women are demanding throwing out of mothers-in-law from the house. There are many instances where mothers-in-law are forced and threatened of jail by daughters-in-law and her family, when mother-in-law refuses to give her house property to daughter-in-law.
In police stations and in courts, in the name of counselling and mediation, the men and their mothers/parents are forced to give huge sum of money or property under threats. These are civil disputes to be resolved in family courts.
9) Even though mothers-in-law are stereotyped and depicted as villains and monsters in popular culture and in media, yet National Family Health Survey (NFHS-III) shows that a woman faces 13 times more domestic violence from her own mother compared to the mothers-in-law.
We request you to take a sensitive look at the issues as divorce rates in Bangalore will soon approach 15% and criminalisation of simple family disputes not only harassed innocent citizens, but also burdens the law enforcement and judicial system unnecessarily.
We, the mothers-in-law have following demands from the Government of Karnataka
1) Men and their female relatives must not be harassed in police stations, when a complaint is filed by a wife or daughter-in-law.
2) Police can file a FIR based on the complaint and conduct investigation and gather evidences before arresting any husband or his parents.
3) Police must file FIR when a man or his parents are assaulted by wife, her relatives or their goons. Every citizen has a right to seek protection from violence in Karnataka.
4) Elders and mothers-in-law must also be protected from domestic violence as elderly people are a vulnerable section of the society.
5) Courts and Police must discourage civil disputes in marriage being converted into criminal cases. When there is no evidence of cruelty against a woman, police and courts should direct the woman to family court of civil court rather than filing a 498A case on demand.
6) For marital disputes, Government must strengthen pre-litigation counselling under State Legal Services Authority.
7) Grandparents must be allowed to see their grand children when there is a marital dispute between sons and daughters-in-law. Because, grandparents are often emotionally attached to grand children in their old age.
The most frequent reason for suicide of men is “family problems”, not economic problems as often perceived. The suicides of men increased rapidly with economic growth in last 15 years.
Gender wise, Statistics of number of victims of Murders, Suicides and Accidents all over India
Male Victims-24,441, Female Victims-8,718 Total Victims-33,159
Culpabale Homicide Not Amounting To Murder (Sec.304 and 308 IPC) During 2009
Male Victims=3,529, Female Victims=753 Total Victims=4282
Dowry Death Convictions (75% dowry death cases are false and lead to no convictions)
In 2009, 2008 and 2007 the dowry death convictions are 1882, 1948 and 1946 respectively.
These dowry deaths are too small a number for a country of 1.2 billion people.
Male Victims=276,333 Female Victims=80,688 Total Victims=357021
(Male Victims=77.4%, female Victims=22.6%)
Male Victims=81,471 Female victims=45,680 (Total Victims=127151)
(Male Victims=64.1%, female Victims=35.9%)
Total Victims of Suicide, Murder and Accidents:
Male Victims=361,333 Female Victims=135,839
Male Victims: 73%, Female Victims: 27%
So, who is more vulnerable in Indian Society? The males or females?
Who is more likely to be a victim? A male or a female?
According National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), in India more married men are committing suicide compared to Married women.
In every 8 minutes a married man is committing suicide and Family Problems is the number one reason for these suicides.
Comparison of Suicides of Married males and females in last 6 years:
2005: 52483 married men vs. 28188 married women
2006: 55452 married men vs. 29869 married women
2007: 57593 married men vs. 30064 married women
2008: 57639 married men vs. 30224 married women
2009: 58192 married men vs. 31300 married women
2010: 61453 married men vs. 31754 married women.