A citizen journalists experience in Crime Against Women Cell while the husband doesn't get a voice. The counselors are often biased, prejudiced and driven by preconceived notions.
I would like to point out few more points where these CAW cells have proved out to be deaf and dumb and also biased. These cells have been in business
of breaking families since they are launched. I would share an example of how these cells reacts when it comes to listening to a man’s side of story.
One of my friends was summoned in CAW Cell Head Quarters after his wife filed a false complaint of so called dowry harassment and mental torture. He visited the cell and was straight away sent for counselling without even given a chance to explain himself or somebody listening to his side of the story.
At the counselling session, the counselor in the first meeting makes a statement - "This girl is right, you should agree to her demands". During the course of the session when the husband tries explaining his pain of not being allowed to meet his beloved 6 months old daughter, the counselor callously tells the wife -"Tum usko beti se milwao. Usko beti se attachment hogi tabhi to tumhari baate maanega wo!" (You let him meet his daughter. Once he gets attached to his daughter, he will agree to all your demands). The entire choice of words was apparently aimed at communicating one objective - the husband should obey to what the wife says.
After number of sessions, finally counselling failed. Coming back to the enquiry office, the husband informs the E/O, that his wife had admitted that the allegations made in this complaint are false. At this point the wife also admits to it in front of the E/O. Surprisingly, instead of taking the cognizance of the crime committed by the wife by filing a frivolous complaint, the E/O at this point makes another callous comment, "You know how it works these days. It is the lawyers who help girls filing false complaint." Whether it was his submission and acceptance to the sad truth or a consolation to the husband was a matter of interpretation.
After 10 months of suffering in CAW cell, the pair was sent to mediation. Even in the mediation cell, the mediator was not at all interested in listening to the husband. The message sent out was clear - "If you do not accede to his wife’s demands, you can be accused of harassment. You can be jailed, your family can be jailed, will be denied bail and will have to fight long pending cases in the courts." He was also told that the law will blindly favor his wife and no one would listen to him. I will not be able to give out the result of the mediation here due to the legal aspects. However, the experience can enlighten the readers about the plight of a common man in a CAW Cell.
The fact that CAW cells are not meant for any women empowerment was also revealed in a recent RTI filed by a good soul. The RTI reply to the question, "Who can file a complaint in the CAW Cell?" read, "Only a wife can make a complaint in CAW Cell."
What if a mother is harassed by a daughter in law? What if a sister is harassed by her Sister in Law? No one else other than a wife can make use of these so called women cells. I wish to ask the Law makers and Government of India. Why these cells are named Crime Against Women Cell when only a wife can complaint there. Are other’s are not females? If Yes, then why don’t we rename these cell as Crime Against Wife Cell.
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