This is an extremely dangerous bill and Modi Sarkar must not pass this bill. Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), an organization fighting for men’s rights has serious objections to the bill as mentioned below:
1. This bill is unconstitutional as it is gender biased and anti-male and violates article 14 of the Indian Constitution which does not allow discrimination on the basis of caste creed and gender. Also, hitherto gender neutral Section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act is being sought to made gender biased which is a retrograde step in law making.
2. The bill is silent on working/earning potential of wife. So, even if a working wife voluntarily leaves her husband and seeks maintenance, the man is bound to pay.
3. The bill is based on a presumption that wife will never abandon husband. There is no basis for this assumption.
4. The bill is discriminatory on religious grounds as it amends only HMA.
5. This bill provides redundant remedy as right to residence is already available under Domestic Violence Act and is thus violative of the Article 20 of the Indian Constitution and seeks to promote Double Jeopardy. Article 20 says no person can be punished twice for the same offense.
6. This bill incentivises breaking of marriage as it provides for no-fault maintenance to wife; this may promote crime in society because state sponsored financial parasitism is unhealthy for any society and this bill wants to convert wives into financial parasites for husbands.
7. The clause of exclusion of one month of cohabitation is prone to misuse. If a man’s wife is abusive, now due to this bill, he cannot even stay away from her as he will penalized with no-fault maintenance for that. As it is, men have no protection from domestic violence from their wives and now this bill seeks to further punish them just for the fact of marrying.
8. The clause for charge on future income from assets/properties for non-payment of maintenance is financial homicide of husbands.
9. No basis is given for 40% lower limit on maintenance. Also, as it is before tax deduction, it tantamount to almost 50% of income-in-hand which is unfair since Indian men are also expected to carry burden of parents and siblings.
10. These are desperate attempts by conservative BJP Govt. to stop divorces since marriages are breaking owing to uncontrollable demands by women from their husbands in marriages. However, the solution mooted is counter-productive as it rewards separation and facilitates divorce.
Social implications of the bill:
This bill is financially devastating for husbands. Now, if men stay with their abusive wives, they fear false cases of 498A, Domestic violence being slapped on them and if they stay away from them, they must part away with at-least 50% of their income, notwithstanding other costs of living and false cases they must fight. This is like converting marriage into a socio-economic trap for men.
There are many men in India whose parents are dependent on them. However, this bill puts wives at utmost priority which is wrong. Wife is not above the man or the family that her financial needs be taken care by bankrupting the man. No one has stopped a wife from working and maintaining herself.
In an era where we should be abolishing the concept of alimony and maintenance, it is extremely unfortunate that we are proposing bills which further enslave men financially and make women financial parasites.
We, the men's rights activists, criticize the Modi Govt. severely for considering this bill and we demand immediate repeal of this bill. This amendment is not needed.