Jyoti Tiwari, a men's rights activist said that its a good decision by the apex court. She said, "The (anti-dowry) law was like a lollipop given to the women. But till the time, you don't make the law bailable the harassment won't come down. But this will help to cut down the number of arrests."
She also added, "Kudos to Supreme Court as it has done its work, now the government should take cognizance on this and should send the directives to all the police stations. Lets see how much it gets implemented, because in 2010 also, such a verdict came, where SC has ordered not to arrest, but their was no action."
Echoing some similar sentiments like of Jyoti, Virag, yet another men's rights activist feels that its a good verdict and welcome the judgment.
"We have been coming across numerous cases of innocent men being trapped into false dowry cases, then they are extorted a lot of money. All this happens because arrest is very easy, as it happens without trial investigation. On a mere complaint police arrests the entire family."
He also said that in many cases the courts become a party of extortion and they ask the person to pay X amount to his wife or send him to jail. "And the amount demanded is not small, it is in lakhs," added Virag.
Virag also expressed doubts over the implementation of the SC's verdict. He said, "We are not sure how serious the government is about implementing it directly. Because even earlier such directives have come, but we did not see any changes in the lower judiciary towards these cases. So, we expect the government to take this judgment very seriously and implement it in right spirit. And whatever guidelines have been issued by the SC, we want to see them in action."
On the other side, the women's rights activists are not at all happy with this SC verdict. Sudha Sundraraman, General Secretary of All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) expressed her concerns on the verdict by SC.
She said, "The highest court of the land has failed to recognize the extent to which the women are being harassed, because of the improper implementation of the section 498A. Always the police, the court and even the large sections of the people feel that it is being misused. But actually misuse is only an exception, there are many laws being misused, but misuse of only this law is becoming a big news."
She also added, "Whereas in other places it is not so, there are many cases of harassment and violence where section 498A should be applied and women should be helped to get justice. But when you go and look at the reality these women are not able to access that law, because the police will not file FIR under that. So the problem is proper implementation of that law, and now they are trying to water down and cut down that single law. It is sheer injustice. So, I think there should be a reconsideration."
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