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SC's latest verdict on anti-dowry law: Men and women rights activists lock horns
A recent Supreme Court verdict on anti-dowry law, has stated that the police can no longer automatically arrest the accused, because of the concerns over the misuse of section 498A of IPC. The order came after a petition filed by a man from Bihar seeking anticipatory bail in a dowry harassment case filed by his wife.

Concerned over the abuse of anti-dowry law, the Law Commission and Parliament's standing committee on home affairs had recommended that offences under Section 498A IPC be made compoundable i.e. husband and wife should be allowed to settle the dispute between themselves.

Men's rights activists have hailed the decision of the Supreme Court and the women rights activists have raised their voice against the verdict.

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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The ugly truth really nowadays are that wives and their relatives use laws, which were made for protection of women, as their weapon to spread legal terrorism, to extort meaningless amount of money as ransom for avoiding arrest by filing false dowry cases against them, you can see the history if a newly wedded wife complaints, she would claim husband is an impotent, after passing some months or years the allegation becomes dowry harassment, domestic violence is so freely put in all cases as you say a vegetable vendor to put some coriander with some green chillies for free in the vegetables bought by you,my wife accused me of dowry harassment and domestic violence charges, whereas i hadn't even touched her without keeping in mind about her consent and comfortability, reason of her differences between us is her mother that's why i was washing my clothes with my own hands on her directions, they were demanding divorce, permanent custody of our son child, thirty lacks of rupees as ransom, and reason for all this was just that i had not attended a marriage function of her mama's daughter, she left 7 days earlier saying if you will not come to attend it i will head for divorce and the only way for her family to get their wishes fulfilled was to file a false complaint, i was neither eager nor able to fulfill their demands as a result i was arrested on 4th of June and got bail on the 6th June after they got all my household items all furniture which i bought 4-5 years earlier before my marriage, they left nothing even salt, pepper, spices, my undergarments, my clothes, soaps, detergent, they robbed everything they could, and are showing themselves as a very reputed persons in HIND CINEMA premises of kaithal, Haryana but reality sights among them who faces it, kisi ne kaha hai " aap mare bina swarg kisne dekha " .at least there should be a fair investigation with proofs before arresting to defame a husband which is his right of humanity, and justice should be done looking it genderlessly.
merinews for RTI activists

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