Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Making a new Law! What does it take?

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laws, women, laws for women, woman, supreme court, sc, marital rape, divorce, rape, cases pending in court, women cases in india, rape cases, courts, courts of india

Thousands of divorce cases are pending in court, many families have yet to reach justice. Where divorce proceedings in India are very complicated and it is very tough to go through the proceedings for both men and women as it is a long-time process especially in contested divorce cases. First of all, the lawyer plays a key role in the success in the divorce proceedings and hence you need to select an experienced lawyer particularly in this subject dealing with more specific issues in the divorce laws. These days court verdicts are shockers, one after another others have made it much more complicated for a woman. 

Although we were still improving from the blow of the grounds for divorce laid by the Supreme Court lately, another shock seems to have tormented right into the ribs! In a country where marital rape is still not a criminal offence under the IPC, verdicts that you’re about to hear will diminish your faith in the judiciary. Indian rape definition is so vague; Even intercourse with consent can be later termed as rape. There is a case where the Madras High Court intervened and imprisoned the man though the girl acknowledged that it was consensual. Our judiciary is that imprudent. 

A large percentage of women and men in India live in rural areas where panchayat and tribal laws and local customs are the norms. Even now, in the 21st century, there are cases of witches being burnt alive and caste and religious antagonisms are rife. From the legal point of view, laws against marital rape are a step in the right direction, but that requires a society where women are financially independent and equal to men in all respects. Will the country provide financial assistance to a rural woman who has sent her husband to jail for marital rape? Maybe that’s why our present society is not ready for such a law. It will definitely lead to social distress, especially in religious minorities. It will be unenforceable and transgressed on a large scale.

Anyways, leaving crucial issues aside the Supreme Court says that a Hindu man can divorce his wife if she separates him from his parents. Also says extra-marital affairs of a man do not always amount to mental cruelty attracting the provision of abetment to suicide. The statement has come to light after a woman committed suicide due to her husband’s alleged extra-marital affairs. Supreme Court bench also noted that they had amicably settled their disputes and the monetary part of the settlement had been complied with. Supreme Court also waives a 6-month waiting period, grants divorce to the couple. The Supreme Court has allowed an estranged couple’s plea for divorce by mutual consent by waiving the waiting period of six months, exercising its powers under the Constitution to do “complete justice”.

According to the Supreme Court, extra-marital affairs of a man do not always amount to mental cruelty attracting the provision of abetment to suicide. The statement has come to light after a woman committed suicide due to her husband’s alleged extra-marital affairs. It is significant to note that the other woman involved in the case also committed suicide due to humiliation leading to two more suicides, committed by her mother and brother. If that wasn’t cruel enough, the man charged for infidelity filed an appeal against his conviction of a four-year sentence for causing harassment and mental cruelty to his wife, and the SC acquitted him of all charges. 

In yet another bad decision, we now have weird grounds for divorce. Even though something as brutal as marital rape is not reason enough for separation, guys now have the upper hand in divorce as well. The Supreme court has passed a judgement that a Hindu man can ask for divorce if his wife tries to separate him from his ageing parents. A woman needs to leave her parents when she gets married, and that is the ‘norm’. But if she tries to take him away from his parents, aka get an independent life, she can be divorced? Because clearly only her husband’s parents age and need someone to take care of them full time, while her parents are self-sustainable? Anyways this is what the Indian judiciary has decided lately.

Now coming back to the most important fact is, whether that woman is married or unmarried? If she is married, the Husband can be prosecuted under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code for Adultery and can be punished for up to 5 years and fine, or both. In case she is unmarried, that person cannot be prosecuted under the Indian Penal Code. The wife of that person has the remedy of obtaining Divorce from him on the ground of adultery. 

According to Indian Matrimonial laws, the term extramarital affair is not used what is stated as “has since the solemnization of the marriage committed adultery” or ” has, after the solemnization of the marriage, had voluntary, sexual intercourse with any person other than his or her spouse”. The sexual relationship out of marriage with someone else than the spouse is the important factor that has to exist in order to get a dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce. Merely if the wife is having a friendship with other men will not amount to adultery nor make it a ground for divorce, the sexual relationship with another man other than her husband that is required to exist and proved in order to get a divorce even if that sexual relationship was for one time only. When laws are clear why the judiciary has to make changes in the verdict and make human lives more complicated? Why these days many divorce verdicts have gone against women and favour men? Is there anything fishy with supreme court judges?


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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Tamanhttps://authorvaidehi.com
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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