26th August 2013 is a day that will live in infamy for Indian democracy when the country witnessed the broad daylight murder of democracy and principles of natural justice on the very floors of Indian Parliament. This is the day when the proposed Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill 2010 was cleared by the Rajya Sabha even after the opposition from men’s rights groups and some members of the House. The shocking aspect of the whole debate was the Minister of Law and justice Shri Kapil SIbal made statements in support of this law, which were grossly misleading and downright incorrect. The minister in his desire to get this law passed was generous with misleading statements and very economical with the truth.
The ground reality &repercussions of the law are severe on husbands and their families.
1. Husbands will lose their hard-earned property (self-acquired, inherited or inheritable) if their marriage breaks.
2. Husbands will still face other false cases under Section 498A, Domestic Violence Act, Section 125 CrPC, etc. and get extorted further.
3. Husbands will lose your children to their estranged wife who will poison them against you and the Govt. would aid her in doing so.
4. Husbands will become bankrupt if their wife decides to leave you or you are unhappy in the marriage.
5. Husbands would have no right to appeal as now your extortion is codified in the law and power has been wrested with the insensitive and anti-male Indian judiciary.
The Govt. chose to brush aide the aforementioned concerns of men’s welfare groups giving a clear message that the Govt. in India is not interested to work in men’s favor to even an iota’s extent. It’s up to the men now to realize as to whether they should vote for such political parties or even pay tax to such a Govt.
Some of the arguments that were used by Honourable Minister of Law and Justice, Shri Kapil Sibal to help build a case for this law were grossly misleading and totally inaccurate . His statements and our counters are as below.
1. India is a patriarchal society; hence laws must be pro-women.
This is a big myth which is conveniently used to pass any anti-male law. If the society was indeed patriarchal, then in that case, the laws would have protected a man’s right. Why would a patriarchal society even bother about women and pass so many anti-male laws just to appease women? Actually Indian society has never been patriarchal. Life has always been tougher for men compared to women. Men have always been expected to take more pains and make more sacrifices compared to women and when men try to speak about their rights, their own fellow men work against them and suppress them. It is just a convenient argument to support anti-male laws so that men can be continuously harassed and tortured in order to make them work for the betterment of the society.
2.Worldover 2% of assets are owned by women, so since 98% of property is owned by 50% of the population i.e. men, hence women must get free property at the cost of men.
This is another grossly incorrect statement propagated by feminists and is not true because till date no authentic data source has been traced to, which scientifically proves the contention and it’s virtually impossible to do so as no one has access to this level of global data. And any amount of sample study done won’t suffice because no statistical model can simulate data for the entire globe with dynamics so varying and so complex. Secondly, even if we hypothetically assume that the contention is true, even then, men own those assets by sheer virtue of their grit, determination and hard work. No law was ever framed to have men a free run on properties by virtue of their relationship status that would enrich themselves. Then, why do we want to enrich women by robbing things off men? And such a mathematically weak argument coming from an eminent lawyer and a graduate from Harvard Law School is equally shamming for India.
3. This law is gender-neutral as both husband and wife can apply for divorce.
This a grossly misleading and untrue statement When it comes to property division, only husband’s property will be considered and even if wife owns property she can keep it, while claim a share in husband’s property.
4. We are only considering post-marital property but will take into account inherited and inheritable property.
This is a big grossly misleading statement. SIFF has seen the draft of the bill, which clearly mentions that any property owned by the husband at the time of divorce, whether it is inherited, inheritable or self-acquired, shall be considered for division. However, our learned law minster chose to mislead and said we are talking of only post marital property, however, inherited and inheritable property shall be taken into account while deciding the case. Does this mean this was deliberate attempt at misleading the members of the parliament to get this bill passed ?
Money and Property Transactions in Courts will lead to massive corruption and extortion. Lawyers have something to be happy about this IRBM law. But, the common man will suffer very badly. We have to wake up to the new reality that most men are losing faith on Indian Family court system and judiciary.
Leaving the whole issue to Judiciary is not good idea. There may be some good judges, but that does not mean enoromous powers and distrition of wresting someone’s property be vested with lower judiciary. Most poor people will lose their property running around courts for years and paying lawyer fees.
We will see lawyers welcoming laws that give more and more power to law enforcement systems, because they are bound to gain a lot from people’s misery. When Govt planned to amend Criminal Procedure Code to reduce arrests under 498a to stop its misuse, lawyers protested against this move claiming they will not be able to make big money from bail fees from men and their families.
Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mahapatra said during that debate that according to Transparency International 36% of Indian Judiciary is corrupt. Now, the same corrupt Judiciary will decide how to divide the property of husband and his parents to give to the wife.
Law Minister Kapil Sibal has nothing to say about forcing parents to give a share of their property to daughters, when people are not following this law. Yet, he is interested in giving someone’s property to daughter-in-law, if she decides get divorced for their son. In fact, their son can not even oppose the divorce, that she files.
Kapil Sibal has made the women’s empowerment into a zero sum win lose game. He believes if women have to gain, men have to lose badly. This will not auger well for Indian society on a long run.
We hereby most respectfully demand that the marriage law amendment bill not be introduced in Loksabha in this form and that he Honourable Minister of Law and justice call for an open debate on the pros and cons of this law and clarify the reasons why he chose to be generous with misleading statements and so economical with the truth.