Misuse of Rights

India repeatedly gets hauled over the coals for its behaviour towards women. According to the BBC News, every 15 minutes a rape is noted, every 5 minutes an incident of domestic violence is reported, every 69 minutes a bride is murdered for dowry and every year there are hundreds of thousands of female foeticide, leading to a shocking sex ratio. Women have to fight lifelong discrimination, prejudice and violence. But are men not vulnerable? Do they not face discrimination? Can they not be sufferers? Dissatisfied women, helped by unethical agents, regularly misuse the law to persecute their spouse and their relatives. Misuse of rights have been described as legal terrorism. Rather rights must be used as a shield and not as an weapon.

24% of calls to women’s helplines are from men in torture. 53.2% of the rape cases filed between April 2013 and July 2014 were found to be false. There are men and families mistreated and tortured by women, but in our nation, the most widely believed idea is that only a woman can be abused. ‘As many as 31,292 instances of reported brutality by husbands and in-laws, filed by women under Section 498A of the IPC between 2011 and 2013, were found false after a police investigation’ said the minister of state of Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in the lok sabha in march 2015. The trend is panicking, not just as men are falsely signalled but also as the case for women, who are already forced for dowry and face domestic violence, become fragile.

As per information provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) , the figures of false cases under Section 498A has grown over the past few years 10,193 in 2011, 10,235 in 2012 and 10,864 in 2013. An overall of 1,207 cases of defamation of the modesty of women (Section 509 of the IPC) were found false following a police inquiry. The problem is not only factual but also widespread. The law was formed with good aims but is open to misuse by women. The law formed to save lives has also taken many lives.

Over the years, Section 498A have got the status of being the “most misused law in the history of Indian jurisprudence”. According to the Times Of India, each year more than 10,000 charges of dowry harassment are found to be false. Nearly 90,000 to One lakh cases are probed each year, the numbers makes it one of the most misused laws in
the nation.


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