Shocking statistics reveal that more men are falling prey to dowry laws and domestic violence than women. Dowry law is being grossly misused to frame husbands in false cases
First the statistics - according to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in 2005-06, altogether 52,483 married men committed suicide while the figure for women stood at 28,188. Similarly, 1,918 separated men ended their life against a total of 1,223 women in the same year. It is clear, husbands are getting affected by the dowry laws, which are subjected to being misused by wives and her family members.
Men more prone
As per a survey conducted by Save Family Foundation - an NGO working for equal rights for men - Delhi registered maximum cases of domestic violence against men.
"It is wrong to say that only women fell target to domestic violence. If the official figures are to be believed it's the men who need more protection under Domestic Violence Act," said Swaroop Sarkar, coordinator, Save Family Foundation.
The survey, which covered all the 28 states and union territories, discovered that maximum cases of domestic violence against men are under the category of economic violence.
"In most of the cases the husbands are tortured economically (32.79 percent) by the wives or her family members. Surprisingly it is followed by physical violence against men (25.21 percent) and we always thought that fairer sex was more prone to violence in their homes," said Sarkar.
Interestingly, maximum cases of men being harassed in their homes came from people in medical and engineering professions followed by marketing and media. "These are among the most valued professions in the country but if these people can be victimised under domestic violence one can think about the plight of the men in other professions," he said.
More false cases
Meanwhile another report published by the NCRB says that in 2006 a total 1,61,217 men were booked under section 498 (dowry harassment) and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder). But surprisingly, the numbers of convictions were only 16, 995 while the courts found 61, 297 people innocent. "The number of false dowry cases against men are increasing with time. Section 498 is like a tool against men and the less number of convictions proves that it is being heavily misused," said a senior lawyer from the Delhi high court.
Even though the figures prove that men are also falling pray to domestic violence, the Delhi High Court in one of its recent judgements said, "We do not rule out the possibility of men becoming the victim of domestic violence, but such cases would be few and far between, thus not requiring or justifying the protection of parliament." Meanwhile the court also increased the ambit of the law to include mistresses and women in live-in relationships.
"Our laws are biased and favours women. Moreover the monetary compensation in cases of dowry harassment is the prime reason that more number of false complaints are being registered," said Sarkar. He further that just like other laws, dowry offenders should also get physical punishment and the monetary provision of regular maintenance fee should be waived off to stop it from being misused.