Ref SFF/March/12/5-25 19th May 2012
Memorandum on Marriage Law (Amendment) Bill 2010
Hon’ble Law Minister,
Mr Salman Khurshid,
This is a memorandum regarding our strong objection to the present format of Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010, as being myopic, unconstitutional, undemocratic and discriminatory. This Bill will be major vote bank issue in the coming elections, if passed in the present format, without any national debate on the same.
Save Family Foundation is a forum with various groups working under it for the cause of helping men dealing with issues related to family and marital problems. We comprise of families fighting against all laws that aggravate marital disputes, promote abuse of the elderly, violate basic human rights of men-women-children, precipitate family break-ups, facilitate the knowledge sharing against misuse of the laws and work against those who promote a fatherless society. With the increasing misuse of Anti-Men laws (98% false cases), our reach is increasing every moment with current direct or indirect reach to over 4 Lakh people across India.
By this memorandum, we present our strong objection to the controversial clauses of MARRIAGE LAWS (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2010, which had been introduced on 04-Aug-10 in the Rajya Sabha and recently received the Cabinet nod, making “Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage (IrBM)” as another ground for divorce. The Bill contained clauses that facilitated financial extortion of men.
The Bill has a few very controversial clauses which are totally anti-family and anti-husband, namely:
1. The wife can oppose the divorce under IrBM, based on ground of financial hardship, while the husband can not, which goes against the principles of natural justice and contrary to laws all over the world [constitution provides right to defend even to dreaded terrorist/accused, this being denied to Indian Husbands would make mockery of Indian Society] .
2. The Bill talks of division of ONLY husband’s marital property, and is totally silent on division of wife’s marital property. The Bill says that courts would have power not to grant the divorce unless the wife was paid adequate amount of money under the cute name of “Financial Security of Woman”.
3. In a marital discord where the dispute is not settled by mutual consent between both the parties, generally the victim applies to annul the marriage and the defaulter has to respond to it. But this law gives the power, of applying for annulment of the marriage through divorce, for the person who could have been himself/herself a defaulter in the marriage.
4. With the current “Hindu Marriage Act” already covering the Divorce under the clause of “Desertion of minimum 2 years”, adding another law under the name of IrBM having the same period of separation as a condition, is a Duplicate law with no constitutional standing.
Such clauses being outright anti-male and gender-biased in nature were vehemently opposed by various men’s rights activists and organizations, who even deposed in front of the Standing Committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice. The panel, presented with the objections raised by men’s rights organizations who sought to make the bill gender-neutral and ensure that no man faced any kind of financial hardship because of gender-biased clauses in the bill.
However, the objections raised by men’s rights organizations have been conveniently ignored by the standing committee panel.
Cabinet passed the bill:
The cabinet approved bill, when marriage breaks irretrievably,
§ Makes husband to part with his self earned property when wife opposes divorce
§ Discriminates husband from opposing Divorce even in the interest of his biological children just because he is a male.
§ Is deliberately destroying marriages and promoting Divorces by providing property rights only when wife divorces and not when she is married.
§ Would encourage high society, (rich, politicians, judges, bureaucratic and business class) wives to take divorce route on simple marital discords at the instance of rivals/adversaries just to get enriched.
§ Would ensure that no men/father shall have access to his child both biological and adopted child.
§ Would induce men to live in debt rather than save in properties
§ Would force men to PAY to BUY Divorce thereby making the institution of marriage into glorified prostitution as a Post-Paid Service.
§ This is against Article 14 on equality against right to property.
After the recent announcement in media that the cabinet has passed this bill, we are getting plenty of panic calls on our helplines from husbands. Young professionals, who have taken huge loans to buy property, are the hardest hit if their property goes to wife during divorce. Most of them are on a "Cancellation Spree" after the cabinet decision to give property of husbands to wives. Banks will also start denying the home loan to married men as their loan amount will be at risk if the couple is going through divorce, directly affecting the GDP and economy of our country. We already have multiple Panic SOS sent to banks by MALE Asset Owners asking about the penalties of defaulting.
We implore upon you to ponder
§ Why confer property rights to women at the time of divorce when woman already have five draconian alimony provisions in various laws both while married and after divorce?
§ Is it safe to handover to the court, discretion to decide on the volume of share when there is no judicial accountability and transparency with certain section of lawyers claiming fiefdom over family courts (total disobedience for sec 13 of Family Courts Act)
§ Is this bill for wife or lawyers? While 10-20% share of the asset is claimed as fee by certain section of the lawyers? Who is victim defined under ‘grave financial hardship’ is it the lawyer or the wife? It could become an easy nexus of Property grabing tactics with easy divorce filing by women, getting Property as a “benefit” of Divorce and then parting a bit of that property with Lawyers. India is about witness the biggest ever series of MARITAL SCAMS under the cover of PAID DIVORCES.
§ According to NCRB data, there have been 61,453 suicides of married men. This category sees the highest number of suicides and the figure is accelerating at a rapid pace every year. http://ncrb.nic.in/ADSI2010/ADSI2010-full-report.pdf (Page 183). The general reasoning for the situation of married men committing suicide is attributed to economic hardship. In that case increasing the financial burden on men alone and holding them alone accountable for a marital breakdown will only increase the tendency in men to take the extreme, helpless steps.
Consider the scenario where:
1. Husband has dependent parents and owns a single property and if 50% of that goes to wife post-divorce, how will the husband take care of his old parents? Is the concept of family restricted to only husband-wife in the Indian context?
2. What, if the family is a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) owning a single joint property? Will the wife get 50% of that? What about other sibling’s share in it?
3. Women are being encouraged to go for divorce as this will be an easy way to acquire free property.
4. Husband’s family would want to secure themselves against such a prospective calamity hitting them and guess what, to secure themselves they will be forced to ask would be wife also to contribute in the property. Will this not encourage the practice of dowry?
We are duty bound to caution you Sir, that the implementation of this property rights linked divorce would result in destruction of the Indian Family System thereby culminating into a bastardised society, rise in juvenile crime, teenage pregnancy, chemical abuse and ultimately chaos in the society as in the west. A recession in the 2nd highest populous Nation would destroy the Nation and nobody would be able save our Great Nation.
Social groups under Save Family Foundation therefore demand:
1) The revised Comprehensive Bill should be gender neutral, with sufficient safeguards inbuilt in it to prevent its misuse against any gender. The word husband and wife should be replaced by spouse in the Bill.
2) Both husband and wife should be able to oppose the divorce under the clause of financial hardships. During partition, both the husbands and wife’s property should be divided, NOT just husbands, depending upon the years of marriage. Liabilities such as loans, mortgages etc should also be divided equally amongst both the parties.
3) The new Bill should NOT make Marriage as a “Property Transfer Bureau”.
4) As in most other countries, the maintenance should be proportional to the years of marriage. A wife in a marriage of 2 year should NOT be treated equally as a marriage of 20 years.
5) Property division must take into account contributions made by both the spouses and also the fact that the property was acquired from wealth earned post marriage and not from previous savings.
Treasurer, Save Family Foundation (Regd.)
Copy to : Hon’ble Prime Minister
- Gender Human Rights Society, Delhi : 9899329991 / 9811052770
- Manushi, Delhi : 011-23978851 / 9350041502
- Men Cell, Delhi : 9810170681 / 9868142608
- Mothers and Sisters Initiative (MASI), Delhi : 9818454928
- Save Innocent Mother and Sister (SIMS), Bangalore:09342041382
- Protect Indian Family (PIF), Mumbai : 09869323538 / 09821414336
- Men Rights Protection, Mumbai : 09892668560
- Bharat Bachao Sangathan, Kolkata : 09830151555
- Protect Men’s Right, Kerala : 09387052990 / 0484230478
- Sahana, Hyderabad:09848280354 / 09908578457
- Asha Kiran, Bangalore: 080-65334135
- Kutumb Rakshna Vedike, Bangalore : 09886934853
- Protect Men’s Rights, Orissa : 0943708337
- Pati Pariwar Kalyan Samiti, Lucknow : 09839097522
- Rakshak, USA/Delhi : 9810452017
- My Nation, Dubai/USA: 0096-53869295
- Pirito Purush Pati Parishad Kolkata : 09433094337 / 09231529437
- All India Forgotten Women, Hyderabad : 09704683163
- Gujarat Gaurav Raksha Samiti (GGRS) : 9825225526
- The Akhil Bharatiya Patni Atyachaar Virodhi Sangh (ABPAVS), Gujarat
- Association of Protection of Mens Rights, Chennai,
- Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting, Bangalore (CRISP), 9845264488
- Peoples United Relationship Enhancement, Mysore (PURE)
- Save Indian Family Organisation Rajasthan, Jaipur
- Purushak Sangrashan Sanstha, Nasik
- Men’s Right, Kerala: 9249502138
27. Purusha Vedi(PPPV), Kerala: 9387052990, 0484 2304478