Misuse of IPC 498A: helpline launched in city (Vizag): The Hindu
|The Act can be termed ‘legal terrorism’, says SIIF |
Over 55,000 married men commit suicide, says its local representative B.K.Agarwal
NGOs plan peace march on November 19 in connection with International Men’s Day
— Photo: C.V.Subrahmanyam
From (right) Krishna Prasad, Anil, B.K. Agarwal and D.S. Rao at a press meet on misuse of 498 A in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
VISAKHAPATNAM: To tackle the alleged misuse of Sec. 498A by a section of the society, a few like-minded NGOs like Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF) and Bharat Bachao Sangatan have come together to extend the services of a helpline in the city.
At a press conference here on Friday, the local representative of SIFF B.K. Agarwal said that the phone number would be 9246623460.
Talking about the misuse, Anil of SIFF from Bangalore, said that the Act was grossly biased towards the women and it can be termed as ‘legal terrorism’.
“As per the provision under IPC 498A, the police can arrest any person be it the husband, in-laws or distant relatives, whoever is mentioned in the complaint filed by the married woman, without a warrant, under the pretext of dowry harassment. The Act prescribes for non-bailable warrants, it is non-compoundable and is treated as a cognisable offence. It has been made compoundable only in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
Supporting their claim with statistics, D.S. Rao of Bharat Bachao Sangatan said that in the year 2006, the total number of cases booked for dowry harassment under the 498A section were 63,128, of which only 2 per cent were proved to be guilty and were convicted.
“While the section provides for conviction if proved guilty, there is no provision for convicting the women, even if the case is found to be false,” he said.
Krishna Prasad of SIFF pointed out that giving dowry is also considered to be a crime, but so far, no cases have been booked under this provision.
“The misuse of the law is on the rise in the urban areas, especially in the IT sector,” he said.
Mr. Agarwal pointed out that according to the National Crime Records Bureau, on an average over 55,000 married men commit suicides compared to 28,000 women in a year, and over 1,15,000 women of different age groups were arrested arbitrarily without trial or investigation under Section 498A in the last four years.
“Under this law, one is held guilty even before the pronouncement.
The helpline has been initiated to help people understand the law and fight its ill effects.
We would counsel the affected families, give a survival kit that states how to get over the problem immediately and provide moral and legal support,” he said.
All the members from the NGOs were of the opinion that law is helping extortionists in shape of legal fraternity, police, mafia network and women with the motive of extorting money from the in-laws.
The NGOs had collectively held a national level conference in Goa recently, and plan to organise a peace march or stage dharna here on November 19, in connection with the International Men’s Day.
They demand that the section be made bailable, non-cognisable and be made gender neutral.
We wonder whose life is in More Danger in India: Men or Women. · Crime Bure data 2005 : Married Men Sucide : 52k vs Married Women Sucide 28K.Still there is no LAW to Protect Men why? · 2006 Crime Bure Data : Married Men Sucide:55452 vs. Married Women Sucide:29869.
Review Gender Biased LAW to Promote Family Harmony and Stop Legal Terrorism