‘I hear things like “Good luck for your bleak future” and “Drop charges, else no man will ever remarry you”…’

Sharing an email.

Hi IHM,

To introduce myself, I am like any modern Indian girl, come from a house of 2 girls, got good education and am decently employed. I was married 2 years ago and my marriage has been a nightmare. I was constantly abused by my H, in-laws for money and otherwise and it took me a while before I realized that these were not “starting troubles” of an arranged marriage. And I probably realized it too late cos I had already emptied all my resources and lot of my parents money too, I was injured and then abandoned by my H. My H packed the entire house and fled.

Now he has filed a divorce case against me simply to harass me. He openly threatens me in the court that he will keep the case dragging and neither live nor leave me. True to his word, he has kept the case running for more than an year with no progress. I have now filed a dowry harassment case and inspite of having enough evidence of demands and harassment, they have got bail and are staying in hiding mostly. The police say the laws of this country are weak and they are helpless and can do nothing except for file some chargesheet.
I have heard and read Indian laws empower women but at every step in my experience, I see laws handicap women. Everyone from the police, to lawyers, online forums, even some counsellors add to your pain with their prejudice that a woman filing a case is doing it solely for the sake of harassing “poor husband and his family”. I hear things like “Good luck for your bleak future”, “Drop charges, else no man will ever remarry you”, “You have a younger sister, you are spoiling her future”, “How immoral that you want to send your elderly in-laws to jail” from people who are barely know me. Why don’t they see the morality of a 70 year old couple exploiting the life of a young 25 year old girl for their greed? Is it really so much of a pain to be a woman in this country? Is the legal system really that bad that a man can spoil the life of a woman legally? Unfortunately the biological clock of a woman ticks faster than that of a man and this is something that our legal system does not understand.

I am tired of running around courts and lawyers and police and fighting the system. Any advice/suggestions from the readers of this blog on how to get out of this mess would help me.

Regards.

And I found this on the email writer’s blog, here – http://mydiaryofabuse.blogspot.in/

‘How has it become possible that my abusive husband even now controls the relationship I have with my family? When he has already abandoned me and refuses to take me back, why does the society still expect that I will live my life praying that he will take me back. Why doesn’t my family allow me to cut my losses and move on?’

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67 thoughts on “‘I hear things like “Good luck for your bleak future” and “Drop charges, else no man will ever remarry you”…’

  1. Ahh, despite the fact that an estimated 100,000 women are burnt alive for dowry every year in India, people will claim a woman filing a case is the one doing the ‘harassment’ (http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1882937,00.html , police reports only show a fraction of the cases that hospital records show). Sure, there are false case, just like their might be some false robbery cases. We don’t tell anyone complaining of robbery that they must be lying or ‘won’t you think of the age of your robber!’. Add to that the fact that traditional indian mentality values the husband and in-laws above the DIL and will think that she should suffer or die even, if that’s what it takes to keep the in-laws happy.

    I have been reading some interesting articles on how we teach our children that women are liars, despite little statistical evidence of false rape cases etc. (http://sorayachemaly.tumblr.com/post/67465233148/how-we-teach-our-kids-that-women-are-liars, http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-11-17/india/44161730_1_sexual-harassment-allegation-india) and it really does fly under the radar.

    I would say ignore people who are saying these things to you. They clearly don’t have your interests at heart. Can you leave the country for work or something like that? Set up a ‘new’ life, as it were? Get a good lawyer. The best that you can. Use all the evidence of harassment that you have. Do not worry about pleasing these moralisers. Good luck with your bright future.😉

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      • I don’t support any unfair laws but despite what you claim, 100,000 women continue to be burned annually. Not much of a deterrent, is it? There have been cases of women being burned AFTER calling the police because they couldn’t get there in time.. so how do you suggest prohibitory action be taken, considering how long legal cases take in India? What if women are burned in while the case is ongoing? There’s no easy answer.

        My point was not about this law, it was about disbelieving women disproportionately to actual evidence of falsifications. The same pattern of not believing women is seen with sexual assault cases. Existing estimates only point to a tiny fraction of complaints being false while it is known that the vast majority of crimes are not even reported. Yet, we have a PIL claiming that the law intern is lying about her sexual harassment because ‘ladies never tell the truth’.

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      • Not in reality.. Unlike popular belief, arresting the H and in-laws is very rare, and no they are not guilty until proven innocent. The onus of proving them guilty still lies with the wife or her family irrespective of whether the wife’s alive or dead. What is even more saddening is the fact that the conviction rate of dowry cases is well lower than 10%.

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      • I’m with girlsguidetosurvival here. If you’re really concerned that a law can be misused, please search for the facts yourself. DG please feel free to correct me about I’m posting: This big myth about ‘dowry laws terrorizing poor husband’ has gotten around so much so for public information, I’m posting this here:

        http://indiankanoon.org/doc/1172674/

        1. Dowry law asks for issuing a ‘non-bailable warrant’ to arrest the accused. Contrary to popular misunderstanding, this does not mean that the husband and in-laws will be jailed till the day of judgment. It means that bail has to be obtained through the permission of a judge (rather than by simply paying a certain amount) – who will review the facts and situation related to the case, accused and complainant and decide whether the issue of a bail is appropriate. Typically, application for a bail is rejected only when the judge has reasons to believe that the accused is likely to have the intention and capacity to tamper with the evidence or commit another crime.
        2. Again, contrary to popular belief, the dowry law does not support the presumption of court that the accused are guilty unless proved otherwise. They’re assumed innocent until proven guilty. The only exception is: If a dowry victim dies and it has been proved that the victim was subject to dowry harassment when she was alive, then the court shall presume that persons who were proved to be the cause of harassment were the cause of death unless they can prove otherwise. I don’t think this is discriminatory by any means (similar to laws being suggested for whistle-blower protection).

        I don’t know how this myth got around. Are there any conclusive statistics which really prove that a significant portion of dowry cases are false? None of the allegations on the related wikipedia page about misuse have any citations.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry_law_in_India#IPC_Section_498A

        And some trolls are busy talking bullshit about domestic violence act too – without proper proof. Kindly post any concrete statistics before succumbing to men’s imaginary threats over women’s real ones.

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    • Given that cases under dowry harassment (IPC 498A) are State vs. Accused cases, there are technical issues with ‘getting a good lawyer’. The only lawyers authorized to prosecute a person is a public prosecutor (PP), who are essentially government lawyers. The higher the court, the better the quality of public prosecutors; but even in these scenario, they are not quite in the league as some of the more dynamic (and expensive) defense counsels. Also, given that 498A is not really an offense under the ‘serious’ category of IPC (the ‘Court of Sessions’ cases), the prosecution of a case under this section is as effective as the prosecution of other ‘soft’ offenses (ones where it is very difficult to procure the standard of evidences required for a successful conviction). Throw in the usual emotional blackmail when a woman prosecutes her husband, and it gets even less pretty.
       
      At best, she could hire a private lawyer to assist with the public prosecutor involved, so long as the PP doesn’t disagree with the arrangement.
       
      About the dowry part, this is something I discussed with a couple of lawyers sometime back. The illegalisation of both giving and receiving dowry, under the Dowry Prohibition Act drove it underground and now with no paper trails, there is no legal recourse for a woman and her family to get the money back. This is the result of using law to solve that problem that is largely sociological in nature, with social aspects too complex to be sorted out by law alone.

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  2. First of all, find yourself a good lawyer. It might take a few tries, but it will be worth the time and effort. There are plenty of pseudo lawyers who would try to tell you that they would tell you how to get your husband back, etc. etc. Don’t fall for it, make sure they fall in with your wishes, and not the other way around. You need to be practical and not expect to get everything back, but at the same time grab back all that you can. You can also try some women’s organisations for help. They would provide you with proper lawyers. Good luck!

    And do remember you don’t really NEED to remarry at all.

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  3. Dear lady,
    It takes a lot of courage to break the silence. Kudos to your strength and Won’t say much as only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches but all I can say let your courage be an inspiration for many others who continue suffering in the “present” scared of that supposedly “bleak future”. Really hope you prove them wrong.

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  4. “I was constantly abused by my H, in-laws for money ”

    and after this, there shouldnt be any reason why the marriage shouldnt be annulled immediately..,
    especially when u have given evidence..

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    • Dont know how true this is but as per various online legal sources available, as per SC directive, a “mere dowry demand” is not enough for conviction. Mayb the SC wants to wait till the girl is burnt dead.

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      • Here: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-demanding-dowry-not-enough-for-conviction-in-dowry-death-case-supreme-court-1918161

        The reference here doesn’t come under dowry harassment of 498A but ‘dowry death’ under 304B. Dowry death as defined here is the death of a victim who has been harassed for dowry, in which case the court will presume that whoever caused the harassment also caused the death (unless they can prove otherwise). To be clear, charges and trial here are not for dowry harassment or dowry demand but for murder (in the context of ‘dowry death’). As per the law, if it can be proved that the victim was harassed when she was alive for dowry, the court will presume that the harassers are the cause for murder and punish them. For the case in question, the prosecution could not establish proof of harassment (subjecting victim to cruelty) but only proof of demanding (I understand this as ‘asking’) for dowry. In this context, the SC is right to reject this as insufficient evidence to convict the girls’ in-law family for the presumption of murder.

        Demanding for dowry is within itself a punishable offence under the dowry prohibition act – unfortunately however, the law makes both giving and receiving dowry punishable offences. It is under this law the presumption of guilt until proved innocent exists for demanding dowry. But if we carefully study the applicability of the law, I think only minor alterations are required to prevent misuse. And I’m assuming that most cases are not filed under this section as the law also punishes dowry givers.

        And here’s why TOI sucks – look at the way TOI has reported the same news – distorting facts:
        http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-08-05/india/28306393_1_dowry-death-section-498a-section-304b-ipc

        Fact: //Merely making a demand for dowry is not enough to bring about a conviction in a DOWRY DEATH case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday held saying that it must be proved that victim had been treated with cruelty or harassed for it.//
        TOI report: //The Supreme Court has ruled that a PERSON CANNOT BE CONVICTED FOR MERELY DEMANDING DOWRY unless the demand is followed by mental or physical torture resulting in the death of the victim.//

        It sounds like a person cannot be cannot be convicted for demanding dowry at all – not just in a dowry death case – no? No wonder you were confused if we go by TOI report and considering that’s what most people follow, I understand how this rumor caught on. TOI also adds its pearls of wisdom on ‘bias favoring women’ in Indian law, extrapolating unsubstantiated findings from dowry laws to sexual harassment:
        http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-08-17/india/28308729_1_dowry-law-section-498a-complaints
        //The significance of the court’s directive goes beyond what happens to Section 498A. The assumption of women’s innocence is apparent in laws devised to deal with rape and other crimes against women where the presumption of innocence is not available to the accused.//

        But if you comb through the article, you’ll see that the extrapolated pearls of wisdom about sexual harassment laws are TOI’s own brain-child and nowhere did SC mention anything about any laws except anti-dowry laws. And for all the cry about misuse of anti-dowry laws, I still can’t find any comprehensive study giving the actual % of false complaints. Wikipedia says that a study of 30 cases gave 6.5% false complaints. For the purpose of clarity, my understanding here is that any ‘unproved complaints’ are considered as ‘false’. Now, 6,5% sounds like a small number to me and 30 sounds like a small sample size. I don’t know – has there been any study conducted on a significant, unbiased sample of cases to arrive at the figure? And how do we know that 6.5% is high or low? Is there any comparison available to contrast this number with the % of ‘unproved complaints’ for other crimes?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry_law_in_India#Proposals_for_amending_the_law

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        • Not to mention, the TOI troll-comments on that distorted, irresponsibly written article got the incorrect message that demanding for dowry is not a punishable crime, appreciating the (misunderstood) judgment.

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  5. ‘True to his word, he has kept the case running for more than an year with no progress. I have now filed a dowry harassment case’

    so when the divorce case took time, u filed the dowry case and sent ur 70yr old in laws to jail.
    kudos to you. well done, u great women.

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    • no, read well, she says when they tortured her for money she filed a dowry case. what else would she file , and why does the 70yrs come into picture, fragile old parents shouldnt act like monsters demanding money they are old and on their way out isnt it , so why do they need money… according to our culture after your fulfilled your responsibility and got your son married you need to go to the forest and take up sanyas.

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    • Precisely. Kudos to her, she is a great woman for trying to get some recourse for the abuse she’s suffered. If her in-laws did indeed harass her for dowry, why the hell shouldn’t she send them to jail?

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    • She says in her e-mail that they have harassed her for dowry. They wouldn’t let her get a proper divorce so that she could be rid of them, and insisted on tormenting her, so she filed a dowry harassment case which she is rightfully allowed to do.

      As for being 70 years old, well, if you’re a legal adult who breaks the law, then you’re a legal adult who breaks the law. Sorry.

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    • Actually, what “A male” is asking doesn’t sound too unfair. There is no evidence of dowry in the OP’s email, “emptied her reserves” doesn’t translate to dowry I presume. So why does filing a dowry case help anyone? She appears to state her intention is to get the husband/in-laws jailed? How would that help the woman get to a better life? It would put the in-laws in their place, but that sounds like an abuse of the law.

      Is there no other legal recourse? I’m not well-versed in the law, just looking for opinions to learn from.

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      • She said her husband and in-laws abused her for money – if that isn’t dowry harassment, what else could it be? It seems that she emptied her financial reserves before she decided to leave, so I assume that she was giving them money in an attempt to placate them. It seems that her husband (and maybe her in-laws too) physically assaulted her, so why on earth shouldn’t they go to jail?

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    • Yes I agree. The 70 yrs old should have flogged in public for supporting a son like this and not send to jail. I am not saying we should do it for all but flogging one or two in public in front of media will be an incentive for many more like this guy and others to behave nicely.

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    • Oh yes, finally, a man to tell us how we have distorted the truth. Of course, its the dowry-seeking husband and in-laws who are the real victims.
      How dare the wife complain about mistreatment at the hands of in-laws. She’s an Indian wife, her life’s purpose is to suffer and die in the service of her in-laws and husband!

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  6. You have courage and plenty of it dear lady. Please dont listen to those losers. They have little control over their own life and are bitter about others who seem to take charge of their lives.

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  7. I practised for a while in the Madras High Court and what I saw there completely disillusioned me. While there are genuine cases like the letter writer’s, there are umpteen number of fake cases filed by women in the Courts. We should understand that there are good and bad women, just like there are good and bad men. And also that just because there are few bad people does not mean everybody out there is bad. Sadly our society makes note of such situations and uses it to its advantage.

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    • Don’t you think that is the exact description of what a court should take care of? Look at every case based on evidence and figure out who is guilty and who is not! Instead, we have badly framed laws with loopholes that some people take advantage of, the credibility of the entire system goes down and people who are genuinely affected are left high and dry!

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      • No, it’s just that people hate it when others use the fact that some women falsely file dowry harassment cases as a means to disregard and dismiss the countless women who DO in fact suffer as a result of dowry demands. A number which vastly outnumbers the amount of women who falsely file dowry cases for personal benefit. Out of every 100 cases, nay-sayers love to hang on to about the ten or so odd women who file them out of spite and greed in order to brand the 90 other women as liars, thieves, home wreckers, etc.

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        • Exactly – you nailed it because you seem to be in direct touch with these issues. The % of false complaints is so low but every Tom, Dick and Harry speaking for alleged ‘suppression of men’ seems to know for sure that every woman is out there to simply file a case against her husband and in-laws, as if that is the sole objective which every woman wants to achieve in her life. This, turning blind-eye to the fact that a number of dowry cases go unreported – as dowry has been established as an essential part of civil marriage – we routinely see umpteen number of our acquaintance’s marriages where marriage settlements include dowry deals and these are unofficially agreed upon before even deciding on the marriage – Dowry discussions are a default in most arranged marriages before ‘fixing the match’. I’ve a genuine question regarding the ‘potential misuse’ of anti-dowry laws. Why single out anti-dowry laws – aren’t there any other laws which’re misused? Don’t get me wrong – I’m assuming that a complaint is considered as ‘false’ if it is ‘not proved’ in a court of law. So, is there a real difference that can be established through % of ‘false complaints’ among dowry cases and other crimes or all this talk is through mere perceptions in air?

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        • and people also hate it when others use the fact that many women suffering as a result of dowry demands as a means to disregard and dismiss those cases where woman falsely file dowry harassment cases..

          sure there is no denying that many many woman suffer due to dowry demands and every sensible person should agree that justice should be provided to those genuine cases .
          But if at any moment of time, innocent had suffered due to misuse of law, the elderly parents of husband were jailed , and became victim due to the law for no fault of theirs..

          the law should be changed and amended..Even if the % of misuse is only 1%..
          why it is so difficult to understand?

          I am not aware how much % of the case were misused..’
          but even if it is 1% , that amounts to huge no. I guess..
          a unbiased sensible person should support both the parties- the harassed woman due to dowry, and the harassed in laws, elderly parents due to misuse of the law..

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        • @humanist,

          “I guess.. a unbiased sensible person should support both the parties- the harassed woman due to dowry, and the harassed in laws, elderly parents due to misuse of the law”

          I agree with you and would say the same in a general ‘improve the dowry law’ discussion. However this post is a response to a specific letter and there are no innocent harassed in laws in this equation. The OP is speaking of her own dowry harassment. And yet there are comments trying to put HER on trial right here and telling her that ‘hey, you could be lying’. Any unbiased sensible person would see that these comments are prejudiced and irrelevant to the OP’s case.

          I’m sure the same people would agree that ‘not every man is a rapist’ and yet every woman filing a dowry case is a liar for them.

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        • “and people also hate it when others use the fact that many women suffering as a result of dowry demands as a means to disregard and dismiss those cases where woman falsely file dowry harassment cases..”

          When the topic of conversation is women being abused by dowry, and the experiences being discussed are women being abused by dowry demands, not discussing false dowry cases is not a “dismissal”. I’m sorry you feel so inadequate that you, as a male, constantly have to have your experiences talked about in every conversation. But not everything is about men. When the topic of discussion at hand is men being falsely accused of dowry abuse, then you can talk about your feelings. If the topic at hand is men being falsely accused of dowry abuse, and there is someone who offhandly dismisses all those cases, THEN you can talk about feeling dismissed. To come on a forum that is specifically dicussing dowry as a women’s issue and complain about not having your woes paid attention to is extremely childish.

          Also, please point out where any of the people on this comment’s section, or IHM, have disregarded and dismissed cases where women falsely file dowry harassment cases. People will ALWAYS acknowledge that there will be those who abuse the law. This happens to EVERY law. The only thing we mentioned is that a mere 5%-10% of dowry cases being falsely filed does NOT give anybody the right to consistently doubt the veracity of the 90-95% of other cases. 5 – 10% of people will file false theft cases in order to collect insurance for an item they have lost. Yet, we almost NEVER see anybody doubting the word of everyone who files a case of theft. But somehow, the fact that 5 – 10% of women filing false dowry cases is full justification to doubt the 90 – 95% of women who do so rightfully. I’m sorry, but this is inherently unfair. If you want to talk about “fairness”, then apply this mentality to every law, and start doubting every person who files a case, dowry related or no. Otherwise, there’s no reason for this unreasonable burden of doubt to be solely placed on the women who rebel against the system.

          “the law should be changed and amended. Even if the % of misuse is only 1%..”

          Good. Then I vote for you to go and change every other law under the Indian legal system (and every other legal system in the world). Because every single other law in the world also has that miniscule 1% of people who are abusers, right? And they accuse people unfairly right? So go ahead. If you’re going to accuse the Dowry Act of being unfair towards that 1% who are falsely accused, surely your feelings also extend to all those thousands of other people who are falsely accused under other laws.🙂 There are plenty of people languishing on death row who have probably been unfairly accused. Not to mention all those poor innocents in jail who have been falsely framed of theft, murder, gang activities, etc. All those poor people that the corrupt are abusing and stepping over in order to escape without jail time–all of those poor folks are the 1% who are abused by someone who has unfairly used the law, right? Go help them as well. Go “change” and “amend” the laws against murder, theft, etc. Because hey, “even if the % of misuse is only 1%”, then that’s means for the law to be scrapped and remade (to conveniently help those already in power).

          ” I guess..
          a unbiased sensible person should support both the parties- the harassed woman due to dowry, and the harassed in laws, elderly parents due to misuse of the law..”

          When you believe in the honesty of the women who file cases of dowry abuse instead of accusing them from the start that they are lying, then I will support the people who claim they are falsely accused of dowry cases. If you’re not going to believe a woman at all, until she’s given you thousands of pages of proof and a hundred different witnesses, then I don’t see why I should believe the people who are saying they’re abused, unless they give me the same amount of proof a woman would have to. If you want fairness, behave fairly first.

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  8. I Sympathize with your situation. But must say your views are equally one sided, or may be you misunderstood the situation. There are numerous, I repeat hell lot of cases where the dowry law and DV Law are grossly misused by women in this society.
    Even there was a ruling by Supreme Court of India that dowry law is being heavily misused in this country
    To understand the ground facts, be it MEN or WOMEN, our society/system and laws don’t give justice to the victim. But only gives scope for misuse. That’s a fact. In your case, you are the victim as you claim.
    There are many cases where innocent men and their parents are also victims of misuse of very laws that you say. So much so that even supreme court termed that as Legal Terrorism.
    Infact, one of the biggest reasons why a water tight law like dowry law in india is so very diluted is becoz of its misuse by women. That’s the fact
    Hope god gives yu strength and justice

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    • “There are many cases where innocent men and their parents are also victims of misuse of very laws that you say. So much so that even supreme court termed that as Legal Terrorism.”

      How is your justification relevant to the OP’s case? She bears no responsibility for any false cases that might be out there. There may be ‘hell lot’ of false cases but there are also about 100,000 women being burned for dowry every year, so there is no statistical basis for the ‘false accusation’ treatment she’s getting.

      Every person making these allegations probably knows of at least one marriage where dowry was involved. Yet the false cases have more weight than the women being burned for dowry because the former affects men. How about the illegal terrorism of dowry? The women being burned are also innocent.

      “But must say your views are equally one sided”
      Do you expect that she should tell herself that her case is false, even though it’s not? There may be false cases elsewhere but obviously there is only one side in her own case where she KNOWS she has been harassed.

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      • she has talked about laws being handicapped and all. Dont you think that it is a one sided comment? Whether good or bad, or whether used or abused women in this society do have some laws. And men dont have any laws.
        so whether even if it a false case (or every case genuine as per you and no false cases are just a figment of imagination even by courts), men can only defend. so laws are not handicapped

        secondly, you said there is no statistical evidence? Go to NCRB (National crime records bureau) report of 2011, of the total completed trials, only 14% cases accused are convicted at lower courts, and only 5% are convicted at higher courts (when gone for appeal)

        so you must be joking when u said there is no statistical evidence for misuse of law.

        Quote// There may be false cases elsewhere but obviously there is only one side in her own case where she KNOWS she has been harassed.//unquote

        exactly. I dont mean to offend OP. But as you said, OP has only one side. The same way her husband also has ONLY ONE SIDE. That is his side. Whether you agree or not.
        If you expect the law to only look at the ONE SIDE OF OP(but not the other one side of her husband), thats hipocracy. Every coin has two sides. Every marital conflict has two sides. you never know which side is tainted unless until to see both sides.

        So “HER SIDE ONLY” does not work always my dear

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        • You either didn’t read or didn’t understand my comment.

          “And men dont have any laws.”
          Eh? You only count dowry laws? Men are exempt from being charged with the rape of their wives (age 15 onwards). So men have some biased laws too.

          “no false cases are just a figment of imagination even by courts”
          Can you point out where I said that? I did not. I said that while there may be false cases, actual women are still being burned for dowry, so we cannot assume every case to be false.

          “secondly, you said there is no statistical evidence? ”
          No statistical evidence for PRESUMING that a specific rape case is false. We know there are some false cases, we also know some 100,000 women are still burned for dowry in a year. The evidence is not one-sided either way. So why jump to ‘false case’?

          “so you must be joking when u said there is no statistical evidence for misuse of law.”
          Not what I said at all. Read the above para. You don’t seem to have understood what statistical evidence I referred to.

          “of the total completed trials, only 14% cases accused are convicted at lower courts, and only 5% are convicted at higher courts ”
          Lack of conviction DOES NOT mean that a case was false, only that guilt was not proven beyond doubt. Rape convictions are in single digits. Do you say it means that over 90% of rape cases in India are false? Ofcourse not, that would be bizarre. Rather, there are issues with investigation, evidence gathering, tampering etc.

          “So “HER SIDE ONLY” does not work always my dear”
          It WORKS when she comes to a forum to discuss her concerns. Who are you to sit here and tell her that you think she could be lying? If you’re not saying that then what exactly is the point of bringing up other false cases?

          My point was that there are false cases and there are actual women being burned, so no reason to jump straight to ‘false case’. I think YOU are rather one-sided because you refuse to acknowledge actual dowry harassment that goes on, you only seem to see the false cases.

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        • True Carvaka. Its time people learn to distinguish between “false” cases and cases where accused are acquited for lack of evidence. Just because a wife cannot prove in a court of law, the harrassment she faced inside her house, the husband does not become “innocent”. Just because Copernicus could not prove sun was the centre of the solar system, he doesnt become a liar. Same way if a wife cannot prove harrassment from her H n in-laws she is not a liar nor is the case false.

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        • Carvaka, may be you have not understood what i have written in my very first post. Where exactly did i said there are no dowry harassments in india??

          read carefully, and thats what i said in my first post, whether genuine or false case, laws in india dont provide any relief to actual victims. Be it men or women

          Quote//
          It WORKS when she comes to a forum to discuss her concerns. Who are you to sit here and tell her that you think she could be lying? If you’re not saying that then what exactly is the point of bringing up other false cases?
          //.Unquote

          I have made my point very well in my very first post itself. If you cant understand, thats not my problem. Or if you are the original poster and admit that to come out, i can again explain you what was my point
          Remember, “Holier than thou” attitude doesnt work anywhere. Be it online forums or places of justice.

          Quote//
          Lack of conviction DOES NOT mean that a case was false, only that guilt was not proven beyond doubt//
          Unquote.

          Point very well made. In the same way, please also understand that mere COMPLAINT BY WIFE or mere registration of FIR against husband also doesnt mean they are guilty by default.

          Infact dowry law considers husband a murderer even if wife dies in unusual circumstances before 7 years of marriage. Be it love failure of wife or anything. Hence you even cannot consider all these cases and conclude that every other complaint has a genuine basis of dowry harassment.

          BTW, i said in my first post, and even reiterate here. You may be upset with any man who raises the point of false cases. But the reason for that is again wife. WHETHER YOU AGREE OR NOT

          a very large number of such cases, gets closed when the very WIFE who accuses husband of dowry harassment, takes money from husband and gives back a statement that her complaint is false, or may be give a contradictory statement for case filed by herself.

          Quote
          //Rather, there are issues with investigation, evidence gathering, tampering etc
          //Unquote

          WHAT ABOUT THE WITNESS HERSELF TURNING HOSTILE AFTER GETTING MONEY?. THAT DIDN’T STRIKE US? That was the reason why SC termed it as legal extortion in the name of dowry harassment

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  9. Just because there are plenty of women misuing the dowry laws doesnt mean there are no genuine cases. Just like there are plenty of women burning men and in-laws doesnt mean there are no decent men. This is simply not a comparison, If i’ve had trouble and torture in their marriage then my case is unique it affects me , at that point in time i dont care if a million women have misued the judicial system, I have a genuine need to file a case and so i will.
    the biggest problem we have in india is not the dowry cases and who is right it’s the simple fact that one cannot get a divorce if one wants – reasons are immaterial. This applies to both genders.
    If someone does not want to stay with their spouse as an adult he/she should be given the right to break the marriage contract, once they address that giant elephant then most other stuff will fall into place.

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  10. Sorry to hear you have to go through all this. Have you considered exposing the harassment you are facing? Tell your husband’s colleagues, mutual friends, and his relatives what they are doing to you. Since Indians are very image conscious this might compel them to give the divorce and leave you alone. Get a good lawyer, and give him one helluva fight. As for the stupid opinions of people who haven’t walked in your shoes, the less you care, the better for you.

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  11. I don’t understand why people, time and time again, like to bring up the fact that there are women who lie about dowry demands in order to file a case to falsely accuse the husband when things like this are discussed. Yes, there will always be people who take advantage of the law. This is the case for all laws. But people seem to reserve a special sort of ire for laws that are used for the aid of women. Will there be women who abuse the dowry laws? Yes. But they are no more and no less in number than the amount of people who abuse all the other laws in the country, and to spotlight on them as though they are some kind of special criminal is unreasonable. Not to mention, not only are they spotlighted upon, but these few women who abuse the law are used as excuses to discredit other women who dare to file dowry cases who actually suffer. Even though the number of women with legitimate cases outnumbers the amount of abuse the law, people somehow always come back to square one, and this happens EVERY time this issue is discussed, even if it is a legitimate case, in order to derail the conversation at hand.

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    • Cannot agree more. We need to get this message out to all trolls who comment on TOI about misuse of domestic violence act and anti-dowry laws. It’s funny that these people don’t even know what misuse of law means – they don’t know about restrictions on freedom of speech in constitution, National security act, Armed forces special powers act – all of which have been misused. And they claim to be champions of ‘men’s rights’ without knowing what ‘rights’ stand for – without understanding that the real social hindrance behind bringing in totally gender neutral laws is society’s perceptions around men’s entitlement – that the same set of factors which contribute to victim blaming (because women provoke men right?) make it impossible for men to report sexual abuse (because men are always ‘on’ right?) . People who really claim to be ‘humanists’ and ‘men’s champions’ should probably work on addressing and removing these perceptions – that would atleast do some good – instead of trolling about imaginary misuse of laws.

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  12. “Unfortunately the biological clock of a woman ticks faster than that of a man and this is something that our legal system does not understand”
    if u are 25 as mentioned in the post, then u dont need to worry as of now..
    after few years, u can go for egg freezing technique, and beat the biological clock..

    http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/5xBdq6q0BO9z835fwYoUiL/Honey-I-froze-the-kid.html

    http://healthcare.financialexpress.com/200706/strategy04.shtml

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  13. One way to deal with this is to make a list of things in your control – truly in your control. Emotionally this list would include how you react to what people say and what goes through your head. What society says, what your family believes and say – they have their own set of emotions, values and judgements that you can’t change. It is sometimes like trying to get someone to agree to buying a pink outfit when they hate the colour pink. They will come up with all sorts of reasons, which will seem irrational to you, to justify why they can’t wear pink. Bas. They feel it. Agreed, this is not the same thing as having a notion or belief that causes hurt to other people, but that’s how innate cultural prejudice is. Add to this the fact that many of these notions have community approval, you are no longer fighting against an individual but a system. Have you considered living independently or moving to another city? With financial independence comes a certain level of control. For e.g., your interactions become more controlled since you can decide whom to meet, for how long and when. This is one way to expose yourself less to people who don’t empathize or understand your situation. Regarding all the naysayers, about how you won’t have a life after this – you most certainly will. Fear is what most people use to enforce their viewpoint; don’t buy it for a second. Follow through with what you feel is the right thing for you. I hope this forum gives you the courage to know that there are many of us at least in your virtual world, and real life, if we ever met you, who support the right of a woman to walk out of an abusive marriage. You are totally worth it.

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  14. For some people who think all dowry cases filed are “troll” or false, its not easy to file a dowry case unless you have sufficient evidence and the testimonies of atleast 3-4 people such as neighbors who might have been witness to the harassment. In a country where going to court is looked down upon, do you think people would testify unless they were more than doubly sure that the wife isnt lying?

    I understand there are legal difficulties in getting justice/respite from the court because of the antiquated laws but what about the prejudice that people have in general, that if a wife files a case she is doing it with ulterior motives like revenge or extortion. For a person who has been harassed, coming out in the public, and fighting it takes a lot of courage. Instead of getting support from counselors, lawyers, police, all she gets mostly are questions of her morality and character. Given the length of time these cases run for, even everyday life of a woman becomes unbearably painful.

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    • “For some people who think all dowry cases filed are “troll” or false, its not easy to file a dowry case unless you have sufficient evidence and the testimonies of atleast 3-4 people such as neighbors who might have been witness to the harassment.”

      Thank you so much for pointing this out. I did not know this at all, actually! And people still like to complain that women are making up all our woes for attention.

      Like

  15. I am really amused at all the people claiming that a high percentage of dowry cases are false. I simply do not understand how that could be possible because a VERY high percentage of marriages take place with dowry, most of them happily given and happily taken. It’s still a CRIME. Among my acquaintances, there are just one or two cases where there was absolutely no mention of dowry. Everyone else took or gave at least something, if only to show everyone. Crime? Yes. I don’t know anyone who was harassed for dowry. But even if there is no actual ‘harassment’, it’s still a crime according to law and the people deserve to be prosecuted.

    As for lawyers and judges, I think they are part of the system and they too give and take dowry. These days dowry is a bad word, but there are different words for it like ‘gift’, ‘streedhan’, ‘it’s only gold’, ‘paying for the entire wedding’, etc. Very few people in India actually do not give or take dowry in my experience. I believe when people claim ‘false’ dowry cases, they are actually saying they never harassed the woman for money. This is irrelevant since giving or taking of dowry is a crime even if it is done happily by both parties.

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  16. To the letter writer…I am sending you all my thoughts and prayers to get you through this difficult time. From one woman to another….you have my strength, you are stronger than you think you are, and F* the naysayers.

    Like

  17. Pingback: “He wants divorce. She wants to know what wrong she did to be treated this way, why he chose her, but repents his decision immediately after marriage.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  18. Seems the issue with lady was that husband is not willing to give divorce and hence she filed another criminal case after 1 year. That in itself is misuse of law. As far as divorce is concerned, the lady in question could make the guy’s life equally difficult by not giving divorce. Why is the symmetric situation(divorce running) both people blocked from remarrying considered bad for woman and good for man?

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