Women Centric Laws in India Beneficial or Detrimental
Author: Kohina Jain
We have seen from the ages that women are fighting for their respect, equality and understanding in society because women were considered weak and disregarded as compared to men. But time has changed now, with the help of global discussion about equality social, cultural, and political awareness is increasing rapidly. In India, our legislature has made several laws for protecting women. The government has taken notable steps by the legal system for preventing atrocities and discrimination against women.
Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006
Dowry Prohibition Act 1961
Domestic Violation Act 2005
Indian Divorce Act 1869
Maternity Benefit Amendment Act 2017
Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) – POSH Act 2013
Equal Remuneration Act 1976
All the above mentioned laws are made so that balance is maintained in society. Women feel secure in society. But as we see today many laws which are made for the benefit of women are misused by them by taking advantage of women-centric law for abusing men’s rights. In Indian society, there is a mindset that Man is more powerful than a woman so it is the woman who is always victim no one gives light somewhere a man is also facing humiliation by women. Sometimes women use these laws as a weapon against men. All these women-centric law women have the upper hand but in these circumstances, the sometimes innocent male has to suffer a lot his life has ruined by one wrong allegation made by women.
Problem with Women- Centric laws
In this modern era, society starts favoring women empowerment Women-centric laws are like a double-edged sword at one edge it protects women rights on the other edge its excess use is harmful to men rights. The government has made various legislation for keeping safe women in society there is nothing wrong in making such legislation until and unless it harms men rights. There is a scenario in a society where women are using these laws to their advantage in a negative manner and put the male in a disadvantageous position. If women filled false allegation against male his life will be ruined it affects not only his career but also his reputation in the society no one treat him in same as they before their perspective toward him will change. The most laws that have been misused are sec. 375, 376, 498- A of IPC, Domestic Violence Act and Dowry Prohibition Act which had been a menace to man and his family. Legislature had formulated various laws for women but not a single law favoring male.
There are cases where the male cannot bear the remarks and sarcastic comments of society they gave his life. So here the question arises whether these laws are made to protect the women who possess the right to kill innocent men. No law in the society protects men rights. For example, there are laws made to protect sexual harassment at the workplace but there no laws as such for men. Women are not always victim in society but this is not possible every time.
Dr N.G. Dastane v S Dastane[i]
Supreme Court observed that even though it is assumed that the stronger one can do physical cruelty towards the other, i.e. a husband may commit toward his wife. But mental cruelty can be caused by the husband as well as wife both.
Rajesh Sharma & others v State of Bihar[ii]
In this case, the court laid down certain directions to prevent the misuse of domestic violence under section 498-A of IPC. The court established a Family Welfare Committee that will look into cases of domestic violation for a month before making any arrest. So that no injustice would be done with the husband by arresting him in the false allegation by the wife.
Smt. Santana Banerjee vs Sachindra Nath Banerjee[iii]
In this case, the wife made false complaints to the police against his husband. But ultimately it was proved that such allegation was false and baseless.
Conclusion and Suggestion
Women- Centric laws have two faces like a coin on one side it protects from abuses to society on the other hand due to loopholes in in-laws it is harmful to men right. If the laws are properly implemented then no innocent male’s life will destroy. The legislation should be made keeping the rights of male and female in mind so that both can live happily in their life. In the modern era, women-centric laws are necessary but laws should be strict so that women cannot take advantage of these laws to satisfy their ego or for some other reason. For example in dowry cases not only the groom’s family wanted dowry bride’s family also wanted to give dowry they do not have any problem. In Dowry Prohibition Act only the groom family punished because they took dowry but the bride’s family is giving dowry which is also a crime but no laws made for this. Judiciary plays the most important role in this matter so judges have a tedious job to see that the approach of the society that the women are always considered as victims in women-centric laws but it should not affect them when they are delivering judgment.
There is a necessity to re-look at the women-centric laws which have harmful consequences on male counterpart when women use these laws for blackmailing, humiliating and ruined the career of man. The court needs to do proper inquiry before convicting the accused and police need to do proper investigation before presuming that the male is guilty. The worst consequences of these laws are a suicide of an innocent male as they are unable to bear the sarcastic comments of society. The Parliament should frame the laws for man and woman rights equally.