Harassment or greed? The Misuse of the laws

In today’s world where crime against women has been surging right from domestic violence to dowry to
physical and mental harassment, our government is doing all it can to punish these pathetic people – if
you can call them people – who treat women like doormats. These steps taken by the government has
immensely helped bring down crime against women to a certain extent and continues to do so. There
are different acts passed by the government of India in order to protect and preserve women’s rights in
this country. The most popular ones are The Dowry prohibition Act – section 498A of the Indian Penal
Code – introduced in the year 1983, protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and also,
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.
While these acts strive to improve the lives of the women and succeed too, some women exploit these
acts to a great extent.

There have been many cases over the years in which husbands and their families
have been falsely accused of these crimes against the wife and convicted without having any fault. The
nation is so engrossed in protecting the women and striving to provide them equal rights as men, it
sometimes overrules the rights of the men and automatically assumes the man to be the culprit. It
becomes the case of her words against his. And she wins. The motive behind this exploitation is plain
greed. After the husband and/or his family are arrested, the wife can demand anything from them and
the husband has to bow down to her demands by compulsion or he will have to be confined within the
four walls of prison for who knows how long.

Because of the wrong doings of a few  members of the fair sex population, the rest of them are also
tainted. It is sad as well as unacceptable to do something like that. In some cases grandparents of the
husband who are barely able to walk properly are even arrested and treated as criminals WITHOUT any
fault. There are numerous cases online regarding this and some of the stories are indeed heart breaking.
For example, forty six year old Alam, (name changed) has been driven out of his home town because he
was falsely accused in a dowry case and also one of domestic violence. He would love to go back to his
town but he is forced to live in a foreign state for 8 years now since he is wanted in his hometown for
crimes he didn’t commit.

According to the provisional data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a   total number of
16,351, 4,204 and 531 cases have been registered under the Protection of Women Against Domestic
Violence Act, 2005 in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Out of 90,000 to one lakh cases
investigated every year, nearly 10,000 complaints of dowry harassment turn out to be false.
Thankfully the government is now taking steps to control this disastrous epidemic. From now on, the
husband and the family will not be arrested immediately after the complaint. There will be a proper
investigation first and then the necessary steps will be taken. This will surely bring down the
effectiveness of the Act for the women who actually need this but in order to maintain the equality
among men and women – in this case where men are being oppressed – this is extremely important.
Being a woman, I totally support the acts that were introduced in favor of the women but this should
not mean that women are at liberty to manipulate the laws according to their greed and personal
interests. Women equality has been over hyped to such an extent that people almost forgot the rights
of men. Both the genders should be viewed as people not as men – the oppressor – and women – the
oppressed- always.

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