‘Harassed’ husbands upset with IPC clause ‘favouring’ women

August 16th, 2009 - 7:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 16 (IANS) A group of men who met here over the past two days, seeking “freedom from harassment by wives”, Sunday passed a resolution terming a clause of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as “unconstitutional” and biased towards women. They also demanded that the government allow shared parenting for divorced couples.
“We have passed a resolution and declared Section 498 (A) of the IPC as unconstitutional as it favours married women,” Virag Dhulia, a senior member of the Bangalore-based NGO SIFF, told IANS.

The Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), an NGO fighting for men’s rights and family harmony, organised the meet in which around 100 ‘harassed’ men from at least 25 NGOs representing 40,000 members participated and debated various gender ‘inequalities’ in the Indian law.

The convention demanded setting up of special family courts and a separate ministry for the welfare of children who are facing problems after the divorce of their parents.

Kumar Jahgirdar of the Bangalore-based NGO Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) said: “We will submit a memorandum to the law ministry demanding the establishment of special family courts in the country where family dispute cases should be settled within three months.”

“Under the Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Campaigning, we will impress upon the government to allow shared parenting like allowing the children to stay with their father on vacations or weekends. Even the NRIs should be allowed to meet their children whenever they visit India. There is also a need for separate ministry for child welfare.”

CRISP claims to work on furthering the rights of children to remain connected with both parents after their divorce.

Arun Kumar, a marine engineer by profession, said the children were the biggest sufferers in the family break-ups.

“The joint custody is the best outcome for children whose parents are separated. A child needs the support of both biological parents,” he said.

The other issues discussed at the convention included equal rights for men and women, and problems faced by husbands after the registration of case under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

According to data available with SIFF and CRISP, during 2008, 9,000 divorce cases were filed in Delhi, 7,500 in Mumbai and 5,000 in Bangalore. The figures were collected from family courts in the three cities.

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