Violence rising against women for using right to choose partner

July 20th, 2012 - 11:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Incidents of violence against women for love marriages or entering into relationships are increasing in the country, a feminist legal group said Friday.

Advocating the women’s right to choice of marriage and relationships, the Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI) said that in most cases the police and the legal system stood against the women.

“Opposition from the community is expected in cases of inter-caste or inter-religious marriages. But the real problem is when the police and the lower judiciary ignore and violate basic legal and constitutional provisions,” said Seema Misra, a lawyer and a member of AALI.

The group also released a compilation of court judgments related to such cases.

“A woman has the right to enter, not to enter, remain in or exit a relationship based on her choice,” said Renu Mishra, another AALI member.

Figures compiled by the group show that in Uttar Pradesh, there were 139 cases of violence against women for exercising their right to choice in relationships. In 103 of the cases, either the woman or her partner or both were killed.

“This scenario is not unique to Uttar Pradesh but is reflective of the situation in the entire country. Last month in Delhi, a school teacher was allegedly killed by her brother and mother for exercising her right to choice,” an AALI statement said.

The group also released a handbook with analysis of the constitutional provisions and laws impacting age of consent to sexual relationships. The analysis was done by Geeta Ramaseshan, a Madras High Court advocate.

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