‘Harassed’ Kerala men unite against women’s panel
25 July 2011
TRIVANDRUM — Harassed husbands in Kerala have urged the government to scrap the Women’s Commission and establish a Family Commission in its place to ensure fair hearing to men who are tortured by women.
The demand was made at seminar organised by ‘Janamithram Janakeeya Neethi Vedi’ (JJNV), an association of harassed husbands, in the state’s northern city of Calicut on Sunday to formulate strategies to protect the men’s rights.
The speakers at the seminar said that the Women’s Commission was being misused by women for various purposes, including extraction money from men. It seldom tries to verify the genuineness of complaints filed by women.
The speakers also came down heavily on the family courts, saying that it was biased against men. They listen only to the women in most cases. This, the speakers, said was leading to wrong convictions.
They said a large number of advocates were taking advantage of this and dragging men to the court and subsequently pushing them into jails in connivance with their women clients. The seminar demanded removal of advocates from the family courts.
Abdul Nasser, state secretary of Vedi, told Khaleej Times that the family courts and the Women’s Commission were denying justice to men mostly in cases related to dowry. They are blindly supporting the women, who take advantage of the Section 498A of the Anti Dowry Act.
In fact, the Vedi was formed by Janamithram Ibrahim, a retired teacher who was jailed, for his failure to pay the alimony ordered by the court under the Section. He said he had seen many like him in the Kannur jail, where he spent 16 months.
Ibrahim said most of them were ordered to pay the alimony they could not afford. The judgements in these cases were based on wrong statements given by women regarding the income of the opposite party.
The Vedi is in the process of filing a Public Interest Litigation in the Supreme Court against those who torment men by misusing laws intended to protecting women. He said a person, thus convicted by the family court committed suicide in Kannur Central jail in 2008.
Ibrahim said the injustice meted out by the court had turned many mental patients. There are many people who have lost their mental stability and are suffering from depression, he said adding that the courts were also blind to mother-in-laws who are framed and dragged into a case. Several such women are members of the Vedi. A 96-year-old woman, who was pushed out of her house by her daughter-in-law after slapping a case against her, also attended Sunday’s seminar.
The Vedi has been holding conferences of abused men all over Kerala since it came into being last year to mobilise public opinion against the denial of justice to men. The seminar at Calicut was organised as part of the northern region conference.
They have also decided to launch an agitation against the misuse of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act by individuals and women’s organisations. The agitation will target those women who have filed bogus cases against men and their lawyers.