Women And The Laws
By Ashok Priyadrshi
The Indian Constitution guarantees equal rights to both male and female Indian citizens, without discrimination of sex so as the women are brought out from the cover of neglect and injustice done to them in the past. The States are empowered to make special provisions for women looking into their physiological, biological and social economic position. Article 16 ensures equal opportunity in employment. Right to life and personal liberty is guaranteed under Article 21 and educational rights under Article 29 of the Indian Constitution.
The discriminatory personal laws are also recognized and they play a major role in the decision of disputes. Sex is a sound classification but in general there can be no discrimination on that ground. Under the fundamental duties as imposed by the Constitution it is the duty of the Indian citizens to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of the women.. To impose this duty The Indecent Representation Of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
has been enacted
The Supreme Court directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to pay a compensation of Rs.10,000 to one Nidhi, who was subjected to illegal detention on the pretext of her being a victim of abduction and rape, which never was to her knowledge.
Article 39(d) of the Constitution ensures equal pay for equal work without any discrimination and this directive principle has been brought into effect by the enactment of the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
The social laws in India have protected the right of the women to an extent that they are not exploited and deprived of their rights in comparison to males. The general talk is for a uniformed Civil Code as it may rationalize personal law of the minorities and accord justice to the women of the India in general.
No serious heed was being paid to Article 44 of the Indian Constitution as different personal laws deal with the subject differently for its followers and the government is in no mood to implement the directive of the constitution as it thinks that it will hurt the sentiments of the people.
The women suffer the consequence as many of their husbands have married again by changing their religion and have deserted them without a divorce. The Supreme Court holds that the marriage solemnized under the personal law governing the parties cannot be dissolved under the provisions of another personal law simply because the husband or the wife has changed his or her religion. Dissolution of the marriage has to be in accordance to the law and thus none of the spouse can solemnize a second marriage for the second time by changing his or her religion. The judgement further suggests that the government should think about the implementation of Article 44 of the Constitution of India.
Section 498A in the Penal Code has been added to curb the harassment and cruelty against women and repeated demand attracts the law leading to a punishment to the husband or his family making such demand. Now the dowry deaths are tried as murder and if proved punishments are accorded accordingly. The person against whom the charge is leveled as in crime against women now has the burden to prove that the crime against the women have not been committed by him. The Supreme Court holds that if the offense under section 498A is proved it may be a good ground for divorce to be granted in favour of the wife.
The Code Of Criminal Procedure empowers the police to inquire and report in cases of suicide or death involving a women within 7 years of her marriage. The report of such death can be given by any member of the family of the deceased or any person having knowledge of the crime . It is not necessary under the law that the First Information Report is given by the person who has really seen the crime. If the police doesnot accept the First Information Report , a complainant can also be filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate.
In cases of dowry death the Supreme Court holds that the passing of death sentence is not improper as persons committing such barbaric crime should be given the extremist penalty (AIR 1988 SC 1785). But after a divorce has been obtained nobody can be convicted under the dowry prohibition law.
The Family Court has also been enacted to decide cases in which women are basically involved.
Many women in India are married to Non Resident Indians or persons of Indian origins and subsequently deserted by them. The number of such cases has increased and the people are hesitant in marrying their daughters to such grooms.
The judges suggested that decree granted by the Indian Courts to be executable in foreign courts, the Union of India should think about it seriously even though it is not easy to resolve due to it being a problem of Private International Law but that to can be solved if an agreement is entered with various countries as the India laws provide for execution of foreign decrees under section 44 A of the Code Of Civil Procedure.
Today the world’s opinion is for giving equal rights to both male and female children irrespective of their sex so as the juvenile is brought out from the cover of neglect and injustice. .