April 6, 2010

Shoaib Malik implicated in 498A

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fighting Legal Terror @ 10:58 am

                                                                                                       PRESS RELEASE

Subject: “Family Harmony Society” demands scrapping of Section 498(A), even as Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik gets implicated in it.

About FHS: “Family Harmony Society” [www.family-harmony.org] is a Non Governmental Organization promoting the cause of “family harmony” and “gender equality”. It is registered under “The Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960” and is based in Bangalore. “Family Harmony Society”, a men’s rights organization, creating awareness about the “Legal Terrorism” spread by misuse of marital laws like Section 498(A), Domestic Violence Act, etc. We, voices our strong concerns and objections in the matter of a case under Section 498(A) being filed against Pakistani Cricketer Shoaib Malik.

Marriage disputes before, during and after marriage are civil disputes and they have to be tried under a civil court. It has become a regular habit for women and their families to invoke section 498(A) for every petty dispute in marriage.  It is dangerous if every marriage or relationship dispute is considered a crime by the Government and it sends police to interrogate, counsel or settle these marital disputes. “What crime did Shoaib Malik commit that he is victimized in this way?” ask FHS activists.  Whether the claims by Ayesha Siddiqui are false or true, that is up to a family court or civil court to decide and give a judgment.

“Where do police come into picture?”

“Is Shoaib Malik posing a threat to anyone?”

“What Ayesha was doing till the marriage of Sania and Shoaib was announced?

Activists of the FHS have asked these above uncomfortable questions to Government and police.

The Hyderabad Police has done a grave mistake by accepting this complaint against Shoaib Malik, taking further action on it and retaining his passport. Instead, they should have simply redirected Ayesha’s family to the family court as it is a civil dispute. Either it is a case of divorce or null and void marriage. But by filing Section 498(A) against the cricketer, the police had clearly demonstrated lack of knowledge of a law 27 years old. Police is not the correct authority to interfere, investigate or counsel a family dispute. For this purpose “family courts” have been set up who should handle such cases. Government stops considering all marriage disputes as crime against women, at a time when the separation and divorce rates have risen quickly almost 7% from 1% a decade back.

The Government must scrap section 498(A) of IPC on April 16th as soon as parliament meets for Budget session. Section 498(A) is the most misused section of Indian Penal Code and there will be social unrest unless legal terrorism under this law stops. In 2008, more than 81,000 cases of 498(A) were registered which resulted in arrest of 37369 women and 127492 men. This law presumes the accused to be guilty till proven innocent.


Scrapping 498(A) will not harm women because real victims of dowry harassment or cruelty can use the Dowry Prohibition act and Domestic violence act to seek protection and justice. Section 498(A) is redundant today and it has done more damage to society than helping anyone.

So far as Shoaib Malik is concerned, the section 498(A) against him has to be dropped immediately and his passport should be returned to him. Indian Supreme court has warned against legal terrorism due to misuse of this law. Even president of India warned against its misuse. This law considers the accused to be guilty till proven innocent and the burden of proving oneself innocent lies with the accused.

If Government does not send a clear message in the case involving Shoaib Malik, then soon there will be enough women in India, who will claim that they have secretly married movie actors, cricketers and file cases of cruelty against them and then extort money. By not scrapping 498(A) IPC, Government is facilitating extortion, harassment and blackmail of innocent people. Government must scrap section 498(A) of IPC to save Indian families from breaking and to avoid harassment to innocent citizens.  

For more information please contact:

P Suresh, President, 9880141531                                                M Mahesh, General Secretary, 9845448472

Family Harmony Society                                                                                                      Family Harmony Society


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