June 19, 2010

NFHS – Fathers seek reform in family laws

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June 18, 2010

NFHS Rajhasthan Patrika Coverage of Nationwide Boycott of Family Courts

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Rajhasthan Patrika 17th June Bangalore Edition

English Translation of the news posted below

National Family Harmony Society is opposing the injustice happening to the father in the city due to Family Court. Society’s President P Suresh said that in case of matrimonial disputes like Divorce, the 50% custody of the children should be given o the father instead of 100% to mothers as it is now. He also said that in the family court it takes many years to dispose the cases. Instead of these family courts fast track courts should be opened so that these kind of matters should be disposed fast. While seeking divorce counselors in the family court should counsel both husband and wife about shared parenting. Society is boycotting the family courts on Friday for these demands. More than 100 husbands and fathers in the city are going to participate on this boycott. Apart from this society has made various other demands to give justice to the husbands. It is to be noted that Society is organizing this protest on All India basis in which more than 15000 people will participate.

Men take up cudgels against prolonged court procedures

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In the run-up to Father’s Day, the All India Men’s Welfare Association (AIMWA), Hyderabad, has called for a nationwide boycott of the family courts on Friday as a sign of protest against the poor performance of family courts in India.

The agitation — being organised by groups in Hyderabad, Lucknow, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore — is aimed at creating awareness of what they allege is the discrimination against fathers in custody cases.

Boycotting courts

Said P. Suresh, president, National Family Harmony Society (NFHS): “We want to boycott the courts to protest against the injustice done to fathers on a regular basis. Most divorce cases are prolonged, and judgments delivered years later.”

Speaking of his own situation, Mr. Suresh said his case, which began in 2006, hasn’t reached the cross examination stage even after four years.

“I’m allowed to see my child every alternate Saturday for two hours: this is not a meaningful relationship with your child,” he said.

Child custody

The AIMWA and the NFHS and other organisations across the country are also submitting a petition to amend the procedure by which child custody cases are dealt with in family courts and members will not pay maintenance till their demands are met.

When asked to elaborate, Mr. Suresh said: “We will pay all expenses — including school fees and books — but we won’t pay child support as this is a monetary provision that is consistently misused.”

Fast track courts

The NFHS is demanding that fast track courts be instituted to deal with custody cases, that a separate Divisional Bench be set up in the High Courts and Supreme Court to address appeals on custody matters, that the shared parenting concept be incorporated in judgments, and counsellors appointed in all child custody matters.



Why the divorce rate is on rise?

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SHOCKING STATISTICS related to divorce cases:
  • Average 20 divorces filed every day in four family courts, Bangalore;
  • 15000 cases of divorce are pending in four family courts in Bangalore.
  • In 2008, alone 5000 cases were filed.
On an average it takes 15 years for the case to be disposed. Seven years in family court then minimum four years in high court and another four years in SC.

In 2008, 7,526 cases were filed in the Mumbai family court as against 6,761 in 2007. In Delhi, nearly 9,000 cases are filed on an average annually.

Why divorce is on rise?

There are reasons galore for the rise in divorce cases. Urbanisation and financial stability of both husband and wife are a major reason for increase in divorce. Today’s empowered women are refusing to follow the traditional culture of Indian marriages. Marriage is the biggest form of displacement for any woman as she has to shift from her home (natural habitat) to her husband’s home.

Today’s financially strong women are not ready to take undue pressure on their individual existence and thus marital discords are bound to increase. Financial stability of women is a major cause of rise in divorces, who thinks they need not require a family for their survival.
Another major reason for the rift in the family is that government is making more and more women related laws which are ‘gender biased’ like Indian Penal Code 498A, Domestic Violence Act, CrPC 125, Hindu Marriage Act etc. These ‘gender biased’ laws have been made in such a way that there are plenty of loop-holes for misuse. Women at the drop of the hat are rushing to the nearest police station to file case under IPC 498A, popularly known as Dowry Harassment cases. Normal wear and tear of the life between husband and wife are being converted to ‘Dowry Harassment cases’.
Nowadays ‘empowered women’ are aware that filing false cases under IPC 498A and Domestic Violence are as easy as ordering a Pizza. The system and the laws are designed in such an inhuman, insensitive and irrational way that there is no punishment for filing false cases. Maintenance orders are being passed depending upon the earnings of the husband without looking at eligibility or who is at fault. Due to all these ‘gender biased’ laws women know that they can get heavy maintenance from husbands and they don’t try to save a marriage.
It is a universally accepted fact that every married couple has minimum wear and tear in life. Due to these gender biased laws the women often threaten the husband and his family members to file false criminal cases. For survival of any marriage three components are must and they are trust, love and affection. Once there is a threat of false criminal cases then the trust disappears and similarly the love and affection which eventually leads to divorce.
The couples do not try to work out the marriage as they are confident they can lead a life independently as both are financially stable. With stress and long working hours with little time for each other, couples drift apart and end up being separated. Today’s couples do not try to reconcile and are in a hurry to end the marriage. Marriages end in divorce because people rarely discuss their expectations in detail prior to tying the knot and are less willing to work on their marriages afterwards.
Daughter-in-law, from day one want to control her husband as she fear that he will help his sisters and brothers financially and part with his earnings. They look for quick solutions rather than resolving issues. People have divorced their spouses for trivial reasons like snoring. Earlier, the common reason for divorce was mental or physical torture but now it has more to do with incompatibility, adjustment problems, temperamental differences and intolerance. Growing levels of impatience in relationships were making couples opt for divorce.
There was news recently in the media that a woman in Mumbai was seeking divorce from her husband as they did not like her wearing chudidhar and wanted her to wear sari. So people are even seeking divorce on dressing style, food habits etc. Unnecessary interference from the parent of the daughter-in-law to control the husbands etc are causing major rift in the family.
Refusal of the wife, to stay with parents of the husband, no desire to experiment with lovemaking or unwillingness to do household chores are some of the other reasons for the rift in the family which eventually leads to separation and then divorce. Nowadays, Daughter-in-law does not want to stay with husband’s parent and keep pressurising husband to make a separate house thus leading to crack the family and eventually leading to divorce.

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