Gender biased Indian Loss/Laws by Shelly Thomas

  34 (Goal: 50)

Petitioning: Supreme Court

Petitioner: Shelly started on August 22, 2015

Law, as we know it, is an ever changing, dynamic subject. Any law, if it fails to keep pace with the changing times, becomes antediluvian. Therefore, there is a need to revisit and review the present provision of the Indian Penal Code, dealing with adultery, child visitation and custody in India and make necessary changes.

Section 497 never quite aimed to secure the spiritual sanctity of marriage. This is the reason why it does not punish a man for having an affair with another man's wife with the consent of the woman’s husband, since in that case, the husband is expected to have full knowledge of the parentage of the child being born out of such mating and will not be cheated into tending to and providing for the offspring of another man.

Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, states that, ‘ Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor. There are cases where a husband and a wife entice a man to sleeping with his wife if the husband is impotent or produce children through artificial means (artificial insemination etc) in order to produce a heir to their property. In such cases, woman goes scot-free and the children born out of such relationships suffer. The biological fathers of such children are denied visitation rights making the natural father of the child a "child producing machine." If the father approaches a court for visitation, the woman or husband can misuse the biased Indian laws against the biological father. Hence, now a need to change such laws has arised.

The existing gender discriminatory penal law of adultery, against this backdrop, deserves a serious relook and revision to the effect that a person, male or female, who, being married, has sexual intercourse with a female or a male (as the case may be) not his or her spouses without the consent or connivance of such spouses be made criminally responsible. Similarly, the spouse of the errant spouse be allowed not only to seek divorce from the other life partner but also to initiate legal proceedings with a view to fixing criminal liability of the "outsider" for wrecking the marriage. The latest proposals for reform of the Fifth and the Fourteenth Law Commissions of India deserve serious and immediate attention of the legislature 18. Such changes are required to translate the contemporary "social transformation" assuring equality to women and the constitutional spirit of gender equality into a reality.

According to Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code, if the husband commits adultery with the wife of another man, he can be prosecuted for the same. What if a woman commits adultery with the husband of another woman??

The fourth point of Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code states that if a man has sex with a woman after promising marriage, he can't break up with the woman. If he does, according to the laws in India, he's a rapist. What about a woman??

If a guy under 16 years of age has consensual sex with a girl of his age, he's a rapist. According to the sixth situation listed in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, if a 16-year-old guy and girl have sex, she's been raped! What about the woman who consented to it??

If a woman is treated with physical or mental cruelty by her husband and his family, she can throw them behind bars. Well and good, but here's the catch. Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code says that the woman doesn't need to give any evidence whatsoever. Good enough, but what about the number of reported false imprisonments?? What about the woman who gives false complaints??

According to Indian law, a man serves up to 3 years jail or a fine for sexual harassment but what about a woman? According to Section 354 A of the Indian Penal Code, a man can serve up to 3 years of imprisonment for sexually harassing a woman, but there is no such law made for women.

Under the Special Marriage Act, only the wife can claim permanent alimony and maintenance. Under the Hindu Marriage Act, both the man and woman can claim permanent alimony and maintenance, but under Section 37 of the Special Marriage Act of 1954, it isn't so. Why is the Indian constitution so unfair to men and fair to women?

If the death of the woman is caused by burns or bodily injury within 7 years of marriage, it's the husband's fault. This has been stated in Section 304 B of the Indian Penal Code. Can't it just be a fire accident?

Lets all strive for a change in Indian gender biased laws and sign this petition for the equality among gender, justice to all and family harmony.


A Common Man