International Conference on Rule of Law and Human Rights abuses discussed rising trends of Legal terrorism in India and its causes as well as impact on the Indian Judicial System. Pratibha Patil was the guest of honour at the conference.
THE ALL India Bar Association and International and Indian Council of Jurists organized a two-day International Conference of Jurists on Rule of Law and Human Rights Abuses at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on from November 24 – 25 2007.
Many legal and social organisations were also present on the occasion. Members of Save Indian Family Foundation (www.savefamily.org, an NGO that works for the growing voice being raised in social and legal circles in India against legal terrorism) tried to create about gross misuse of gender biased laws. Legal terrorism is being perpetuated by increasing numbers of cases of mischievously false dowry abuse complaints across the country. Such cases are flooding and crippling the Indian Judicial System. The SIFF activists and experts were present at the venue to create awareness and plead for necessary actions from high-ranked lawyers and judicial officers.
When the activists raised issues and distributed leaflets in the conference it showed its impact even on some high-ranking lawyers and judicial officers. Rajni Anand, a senior advocate and an officer with mediation cell in Tishazari Court, said: “Some women make exorbitant money demands from their separated husbands and put extra pressure on his mothers, sisters and woman relatives just to create pressure on him to meet the demand for the money.”
Sandeep Bhartiya of SIFF said that the laws encourage the habit of making extortionist demands from hapless husbands. He presumed that more than 50 per cent of the cases in courts were related to marriage failures and subsequent dowry allegations. Such cases have crippled the judicial system because the function of judiciary has been reeled with huge backlog of such cases. Even the Supreme Court has termed the huge backlog of such cases as Legal terrorism. There is need to put an end to this menace soon.
Niladri Das said in the conference that an RTI application revealed that in every four minutes a male was falsely accused on 498a. In every 2.5 hours, a female and elderly person was falsely accused of 498a. Such false cases under 498a has wrapped up more than thousands real stories related with human rights abuse of elder people, sick and even minor children just in the name of gender-bias laws.
Some eminent lawyers also said that there was need to take necessary steps to correct the imbalance to save the Indian judicial system. Jagdeep Vats, secretary of the New Delhi Bar Association, said thatthere was nothing like equity and rule of law in gender laws at present in India. The bar association has taken a serious note to the alarming trend of converting the failed marriage as a harassment tool against husband and his mother, sisters and other relatives. He further said that some senior lawyers were working actively to correct the imbalance.
According to him, if a male person has any grievance or complaint against his wife, there is no law at present to support him for filing his complaint. His complain receives a lesser importance against the complaint filed by his wife against him. This is a huge imbalance in the society and the bar association has already started working towards restoring balance in gender laws existing in India.
There is a need to introduce some effective laws to answer the tears of hapless mothers and relatives of the male victim of failed marriages. The groom side, most of the times, has been at receiving end in such cases because of one-sided laws that granted absolute power of arrest on just the basis of a verbal or written complaint against the accused.
The President of India Pratibha Patil was the Guest of Honour in the conference that was also attended by Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, many other prominent members form Judiciary and lawyers from Indian and International Bar Associations.
The eminent lawyers and judicial officers discussed various topics such as human rights in 21st century, ethics and the legal profession, terrorism threat to global prosperity and global justice, legal aid and its implementation during the two days and 20 working sessions at the conference.