Recently I have attended one IMD panel discussion organized in Kolkata. The panellists were eminent personalities either from legal profession, education or movies and film background. Some of them were also associated with social service.
In this discussion, a retired Supreme Court judge and a former Chairman of Human Rights Commission of a state openly supported the law misuse by women stating that since all laws in India are abused there is no harm in women abusing the laws made for their protection. He openly asked the audience to suggest any one law that is not abused by anyone. The audience did not have any answer or rather some of them like me did not want to open our mouth. This judge himself was accused in a false rape case sometime back but he still made a strong case for triviality of the issue of women misusing the laws and said our constitution has this provision (under article 15(3)) that empowers the govt. to create such laws to empower women and as every law of the land is abused there is no harm in women centric laws being abused.
Further he condemned the recent Supreme Court order ( Arnesh Kumar vs State of Bihar; July 2014) and said that most of our judges are biased against women and in this case the court did not consider the women’s viewpoint with soft heart. He condemned the order and stated that most of the women in Indian villages can not even file any case and they undergo tremendous torture in their life and they tolerate all atrocities silently. He said that by reducing the arrest power of police the honourable Supreme Court had only added to the misery of millions of women.
In short, this judge presented a strong case in justification of Indian women misusing the women centric laws.
His statement clearly showed how Indian society is completely biased against men and how much hatred the Indian judiciary has for men. This judgement (Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar, July 2014) only reiterated the amendments in CrPC 41a that was passed in 2010 and also set the arrest procedure right to save thousands of innocent common men and women being arrested. There was nothing substantially new in this judgement. In fact in my opinion the Supreme Court in aforesaid judgement had failed to note the police atrocities despite the amendments in place from 2010 and punish the people responsible for not adhering to the law in place. Also Supreme Court once said in another high profile case that “Bail is the norm”. But when a common man accused in a matrimonial dispute, he needs to go till the Supreme Court to secure his bail that itself shows the failure of our legal system. In this case the lower court did not grant him bail shows how common Indians are treated differently and more harshly than even seasoned criminals.
It is no wonder to the common Indians now why Indian judges and advocates mostly do not find any issue with misuse of women centric laws. The law abiding, peace loving citizens of India now very well understand the business of legal extortion by the state where every individual is forced to be the contributor to the legal extortion racket. When the same case is filed against any person practicing law or associated with Indian judiciary they are treated differently under such laws and hence they are protected from harsh treatment by any such misuse. For example, the ex judge who advocated the misuse by women, when he was accused in a false rape case he was not arrested, his children were not illtreated, his family did not undergo any kind of social ostracizing rather he had received support from various corners and the complainant was shamed. Nobody demanded his death penalty, no media demanded his castration, any of which would have happened if a common Indian would have accused in such a case.
Even when a normal lawyer faces such charges bar council comes to his rescue. With all necessary ordinance issued by state to prevent unnecessary arrest and with lawyers being aware of them can make use of them anytime to prevent their harassment. However, a common Indian man is not empowered with such knowledge and even if they are their documents are often thrown to dustbin asking them to go to the court.
This clarifies why the people associated with legal business never find the law misuse a problem, even if the misuse is in more than two-third of cases.
Similarly our politicians too are not bothered about these laws or law misuse. Why should they be bothered when they too get such protection? We know what happened to the well known politician whose well known wife died under unnatural circumstances within seven years of their marriage? In fact he was not even arrested in that dowry death case whereas any other common Indian man would have faced years of trial and immediate jail term for at least three of his family members if not more.
When such a stark difference exists in our criminal justice system and when common Indian men are treated very differently from those in the legal business, we as common Indians don’t expect justice from this system. The system has made it clear to us that ordinary Indians are here only to be exploited and give money to the govt, machinery apart from paying their taxes. The beneficiaries like police, lawyers, judges and politicians don’t see any need to change this system.
However, what this retired judge had said in IMD function has much greater significance than what was discussed so far. By supporting the misuse, he clearly confessed that Indian justice system is open to abuse by women and there is nothing wrong in it. The article 15(3) that he spoke about did never allow women to misuse the laws. The laws are made in good faith to uphold justice and not to abuse of justice and our courts. If our constitution had created provision for our rights, it does have provision for our responsibilities as well. But even honourable SC judges forget that very often. Since they are the flag bearers of our justice system and protectors of our constitution, every time any judge makes such a statement and invites abuse of legal system and justifies the same, they trample the basic tenets of our constitution. They fail to protect the sanctity of the highest authority and thus fail the nation.
When this kind of rhetoric comes from an ex-Supreme Court judge and an ex-Chairman of a State Human Rights Commission that shows how much this system has gotten corrupt.
If Indian Supreme Court can not take cognizance of this scenario and take immediate corrective action to stop this promotion of abuse of laws and strengthen the justice system, then Supreme Court will only be considered as mere toothless observer and people will lose faith in the judiciary in totality. The need of the hour is to strengthen the punishment for law misuse. The current punishment of a meagre sum of 15,000 for perjury in court after years of legal battle is a mockery of the system itself. Unless our courts take cognizance of this abuse, we will continue to have piled up cases and no justice delivered. People will increasingly lose faith in the state and our courts will be turned into playgrounds of mischievous minds. As an institution they will lose their value, what will prevail is only mockery of our constitution.