Lucknow court throws out false domestic violence case after 8 years, calls allegations false and unbelievable.

A court in Lucknow in case of Preeti Goswami/Giri vs Neeraj Goswami and others has dismissed a domestic violence case holding allegations made by wife as either unbelievable or concocted. It has rejected the plea for maintenance by the wife as well. Thread baring every allegation put forth by the wife, it cites reasons why they don’t withstand scrutiny of the court. The decision comes 8 years after the case was filed.

SALIENT FEATURES OF THE ORDER

Wife files domestic violence case on husband, his old parents, uncle aunt and brother who lives abroad. Court takes into account that from evidence produced by the husband, it is the wife who actually inflicted violence on his family members. Other accused i.e uncle aunt never stayed with the couple ever and live in a far off city. Brother of husband stays abroad and had only attended the wedding after which he joined his job back abroad.

She claimed her father spent 14 Lacs in the wedding and gave dowry beyond their means. Court questioned her claim on the grounds that her father held a very small rank in police and spending such a huge amount on wedding couldn’t be possible. Moreover no evidence was put forth to establish this claim.

Wife claimed her in-laws tried to burn her by puring hot kerosene on her within few months of marriage demanding dowry. The court refused to believe this claim as no complaint was ever made in this regard by her in any police station. Moreover she continued to stay with the husband and his family for a long time after this alleged incident and also conceived for the second time despite this alleged cruelty. It also asked as to when the woman’s own sister was staying in the same city, why wasn’t any complaint made to her or a police complaint filed by her in case she got to know about it.

Wife claimed her family gave 3Lacs to husband’s family during wedding. Husband proved with evidence that out of the said amount, maximum was spent on purchasing things for the woman herself as requested by her family. So the amount was given to make purchases for the woman only and not as dowry.

Wife claimed that the husband and his family beat her up , forced her for abortion, after which she went to the hospital and her sister paid the bills for the same. Husband proved with evidences that the bill was paid by him and the instance as cited by her was false and malicious.

Wife demanded maintenance from the husband. Court rejected the same saying she is a well qualified lady who can earn and her claim for maintenance isn’t justified.

The court notes the fact that it is infact the wife who was cruel to the husband and his family. She had beaten up her mother in law , a complaint of which was also filed by the husband’s family.

Court threadbares every single allegation made by the wife and how it is either unbelievable or false and malicious in entirety. Finds the case to be dismissed completely in light of facts of the matter.

Now the reality put forth by husband:

The alliance was done through a matrimonial site where the couple mutually decided to get married. From the beginning, woman refused to take care of house responsibilities at all saying she is an educated, working professional and not made to do such things. Her first pregnancy was aborted by her own will and she went to a hospital with her sister and got the child aborted. In influence of her father who was in police, the woman used to threaten the husband’s family of implicating them in false cases and tortured them mentally. She pressurized the family to give 5-6 Lacs to her brother and accommodation in gurgaon for starting a business but when husband refused to do so, she fought with the entire family and left the matrimonial home and never returned after that.

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IMG-20180428-WA0010IMG-20180428-WA0011IMG-20180428-WA0009Editors Note: I, Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj was also impacted by the wrong conduct and false complainant  mentioned in this blog. Just because I was in touch with this family and asked them to take action on her wrong doing as well, she tried to implicate me in a frivolous criminal complaint. Police never pursued the case against me because they understood it was false and vexatious. A link to my story related to this case :  https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1706412826069137&id=812991898744572

Disclaimer: This is not exact word to word translation of court orders but a gist of the highlights of the case. Other litigations among the litigations are still pending in the court and this blog doesn’t intend to influence those as at all.

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Martyrs of Marriage – THROUGH IMAGES

 

“QUOTES”

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FILM STILLS

 

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“WORKING STILLS”

 

Lawyer meeting Jhansi

Dilapidated courts

Reached Gorakhpur

When I reached Gorakhpur

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Meerut…The Beginnings

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Frame setting….Exposure checks

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Multiple times when I broke down

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Bangalore with Shafat Bhai

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Gulping the reality down

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Candle light march for Manoj Kumar

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Avadhesh Yadav’s home…The champ

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With the most respectable Justice Dhingra

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Train Journeys….

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Wearing the Work

Shooting

Sound Recordist sometimes

 

WATCH THE FULL DOCUMENTARY HERE: http://www.vimeo.com/ondemand/martyrsofmarriage

Series of assaults, false cases, threats, torture by wife, blind eye of system & suicide – The Story of Arvind Bharti

He left physiotherapy to pursue law when he understood that justice in India is meant only for women and until he knows the law, he can never rescue himself. Luckily he did rescue himself from a false dowry case when he was discharged from the fabricated case his wife filed on him. Little did he know that she will never let him be.

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PS: We are doing a peace march from Arvind Bhartis home, C5/17, Yamuna Vihar to Bhajan pura police station on 23rd December, Saturday 4pm onwards. Call 9891122555 – Nitin Bharti for any query. Join if you can.

Arvind Bharti, a young lawyer from Delhi committed suicide on 15th December 2017 by jumping on rail tracks, chopped by train who was as blind and deaf to his sight as the law and police enforcement of India is for a man. These are not my words but his own that he wrote in several suicide notes he left detailing his harassment over years by his wife and in-laws even after he got divorced from her. He planned everything. Conviction to end his life arose from series of atrocities committed upon him by his wife. First a false dowry case, then several Lacs to give him a divorce, then keeping him hostage naked for four days, then alleging rape on him , then beating him up wherever she saw him, then getting him thrown out of the job wherever he went, then ensuring that he never gets married again by ruining his alliance, then telling him that his only option was to commit suicide.

He DID. Because she used to tell him that no one’s gonna listen to him. That the law is handicap in front of her and he has no choice because she won’t let him live.

He wrote how system, law, police were her puppets and he of theirs and how ending his life was the only way to come out of those clutches.

It’s been seven days since Arvind died and not even an FIR has been registered so far. He was right when he wrote that even his death won’t change much. Apart from some hindi newspapers, no other media has covered his case. No debates. No furore. No prime time shouting.

If you’re reading this and wish to get him justice, send his suicide note to Prime Minister Modi and seek an answer. Tag PMO on Twitter and demand an action. Ask our law minister if he has answer for this student of law. Ask everyone a question – IS THE LAW AND JUSTICE OF THIS COUNTRY ONLY MEANT FOR WOMEN?

Read his suicide note here:

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Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj

Independent Journalist & Documentary Filmmaker

Twitter : @DeepikaBhardwaj

http://www.martyrsofmarriage.com

TESTIMONIALS….

TRAILER:

The most rewarding experience for a filmmaker is a good feedback from his/her film’s audience. This project has taken blood, sweat and my efforts of four years to complete. I would love to hear how did you like the film. Positive/Negative/Constructive – any comments are welcome. If you have seen #MartyrsofMarriage at any of our public screening locations , please do share with us your review and we would love to share them with the world.

Please mention your Name, your designation, where you saw the film, email/phone if possible and comments on the film.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU. LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR RESPONSE.

Warm Regards

Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj

Producer & Director – Martyrs of Marriage

http://www.MartyrsofMarriage.com

Martyrs of Marriage – PRESS NOTE

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THE FILM

Documentary film on misuse of section 498A of Indian Penal Code, also known as anti dowry law in India.

SHORT SYNOPSIS

Martyrs of Marriage is a documentary film that documents the injustice that has been perpetrated on people because of misuse of section 498A of Indian Penal Code commonly known as the Anti Dowry law in India. A feature length, first person account of those who have suffered at the hands of abuse of this provision, the film delves deep into the problem, the reasons behind it and the repercussions of the same. The film intends to wake up the society to the fact that MEN can be victims too in marital relationships and that the laws that have been made for protection of women have been and are being misused to harass men, women and their families too.

LONG SYNOPSIS

 “Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere”

Martin Luther King Jr

In Criminal Law, Blackstone formulation principle states “It is better that ten guilty persons escape rather than one innocent suffer.” It’s a principle followed under criminal jurisprudence the world over.

However, in India – a law that has been in place for three decades has been decried by many as an instrument of oppression, injustice and a reason for suffering of lacs of innocents in an endeavour to punish the guilty. Brought on the statute in 1983 to protect married women from dowry related violence within marital homes, section 498A of Indian Penal Code, also known as the anti dowry law has often been called as the most abused provision in the Indian jurisprudence. This abuse has been documented by the highest courts in India time and again through several judgments. In 2005, Supreme Court of India used the term “Legal Terrorism” to describe misuse of this law.

Martyrs of Marriage is a documentary film that documents various nuances of misuse of IPC 498A or the anti dowry law in India and the injustice it has perpetrated on several lives.

A feature length, first person account of those who have suffered at the hands of abuse of this provision, the film delves deep into the problem, the reasons behind it and the repercussions of the same. From why the law was brought in the first place to several suicides as a result of the abuse of the provision, this story that’s never been told before highlights plight of men and women who have suffered, suffering and those who have succumbed because of false allegations. No law intends to do Injustice to people. IPC 498A, however, has evidently become a tool and a weapon for harassment and extortion – a fact less stated but well known.

Martyrs of Marriage intends to inform and educate people about this issue and seeks intervention of lawmakers to save lives of many innocents.

The film interweaves personal stories of men and women who have faced trial or are undergoing trial under 498A on wrong allegations along with experiences of Judges, Advocates, Court Mediators, Detectives and Men’s Rights Activists with the abuse of this provision. It goes in detail of what happens, why it happens, how it happens and what the abuse of this provision is doing to lives of people. Several court observations on the issue make a part of the film to give the audience a perspective on the extent of the problem. The documentary presents data related to the law from 1998 till 2014 and raises some pertinent questions arising out of it after in-depth analysis of the same. Audio and Video evidences shared by victims have been used in the film to expose the proportion of this menace and the legal tactics used by those who have made the law a business.  Late Syed Ahmed Makhdoom, Late Manoj Kumar and Late Avadhesh Yadav give a face to the term “Martyrs of Marriage” as their families narrate the ordeals that they faced because of the most unexpected battle of their life called Marriage.

LOCATIONS

Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Jhansi, Gurgaon, Noida

FEATURING

Ashwani Kumar – Former Minister of Law & Justice, India
Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra – Retired Judge, Delhi High Court
Mamta Sharma – Former Chairperson, National Commission for Women
Madhu Kishwar – Professor – ICSSR & Founder – Manushi
Mrunalini Deshmukh – Senior Advocate, Mumbai High Court
Alok Mittal – Former Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon
Rashmi Bhushan – Senior Advocate & Mediator, District Court, Gurgaon
Swarup Sarkar – Men’s Rights Activist & Founder, Save Family Foundation
Amit Lakhani – Men’s Rights Activist, Save Indian Family Movement
Ranjana Kumari – Women’s Rights Activist & Director, Center for Social Research, New Delhi
Naman Jain – Managing Director, Sleuth Detectives
K K Bhati – Advocate, Noida
Devdutt Singh – Advocate, Noida
Sanjay Gupta – Advocate, Meerut
Satish Gupta – Advocate, Gurgaon
Victims of misuse of IPC 498A, families of men who committed suicide because of the harassment

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

It was in mid 2012 that I decided to make Martyrs of Marriage. There are moments that alter the course of your entire life. Being falsely accused of a crime I or my family had not done was one such moment for me.  When I got to know how easy it is to accuse someone of crime of dowry harassment in India, how easy it is to misuse section 498A of Indian Penal Code and how easy it is for a woman to destroy an entire family by false allegations, I decided to speak up against it. When I read stories of many who gave up life because of this abuse, I decided to make Martyrs of Marriage.

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Marriage is considered a sacred institution in India. This perspective stands true for most Indians until they visit Courts where this institution can be seen falling apart every single day. The bitterness, the lies, the power games, the helplessness, the cries for innocence can make you numb. I witnessed all of this and wanted to share this story with the world. For eons, we have been told stories of how women suffer. I saw the other side of the same coin – suffering of men in legal battle of marriage – and this documentary was born. I wanted to tell a story that most hesitate to hear or even if they hear, hesitate to believe.

Martyrs of Marriage is my first documentary feature and hence it took me several years to do justice to a film like this. When I started, I only wanted to tell a story. During the journey, I became an activist and a voice for those who weren’t heard because of their gender. I myself did not realize when I became an activist from a filmmaker but today, I am glad I decided to make this film. It is just not a film but life of those who have lived a harrowing time because of injustice perpetrated by the state on them in name of justice to a particular gender. It is story of those who could not take it anymore and decided to end it all.

The film is not an investigative piece but an extremely emotional story that raises a lot of pertinent questions on the way gender justice is being delivered in the country today. The film is a question on the efficacy of laws that have been made to protect one gender, the loopholes and abuse of the same with the help of the state. The film is a question on the psyche of those who think a man can never be a victim.

I am aware of the current social and political atmosphere around gender issues. I am aware of how politically incorrect this subject is. I am aware how the state is obligated by the constitution to protect women from gender based violence.  But I am also aware that that obligation was never intended to come at the cost of lives of innocents. If it is happening, it needs to be condemned and spoken against. Martyrs of Marriage is a result of that NEED.

I hope everyone who watches this film, sees it from the eyes of NEED for a balanced society and not a biased society since gender equality means gender equality and it includes both female and male!

DIRECTOR’S BIO

Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj is an Independent Journalist and a Documentary Filmmaker from India. Her first short documentary Gramin Dak Sevak based on employment challenges of rural postal employees was Jeevika All Asia Livelihood Film Festival 2009, student film winner. Her second short documentary Youth Count focussed on youth and its attitude towards voting and elections.  She has also worked on documentary projects for United Nations Environmental Program, USAID, Counterpart International, Sarthak covering issues related to women, people with disabilities and environment. Martyrs of Marriage is her first independent documentary feature which she has researched, scripted, produced and directed on her own.

While making the film, Deepika has written and spoken extensively on gender biased laws in India and impact of their misuse on people through platforms like TEDx and others.

 A software engineer turned Journalist, she was one of the ten media professionals selected from around the world for ‘Future Media Leaders Course’ conducted by Thomson Foundation, UK in 2010. A strong believer in documentaries as a powerful medium of communication, she draws her inspiration from Late Mr. Brent Hurd, her documentary professor at Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media.

She can be reached via: deepikanarayan@gmail.com  | Facebook | Twitter

TEDxTalks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_2gl7lz25E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSRTZ_q4RX8

 

SCREENINGS SO FAR

Public screenings of Martyrs of Marriage started on October 22, 2016 from New Delhi. Since then the film has been screened in several cities in India and abroad too including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Pune, Raipur, Bhilai, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Gurgaon, Kaithal in India; Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast in Australia and Indian Consulate, Dubai. Martyrs of Marriage has also been screened for Magistrates and Police Officers at Tamilnadu State Judicial Academy , Madurai and Maharashtra State Judicial Academy. The film has received standing ovations and an overwhelming response everywhere.

 

POSTER & STILLS

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WATCH THE FULL DOCUMENTARY HERE: http://www.vimeo.com/ondemand/martyrsofmarriage

Peaceful procession for Dr. Vimal Bharti in Dharamshala on November 16

Dr Vimal Bharti committed suicide blaming his wife and in-laws for the extreme step.

A peaceful procession has been planned by family, friends and relatives of late Dr. Vimal Bharti on November 16, 2016 in Dharamshala to demand fair justice in his suicide case. Vimal hanged himself inside the hospital where he was working on October 16 , leaving behind a five page long suicide note detailing how he was harassed and mentally tortured by his wife and in-laws forcing him to take this drastic step. The procession will begin at 11 am from SP Office from where people will go to the Court Road.

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Dr. Vimal Bharti, fondly remembered by his colleagues and friends as a jovial, friendly and always helpful person, was serving as Dental specialist at PHC Panchrukhi. He got married in March 2014 and is stated to have had issues in his marital life right from the beginning. His father says, “She first separated our son from us and then separated him from his life as well. We limited our interactions with them thinking that it may help them lead a smooth married life but we did not know that his wife and her family would drive him to suicide.”

A case of abetment of suicide has been registered against Vimal’s wife, mother in law, father in law and sister in law. However, police is yet to make any arrests in the case of any of the accused, because of which many people are carrying out the procession to seek justice for Vimal. The police have been dilly dallying the case saying they are yet to match the handwriting of the suicide note and Vimal’s original handwriting. The family has claimed that since the girl side has very high contacts in the police and also judiciary, no action has been taken on their complaint for so many days. His father rues “there have been two more cases of suicide by men (one of them a soldier) because of exactly the same reasons as that of my son, few days around his death. They were also alienated from their children and harassed by their wives. Police has nabbed the culprits in those cases but in our case, no action has been taken so far. I seek support from people to get justice for my son.”

Few excerpts from Dr. Vimal’s suicide note….

My wife started behaving strangely from the beginning of the marriage itself. She used to get angry and leave home anytime, sometimes in the nights also. I used to go and beg her to come back inside home. She used to tell me that she was engrossed in meditation of her Guruji and did not want to get married. Her parents married her as asked by her Guruji. I used to tell about her behaviour to her parents and her sister also but they never listened to me. After few months of our marriage she got pregnant and I thought everything may become okay once the kid comes. But nothing changed even after that. Within few days of the child being born she became even more abusive towards me. She beat me up couple of times during our fights. Once when we went to her place and her sister tried to advice her, she picked up a knife and tried to slit her hand. She abused my parents all the time. They used to come earlier to see their grandchild sometimes, but after seeing her behaviour, they also stopped coming at my home. She used to accuse my parents of doing wrong things with their own grandchild. I wonder who someone can accuse grandparents of a small child like that. Her superstitions, her insecurity became a threat for my family. She is deeply involved in superstitious activities and wants to involve our daughter also into that. She revers some guru who is no more alive. But she still keeps on chanting about him all the time. She says that the Guru talks to her. I don’t know how can a dead man talk to a person? What kind of thought process is that? She keeps threatening me that she will get me and my parents behind bars. Who threatens like that? I felt worse when she said that the baby is not mine but Guruji’s. That it is the guruji who has given the child. If it is guruji who has given the child, then why wasn’t the child born before marriage? Her family members knew about this condition of hers. Still they married her with me and destroyed me and my family. She has traumatized me mentally to a point where I just cannot take it anymore.  I fear for my daughter. No one can live with a person with such psychic behaviour ever. I am afraid she will turn by daughter also as same. There is so much mental pressure every day. Her parents have played foul with me. They knew she is like this. They thought they would marry her anyways, whether it works or not will be the in-laws tension then. Only I know how I have lived this mental trauma since my marriage. I am tired of listening to her taunts and hence decided to end my life to find some peace. Every day I have to attend so many patients in the OPD. When I come back home in the evening, she creates hell for me. She had made my life hell. She says I use my daughter. How can a mother talk like that? This lady and her family members have tortured me so much that I see no other option but to end my life. I just don’t know what I will do to myself. Her behavior, superstitious beliefs, quarreling nature and mental torture she inflicts on me has made it impossible for me to live with this woman. Please listen to the recordings I have done to understand what I was going through. Please save my daughter from this torture. No normal person can bear this kind of mental torture. Please save my daughter. Please save my daughter. I request my colleagues, media and society to help my family and save my child. I hope the law punishes this woman and her family so that no other person has to commit suicide like this.

If you wish to attend the procession, please get in touch with family on this number – 09816005524. Entire suicide note has not been reproduced here because of the sensitivity of the details mentioned by Dr. Vimal.

Editor’s Note: It is sad that Police takes an action in these cases on the basis of gender of the person who has died. If it was a woman who had left such a long note against her in-laws, they would have been immediately arrested and interrogated for torturing the woman. However, when a man commits suicide, as seen in several cases of such nature, police is least interested in investigating the case or taking any action. We urge people to join the family and support them in seeking fair investigation and action in this case. If you wish to share any similar unfortunate incident with us, write to martyrsofmarriage@gmail.com

Watch the trailer of  Martyrs of Marriage – a documentary film on misuse of IPC 498A here: http://www.martyrsofmarriage.com

Disclaimer: The article doesn’t hold anyone guilty of the crime as accused. It states the facts of the case as they have happened post Dr Vimal’s suicide.

A 498A Survivor : Filing divorce for Men in India is not only dangerous but outright toxic!!

His wife filed a criminal case on him and his elder sisters only because he sought divorce because of her unreasonable demands. He was incarcerated for 10 days because of this alleged crime. He lost his job, career and peace. But he did not relent. He fought and he won. Read the story of another man falsely accused under 498A, whose life changed forever due to law abuse. I have not mentioned the person’s name as it might affect his pending litigation adversely.

1) Share with us your case in brief. Like when did you get married, why did things fall out and reason for 498A.

I got married in February 20**. It was an arranged marriage. They responded to our advertisement in newspaper seeking a suitable match for me. My native place is located at suburban ******.  My wife’s paternal house is located around 18 kms from my native place. I had been staying out of my state for last 15 years.  Before marriage, I made it clear to my (would be) wife that I would remain outside my state till I take retirement from service. Simultaneously, I also requested for her passport to be made as I explained to her that during the course of my service, we may also relocate outside India. I also shared my plan that post retirement, I am definitely going to come back to my native and stay there. She did not object and was in complete agreement, throughout. We got married and after spending six days at my native, we relocated to *****, where I was posted at the point of time. We went for honeymoon and came back. Things were good till she started insisting that I should relocate to our native, close to her paternal house.

I was shocked when she said that her father has told her that after marriage husband listens to her wife and it would be easy for her to force me to relocate as per her wish. I did not agree to her proposal for obvious reasons as it did not suit my career plans. More so, I felt cheated as we frankly discussed everything before marriage and she did not object at that time. This relocation became a major point of disagreement and finally culminated into issues that lead her to file the case u/s 498a & 406 with false allegations against me and my married elder sisters.

2) Your case involves unreasonable demands by your wife. Please elaborate on that and what did you suffer as a consequence? Was there abuse and violence involved when you disagreed with her or did not bow down to her demands?

In the year 20**, the organization I was working for at that time, nominated me to work from their US office. They processed my work permit (H1 Visa) and I was supposed to relocate with my wife next year. I shared the same info with my wife. She agreed but put forward her unreasonable demand that I need to take my parents-in-law along with us. I tried to reason with her that technically it is not feasible at that point of time. However, she was adamant that either I should take my parents-in-law along with us or I should give up this opportunity. She further insisted that she is not ready to stay with me at place of my posting at that time as well if her parents don’t stay with us otherwise I must relocate to her paternal house. She was pregnant at that time and unilaterally declared that I and my family members would not be allowed to see the baby till I agree to her demands.  Her parents in concurrence with her warned me that there would be legal consequences as I am spoiling their daughter’s life and my sisters’ married life shall not be spared too.

Prospect of rewarding career opportunity being vanquished in bud before it could have blossomed, imminent threat of criminal cases on self & married elder sisters that could put their family life into complete disarray and ultimate deprivation in not being allowed to see own child, made me suffer severe mental agony which is inexpressible by words.

3) Who all were implicated in your cases and what were the main allegations?

My elder sisters and I were implicated in the 498a/406 case. Both of my elder sisters were married prior to our own marriage and were settled at their matrimonial home at different cities. The allegations were like this – My elder sisters used to advise me over phone, to commit physical and mental torture on my wife and I used do such torture on her. I used to keep her confined in a room. I did not take proper care of her during pregnancy. I did not provide her with food and medicines and I did torture on her by taking her for checkup with doctor, multiple times.  I used to force her do all domestic works. I did not allow her to talk to her parents over the phone. I throw water on bed and forced her to leave the bedroom.

4) Did you have to go to Jail? How did that impact you as a person?

Yes, I was taken in judicial custody. I spent 10 days in custody. It is difficult to gauge the impact though I can say for sure that something inside me changed for ever. I would not be able to get over the ignominy and social stigma of being in jail for rest of my life. My reputation, reputation of my family name got ruined.

5) Please share the absolutely bizarre things that happened in your case – any allegation or lies beyond expression…

My wife alleged that my sisters advised me to force her to go for regular medical check-up by different physicians during the period of her pregnancy and this was nothing but torture for her. Regular Medical check-up during pregnancy is normal and advised by Doctors. However, my wife alleged such check-up as torture and cruelty on her as contemplated under section 498A of the IPC. I filed for divorce from her and she alleged that such divorce petition was mental cruelty on her as contemplated under section 498A of the IPC. The right to marry or being aggrieved pray for dissolution of marriage is borne out of civil rights and cannot be construed as criminal offence but still I was charged and tried.

6) What’s your opinion on a husband filing for divorce in India? Do you think it’s highly dangerous? Does he have any options?

Arindam AcquittalA husband can always file for divorce but under present legal scenario in India, he needs to realize that by doing so he is opening the flood gates of legalized harassment and extortion on him and his family members. On a counter blast he shall receive all kinds of cases, the judiciary is going to look down upon him and penalize him at every step and his woes are not going to end there. He will be alienated from his child. He may end up losing is job and further get penalized for his inability to fulfill exorbitant demands of maintenance. Filing divorce, for Men in India is not only dangerous but outright toxic. And most importantly, there is nothing like a contested divorce for Indian men. Under present family laws and related legal setup, a married Indian man is a sitting duck in case his marriage is on the rocks.  It doesn’t matter if he is at fault or he isn’t. Invariably he will be considered as the perpetrator of marital violence and his wife innocent victim of such atrocities.

7) Were there any demands made by your wife to settle these cases? What were they?

Yes there were demands. I need to compromise. I need to be in control of her and her parents. I need to stay at her paternal house.

8) When did you decide that you will fight? What made you take that decision?

My wife left the matrimonial home in my absence. After giving birth to our child, she did not allow me to see the child and threatened me with more cases if I attempt to visit her and the child without agreeing to her demands. I received a severe emotional jolt that helped me firm my resolve to fight against this legal terrorism.  Simultaneously, I got in touch with SIF (Save Indian Family). After talking to fellow SIFIANs, I got the courage and the resources to take on the ‘Legal Terrorists’.

9) How did you fight? Any advice you have for people who are fighting false cases?

This fight is more against self than anyone else as it is 90% mental and 10% legal. First and foremost I had to lose fear. I realized that nothing worst can happen to me. I equipped myself with legal knowledge to be in a better position to tackle and navigate through the legal cobweb. My advice would be to keep things simple. Be confident. Be fearless. The case is false and you need not to do anything but speak the truth. Rest all will be taken care.

10) You won your battle relatively quickly. How did you manage to do that. Any advice for people who also wish to get quick justice?

Before everything, I had to make up my mind that I am going to end the criminal case and not let it linger. I studied the different remedies available vis. a vis. time required and concluded to stand trial as it came out as the cheapest and quickest way to end this ordeal. As the trial commenced, I had a two pronged approach. I sought speedy trial before the Court and simultaneously worked in the background personally, to remove all the possible latches which normally is taken care by advocate’s peon or juniors. My advice to others would be having proper communication with advocate by giving clear instructions. Don’t miss court dates. Be present inside the court room and raise your concern, if any in a polite manner. It’s your case and you need to take control of it.

11) You lost your job, very precious years of your life and also opportunity abroad. Who would you blame for that? Do you think anything can makeup for that pain?

I would blame my wife’s lawyer who ill advised her to file this criminal case, the Learned Court which took cognizance without applying its judicial mind as mandated by the law. I blame the legislator of this country to frame such a law which is so easy to be misused and absolutely no consequences on misuse. I blame my wife for not being honest with her intentions before marriage. And lastly I blame myself for not being informed enough to know how easily my life can be ruined by being married under present legal system in India.

Nothing can makeup the loss I faced. But Yes my pain could have been alleviated to some extent if the court while declaring the case against me being filed with “malafide intentions” and was “abuse of the process of law”, would have also created a precedent by ordering appropriate proceedings against my wife, which would passed a message to the society that such misuse would not be tolerated in future. It would have spared a few innocent lives in the future.

12) Did the judge even after writing so clearly that the case was false, announce any punishment for your wife whatsoever?

No. No punishment was ordered for such gross abuse of the process of law.

13) Do you think that’s an injustice to you?

I would not stop at calling it injustice but it is a tight slap on the face of the judicial institution as unscrupulous people get encouraged when they observe their misdeeds getting unpunished. And honest people lose faith and respect for the institution itself.

14) Now that you have won, what are the future plans?? Have you become scared of marriage?

I have won the criminal case only. There is a pending case of maintenance and divorce. I have a child too for which I intend to seek physical custody. Winning the criminal case automatically doesn’t put a favorable end to the other cases. I need to go to each court and re-establish my innocence. Such is the system.

I may still have to end up paying maintenance to a wife who admittedly filed a false case on me.
I may still be alienated from my child without any fault of mine or the child.

I am scared and scarred. My ability to trust is the ultimate casualty.  I know that all women are not at fault. But I do not know how to identify the woman who won’t misuse the benevolent provisions of law when there is absolutely no consequence for such misuse.

However, I do see some light at the end of the tunnel. My association with SIF has given me a new found purpose in life i.e. to stand by the side of the men who fall victim to such legal abuse and share my experience to help them overcome their hour of distress.

Excerpts from 498A Acquittal JUDGMENT of this 498A Survivor:

“Before parting with the instant, case it is apt to mention here that PW1 has equivocally stated in her evidence that she has lodged this case as a counter blast to the mat suit lodged by her husband. Had he not sent such notice of divorce suit she would not have lodged this case. She wish to stay with him and lead her conjugal life. Thus, in such circumstance and the poor way in which she has fared cross-examination, it appears that DC has intentionally and in a motivated way, to settle a civil dispute (divorce), abused the process of law and set the criminal law in motion against the hapless husband and his poor family members who happens to be his married elder sisters with an impression that if a person could somehow be entangled in a criminal prosecution, there is a likelihood of imminent settlement by applying pressure through criminal prosecution. This establishes the malafide intention of the DC as she lodged the police case against the accused person(s) as an alternative to be used as leverage to settle the (civil) dispute that arose with A1 seeking divorce from her. The DC has cited the divorce suit filed by the A1 as a mental cruelty u/s 498a of the IPC. A free citizen of India, enjoys a civil right to marry of his choice or being aggrieved, seek divorce through dissolution of the marriage. Such exercise of civil right to seek divorce cannot be construed as a criminal offence. Any effort to settle civil disputes (divorce) and claims, which do not involve any criminal offence, by applying pressure through criminal prosecution should be deprecated and discouraged. The DC has alleged cruelty done by sisters-in-law who admittedly were married prior to DC’s own marriage to A1 and were settled at their matrimonial home at Chinsurah and Jadavpur. The bald allegations made against the sister in law by the DC appeared to suggest the anxiety to rope in as many of the husband’s relatives as possible. The sisters-in-law had never lived with DC and her husband, A1. Their implication in the complaint is meant to harass and humiliate the husband’s relatives. This seems to be the only basis to file this complaint against the married sisters-in-law”

Editor’s Note: The Judge has not passed any directives for any kind of punishment/fine/ to the wife in this case or a compensation to the husband. Two women who were married had to suffer a criminal case for no fault of theirs but that also doesn’t warrant any action on the woman who filed this case. If laws are allowed to be such blatantly misused, this entire quest for equality is a fake facade.