Should men encourage settling of marital discords in Police Stations?

| July 3, 2014

This is the age of matrimonial counseling in police stations. With more and more, petty marital discords reaching police stations and being “converted” into dowry cases under section 498A, the police have assumed a greater role in counseling couples.

There are even situations when the man is abused to the core by his wife and in-laws and is later trapped into a false case of dowry harassment. Once filed, these false criminal cases, filed on the entire family of the man are treated as negotiation tools in ending the marriage. These tactics are used so that the man can be coughed up to pay a huge extortion amount in order to come out of a bad and abusive marriage.

We are often approached by many such victimized and distressed men who are in a fix whether they should fight the case or come out of it by paying money. Frankly speaking this question is very complex and cannot be answered objectively, in a black and white manner.

Much, as we despise men paying money to save themselves from long dragged litigation in false cases of dowry harassment and/or domestic violence, the decision to do so may seem prudent and practical in some cases if the amount is lesser than the litigation cost and is very much within the paying capacity of the man. Also, it is entirely a man’s choice if he wants to do so.

However, some general guidelines can always be set for it,

  1. Never agree for any compromise in the police station. Just ask the police officer to do his duty.
  2. Never accept any offer from the police of removing some names of accused or closing the complaint in lieu of bribe. Police will take the money and still not work in your favor. If police close the complaint based on merits, then it is fine.
  3. Never agree to write a compromise petition in police station.
  4. Once 498A is filed, settlement never happens in a reasonable manner.
  5. Do not make attempts to resist the registration of FIR. Once police receives complaint under a cognizable section (like 498A), they are duty bound to register FIR by law. However, mere registration of FIR does not warrant arrest. So, do not invest in trying to prevent the FIR from getting registered.

Apart from above points, one should also keep in mind that every man has a moral responsibility to speak up against tyranny, oppression, injustice and unjust social practices. Trapping an innocent man and his family in a false dowry case and then forcing him to cough up a huge sum of money so that his life can be spared stands nothing short of tyranny, oppression, injustice and unjust social practices.

Tolerating injustice is promoting injustice.

Stand up for your and your fellow men’s rights and do not be a party to oppression by choosing the side of the oppressor. By not encouraging settling of marital disputes in police stations, you can contribute towards the creation of an atmosphere wherein it is considered anti-social to subject men to such torture.

And hence the answer to the question – “Should men encourage settling of marital disputes in Police Stations?” is a big NO.

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About the Author ()

Virag is a B.Tech (NIT Hamirpur) formerly Technical Architect in JDA Software India Pvt. Ltd. Currently, Virag is the Head, Gender Studies at Confidare Research. Virag has been associated with the men’s rights movement in India and is also associated with Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), Bangalore, an NGO which helps distressed and victimized men. Virag has counselled more than 4000 distressed and victimized men by providing them with guidance and coaching that has enabled them to face the crisis situation powerfully. Virag has been invited by the Rajya Sabha Standing Committee for expressing his views on the Sexual Harassment at Workplace Law. Virag has also been part of a team that was requested to submit a research report on the misuse of Section 498A (Dowry law) and the changes required therein by the Law Commission of Karnataka. Currently Virag is one of the partners at Confidare India Men’s Rights Community Center – India’s first ever community center for distressed and victimized men. He is also the Head of Gender Studies, Confidare Research.

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