Sunday, November 28, 2010

‘Harassed husbands' lose their case

The Gujarat High Court has disposed of a petition, with costs of Rs. 1 lakh, filed by an organisation that sought a new law for protection of “harassed husbands” against atrocities by wives and an amendment to the existing law.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyaya and Justice K.M. Thaker fined the Akhil Bhartiya Patni Atyachar Virodhi Sangh (the All India Wives Cruelty Opposition Union) for filing a frivolous petition. It said the petition was an attempt to seek media attention and publicity. The court warned union president Dashrath Devda that if the petitioners continued to press the case, the costs would be doubled and the Revenue department directed to recover them — amounting to seizure of their assets.

The petition “filed in the public interest” claimed that there was an urgent need for a protective law for husbands against cruelty. The petitioners sought amendments to the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure code to incorporate protection to the “harassed husbands.”

In 2005, the High Court initiated contempt proceedings against Mr. Devda in another case for staging demonstrations and shouting slogans against the family court, the High Court and the Supreme Court. Family court judge K. M. Vin filed the contempt petition, on which the High Court awarded him one-month imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 for contempt after he refused to accept its directive to tender an unconditional apology.

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