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Thursday, 28 October 2010

Men’s Rights Organisations hail Supreme Court’s Landmark judgment against maintenance to live-in partners and say, “Men are not Economic Slaves”.

Save Indian Family Foundation
Subject: Men’s Rights Organisations hail Supreme Court’s Landmark judgment against maintenance to live-in partners and say, “Men are not Economic Slaves”.
On 21st October 2010, in a landmark judgment (see, a Supreme Court bench by Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T.S.Thakur ordered that just any woman in a live-in relationship cannot be equated with legal spouse and claim palimony.  The bench also excluded ‘keeps’, ‘one-night–stands’ from relationships “in the nature of marriage”.
Jayanth T.K, Coordinator SIFF, Bangalore has made a press statement:
·         In this era, where women equal to men in all walks of life, the concept of women demanding money from men to maintain themselves is completely absurd and unacceptable. Except physiological/ biological differences women are no different from men and certainly not be considered inferior.
·         The fact that today women (and men) are in live-in relationships or are casual sexual partners reflects the changed society where women have broken social paradigms that were once taboos. Indeed such women reflect an independent thinking mind. Neither can such relationships be equated with a marriage. Otherwise marriage loses its sanctity.
·         To provide ‘maintenance’ or ‘compensation’ money to girl friends, keeps, concubines, casual sexual partners, mistresses and that too indefinitely even after the end of the relationship amounts to dole. Such a practice would enslave men and make them free ATM machines while encouraging a society in which such women would be economic parasites who idle and squeeze out men for easy money. Neither society nor the law can encourage indolents and parasites. Everyone has to earn for the purpose of maintenance of him or herself.
·         A stage needs to be reached when maintenance should be completely eliminated and every partner encouraged earning their livelihood.
·         If a child is born out of these relationships, then the child’s proper upbringing is the shared responsibility of both the biological parents.
To driver home the point, consider the example of Ravi Kumar (name changed), aged 32, a software Engineer and a female colleague who shared an accommodation for last 6 months. They shared a live-in & casual sexual relationship. Neither wished enter into matrimony. Last week, they broke up. Will Ravi Kumar have to pay her maintenance/ compensation every month indefinitely/ for rest of his life?
Save Indian Family Foundation(SIFF) hails this Supreme Court judgment a landmark judgment, which would now correct many misinterpretations of the much abused and draconian Domestic Violence Act.
The landmark judgment delivered by the Hon’ble Judges is well researched and appropriate judgments of courts of United States of America are referred to.
Leading and respectable news media widely reported the display of an angry outburst by Indira Jaising the author of the draconian Domestic Violence Act and an Additional Solicitor General towards the Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T.S.Thakur. According to reports, her angry outburst was triggered when the Justice Markandey Katju reportedly said “So you are the author of the Domestic Violence Act”. Indira Jaising while objecting to the word “keep” used in the judgment, is reported to have used phrases like “I do not expected this from the Supreme Court in the 21st Century” and wondered whether the court “would have used similar words for men” and that it was “derogatory to women”. The Supreme Court bench in this landmark judgment laid down conditions for live-in relations to come in the ambit of the Domestic Violence Act and the bench stated that “one-night-stands, weekend relationships and keeps would not qualify as domestic relationships”.
Instead of haranguing the Judge on the language used, Indiara Jaising will do well to reflect on her own language in authoring the ill-drafted, controversial and draconian Domestic Violence Act that has been responsible for the detention, humiliation and economic ruin of many innocent families due to its misuse by unscrupulous wives.
The world has changed and women are equal to men in all respects. There are certain facts of life - “keeps”, “prostitutes”, “live-in partners” have always been there and always will. There is nothing “gender biased” in this. How the word “keep” is derogatory and that too only to women is indeed surprising. The use of the word only reflects a reality.
By clarifying the phrase “in the nature of marriage” and laying down parameters for this, the Supreme Court Bench effectively did the work that Indira Jaising should have done in the first place. Effectively therefore, the Supreme Court has explained the Domestic Violence Act to its own author! Instead of exhibiting such intemperate behavior Indira Jaising would have done well to have THANKED the bench for this.
Criticizing a Supreme Court Judge in this manner is a condemned and contemptible act particularly due to the fact that it comes from an Additional Solicitor General. One wonders why Indira Jaising should not be tried for Contempt of Court and made an example of. Or is it within the ambit of the official powers of the Solicitor General’s office to make such criticisms?
It’s ironical that the author of an act that violates basic Human Rights represents India in U.N and International forums! By displaying such intemperate behavior, Indira Jaising has done Indian women a disservice and behaved in a manner derogatory to Indian women. The very credibility of Indira Jaising is questionable. Surely, there is no shortage of competent women to represent India?
Indira Jaising should be immediately withdrawn from representing India and also dismissed from the post of Additional Solicitor General in the interests of upholding the dignity of the court and Indian women. Or at the very least, given the fact that she is in the evening of her life (being about 70 years old) and belongs to a bygone era, giving her a graceful, face-saving discharge may be an option.

Jayanth T.K
Coordinator (Bangalore)
Save Indian Family Foundation

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