Guilty until proven innocent, and nothing proves you innocent !

The case for marital rape is usually framed as wife having the right to say ‘no’ to husband and her consent being essential even within marriage. That ‘marriage is no license to rape’.

The central argument that an offence remains offence even within marriage, sounds commonsensical. Just because marriage is a private affair, the offences against wife cannot be considered such. Based on this argument, feminists throughout the world successfully lobbied to recognize ‘domestic violence’ as criminal offence as against private, civil matter earlier.

So far, so good. But here begins the story.

That ‘marriage is no license for rape/violence/cruelty etc’ is perfectly fine on paper. But ‘domestic violence’ by its very nature has to occur within closed doors where third-party witness can hardly be expected. An objective evidence of harassment, isn’t possible in these cases. Except in cases of murder or physical violence, its highly improbable that evidence to nail husband beyond reasonable doubt is procured.

To combat this, the feminists had insidiously lobbied for claims to be substituted for proof. In India, the burden of proof has been shifted to the accused, the husband. In total contravention to criminal laws, the onus to prove is now on accused, not accuser.

Under the expanded definition of domestic violence, physical violence isn’t its only form. Among them is also ‘psychological violence’, which in practice means any dissatisfied wife can claim to be subjected to it, without needing to show any evidence. Given the intangibility of accusation, the husband has no means to disprove it (and the burden is on him).

When attention is drawn to wife misuse of the earlier women-empowerment laws, namely 498A and PWDVA, we’re asked to prove it. So ironically, evidence is asked of the misuse of laws which are inherently designed to bypass the need of evidence from women.

Only after facing the pre-trail terror of 498A  does evidence finally come into picture. The husband after undergoing trail for 4-5 years may finally be acquitted. But acquittal doesn’t absolve him of providing maintenance, despite the fault lying with wife and not him. In DVC, women are almost always given interim maintenance and only in stray cases where the misuse is too blatant to ignore is it refused.

Feminists would want us to believe that legal retaliation for false case is possible when it is proved false. Pursue perjury, they suggest. Let us get this correct: Wife requires newly drafted draconian laws which can send husband/in-laws to jail immediately without providing an iota of proof. But husbands should fall back on outdated, tedious, toothless provisions to fight back.

And this after fighting 4-5 year long legal battle? And if acquittal is contested, this could go up to 10 years or more. So husbands should, after long years of harassment, try to invoke some obscure laws to get justice. Whatever happened to ‘justice delayed is justice denied’! Unfortunately, even this is hardly viable as we shall shortly see.

We’re told, the high rate of acquittal doesn’t imply false cases. True, inadequate evidence to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt can lead to acquittal. Except that the high rate of acquittal (around 85%) means that at least those many husbands/in-laws were harassed without proper supporting evidence.

When at this point it is accepted that proving these cases is hard, why were the laws made criminal and draconian in first place? When it is known that successful conviction is highly difficult and bound to be rare, why were they implemented at all? What purpose did such a law serve at all, except stripping men of their basic rights and making them extremely vulnerable to ‘legal terrorism’ by their wives.

Further, by feminist logic, acquittals aren’t false cases, so the question of perjury doesn’t arise. Acquittal, by their own admission, doesn’t naturally imply that the case was false. Even assuming that after an exhausting battle spanning years, a husband is still inclined to spend some more years in courts to seek justice, it is highly unlikely that it can convincingly be established as a case of perjury (given no-evidence zone of the whole matter).

The marital rape law can hardly be expected to be any different from these laws in design and intent.

Yes, she can say ‘no’. Problem is when she first says ‘yes’ and later says ‘it was actually no last night’. How do feminists propose to legally differentiate between the two scenarios? By taking the word of wife for granted, and discarding what the husband has to say as in previous laws?

Once accused, under no circumstances can a man get true justice (legal retribution). The best he can expect is acquittal after torturous legal process. The woman, of course, can never be touched.

Once accused, forever damned. Can feminists cite a scenario where once accused, a man is considered totally innocent, both legally and morally?

Seen in this light, it very clear that feminists want to ensure that men have no ability to defend themselves against women under any circumstances.  Their aim is to have a legal system in place that makes it easy and safe for women to abuse men.

PS: This shouldn’t be taken as endorsing marital rape. Opposing a vaguely worded ‘anti-terrorism law’ that makes innocent citizens vulnerable to abuse, isn’t same as endorsing terrorism.

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Is marriage really sacred in India?

The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

The statement by Haribhai Chaudhary, Minister of State for Home, that marriage is considered sacred in India and hence the concept of marital rape cannot be applied here sparked a deluge of angry comments from many.

Let us examine this statement in light of today’s reality. The sacredness of marriage should ideally imply that both wife and husband should be equally constrained to maintain the bond despite persisting problems. That both of them cannot severe the bond at their will and only where exceptional circumstances are proved beyond doubt can an authority (judiciary here) divorce them.

If husband wants divorce, long years of trail await him during which time he is legally obligated to maintain his wife (failing which punitive measures can be initiated against him).  If he’s unable to prove that any of grounds of divorce apply to him, he’ll be denied divorce even after those many years. Even if divorce is granted, he is still obligated to pay the wife maintenance (either permanent or monthly), despite the fault lying with wife and not him. Clearly, the husband is paying for the belief that marriage is sacred.

But aren’t women too, you may ask? All that today’s woman needs to do to arm-twist an unwilling husband to concede to divorce is to whisper ‘498A’. No sane husband can be impervious to a 498A threat, because not just him but all his family members are at risk of being thrown into jail. If a foolhardy husband still does not yield to divorce demand, a complaint by wife and ensuing humiliation of him and his family will put better sense into him. A subsequent case like Domestic Violence Case will ensure that he finally gives up.

Also note that an abusive wife can force husband to continue relation using 498A threat. In many cases, men surrender. In rare cases where unable to endure further abuse man applies for divorce, a malafide retaliation using 498A, DVC etc follows. Isn’t it clear that men are doubly tied to ensure the ‘sacredness’ of marriage?

Clearly women do not carry any responsibility of upholding the concept of sacredness of marriage in India. The entire weight of this ‘sacredness’ is borne by men alone, while women are not only at liberty to shrug off this responsibility any time they wish but are actually rewarded for breaking this ‘sacredness’ through legally-enforced maintenance payments.

The Hon’ble Minister should, instead of taking recourse to this ‘sacredness of marriage’ notion, have responded by saying that already wives have powerful legal weapons at their disposal that punish husband and his family even before trail begins, based on mere complaint with no proofs required. That the existing draconian laws which substitute allegation for evidence have already subjected many innocent men to ‘legal terrorism’, and no additional tools to further harass men are required at this stage.