Punjab: 6-Year Old boy Singed With Cigarette Butts by Father #Torture #WTFnews

Patiala | Apr 01, 2013, Outlook

A six-year-old boy was allegedly singed with cigarette butts and slashed with a shaving blade by his father who inflicted injuries all over his body.

The harrowing tale of torture was narrated by the child himself in a local court, hearing a divorce case of his parents.

The court was shocked and dismayed to see injury marks on the body of the child and ordered the police to get the child medically examined in the local Government Rajindra Hospital.

The child told the doctors yesterday that his father Baljit Singh inflicted injuries all over his body.

There were about 16 blade cut marks on different parts of his body, doctors said, adding his back had burn marks caused by cigarette butts.

The parents of the child had filed a divorce case and the court had earlier given custody of the child to the father.

It also directed the accused that the child would be allowed to meet his mother once every month.

When the boy insisted on meeting his mother, Singh was so annoyed that he started torturing the child.

A case has been registered against the accused Baljit Singh at the Patiala Sadar police station under various sections of the IPC, police said, adding, efforts are on to arrest him.


#Mumbai- Public hearing of victims of Oral Divorce @17dec #Vaw #Religion







17 DECEMBER 2012


Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan [BMMA] is a secular, autonomous and rights based Muslim women’s movement in india established in 2007 which works for justice, peace, democracy and development within and outside the Muslim community. It is leading movement of Muslim women in India with a membership base of 35000 women, more than 10 lakh beneficiaries and an active leadership in 12 states across the country. BMMA addresses the marginalization of the community through Muslim women’s own active leadership at the local, state and national level. It facilitates the emergence of Muslim women’s and girl’s leadership so that they can lead themselves and the larger community towards social, educational, economic and legal development.

BMMA is active in 12 states across the country and its leaders receive many cases of Muslim women who have been orally and unilaterally divorced by their husbands. Muslim husbands have evolved innovative methods of divorcing their wife. For instance one husband himself wrote the khulanama and made his wife sign it. In another instance, a father in law divorced his daughter in law on behalf of his son. There are many instances of women divorced through sms, emails, phone calls, letters and of course orally. Many qazis who are paid by the husband send divorce notices to the wife without even giving an opportunity to the wife to give her side of the story.

Although Quranic injunctions demand arbitration before divorce proceedings, this injunction is clearly forgotten by the husband and the ulemas who justify the practice of oral divorce in the name of religion. As a result Muslim women are deprived of her rights mentioned in the Quran and are subject to harassment by husband and unscrupulous qazis.

To highlight the issue of oral, unilateral divorce, BMMA through its national annual convention is holding a national public hearing of victims of oral unilateral divorce. Women from Maharashtra, Gujrat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh will narrate the different ways in which they have been divorced by their husbands.

To put an end to this heinous practice BMMA demands that the Muslim family law must be codified. The activists of BMMA have been working on a draft law since its inception.  Many consultations have been held across the country to arrive at the various clauses mentioned in the draft.


Through this Convention, BMMA wants the state to hear the voices of Muslim women. The state now can no longer ignore this voice. It must treat Muslim women as citizens of this country and must put an immediate ban on the practice of oral/unilateral divorce.




Date: 17 December 2012

Venue: Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh, 2nd Floor Hall, Mahapalika Marg, Near Azad Maidan, VT, Mumbai – 1

Time: 2pm – 5pm



Khatoon Shaikh : 9224313819

Noorjehan Safia Niaz: 9833072690


Muslim man’s power to divorce not unrestricted: J&K High Court #goodnews

Published: Thursday, Nov 1, 2012, 15:20 IST
Place: Srinagar | Agency: PTI

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has held that a Muslim man’s power to divorce his wife is not “unrestricted or unqualified”. Justice Hasnain Masoodi in his 23-page judgment extensively went into details of the Shariah law and Quranic injunctions to hold that a “husband cannot have unrestricted or unqualified power to pronounce the Talaaq.”

The court delved into the fundamental sources of Shariah law to understand the concept of marriage in Islam, the rights of the parties to the marriage contract and the mode and manner the contract is dissolved.

“Though Islam visualises a situation where a marriage may run into rough weather for reasons beyond control of the parties to the marriage contract, and provides for a mechanism to end or dissolve the relationship in such case, yet the device of divorce is to be used as the last option when the marital relations have irretrievably broken down,” the court said.

It maintained that in Islam divorce or talaaq by the husband may take three forms including Talaaq-e-Ahsan which is single pronouncement of divorce made during a tuhr (period between menstruations) followed by abstinence from physical relationship for the period of iddat (waiting period).

The second form is Talaaq-e-Hasan which is three pronouncements of divorce made during successive tuhrs, without any physical relationship during any of the three tuhrs.

The third is Talaaq-e-Bidhi which is three pronouncements of divorce made during a single tuhr either in one sentence or in three sentences or in any other form like in writing, indicating intention of the husband to irrevocably dissolve the marriage.


Couples who share the housework are more likely to divorce, #wtfstudy #wtfnews



Divorce rates are far higher among “modern” couples who share the housework than in those where the woman does the lion’s share of the chores, a Norwegian study has found.

The report found the divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50 per cent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work.  Photo: ALAMY
Henry Samuel

By , Paris, The Telegraph

27 Sep 2012

In what appears to be a slap in the face for gender equality, the report found the divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50 per cent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work.

“What we’ve seen is that sharing equal responsibility for work in the home doesn’t necessarily contribute to contentment,” said Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled “Equality in the Home”.

The lack of correlation between equality at home and quality of life was surprising, the researcher said.

“One would think that break-ups would occur more often in families with less equality at home, but our statistics show the opposite,” he said.

The figures clearly show that “the more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” he went on.

“Maybe it’s sometimes seen as a good thing to have very clear roles with lots of clarity … where one person is not stepping on the other’s toes,” he suggested.

“There could be less quarrels, since you can easily get into squabbles if both have the same roles and one has the feeling that the other is not pulling his or her own weight.”

But the deeper reasons for the higher divorce rate, he suggested, came from the values of “modern” couples rather than the chores they shared.

“Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage” as being less sacred, Mr Hansen said. “In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially.

They can manage much easier if they divorce,” he said. Norway has a long tradition of gender equality and childrearing is shared equally between mothers and fathers in 70 per cent of cases.

But when it comes to housework, women in Norway still account for most of it in seven out of 10 couples. The study emphasised women who did most of the chores did so of their own volition and were found to be as “happy” those in “modern” couples.

Dr Frank Furedi, Sociology professor at the University of Canterbury, said the study made sense as chore sharing took place more among couples from middle class professional backgrounds, where divorce rates are known to be high.

“These people are extremely sensitive to making sure everything is formal, laid out and contractual. That does make for a fairly fraught relationship,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

“The more you organise your relationship, the more you work out diaries and schedules, the more it becomes a business relationship than an intimate, loving spontaneous one.

“That tends to encourage a conflict of interest rather than finding harmonious resolutions.” He said while the survey applied to Norway, he was confident the results would be the same in the UK.

“In a good relationship people simply don’t know who does what and don’t particularly care. “Unless marriage is a relationship above anything else, then whenever there are tensions or contradictions things come to a head. You have less capacity to forgive and absorb the bad stuff.”

The survey appeared to contradict another recent one across seven countries including Britain that found that men who shouldered a bigger share of domestic responsibilities had a better sense of wellbeing and enjoyed a better work-life balance.

The researchers expected to find that where men shouldered more of the burden, women’s happiness levels were higher. In fact they found that it was the men who were happier while their wives and girlfriends appeared to be largely unmoved.

Those men who did more housework generally reported less work-life conflict and were scored slightly higher for wellbeing overall.

Experts suggested that, while this may be partly because they felt less guilty, the main reason could be that they had simply learnt the secret of a quiet life.


No waiting in mutual consent divorce- #goodnews

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Sep 26, 2012,

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday waived the mandatory six-month waiting period for couples, who, during the pendency of their appeal against the family court order, decide to end their marriage through mutual consent. Appeals against family court orders are heard by the high court. The latter can now instantaneously grant divorce.

In 2008, the Bombay HC had ruled that the family court cannot waive the six-month period before granting divorce. Today’s judgment distinguished the earlier verdict and held that in an appeal, the high court could waive the six-month period.

“It will end the mutual misery rather than let it continue,” said Justice V M Kanade, who along with Justice P D Kode, gave their verdict on a man’s appeal against dismissal of his divorce plea by the family court.

During pendency of the appeal, the couple filed consent terms, praying for a decree of divorce by mutual consent. The only hitch was the mandatory waiting period of six months under Section 13 B of the Hindu Marriage Act.

Advocate Vikramaditya Deshmukh, who was asked to assist the court as amicus curiae, submitted that various high courts have taken a view that when an application is filed before an appellate court, seeking its permission to convert an appeal into a petition for divorce by mutual consent, it is not necessary to wait for further six months. He said the waiting period is applicable only for the family court.

Upholding Deshmukh’s submission, the judges in their order said, “We are of the view that it is not necessary for the appellate court to wait for further six months after an application is made seeking conversion of petition for divorce into divorce by mutual consent.”

Accepting the couple’s consent terms, the judges directed that their marriage is dissolved by mutual consent.

The couple married on July 1, 2006, and have two children aged ten and eight years. Since October 2006, they did not cohabit although they were living in the same house. On May 11, 2010, the wife left the matrimonial home. The husband moved the family court in January 2011, seeking divorce on grounds of cruelty. The court dismissed his petition in June 2012. He filed appeal in HC in July 2012. During its pendency, the couple filed consent terms, urging the court to dissolve their marriage by mutual consent. They signed consent terms on September 12, 2012.

Why Justice Bhaktavatsala’s homilies are no better than TV serials #VAW #gender #justice

by  Sep 5, 2012, Firstpost

Justice Bhaktavatsala could be straight out of an ’80s Bollwyood film. At least, the Karnataka High Court judge, does uncannily sound like the wiry, death-bed bound mother stereotype who would advise her trembling, weepy, ketchup smeared daughter to go back to her monster mother-in-laws typified by the likes of Bindu and Shashikala.

For those wondering why a High Court judge might have invited that unfortunate a comparison, one has to check out the Facebook page Remove Justice Bhaktavatsala. The description section reads, “ Justice Bhaktavasala encourages women to stay in a violent relationship, for sake of marriage”. Strange, but true.

Justice Bhaktavatsala. Photo courtesy: Facebook page  Remove  Justice Bhaktavatsala.

Bhaktavatsala in the past couple of days has managed to amuse, outrage and shock people with his courtroom oratory. An example:

“Women suffer in all marriages. You are married with two children, and know what it means to suffer as a woman. Yesterday, there was a techie couple who reconciled for the sake of their child. Your husband is doing good business, he will take care of you.” 

If that wasn’t enough fodder for ridicule, one has to hear what he has to say about unmarried lawyers arguing marriage-related cases.

Family matters should be argued only by married people, not spinsters. You should only watch. Bachelors and spinsters watching family court proceedings will start thinking if there is any need to marry at all. Marriage is not like a public transport system. You better get married and you will get very good experience to argue such cases,” he advised her.

Justice Bhaktavatsala’s tragedy, however, is less how he turned himself up to be torn apart by feminists, more that he is a judge and not an Indian TV serial. One that beams in every second Indian home, six days a week, minting money out of ridiculous ideas of relationships, that best suits kangaroo courts in Indian badlands.

The judge’s concept of marriage and its attendant responsibility, which requires the woman to dump self-respect for ‘adjustments’, is similar to what Indian TV feeds millions of Indian audiences every day – and in the process earns crores-worth advertisements, deals etc.

There’s an online petition that is being circulated through the Facebook page, that will be eventually submitted to SC chief justice SH Kapadia, demanding Justice Bhaktavatsala be banned from continuing at his post. Hopefully, Bhaktavatsala will be chastised enough to keep his moth-eaten wisdom trapped in his gullet. But we’ll still have prime-time entertainment TV. Sigh.

Judgement for women rights : Can’t divorce wife for pushing condom use #FOE

, TNN | May 4, 2012,

Bombay HC: Can't divorce wife for pushing condom use
Planning when to start a family cannot be treated as cruelty, said the Bombay high court on Thursday, upholding the family court’s dismissal of a man’s divorce plea.

MUMBAI: Planning when to start a familycannot be treated as cruelty, said the Bombay high court on Thursday, upholding the family court’s dismissal of a man’s divorce plea.

An HC division bench of judges P B Majmudar and Anoop Mohta was hearing a petition by Pradeep Bapat (30), who said that during their honeymoon his wife Prerna (26) refused to have sex unless he wore a condom and subsequently refused to conceive on the grounds that they were not financially stable.

“She must not have shown willingness to become a mother unless there was financial stability. She wanted to give the child a better life,” Justice Majmudar said. “It is a mutual decision and a husband cannot insist,” said Justice Mohta.

The reply of Bapat’s advocate- “Why do people go for honeymoon?” – raised a few titters in the courtroom.

The judges also held that Pradeep’s other grounds for seeking divorce–not knowing to cook, not being religious, not parting with salary and not folding clothes properly–did not amount to cruelty either. Bapat’s lawyer said his family wanted a working graduate as his wife, who would live in their joint family and also do housework. To this, Justice Majmudar said, “A woman is not a slave. The wife is an ardhangini (a man’s other half). Her right of freedom of speech cannot be taken away. You have put (common household troubles) in the plea. If we construe these as cruelty, then no marriage will be safe.”

Observing that Bapat’s family was “conservative” and “full of perfection”, Justice Majmudar said, “You (Prerna) should not have selected this house.”

Her advocate replied, “She was the eldest (child) and unless she married, her younger sister would not have been able to do so either.”

Justice Majmudar said, “Girls are still treated as a burden on parents. A girl must know to which family she is going (after marriage).”

In their order, the judges said the case was an eye-opener for those who were yet to marry. They said that especially in the case of arranged marriages, the prospective husband and wife should get to know each other and see if they could live happily together. “It is the duty of (both sets of) parents to consider various aspects before the actual marriage takes place.”

The judges were told that Prerna was willing to return to her marital home, but Bapat did not want her back. The couple married in February 2007; Prerna left her marital home in June the same year.

The judges noted that in a short span of time, the relationship between Prerna and Bapat had become strained. Also, Prerna was “subjected to ill-treatment” and Bapat “treated her as if she was on probation”. “A girl coming into an entirely new atmosphere would have expected love and affection. The husband and his family are required to see to it that a (newly) married woman does not feel that she has come to an absolutely strange place,” the judges said.

(Names changed)

Karnataka High Court has ruled that life sentence can be a ground to grant divorce.

Bangalore:Rejecting a Miscellaneous First Appeal by a husband serving life in a murder case, a division bench, headed by Justice K L Manjunath in its recent order said when the appellant is convicted for life, even the grounds of desertion have to be taken into account legally because the man cannot live with the wife and give her conjugal happiness.

“For the rest of her life, for no fault of hers, she cannot be made to suffer if marriage is allowed”, the court observed while rejecting the appeal of a life convict of Central Prison, Bellary.

The man had challenged the July 18 2011 order of a family court in Shimoga in allowing the petition filed by his wife, seeking divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion.

An instructor at a government college in Chitradurga, he has been married to Vijaya for the past 13 years.

After marriage, they lived in Malladihalli village for the first six months. During this period, the woman came to know her husband was facing murder and assault charges and duly informed her parents.

However, the man’s family claimed he had been falsely implicated in the case and that he should be acquitted.

Meanwhile, the couple had a child after which he allegedly started ill-treating his wife.

In November 2000 Ganesh was convicted by a sessions court in a murder case and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. On an appeal by the state, the sentence was enhanced to life imprisonment.

Vijaya moved the family court seeking divorce, which upheld her claim on the grounds of cruelty, but rejected the charge of desertion.


Victory to the Cause of Muslim Womens Rights under PWDVA and MWA

By-  Majlis

It has been an uphill task for us to  convince the magistrates that a divorced Muslim woman is not excluded from the ambit of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 (PWDVA). Each time we file for reliefs for divorced Muslim women for protection, residence, return of her belongings, maintenance and for a fair and reasonable settlement, clubbing two different beneficial legislations i.e. The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986 (MWA) and PWDVA, we are confronted with the question whether provisions of PWDVA can be clubbed with MWA and more generally, whether divorced women can claim relief under PWDVA for residence and protection as this violates the provisions of Islamic law.

Gradually, magistrates were convinced about our persuasive arguments and started awarding interim orders of protection, residence and maintenance under PWDVA. These interim orders helped us to negotiate with the husband for a lump sum “fair and reasonable settlement” under MWA. This was an innovative strategy which paid great dividends and helped us to arrive at a speedy resolution to the problem faced by divorced Muslim women.

But recently, when a husband approached the High Court by way of a writ petition for quashing the application filed by the wife, we got an opportunity to argue our point in the High Court. Since there were two contradictory single judge rulings regarding a divorced woman’s right to claim reliefs under PWDVA the judge who heard the case was inclined to refer the case to a division bench.

We argued the matter for several days and convinced the Judge about Muslim women’s rights both under PWDVA and MWA. The writ petition was dismissed at the stage of admission itself.

We consider it a major victory to the cause of Muslim Women. Since this will not be a reported judgement, we would like to share the issues that surfaced and the case law that we relied upon.

For non maintainability of proceedings under S.482 of Cr.PC for quashing, we relied upon a judgement of the Bombay High Court, Mangesh Sawant vs Minal Bhosale, (5th October 2011) wherein the court had held that proceedings under S. 482 must be used sparingly and only as a last resort in cases under PWDVA.

On the issue of a divorced Muslim woman’s right under PWDVA we relied upon Priya vs Shibhu, [2008 (3) KLJ 304] wherein the Kerala High court had upheld the divorced woman’s rights under the Domestic Violence Act. This judgement contains detailed discussion on definition of “aggrieved woman”, “respondent”, “shared household”, “domestic relationship” etc. This judgement has dealt in detail the grammatical implications of the term, “has been” to emphasize that the law will apply to all divorced women. The argument for the husband was that the term, “has been” should be understood with regards to it being in the present perfect tense, but the Kerala High Court had rejected this contention and upheld the claim of the divorced Muslim wife.

We also relied upon Karimkhan vs Nahid Akhtar 2011 Cri.LJ 4793, a judgement of the Bombay High Court which specifically dealt with the retrospective effect of the Domestic Violence Act. While deciding this case, the court considered the earlier two contradictory rulings of the Bombay High Court which had dealt with the issue of rights of divorced women under PWDVA and commented that an interpretation which furthers the purpose of the Act must be preferred to the one which obstructs the object and paralyses the purpose of the Act.

We also argued that PWDVA is secular and there is nothing in the Act which prevents a Muslim woman from claiming reliefs under it. Further the beneficial legislation has to be construed in a liberal way which would further the purpose of the Act rather than defeat its purpose. The following cases were also helpful in advancing our arguments on behalf of the divorced Muslim woman:

Razzak Khan vs Shahnaz Khan, 2008 (4) MPHT 413 M.P. HC
Syed Mohd Nadeem vs State Delhi HC, 15th June 2011
Rajkumar Pandey vs Sarita Pandey, 2008 (6) Bom CR 831
Saraswathy vs Babu (Madras HC 13th December 2011)

from- Majlis,
Tel: 022 26661252 / 26662394
Website: http://www.majlislaw.com

Married Women in Maharashtra can keep maiden name need not take husbands’ surname

MUMBAI: Women in Maharashtra have another reason to celebrate as International Women’s Day approaches.

It is now perfectly legal for a woman to retain her maiden name after marriage. The Bombay high court recently amended a crucial rule under the Family Courts Act to prevent a woman from being compelled to file any marriage-related proceedings only in her husband’s surname, thus offering relief to many seeking a divorce. It will also help a married woman file proceedings in other courts under her maiden name, say legal experts.

The radical rule says that “a wife who has not changed her name after marriage, by publishing in the official gazette, may continue to use her maiden name”. The law is clear now: a woman is not obliged to take her husband’s name after marriage.

A woman can file proceedings either in her maiden name or another name she may have adopted as long as it is officially registered in the gazette. If she retains her maiden name, a woman cannot be forced by a court to write her name as her first name followed by her husband’s first name and his surname while making a marriage-related petition.

Flavia Agnes of the women’s rights activist group Majlis, whose efforts led to this change, sees the amendment as a “progressive new addition to the law for women”. Majlis’ efforts ensured that a woman can continue to use her maiden name and surname if she so desires after marriage for all official purposes. She is not bound to use her husband’s name and can initiate proceedings in any court using her maiden name. The ‘after divorce’ status, meanwhile, does not force a woman to revert to her maiden surname if she had been using her husband’s surname all through the marriage. She can continue with the ex-husband’s surname, unless her intention is to defraud him, as was held by the Supreme Court.

Unknown to even lawyers, the new law stands published in the state gazette since last November, after the Bombay high court amended a crucial rule under the Family Courts Act in September 2011.

The law has been hailed by women’s rights activists and lawyers. “A woman cannot be compelled while seeking divorce to adopt her married surname if she hadn’t been using it, just as she cannot be compelled to drop her married name and revert to maiden surname after divorce, if she had been,” said a lawyer.

“Prior to the amendment, the Bandra family court staff would not accept divorce or related applications from hundreds of women until they added the first name of their estranged husband as their middle name, and also his surname,” said Agnes. The court staff would compel the quarrelling couple to bear only one surname-the husband’s-in the court case to be filed.

A year ago, Majlis took up the cause with the Bombay high court because it supervises functioning of all lower courts. The issue, said Majlis, was that in Maharashtra, many communities practised the custom of a new wife changing even her first name after marriage and adopting her husband’s full name. But other communities from states across India do not usually follow this custom, though it’s common for women to adopt the husband’s surname.

Read TOI article here


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