ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Supreme Court’s Judgment Ignores Lived Reality of Married Women

This article was earlier published in the EPW website.Flavia Agnes ( flaviaagnes@gmail.com ) is a women’s rights lawyer and director of Majlis, which runs a rape victim support programme in Mumbai.

Are Women Liars? Supreme Court's Judgment Ignores Lived Reality of Married Women

The Supreme Court's judgment in the Rajesh Sharma v State of UP which passed adverse remarks about the "misuse" of Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code by women to harass their husbands and in-laws, ignores the lived realities of a vast majority of married women. It completely ignores the fact that the aggrieved woman approaches the police and courts as a last resort and in the face of intolerable cruelty.

Triple-Talaq: Muslim Women's Rights and Media Coverage

Despite the large number of positive court judgements in favour of Muslim women in India, the media prefers to endorse the view that once the husband pronounces talaq, the wife is stripped of all her rights. Similarly, articles by experts, while focusing on the need to declare instantaneous triple talaq invalid, pay little attention to the rights laboriously secured from the trial courts, the high courts and even the Supreme Court by many Muslim women.

Muslim Women's Rights and Media Coverage

Despite the large number of positive court judgments in favour of Muslim women in India, the media prefers to endorse the view that once the husband pronounces talaq, the wife is stripped of all her rights. Similarly, articles by experts, while focusing on the need to declare instantaneous triple talaq invalid, pay little attention to the rights laboriously secured from the trial courts, the high courts and even the Supreme Court, by many Muslim women.

Muslim Women’s Rights and Media Coverage

Despite the large number of positive court judgements in favour of Muslim women in India, the media prefers to endorse the view that once the husband pronounces talaq, the wife is stripped of all her rights. Similarly, articles by experts, while focusing on the need to declare instantaneous triple talaq invalid, pay little attention to the rights laboriously secured from the trial courts, the high courts and even the Supreme Court by many Muslim women.

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence

After a prolonged campaign for criminal and civil laws to curb domestic violence, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 came into force. However, lasting solutions to the problem continue to be elusive, as the grim statistics of wife murders and suicides by married women record a steady rise. This article takes a close look at the manner in which this law is being implemented on the ground, and the many shortcomings, even as women continue to be blamed--earlier for "misusing" the law and now for not wanting to approach the courts because the justice delivery system is tardy. The crux of the issue is the support network that the victim of domestic violence needs and it is here that the implementation of the domestic violence law has failed most spectacularly.

Liberating Hindu Women

The recent revival of the discussion on enacting a Uniform Civil Code, which its proponents believe will give all women equal rights, overlooks the reality of the discrimination that Hindu women continue to face despite amendments in Hindu personal laws, including on issues of maintenance and inheritance. Rather than uniformity in law, women need an accessible and affordable justice system.

The Making of a High Profile Rape Trial

The Shakti Mills trial of Mumbai, as the court cases relating to the two gang rapes in 2013 came to be known, led to the accused being sentenced to death. This is an account by the members of a survivor support project who supported the two young women at the centre of these cases. It offers insights into the prosecution's strategy, the police investigations and the grit and spirit of the two young women and their respective mothers, and how the survivor's socio-economic profile often dictates not only how she is treated but even the outcome of the case.

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