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Men crib, Govt to review domestic violence law

Aug 09, 2007 10:56 PM IST India India

New Delhi: They have been accused of rape and stigmatised by society only to be acquitted in court, but they have not been able to come out of the shadows of the allegations that have shattered their lives.

Says a man who was acquitted of a rape charge (name withheld), "Because of the case, the society has a bad impression of me. My marriage is over and nobody has any respect for me"

He says that he is a victim of one of the several laws meant to protect women.

One law that is reportedly being misused the most is the Domestic Violence Act passed by Parliament just last year. The Supreme Court called it a clumsily drafted law and since its inception, it has even been slapped against some top bureaucrats.

The Government is now talking of reviewing the Act.

Says Minister Women and Child Development, Renuka Chaudhary, "Yes we are sending it to the states in October to find out what all has happened in the last one year and also to find out lacunae, if any, in the existing law."

The Government is treading with caution and two more laws for women, piloted by the Women and Child Development Ministry, in the pipeline -- which were slated to be introduced in the Monsoon Session of Parliament -- have been put on hold.

The Bill to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace has been sent to a team of legal experts for review, and the second one -- related to dowry -- is under the scanner as well.

But women's rights groups fear that the review might dilute the laws and make them ineffective.

(With inputs from Aarti Nagraj in Chennai)