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HomeReportTop woman bureaucrat demands definition for ‘wife’, says women misusing laws

Top woman bureaucrat demands definition for ‘wife’, says women misusing laws

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Steel secretary Aruna Sharma hits out at ‘narrow approach’ to women’s rights, says men are being falsely trapped in judicial maze and losing faith.

New Delhi: Aruna Sharma, a top woman IAS officer in the central government, has lashed out against what she calls the “narrow approach in the name of women’s rights”. She believes this has led to a rampant misuse of law by women, asserting that such “activism” is resulting in men losing faith in the judiciary and the institution of marriage.

Sharma, secretary in the Union ministry of steel, says the judiciary unduly favours women, leading to men being falsely trapped in an endless judicial maze.

Suggested remedies

In a bid to attract attention to the issue, Sharma wrote a letter on 31 August to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, urging it to take remedial measures to restore balance in key legal provisions.

“The judiciary and policy makers cannot be prejudiced,” she wrote. “It has to ensure that mechanisms are there for imparting proper justice, (an) innocent is not harassed, and heavy penalty (is given) to those who harass and try to frustrate the judicial system by using all tactics to delay justice and resort to extortion,” she wrote.

The system is creating a “modern-day dacoit”, she added.

She went on to demand a definition for “wife”, as she believes there are numerous cases of women allegedly framing men under cases of dowry and domestic violence.

“Define ‘wife’,” she wrote. “Just marrying, making life hell for a couple of years, and ensuring that no child is born cannot be a claim for lifelong maintenance when the boy will have to support his new family and children. Such women only use matrimonial home as a parking place, and then to extort to support their wayward lifestyles.”

She went on to add: “Women select a boy who is from (a) good family (who is) earning well, move to marry him, make life hell for a couple of years, ensure no child is born, walk out, and shoot multiple cases under domestic violence, (Section) 498A (of the Indian Penal Code), Section 125 (of the CrPC) for maintenance, (Section) 406 (IPC) to demand jewellery given by the boy’s family, so on and so forth.”

On the issue of marital rape, Sharma wrote: “It (marital rape) is having intercourse when one of the partners unwilling, it is possible by both genders — and it is word of one against another, what are we trying to hint at? If the woman is undergoing harassment, she can separate from the partner.”

While Sharma supported maternity leave as she believes women are “blessed by nature”, on menstrual period leave, she said: “This is again taking (place) in the garb of rights… If women employees want equity, (they) cannot be unpredictable in attending office in (the) name of period leave… this is something women working even as labour have been managing from time immemorial. Tomorrow at senior level, there could be menopause leave that is long term, even as (a) woman boss, it is definitely unacceptable.”

Top woman bureaucrat demands definition for ‘wife’, says women misusing laws
Infographic: Nandita Singh/ThePrint

If these steps are not taken, the judicial space will be “occupied by crooks” and boys will continue “losing faith in (the) institution of marriage, resorting to live-in relationship or surrogate children, and leaving India,” she wrote.

“I think the time has come to speak out and ensure justice is (meted) to not only wronged girls, but also (to) wronged boys,” she concluded.

Not vocal in the past

Sharma, who is a 1982 batch IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh cadre, had been secretary, electronics & IT, before a bureaucratic shuffle in 2016 sent her to the steel ministry. Given her good reputation as a senior bureaucrat, she was unanimously elected as the first woman president of the Madhya Pradesh IAS Officers’ Association in 2011.

While she is not known to have been publicly vocal on issues relating to gender justice in the past, Sharma has, in her letter, proposed a point-wise agenda to change what she believes is a deeply-skewed situation.

Officials in the Women and Child Development Ministry confirmed receiving the letter. However, they said no action may be taken, since the ministry often receives suggestions in the area of gender justice.


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  1. Thanks for speaking up… But I doubt the govt and Judiciary will amend the laws as this fake case racket is a money making business for everyone… Lawyers, Police etc.

  2. Yes! Sahi madam sahi hai ye …In krur mahilvonehi nahi bulki inke pichhe ek selfish n well pre plannerki teambhi hoti hai .They trap such women n teach them ..then they stars …fake cases demands etc . Thinks onlyabout to end the life of husband Men n their fams n friends ..itnahi nahi bulki off me promotions etc..benefits…consessions property pop power prestigious things …Crual wills of their whims . Buchhonko banate hai ATM …MAAKA IMMOTIONAL BLAKMAILING ISSUES INSIDE THE PLAN TO ABSORB N LOOT MONEY ETC ..ISHKELIYE VE KUCHBBHI KAR SAKTE HAI KABHIBJI ANY TIME! A YWHERE………IN THIS MAINLY innocent buchhe school khelkudkijagah police n kortkacherime jitejimaare jate hai…unka life barbaad miya jata hai . Na fam court na police na ngo’s even child help line ya koibhi mahila aaghatanbhi madd nahi karte sab kahete hai “Ye humaara shirf aur shirf mahilaonkeliyehi kary karte hai” To phir ye NGO KAYKELIYE? POLICEWALE KAHEYE HAI “aamhi kay karu shakat nahi .baich matter …tyat mela ko padnaar? Aamhaala porbaal nabit? Udya tumchya bhangadit hya baain takrar keliki geli aamchi nokri ! Porabaxlani udya kay karaaych? Hya bayakanchhya saghatna phone warparyant kartat …”Aamche barech off.suspend zhaalyaati ..Na baabaa naa ..bagha varpryent xya tichi takrar ..Mothya saahebakade jaa.” No laws n justice 4 men .mes rts r human rts. AARE HUMME VHHAHIYE Puruzh Ni Swata tra Baal Aayog. Aajki SweeToo KalkiMeeToo, shadi karoge ? Na na nabhai na …Jail Jaavove ? Na nanabhai naa.mardkobhi dard hota hai ishliye vote soch samazhkar do Mard kobhi Dard hota hai . Pl pl. Save Indian family n save kids innocent kids ..

  3. Well said Madam , Many cases of dowry,divorce case and other sectipns are many womens are misuse but the advocates are to be supported this matters very intersted part they should main roll of cases sattelment as a agents . but the no justice for a man in this types of cases,fully harrassmetn as a judges also to be sirmiry in the sttaled cases by the womwnes faour , The marriage is single familyto expence but the man side are no any expences . At the condisions are sattelment to bothes are presor to mans you should be pay for the marraige expenditure, But , i say Why should be pay the man are womens marriage expenditures

  4. Saving institution of marriage is need of the hour. It should be made more rational and gender neutral. Weather hindus or Muslims, we are religious people and we can not adopt live in form of life like west. Concept of alimony and housewife should go. Women also should work and have an economic life of their own. In olden days, there used to be lot of house hold work as children were more and no modern home appliance. Now cooking takes just half an hour and most of the families eating out frequently. There is no justification for men to toil whole day while women sitting at home watching TV and using husband as ATM.
    Husband and wife should live like romemates, managing their income and wealth separately. They can share common expenditure. Marriage and divorce should be made easy. Both should have the right to divorce unilaterally. Women will not become destitute, if she is divorced. Since both are working, women won’t tolerate or adjust with bad husband. She will simply divorce and find another suitable life partner as she does not have any economic restrain not to do so. Men also can do the same. There will be an eqluibirium. No spouse will take the other for granted.

  5. Good thought. But nothing should be one sided. Women or men, harassement is harassement. If I want a Vanilla ice
    Cream & my wife wants a Butterscotch, this difference can not be a harassement, if we are going for a family pack. Life stands in social responsibility & social recognition not merely on possession & marital happiness. What is the difference? Difference are there since time immortal, sacrifice is true meaning of friendship & love.

  6. Will i be wrong if I say the women belong to a privilege caste who has always found ways to suppress women and have used women from their own caste as tool…. the current is clear example of making women trying to fight their way out of absurd relationships ‘weak’ and vulnerable. I have experienced in my personal life where a girl took 3 years to get divorce even she was beaten horribly by her husband in upper middle class family and in the end they had to settle with divorce and no maintenance. Also in my personal experience I have seen mis-use of domestic violence law but I choose to oppose these views presented by Ms. Sharma. She has poor understanding of what women go through in poor marriages in India infact she seems to be having poor understanding of women as well. If she says that women is working as labourer during her periods then why cant women work in offices, is example of poor understanding of a daily wage labourer and her household economics. She is working because she has no option and not because she is motivated to work. I see many weak men supporting her and claiming to be victim and I agree many are, but what she has suggested will take us 50 years back…..

    • well i hope the people understand this..i very well accept that there are women who exploit the laws but we cannot deny the fact that women are the one who is ill treated in India.If the mother in laws want the women to be good to them ,they should equally be good towards them.Why is a women expected to change as per the rules..regulations …rituals and stuff of the other family..cant she be accepted without these prejudices ,a marriage isn’t only a women’s responsibility,both of them have to understand and shoulder the responsibility.Women section doesn’t compromises only of the women living in the metros,please go to the villages and suburban places ,places like chattisgarh, bilaspur, jharkhand,parts of maharashtra and numerous other places.What about the women who are not educated and please go through the statistics that will actually tell what the ground situation is.If men were so good in huge numbers than in that case so many instances wouldnt happen against them,child marriages,rape,molestation,acid attack…………….

  7. Salute to Respected Aruna Sharma who is so caring about the cause of innocent people and the society as a whole. While feminists are behind coming up with all evil and biased laws, most men are also responsible for this. Usually in society men are notorious to support girls or women in case of any dispute between genders. Take a simple example of any street incident.. If you see any street quarrel between a boy and a girl, mostly all the men who will gather will beat up the boy first without finding out the reason for the quarrel, who started it or who is at fault. They do this to show their power and impress upon the girl. Its true inside family, friends and everywhere. As such India needs more of Ms. Aruna in all powerful positions to change the society and make justice system gender neutral. Feminists and these WCD ministers need favor for women and not equality. Equality means both men and women get equal treatment as victim and criminal. These people want men to be marked as criminals and women as victims in all cases even if the women commit sexual offense or murder.

  8. I would first of all like to salute this Lady IAS officer, who had acknowledged the real issue to save the roots of Indian cultural families, to stop the misuse of section of IPC for private gain by one section of society.
    Laws should be equal for both genders ,to stop this large % of fabricated domestic violence false cases being filed in our country. Many are there who feel to speak about this misuse of law by one section of society but the courage to speak is missing. Hence once again Hats off for this Lady IAS officer to save the cultural values by speaking of equal laws & rights in Indian society.

  9. “When you are prejudiced…no fair rules/judgements can be expected out of you.”……and that is what happening in this GENDERS fight for justice.

  10. Thank you madam for raising right concerns. It has become a business now to get married and than divorce with hugh alimony. You have brought in light an important aspect but media with not take up this point. Because media is biased towarda feminist. Hats off to you for speaking truth on such an important aspect

  11. I would first, salute this Lady IAS officer, who had acknowledged the real issue to save the roots of Indian cultural families, to stop the misuse of section of IPC for private gain by one section of society.
    Laws should be equal for both genders ,to stop this large % of fabricated domestic violence false cases being filed in our country & to stop the large number of Suicide of men taking place in India.
    Many are there , who feel to speak about this misuse of law by one section of society but the courage to speak is missing. Hence once again Hats off for this Lady IAS officer to save the cultural values , by speaking of equal laws & rights in Indian society. This bold thoughts had given courage to many around us, & the day is near where we will see equality everywhere.

  12. I would first of all like to salute this Lady IAS officer, who had acknowledged the real issue to save the roots of Indian cultural families, to stop the misuse of section of IPC
    Laws should be equal for both genders & to stop the fabricated domestic violence false cases being filed & to stop the large number of Suicide of men taking place in India.This bold thoughts of an IAS had given courage to many & the day is near where we will see equality everywhere.

  13. Yes well said. It is high time the issue is to be taken seriously and steps to be initiated to curb misuse of law to harass men.

  14. Great. We need ppl like you madam who think rationally to change the system. Hope wcd takes some action. No doubt men , judiciary is against men

  15. Hats off for the bold decision in order to crub the misuse the section of ipc by wife n women to be made bailable recent trend is to allege sexual hrassment n rape on in laws also initiate action for misuse of sexual hrassment n rape in cases there is a relationship of employer n employee, love relationship if it’s continuing one n maid n employee

  16. Thanks to the Lady IAS Officer, who acknowledged the real issue and also suggested solutions to curb #Legal Terrorism.

    The real problem nowadays of Married Women in India, who has only #DhankiBaat in mind + that they don’t have courage and skills to run a family and manage relationship with in-laws. They need continuous support of parents to manage their day. Icing on the cake is matrimonial laws that are breaking families and increasing prostitution and immortal relationships. Britishers have succeeded in damaging education and family with the help of their agents in our Government and society.

  17. Being human both genders have equal ability to be devious and cunning and exploit partners in a given situation.Just because women were in past mistreated due to economic religious and social reasons doesn’t mean that circumstances are same!Women in workplaces or marriages are now capable of using current laws in their favour therefore it is very important to have laws that cater to objective and neutral justice rather than to any particular gender!

  18. Comment: yes madam, it’s true, around 90% of domestic violence cases filed in india against men are fabricated and has become legal wepon for women to harrass and extract money from husband and his parents.
    it is also seen that many women who are real victims of domestic violence do not come forward to register cases against their families.
    Hats off madam, being a woman you think like a mother. thank you.

  19. biased laws females are exploited from womb to tomb .educating females so that they start understanding so pay the cost of literacy.

  20. I am so glad that as a woman, another woman has expressed so clearly that we because of our greed, personal lifestyles, have become dacoits in this “modern” set up. Cozily wrapped under the “pro active” judicial system and protected by “just” laws–to a large extent–dauhter in laws not only bring hell and chaos in the life of men but torture women (mother in laws and sister in laws) by implicating them under false cases. Justice has to be for everyone and whoever is wrong has to be punished. Unfortunately this is not happening. With this open letter, i hope that more women will themselves speak on this very important issue.

  21. It’s right. all the acts are passed to harass the innocent. Women’s right. Child right human right SC /st act are being used less but being misused more. People criticise manusmriti without reading are even seeing the book. It’s really a matter of concern. Thanks for floating the idea. Please do something to save the society and social institutions for the sake of humanity.

  22. Appreciate the points. But does the legislature have the gumption to enact these as laws. The judiciary have been playing rukus since decades and have killed families.

  23. She has elaborated nicely the ground realities of the present situation in all matrimonial disputes. She has mentioned fearlessly his own views…I salute her…

  24. I fully agree with the views expressed by the lady bureaucrat. These it is the husbands mostly who are being victimised by their wives under the grab of dowery & domestic violence.

  25. I salute you madam Aruna Sharma.It’s my first article ever since I am reading newspaper about gender equality by a women atleast accepting the loophole in women judiciary. you really are insanely true in every aspect. really felt good about the article..and kudos

  26. …..She is really an ideal mother of Indian Society.
    We have no words to appreciate her vocal thoughts-words urged to the Union of India.

    May God offer her a supreme post in Ministry of Law and Justice.

  27. Last Line of Last Paragraph shows the Gender Biasedness of Respondant from the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Govt. of India.l, on question asked about receiving letter.

    Hope PMO + Govt. of India take a Note of the Letter + sugesstions in it to establish faith in the Judiciary and on Marriage System and to save the Male Youth from #FakeCases, so that they can contribute towards the Development of the Nation, rather than loosing time in Visiting Courts, Lawyers, Police Stations, etc.

  28. While counseling such victimised men, we at Vaastav Foundation or SIF (helpline number: 8882498498) come across many mothers blackmailing and extorting their husbands with an argument that she will provide access to the child equivalent to the amount of maintenance her husband pays ‘her child’.
    The point being made here is that a man becomes more vulnerable, helpless and victimised after he becomes a father to a child whose mother is certain to dispose him for ever in return of money.
    In almost all cases, mother is granted the custody of a child & the husbands are at thw mercy of such women.

    Apart from the issues mentioned by the IAS officer, this (that of fathers’) is one more huge, heart-wrenching issues men face.

  29. I agree that there is a lot of exploitation of the rules and laws by unscrupulous women and we have to ensure gender parity – for all sexes

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