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Seeking 'equality' with women, men protest marriage law bill

New Delhi, Aug 19 , 2012 DHNS: 1:08 IST
Several men and women from different groups demanded a rollback of Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010, which proposes to introduce automatic property annexation from men.

This amendment will recognise a wife’s right to property acquired by her spouse during their marriage. Men who are going through the divorce process demand that the word ‘husband’ in this amendment clause should be replaced with ‘spouse’ so both parties may have a right to oppose. The Union Cabinet has approved the draft Marriage Laws (Amendment), Bill, 2010, likely to be tabled in Parliament soon.

Several men’s rights groups are opposing these “women-centric” amendments in the Marriage Law, as they are not happy with the idea of parting with their property after divorce.

“We had submitted some suggestions to the Law Minister and the parliamentary committee as well but they did not take them into consideration. That is why we decided to oppose the bill,” said Swarup Sarkar, founder member of Save Family Foundation.

“The financial benefit should be linked with the number of years a couple is married for. According to it, a husband cannot oppose the wife’s allegations,” he added.
Kumar V Jahgirdar, founder and president of the Bangalore-based Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting aid the bill does not deal with issues like custody of children and visitation rights.

“It is based on the flawed presumption that the child is best taken care of by the mother. But children are going to be major losers if this bill is passed in the absence of a father,” he said.

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