Help women victims, says judge

In a one-day workshop organised for women representatives, on atrocities and domestic violence against women, the judges, resource persons and guests unanimously gave a call to the women folk to support and help women victims specially in case of domestic violence.

The district-level workshop was organised by the District Legal Service Authority in association with the district administration, Zilla Panchayat, Mangalore Bar Association and other government departments.

Responding to a question raised by a participant on tackling domestic violence, Karnataka High Court In-charge Chief Justice K Sridhar Rao said that in most of the cases, the general notion that ‘Woman is the enemy of woman’ is proved. The rift between women in the house, is acting as an obstacle in controlling domestic violence. Most of the cases are not proved in the court of law due to lack of evidences. The women around the victim, including her family members, friends and neighbours do not support the victim when she is met with domestic violence, he said.

Even as he stressed the significant role played by the courts in upholding the dignity of women in domestic violence and dowry cases, he insisted the lawyers and authorities concerned to implement the laws to eliminate atrocity against women, by not damaging the institution called marriage.

“The advocates should try to solve the rift between the families through Lok Adalat and mediation, rather than directly suggesting for divorce. Divorce should be the last solution,” the Judge said.

Due to the urban lifestyle and disintegrated families, the laws are used by those women who are aware of them. However, there are very less pending cases of domestic violence in the courts as the women still do not approach the courts to solve the problem for various obvious reasons, observed the Chief Justice.

Answering a query on punishment to juveniles who commit crimes like rapes, Sridhar Rao strongly propagated for reducing the age limit of juveniles from 18 to 16. An amendment and a strong law is need of the hour, which acts as a deterrent to control the crime committed by adolescents, he said.

Amend Police Act

Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Pratap Reddy emphasised on the need to amend the Police Act of 1851. “When the police are blamed for unable to control crimes, one should also consider that the existing Police Act of 1851 is weak and not on par with the need of 2013.It should be amended on the lines of how the government quickly passed an ordinance to amend the rape laws based on the recommendations of Verma Committee, following the Delhi rape incident.”
He also regretted that in 90 per cent of the cases of atrocities against women, the witnesses and the families do not support the victim in the court.

Earlier, in the inaugural programme, District Family Court Judge G D Narasimhamurthy threw light on some of the cases where the husband and wife apply for divorce over silly reasons.

There are instances, where a couple, both in their 60s, hell bent on getting a divorce. “Divorce is definitely not a solution to all the problems,” he said. Advocate Rekha Shetty, addressing a session, said in 75 per cent of the domestic violence cases, the violence is supported by women on the other end. Giving out the district statistics, Zilla Panchayat CEO Dr K N Vijayaprakash, said as many as 142 domestic violence cases were registered in 2011-12, while the number has reached 362 in 2012-13.

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