WOMEN- KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
The Basic Rights for a person, are enshrined under the Constitution. Ours was made by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, also known as the Father of the Indian Constitution. He made sure, that the society and its every person had a right against the state, for the proper functioning of the Democracy.
Dr. Ambedkar designed our Constitution in a way that it became the most detailed Constitution in the world. The Constitution is enshrined with Fundamental Rights made for the Citizens and how these Rights protect them from the State.
In this Article and the coming next two Articles, we shall Focus on the Rights of Women as enshrined in the Constitution and how such rights are provided to every woman in the territory of India.
Let us, in this article consider the Marital rights of women as provided under the Constitution and various other laws of the State. The contract of marriage creates a legal obligation upon the husband and his family members to provide a shelter and maintenance to the wife. If economic support is withdrawn due to a matrimonial conflict, most women cannot figure out what to do and where to go. On another stand point, if there is a child involved, women have an additional burden of caring for them. The RIGHT of this woman’s shelter and maintenance is located in the framework of this concept.
These rights formulated by legal provisions are made to safeguard the well being and life of the Woman, and the husband and his family cannot deprive him of that right. These rights include:
1. Her Right to not be asked for dowry.
2. Her Right to be treated with respect.
3. Her right to not be inflicted violence upon.
4. Her right to avail Criminal or Civil law benefits in case of sexual violence against her.
5. Her Right to file for a divorce.
6. Her Right to custody of the child.
Let us discuss some of these rights,
A. The Right to Claim Maintenance for children and self
Under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure , the Husband has a law-imposed obligation to provide maintenance to his wife. On FAILURE to provide such maintenance she has the Right to approach the Court.
The term ―maintenance is the amount required for a decent living, including cost of food, shelter (if the same is not provided by the husband), travel, requirements of health care, educational, extra-curricular and recreational expenses of children, and other sundry expenses
EVEN A WORKING WOMAN CAN CLAIM MAINTAINANCE, IF THE HUSBANDS INCOME IS SUBSTANTIALLY MORE THAN HER INCOME.
Filing of Divorce is not necessary for claiming of maintenance.
B. Domestic Violence Act and Protection thereto,
Domestic Violence, comprises of Violence in the Emotional, Sexual, Economic, forms.
In case of these violence’s have been committed on her, she has the right to get an order of Protection, even if she is still living in the same house, in the form of an Injunction.
The Woman can approach a private Lawyer, a legal aid lawyer or even a local NGO to help her in protecting her Rights.
C. Cruelty against Wives, and Dowry Harassment
It is a serious offence under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. It is punishable with a minimum of five years ‘imprisonment and a fine of Rs.15, 000/- or equal to the value of the dowry demanded or paid.
Circumstances of Dowry cases:
1. Dowry Death- Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code is invoked, if in case a woman dies in her matrimonial home within 7 years of marriage under suspicious or unnatural circumstances.
2. Abetment to Suicide- If a woman commits suicide within 7 years of her marriage due to harassment for dowry,
3. Harassment for Dowry- Section 498A can be invoked in cases where a woman is being harassed for Dowry, there is no limitation of 7 years in these cases.
WOMEN SHOULD KNOW THESE RIGHTS, AND SO SHOULD MEN.