As we all grew up in India, we were always taught how our society was patriarchal and women had no rights whatsoever. In the bargain, fathers of potential brides would be truly worried in choosing ‘that right boy’ for his daughter. However, fathers didn’t realise that choosing ‘the right daughter-in-law’ for his son could be equally tricky in case the marriage fell apart. Such is the story of Mr Jaswant Singh, a senior citizen from Delhi.
- Jaswant has 2 daughters and 1 son
- Both daughters are married in non-sikh families and settled in their respective marital homes
- When Singh’s family was on a lookout for a bride for their son, many girls refused the proposal, since Mr Singh’s son Parmeet, despite having a good income, didn’t own a separate house
- After retirement, the first thing Jaswant did, was built a brand new home with his pension benefits
- Post this development, one girl’s family approached them for a match and the parents of the bride agreed only after having a good look at the ongoing construction of the new home
- The girl, Preeti, was employed as a teacher and came from a moderate income household
- Post engagement, Parmeet informed his parents that Preeti did not even have a phone and thus he wanted to gift her an expensive mobile on her birthday
- After marriage, husband gifted several things to Preeti such as jewelry, clothes, frequent pleasure trips and much more, due to which his savings started reducing than before
- This irked Preeti to such an extent that she objected Parmeet giving any household expenses to Jaswant and also did not allow customary gifts to be given to her sister-in-laws
- After a few months, Preeti started picking up quarrels on insisting her husband’s name to be added in Jaswant’s property, which was registered in the mother’s name. She even insisted that Parmeet claimed his share in the property and start living separately from his parents’ home
- When Parmeet refused to do so, Preeti started calling her parents to her marital home, where they frequently insulted Parmeet
- The girl and family had also concealed that Preeti was suffering from acute diabetes prior to marriage, which possibly led to abnormality in foetus and doctors advised her for medical termination of pregnancy
- While Preeti saved her entire salary in one and a half years of marriage, every single penny of her treatment was borne by Parmeet
- One fine day, Preeti left home with all jewelry, her medical records and shifted to her parents home again
- After a few days, the girl and her parents returned to Jaswant’s house, threatening them of dire consequences if their demands were not met
- Jaswant says they swallowed all insult just to save their son’s marriage, however, after a few months, Parmeet himself moved court for bringing Preeti back home. This is when Preeti slapped dowry harassment charges on Parmeet and his entire family
- In December 2014, Preeti’s father and brother even attacked her husband and their family right outside a police station, and yet there was no action against that girl’s family
- It’s been four years, Preeti has been awarded Rs 18,000 as maintenance per month, despite having her own teaching income of Rs 40,000 approximately
- With no child to support, Preeti enjoys this free monthly allowance and also chooses not to attend court dates any more
- While Jaswant awaits justice, he curses himself for getting his son married in India where such one sided biased laws prevail
Kindly note names of all parties have been changed since this matter is still subjudice
- There are several families suffering due to one sided women centric laws
- The word of a woman is taken as the final word whenever she alleges Dowry Harassment
- Since there is no timeline of a case to be concluded, the woman misuses respective laws never to turn up for court dates, once she is awarded interim maintenance
- Despite several judgements on ‘no maintenance to wife if she is educated and earning’, our courts are still encouraging such a practice which is regressive for women empowerment itself
- It is a shame on human rights when a husband/man who has to succumb to these age old laws, keep paying his estranged wife for years or decades and yet patiently await for justice
Read Jaswant’s Story in Detail Below:
I have two daughters one son. Always worried how I will find suitable match for my beloved daughters but never thought about finding a good girl for my son as I thought any good girl will be happy if we provide her all comforts within our means. Requests for marriages of my daughters came from non-Sikh families. We hesitated but finding families background very nice accepted their offer. My daughters adjusted in new environment & are leading happy married life by keeping husband & in laws happy.
Many offers came for my son marriage. But because of living in small house parents of girls declined our offer of marriage even though my son was having handsome salary. So after retirement first thing I did was to construct own house with money I got as pensioner benefits. One offer came through marriage bureau. Girl was employed as teacher & good looking. Her parents agreed to marriage only after seeing our new house under construction.
After his engagement my son told us that girl was not having mobile phone & so he will gift her costly phone on birth day which he did. We thought as girl is not having much comforts in parental home she will become ideal wife & daughter in law after marriage. After marriage my son showered her with costly jewelry, clothes gifts & spent thousands on trip to Kulu – Manali & pilgrimage to Golden Temple, Manaikaran Sahib. Being salaried man his net income decreased after few months because of paying installments of items purchased for her on credit. This irked his wife & she objected to his sharing of house hold expenses & even to customary gifts given to married sisters.
After some months when she came to know house was not in name of my son but in name of my wife she starting picking up quarrels with him making pressure to get title of house transferred in his name. She even asked him to claim his share in property & should not live with us. As my son refused, she started bringing her parents to our house. They even insulted my son in our presence for not providing enough comforts to their daughters. They also demanded to have full time maid servant for their daughter whereas she rarely cooked food even for her husband. My son for security reasons not accepted this demand.
She was not having even separate room for herself in parental hose & was enjoying total privacy in two room flat of 100 sq yds. & her each demand was fulfilled within no time. She saved her entire salary during her one & half year stay with us. She & her parents had concealed vital fact that she was suffering from acute diabetes before marriage which possibly caused abnormality in foetus & doctors advised for medical termination of her pregnancy. My son wanted her operation in Ganga Ram Hospital but his father & brother thought it as sub standard & forced him to have her operated in Max Hospital. All medical expenses on her operation & treatment for diabetes were borne by my son. Thereafter she asked my son to have her treated in Fortis Hospital, Saket. My son reluctantly agreed but because of office duty in Noida could not accompany her.
She was annoyed & secretly took away all jewelry valuable & medical record of her treatment for diabetes & termination of pregnancy on Doctors advice. And one day left house for going to Fortis Hospital but instead coming back to our house she went to parent’s house. After few days she came with her parents & after threatening us of dire consequences if their all demands are not accepted, took most of clothes & other items in big suitcase to maternal house. Her parents while leaving our house threatened that until half share of house is not given to their daughters she will remain with them.
We were not aware of false dowry & DV cases & also to save marriage of son so we swallowed insult & did not took any action against them. After waiting for few months my son filed court case to bring her back. She retaliated by filing false dowry complaint with CAW Cell. On 04/12/14 my son, my wife & myself were attacked by her father & brother while we were sitting in our car just outside police station. They damaged my son car in presence of a crowd. Police was bribed or influenced so it not only delayed registering of FIR against culprits for one year but to teach us lesson forwarded false dowry case to court & even advised my daughter in law in his presence to file DV case also which she did. They even managed to get charges framed against all of us by engaging a tout lawyer.
My son had false notion that as he has not any wrong & having all proofs to prove it, he will get justice. But even court sided with his wife & allowed her more than Rupees four lakhs of arrears & 25% income (Rs 18000 pm) as maintenance totally ignoring the fact that she is not only guilty but childless & well educated earning more than Rs 31,000/- pm. (Now may be more than Rs 40000/-). Even appeal in HC failed as Judge favoured colleague trial court judge & ignored merit of case.
We have all proofs to prove that my son showered all love & affection & provided every comfort to his wife within his means & that dowry complaint is totally false & baseless. He has submitted all these & photos & CD of attack incident. Judge once told my daughter in law that she should file divorce papers as she is not entitled for any maintenance. On other occasion she ordered original driving licences of persons giving surety be returned which were taken on order of another judge when she was on leave. But once wife of my son engaged another lawyer he made the judge to take U turn presumably he was her friend or he had bribed her.
Any person having little judicial mind if go through case files will come to conclusion that it these are totally false cases. But even after 4 yrs hearing in dowry case is at preliminary stage & hearing in DV case yet to be started. God knows how many more years court will take to decide it. Son wife enjoying care free life with about Rs 50,000/- pm & rarely attend court.
I curse my bad luck of being living in a country where marrying son in a greedy family become crime.