A 63-year-old man from Kanchiguru in Karnataka’s Kadur taluk had been seeking divorce from his estranged wife since past 20 long years.
Frustrated with the never ending legal proceedings and the constant refusal of the woman to legally end the dead relationship, Basappa, a retired school teacher, shot his ex-wife dead on Monday. He later surrendered himself to the Sakharayapatna police on Tuesday.
The estranged couple Basappa and Jayamma were married 30-years-ago and had lived together only for 5-years before they started quarrelling. Since then they had been living separately (almost 25-years now). The separation happened due to various marital discords and reportedly the wife, Jayamma, had also moved court seeking support money for her sustenance. The husband maintained that his wife was involved in an affair with another man, which led to their arguments.
Though he had been seeking divorce for 20 years now, Jayamma had allegedly refused to give him one. On Monday night, Basappa walked into his wife’s house and shot her five times using a country-made gun. She died on the spot. He allegedly had assaulted two men, identified as his brother-in-law and nephew, prior to committing the crime.
They have two sons, one who works as a government school teacher and the other works with the Karnataka State Road Transportation Corporation (KSRTC). The husband had approached her seeking for divorce on multiple occasions, but she had refuted him at every juncture, which provoked him to kill her.
Jayamma was taken immediately to the Government McGann Hospital in Shivamogga, where doctors declared her brought dead.
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How does the law work in reality for Men in India seeking divorce?
- It is impossible for any man to get divorce from his estranged wife if she is contesting the same
- There are no time lines to end the cross questioning and as in the above case, the man is left to the mercy of the woman for legal separation even after two decades
- In the interim period, the wife is entitled to be maintained by the husband even if she has no contribution in his life after separation. Even though the woman is fully-abled, educated and sometimes even working, she has complete right to demand money from a man who is now rendered as a mere cash cow
- The court have no powers to exercise a divorce by default, even if the couple has not cohabbited for decades or also if they are fully aware of NIL chances of the couple staying together again
- Often and in most cases the child custody is handed over to the mother, who completely poisons the mind of the child and this leaves the man alone to fend for himself and also pay up endlessly for making one wrong judgement of his life
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- The woes of the man do not end there…..The woman can endlessly contest the quantum of money she wants to be awarded by court without getting a one time final settlement
- The age old law states, despite who ever is at fault, the man is liable to pay. In some judgements the courts have even asked the men to “beg, borrow or steal” to pay up maintenance to their estranged wives
- In many cases if the husbands are doing well, the ex-wives choose not to remarry so that they do not give up on their legal right to extort the man indefinitely
- There are several cases recorded where the men commit suicide due to constant harassment by the legal system even when he is at no fault
- Not just the men, but even their parents, sisters, brothers their children – all are dragged to court forever for one woman who chooses to dominate her self importance by deceit
The above pointers in no way justify the killing of the woman, however, this is a dark side of reality which currently only a small section of the society realises. Why doesn’t the society realise that if a marriage fails, it should be gracefully ended, instead of penalising one gender for the rest of the life.
In all such cases, it is only and only the big false ego of the woman that makes her feel empowered by not letting a man ‘legally’ free. However, in the bargain, she forgets that she too is left with a mere legal stamp but cannot enjoy any benefits or standing of a married woman.
One must not overlook the bias of our society when it comes to the reverse scenario if the wife is struggling for a divorce for 2 long decades. In those cases too, it’s the wife who is looked as the victim and the husband as a merciless patriarchal man trying to suppress her freedom.
Is it time the courts review timelines for contested divorces & stop punishing either genders for a life long legal harassment, just because one party refuses to give up on their false ego?
Time to ponder!
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