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Family pressure of marriage on daughter and Indian laws

Family pressure on marriage is a common crime that takes place into 80/100 Indian families. Marriage is given a special status in the name of sacrament, but that thing composes of many serious injuries which may lead to destroy one's peace and well-being. Most of the Indian parents takes daughter as their responsibility only for the sake of marriage and beliefs as soon as to get rid-off the responsibility and compels their daughter to get married ignoring the fact that it violates the daughter's right to live with liberty and freedom.

Women in India faces many violence, may it be at outside or at her own house. Women are subjected to be a victim throughout her life. A lot issues are given consideration expect of the major issue that takes place against women for pressuring her to marry someone against her will. Marriage is the primary aim of the Indian society. Especially the marriage of the daughter is considered to be the most important responsibility by parents than any other thing.

Many of the family believes once the son gets his job or the daughter gets educated or even if he/she attains the age of marriage they should get married. Many of the Indian parents takes daughter as their responsibility only for the sake of marriage and thinks they will get rid-off their responsibility as earlier as possible by getting their daughter married. Many of them even has the mentality the higher the daughter is educated the richer and wealthier in-laws their daughter will get.

When women in India cross a certain age, they are emotionally blackmailed or forced into marriage while in this things where many women has their aims and goals or wants to pursue higher education their parents starts forcing them for getting married and many of them leaves their dreams incomplete for their parents happiness. As women are considered to be more emotionally sensitive, their family's sentiments plays a major role for giving a consent without their will for marriage.

Forcing women into marriage can create a lot issues in her personal life and married life too. Forcing marriage is an illegal act. Even the judiciary has given marriage as the fundamental right and throw down many guidelines relating to marriage and so far marriage is given the special status in India but many of the people ignores the laws and compels emotionally or by coercion to their daughter to get married and thus it leads to the force marriage.

They treat daughter as PARAYA DHAN (someone else's property). Marriage is said to be sacramental and what if it forces somebody against their will, does it still remains sacramental? The answer to this question is absolutely No.

The forced marriage unit defines forced marriage as:

�A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognized in the UK as form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.

The pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to believe like they're bringing shame on their family). Financial abuse (taking wages or not giving any money) can also be a factor�.

Marriage and Indian Laws:

As marriage is considered important to start a family in India, India being a religious country believes to start a family marriage is important. Though the country in its preamble states itself as a secular country still the marriage laws for each religion differs. Marriage means the two people coming together to form a family which is societal acceptable but Indian laws defines marriage in its own term. A legal dictionary defines marriage as:
the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a legal, consensual ,and contractual relationship recognized and sanctioned by and dissolvable only by law.

Legally, marriage is a binding contract between the two parties that joins together their possessions, income, and lives. The right to marry is a component of right to life under Article 21 of the constitution of India which says, �No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law'. This right has been recognized under the UDHR 1948 Article 16 of the same states.

Laws relating to marriage have been clearly codified in different acts which are applicable to people of different religion in India.

Force Marriage and judiciary in India:

A force marriage occurs when one or both spouses do not consent to the marriage and duress is involved .Women in India has always been deprived of their rights even after the Indian government enacted several progressive laws for women. The rights of women in India are still subject to ignorance as the majority overlook women's right to choice and consent when it comes to marriage.

The constitutionally guaranteed equality for women is often contradictory to harsh societal reality of the land and its cultural norms. Indian parents takes daughter as the burden of responsibility till the time she gets married and thus wants to get rid-off this responsibility as earlier as possible. Many of the educated parents also has the same mindset. Many of them due to relatives pressure or in the fear of societal stigma wants their daughters to get marry earlier and thus forces their daughter by the use of coercion , guilt, threats, blackmail harassment, financial pressure, emotional pressure, physical violence, psychological duress or might even be tricked into getting married.

A force marriage is illegal it also happens if the daughter is caught or wishes to marry somebody she loves who is not of the same caste ,class , category, religion, even after the rapidly changing society many Indian parents fails to accept the generation growth and wants their daughters to marry in the same caste as they belongs if she wishes to marry somebody she loves and this also violates her right to choose who she wants marry which is guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian and it is stated under Human Rights Charter within the meaning of the right to start a family.

In Hadiya Case, the Case has been termed as the �love jihad' Case hadiya's right to marry by her choice was challenged by her parents in the Kerala high court, where the apex court overruled the decision of Kerala high court and allowed hadiya to continue her studies in a Salem college and to live with her husband.

Women who wants to get education further or wants to get a job has to leave behind their wishes for their parents happiness which is also violation to her right to education and right to freedom which is inserted in Article of the Indian constitution this all amounts to a force against her will which also violates her human rights, Certain rights are inalienable from a human being and are guaranteed by birth .the protection of human rights Act, 1993 defines human rights as the rights related to the life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual which are guaranteed by the constitution in various international covenants which are enforceable in the courts in India. Right to live with dignity forms a part of human rights and any form of harassment amounts to breach of the right to live with dignity.

A force marriage is a violation of human rights and also a gender violence. Article 16 of UDHR also states that marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. Right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under 21 of the Indian constitution also states that no person shall be deprived of his life and personal liberty and Article 21 also guarantees right to freedom which also consists a right to give free consent also the Article 21 of the Indian constitution states that right to life includes the right to consensual marriage in India.

Even the law says the validity of the marriage is only when both the parities gives free consent to marriage otherwise it is treated as nullity of the marriage. Judiciary also gives authority to the women to file complaint against her own family or relatives or whoever is forcing her into marriage. Inducing women to compel her marriage also attracts the section 366 of Indian Penal Code.

Using of Force against the women can also attract the section 350 of IPC. And section 15 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 can also be made applicable here. Forcing for marriage can sometimes create a serious mental disturbance which may lead for the women to commit suicide and thus that later will attract section 306 of IPC.

Forcing a women is the violation of her fundamental rights which are guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Indian constitution and it also violates the human rights Article 1, 2, 3, 5 and 19 of the UDHR. It also violates Article 16 of the UDHR. The laws in India provide a legal remedy in case a person's right to marry by choice is violated by someone. It is completely up to the person to initiate a legal action or not against the other person who in the most cases are the person's parents.

Here are some relevant provisions against force marriage given by judiciary:

  1. The law says the validity of the marriage is only when both the parities gives free consent to marriage. Even if the girl gets married under force and there was no free consent then under 1 year she can file a suit for nullity of marriage.
  2. A force marriage is a violation of human rights and also a gender violence.
  3. Force marriage also amounts to coercion as defined under section 15 of the Indian contract Act 1872.
  4. Civil laws which are applicable to all the communities regarding force marriage in India: The Prohibition of child Marriage Act 2006, The Guardian and Wards Act. 1890 , The Majority Act, 1875 , The family Courts Act , 1984. The Protection Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.
  5. Domestic Violence (section-3(A)) PWDVA.
  6. Article 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966.
  7. Also section 366 of Indian Penal Code.

Legal things you can do if you are facing force marriage:

  1. Contact a women cell of local police

    A complained can be filed with the women cell of local police in the city where the person resides. A written complaint with your details, about the person who is forcefully making you get married along with place and date.
  2. File for Domestic Violence under PWDW Act

    You can file a domestic violence case under the PWDVA, 2005 against your parents or any other family member in the court. A temporary restraining order would be issued by the magistrate preventing your family member from forcefully marrying you with someone.
  3. Contact National commission for women

    You can file a complaint in national commission for women regarding the violation of your right to marry.
  4. Contact a lawyer

    You can hire an experienced family lawyer to file complainant with appropriate authority in India in case your right to marry by choice is denied.
  5. Suit for annulment of marriage in district court or family court

    In case if marriage happens than within one year of marriage, Marriage may be annulled by a decree of nullity on the ground that the consent of petitioner was obtained by fraud or force.
    Family court are established to hear and dispose of such case.

Even though we say that India is progressing towards a better tomorrow, forced marriage still plagues. Force marriage is an illegal act it not only violates the rights guaranteed under Indian constitution and rights guaranteed under human rights but also is a serious emotional and physical threats to the victims. It can leave the trauma throughout her life. Women in Indian society should at least feel safe in her own house but it can't happen where the parents forces them to marry against their will.

The law system isn't crystal clear and the power brokerage within it is really difficult to understand. There are limited services from government for women facing gender biased violence. However, the country does have an extensive NGO network, with many organizations working to combat violence against women, some specifically working to prevent forced marriage.

Award Winning Article is Written By:�Ms.Vaishnavi Shekhar Pawar

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Authentication No: SP025155771879-7-920

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