Men's rights groups on Sunday demanded de-listing of the Marriage laws amendment bill from the ongoing Lok Sabha session's business. They have also sought the bill be sent to a parliamentary standing committee for review.
"We demand the need to safeguard the rights of men as the new marriage bill violates Article 14 of the constitution, which guarantees equality to all," V Jahgirdar Kumar, founder and president of Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), told IANS over telephone.
He said any bill which violated this article becomes unconstitutional. "We must stop making gender biased anti-male laws."
Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), another NGO, and Bangalore-based CRISP organised protests Sunday against the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill of 2010 in Bangalore, Nagpur and Delhi.
SIFF president Rajesh Vakharia, who is based in Nagpur, said the bill would give the divorced women an equal stake in the husbands' ancestral property, which is unconstitutional.
According to the new proposed law, the wife is entitled to have a share in the husband's inherited property even after the divorce, whereas the property owned by the wife is not being considered for division.
Vakharia said the bill has been made in haste and not by engaging in a discussion with various stake-holders, including men's rights groups.
"It's also silent on safeguarding husbands from laws like 498-A and domestic violence act of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) and Section 125 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code)," he said.
Moreover, the bill, he said, has no mention about the custody of children in post-separation cases and there is no clarity on what would happen to the children if the mother vanishes with the money received post-divorce and does not take care of children.
"We demand that the government must come up with a formula for calculating contribution of each spouse by taking into account the duration of marriage, number of children, financial status and earning potential of both husband and wife," Jahgirdar said.
The custody of children and shared parenting in cases of separation must be ensured, he added.
CRISP, with regional chapters in Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Lucknow, has also been demanding setting up of special courts to deal with child custody cases.