New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS): Men's rights groups, fighting for shared parenting in case of divorce, today protested the Central government move to empower the National Commission for Women (NCW) with powers to direct police to arrest the accused in crimes against women.
In a missive to Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Bangalore-based NGO Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) said: "If the NCW is elevated, it will lead to a complete disintegration of the Indian judicial system."
"Often the reason that is used to justify the demand for elevation is comparison with the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) and powers of a court that the NHRC has," said the letter signed by CRISP president Kumar V Jahgirdar. "However, we would like to call out critical and fundamental differences between the NHRC and the NCW and why a court powers to the NCW would be disastrous to the Indian jurisprudence."
"A legal system operates on the principle of impartiality and neutrality, which is the fundamental premise in any legal system. In this regard the NCW and the NHRC cannot be compared," Arnab Ganguly, founder president of Delhi-based NGO INSAAF (Indian Social Awareness and Activism Forum), told IANS.
He said: "The NCW is an organisation exclusively for women, and hence would never be impartial as a civil court in matters involving men and women. The NCW will be a kangaroo court at best."
Justifying the suo motu powers given to the NHRC to investigate, the letter addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said the NHRC is an inclusive organisation with a charter to uphold the human rights of all, irrespective of men, women and children.
"If the NCW is accorded powers of a court, then all statutory bodies and minority welfare institutions would also be fully justified in demanding status of courts exclusively for their welfare efforts," it said.
Also, if women can get courts which have a charter to uphold the legal and social rights of women only, why not men also be provided with similar biased courts which would be sympathetic to the cause of men only, Jahgirdar asked.
Ganguly said his NGO would protest on the issue and present a memorandum to all Members of Parliament.