Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cheats of Justice

It is one of the most ironic judgments of an Indian Civil court. We all know that the mother is the natural guardian of a child. Even the animals acknowledge the fact. However, a local court in Jaipur refuses to believe the dictum.
Recently, a Rajasthan court has passed a judgment in a case filed by a woman under the Domestic Violence Act saying that that the mother cannot take care of her daughter because she is a HIV affected patient.
And how did she contract the virus? From her husband who was an army officer. Her husband who died March 19, 2003 gifted his wife both the daughter and the virus before his last journey. And the poor lady, ever since her husband’s death, has been facing the wrath of her in-laws.
With the diagnosis of HIV virus in her, she was even thrown out of the house. And now the in-laws have taken away her daughter and are even refusing to let her meet the child. Disgusted with her state of life, the lady had appealed to the court of law hoping for some justice and lo! What a judgment she has got!
It is a sad state of affairs in the country for the many women like her who contract the deadly virus from their husbands and are penalized for no fault of theirs. There have also been a few cases in Tamil Nadu, especially the interior regions of the state, where women who have contracted the HIV virus from their husbands have been asked to leave the marriage for no fault of theirs while the husband continued to enjoy a happy matrimony with another woman. The contention being that it was the fault of the woman and not of the man and that, “ She should have been careful to not to let her man go astray”. Some weird justification!
But why blame a few uneducated rural folks when the educated and highly respected seat of justices too stand by their words saying that a HIV infected mother cannot take of her child. It was the primary responsibility of the courts to act as a role model to the rural folks and let them know that HIV infection is not a stigma. Despite the government spending crores for its HIV health programmes, it is most appalling to note the Judiciary act in this manner.
Though a few women’s rights group have taken up the case for now and are planning to move higher courts, it is yet to be seen if the young widow will ever get justice.

2 Comments:

Blogger Arattai Ambujammal said...

I just hope they don't turn it into a Women's Lib issue. Fighting HIV should be well beyond the boundaries of gender, caste, religon, nationality, and race - it is a global epidemic.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Dinakaran said...

There are several misconceptions about AIDS. Even judges and magistrates are no exception. Many still believe that AIDS is a 'sex disease' and if you touch a person with AIDS, you will also get infected.

4:34 PM  

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