The Author of this blog is Shivangi Singh, student of 3rd year BA LLB (H), Amity University, Noida  

“Law must to be balanced. The balance has been disturbed”


The above words are of Senior Lawyer and Parliamentarian KTS Tulsi during his introduction of private members bill before Rajya Sabha to introduce his amendment bill in the criminal law to make sexual offences gender neutral. All sexual offences should be gender neutral. Men, women, and other genders are often perpetrators and also victims of those offences. Men, women and others got to be protected[1].

As we all know that it is one among the tragic reality of the laws of our country that a number of them still protects the rights of only a specific gender. They’re biased towards one gender and totally ignorant towards the opposite one.

Laws which needs attention

Starting with one among the foremost controversial gender biased law that is Rape laws of our country. Section 375 of Indian Penal Code 1860 states that –“A man is claimed to commit rape –“. The very first line suggests that the victim can only be woman and therefore the perpetrator can only be a man. This is often what our law considers and believes. But the truth is way more different than this. Man not only become a victim of rape but also they’re falsely charged within the fake rape cases by women.[2]

Other biased laws in the list is Anti- dowry laws, Dowry Protection Laws 1961[3] and Section 498A of IPC. Section 498A[4] states that – “Whoever being the husband or the relative of the husband of a lady, subjects such women to such cruelty” -. Here also the law clearly states that   cruelty are often done by husband only on his wife. But the truth is that the suicide rate of married men is nearly twice of the women. Before July 2014, a husband might be arrested only on the idea of complaint logged by the wife against him, without a warrant or any investigation. Crime under Section 498A was non-bailable as a result the probabilities of getting bail was low. One among the results was that while in custody the husbands lost their job. It all finally gone by after an order passed by the Supreme Court in July 2014. The court stopped automatic arrest under this section. Which was an enormous relief for all the innocent husbands of the country. The court here referred Section 41 of the Criminal Procedure Code and directed the police to work out whether arrest is important. Further it’s the duty of the magistrate to look at whether further detention is required within the particular case.

Divorce and Child Custody laws are also within the list. This enables divorced wives to prevent men from seeing their children for long periods of time. In India, child custody is granted to the father only if the mother is mentally unstable or has left home leaving the kids behind. At present, the matter of custody in case of divorce is governed by two laws: Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956. But, both laws don’t have any provisions for shared parenting or joint custody[5].

 The Protection of Domestic Violence Act 2005, protects wives or female’s live-in partner from any threat or abuse of physical, mental, emotional, verbal or economical by their husband or live-in partner. There has been demands from male activists that this law should be gender neutral. As there has been a sudden hike within the incidents of violence against men in society. But they do not report this misconduct thanks to the fear of false accusation in reprisal or they feel too ashamed of reporting this crime against them. Because they’re well verse with this incontrovertible fact that the society will never digest this truth that males also can become victim. Many foundations like Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), Indian Social Awareness and Activism Forum (INSAAF) and lots of are really concerned about the situation of male biased laws in our society[6]. After all consistent with them male victims of our country isn’t getting justice because a transparent picture of the things remain hiding from the lawmakers. For this they need suggested that men’s issues should be a part of the National Family Health Survey conducted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Another legislation within the list is Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 which came into existence after the landmark case of Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan[7]. Harassment has no gender. It can happen with any person regardless of his gender usually by an individual sitting on a better position or who is in a position to take advantage at a workplace.


National Crime Records Bureau Reports (NCRB) shows that suicide rate in males is strictly the double as compared to females after marriage[8]. It’s been alleged that the rationale behind this suicide rate is none but the family stress. Research done by male activists researchers has found that the police don’t take any action if in the investigation it comes out that the man committed suicide because of the physical or mental abuse by his wife. But on the other hand if there is any female in place of man and she alleges that her husband was the reason behind her suicide then police arrest the husband without any investigation. This is how men in our society facing inequality just because our existing law is ignorant towards their rights. Famous British actress Emma Watson during her campaign HeForShe in UN Headquarters gave a powerful speech regarding how the world is ignoring males just to promote feminism. With the goal of giving women their rights and equality in society we have totally forgotten their insecurities and sensitiveness[9]. Making special provisions for women is itself given in the constitution under Article 15(3). But it has nowhere mentioned that the rights of men or the other gender should not be considered. We are still far behind regarding the rights of LGBT community. The above laws are among many other laws which needs to be gender neutral so that not only man and woman but also the trans- gender community gets justice. The constitutional rights of all persons irrespective of their gender should be saved. This shows that we have to go far more to attain the status of gender neutrality in our laws.                


[1] Aneesha Mathur, Bill to make sexual crimes gender neutral introduced on Parliament (13th July 2019) <>

[2] Ratanlal & Dhirajlal : Indian Penal Code 36th edn

[3] The Guardian, Dowry Law Making us the Victim, says India’s Men’s Movement (13th Dec 2007) <>

[4] Universal Bare Act : Indian Penal Code 1860

[5] Ananya Sengupta, Push for Shared Parenting (18th Aug 2014) <>

[6] Monobina Gupta, Malevolence for Women’s Law (26th Oct 2006) < >

[7] Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1977 SC 3011

[8] H.S Narasimha Kumar, Activists Highlights rise in Suicide among Men (28th May 2014) <>

[9] UN Women, Gender Equality is your issue too (20th September 2014) <>