WOMEN'S STUDIES PROGRAMME
CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF LAW AND GOVERNANCEinvites you to a seminar
"Playing Off Courts: Negotiating Divorce and Violence In Courts, Police and Mediation Boards in Kolkata"
Dr. Srimati Basu
Associate Professor, Gender & Women's Studies
University of Kentucky
DATE: 30TH SEPTEMBER, 2008
TIME: 3.00 P.M.
VENUE: COMMITTEE ROOM NO.2, SSS-II.
The Indian State's management of divorce and domestic violence is enacted through a number of potentially contradictory fora, including civil and criminal remedies and formal and informal mediation. This paper focuses on Section 498 of the Indian Penal Code which legislates against "torture" and has been the primary criminal law governing domestic violence. It is a criminal provision of legendary notoriety, believed variously to be emblematic of the crux of feminist dystopia or of toothless symbolic legislation. Analyzing the discourse of litigants, judges, police and mediators in Family Courts, Women's Grievance Cells and Mediation Boards, this paper delineates the significance of domestic violence in the political economy of marriage: the tensions between looking to marriage for economic sustenance and undoing marriage through invocations of violence, the salience of social class in claiming the harm of violence, and the radical potential of laws of gender justice that may be contrarily deployed to secure dominant notions of domestic order. Existent criminal provisions may be used to leverage socioeconomic needs, but simultaneously, litigants construct violation differently than legal categories and seek complex remedies.
ALL ARE WELCOME