TNN Sep 25, 2011, 02.43am IST
KOCHI: This is going to be a tough code of conduct. You can be imprisoned for impregnating your own wife. Worst, you could be branded as a `legally disqualified person’.
This will be a reality if the Kerala Women’s Code Bill 2011, submitted to the chief minister by a 12-member committee with Justice V R Krishna Iyer in the chair, is implemented in its letter and spirit.
In a bid to redefine Draconian, the Commission on Rights and Welfare of Women and Children feels that nothing lesser than a fine of Rs 10,000 or three months simple’ imprisonment deserves to be slapped on the expectant father of a third child. The recommendation is part of the measures intended to encourage population planning for well-being and children’s development.
The Kerala Women’s Code Bill 2011 maintains that violation of family norms will be deemed a legal disqualification and parents will not be eligible to receive any benefits from government. It insists on that religious and political outfits should not be allowed to discourage population planning and any such effort on their part should be censured by the governor.
The report reads, “No person or institution shall use religion, region, sect, cast, cult or other ulterior inducements for the bearing of more children”.
The commission was constituted following a state government order issued on August 7, 2010 to prepare a code for the rights and responsibilities of children and women. Those parents who violate the norms will be regarded as ‘legally disqualified person”. The report specifies that children will not be disentitled to any of their rights or claims. It is also suggested to provide a cash incentive of Rs 5,000 to women who marry after the age of 19 and their first child after 20. This benefit will be available for the first two children. Couples below poverty line, who marry after the age of 20 and have their first child after the mother attains the age of 21 will be given Rs 5,000.
The report also has clauses saying medically safe contraceptives and instructive literature should be available free at the time of marriage. Under the public health code facilities for safe abortion should be made free and through hospitals, health care centres in both private and government sector.
It has been proposed to constitute a commission for the implementation of population regulation policy consisting of ten members. Social activists, public personalities, heads of institutions with commitment to the philosophy and policy of the proposed bill can be appointed members.