July 30, 2008
H/l: Rs 20 lakhs and a story of hope
Intro: How a man fought hard for his freedom and how he is teaching other men to do the same
Mumbai: Sadashiv Vaidya is a fiercely private man. But since his acquittal in a dowry harassment case filed by his wife three years ago, the 48-year-old electrical engineer has decided to make his private hell public. In the coming weeks, he and his two children will recount their story on national television in UAE, where they live.
"My kids have been with me throughout my trial," an emotional Vaidya told Sakaal Times. "Both of them told the court that they wanted to live with me. They helped me build evidence against their mother who was cheating on me with my best friend. Now that I am acquitted of all charges, I want all those men who are suffering to hear my story," he said.
Though not unique, his story is an interesting one. After Lata, his wife of over 15 years, filed a dowry harassment case against her husband in 2005 and demanded two crore rupees in damages, Vaidya decided to fight the charges. "She didn't want the children's custody, all she wanted was the money she thought I would give her. The day she filed the complaint, I went to jail.
From May 2005 to January 2008, Vaidya has spent over Rs 20 lakhs only on litigations and is unable to secure a permanent job in Abu Dhabi because he must fly to Mumbai every month for court appearances. "This case ruined my life. I will never marry again but I am committed to helping other men fighting the dowry law."
For this, he and his two children will tell their story on TV and in the print media so that others may learn from it. "I have counselled about 25 men in UAE free of cost about the paperwork they must keep ready and how to gather evidence for court," Vaidya said.
"The justice system works for you if you know how to make it work. If you are innocent, you owe it to yourself to prove it," he signed off.