The Bombay High Court recently refused to entertain a PIL that stated a section of the civil procedure which prohibits the arrest or detention of women for non payment of money is violative to the principles of equality in the Indian Constitution.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak was hearing a public interest litigation filed by an 82 year old advocate Shrikrishna Eknath Godbole practicing in Solapur. He sought for Section 56 of the Code of Civil Procedure (prohibits arrest of detention of women in the execution of the decree for the payment of money) to be declared ultra viresas it being violative of Articles 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution.
In its order the court recorded, “Taking into consideration the object of such provision, the classification between men and women is quite reasonable and the classification has sufficient nexus with the object.” The bench noted, “According to us, the Section which makes special provision for women, is clearly a provision relatable to Article 15 (3) of the Constitution that reads, ‘Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children’ and therefore there is no reason to declare the same as unconstitutional.”
The court said we see no reason to entertain the present petition questioning the constitutional validity of the section and said that following the law laid down by the Supreme Court and agreeing with the view of the Kerala High Court, we dismiss the petition, the court held.
The judgement of Kerala High Court in Cyril Britto vs. Union of India, had specifically rejected the contention that Section 56 of the Code of Civil Procedure (prohibits arrest of detention of women in the execution of the decree for the payment of money) is ultra vires as it is violative of Articles 14 and 15 of the constitution.
Read the Judgment here.