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Madras HC Deletes Remarks On 'Misuse Of Women Protection Laws' [Read Order]

22 Aug 2019 7:57 AM GMT
Madras HC Deletes Remarks On Misuse Of Women Protection Laws [Read Order]
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After withdrawing the observations against Christian educational institutions, Justice S Vaidyanathan of Madras High Court on Thursday agreed to delete the remarks made by him regarding the 'misuse of women protection laws' and need for protecting 'innocent masculinity'.

The controversial remarks were made by the judge while dismissing a writ petition filed by a faculty member of the Madras Christian College against the show-cause notice issued on the basis of sexual harassment complaints made by students.

Though the judge did not find any grounds to interfere with the show-cause notice, certain observations were made by him regarding women-centric laws.

The observations contained in paragraph 33 to 35 of the judgment read as :

"it has become imperative for this Court to indicate that several enactments were brought into force for safeguarding the interest of Women and we have to ask a question for ourselves as to whether those laws are invoked by women with genuine reasons

Certain laws, which are in existence for easy access to women, lend itself to easy misuse that women will find it hard to resist the temptation to "teach a lesson" to the male members and will file frivolous and false cases. A similar trend is already being observed in the case of anti-dowry law (498-A), which is being misused to such an extent that the Supreme Court has termed it "Legal Terrorism"...

...This is the right time for the Government to think of suitable amendment in those [women protection] laws in order to prevent its misuse so as to safeguard the interest of the innocent masculinity too."

Senior Advocate R Vaigai made a mention before the judge seeking the removal of these remarks. The sweeping generalizations against women are not based on any hard evidence and the remarks about "innocent masculinity" will legitimize the existing gender imbalance in society, submitted the Senior Counsel.

Based on this, Justice Vaidyanathan agreed to expunge paragraphs 33 to 35 from the judgment. A copy of the judgment without the controversial remarks will be uploaded.

On Tuesday, the judge had withdrawn the comments in paragraph 32 in the judgment against Christian educational institutions. He had observed that that co-education in Christian institutes was "highly unsafe" for the future of girl children.

These comments caused a stir after Christian bodies and the National Commission for Minorities expressed objections.

A section of lawyers had taken a critical view regarding the judge expressing personal views through judgment without and had prepared a representation for submission before the Chief Justice.

Criticizing the tendency of judges to use court as a platform to air personal views, an advocate of Madras HC had written an article in LiveLaw.

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]

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