The Supreme Court Women Lawyers’ Association has approached the Supreme Court of India with the prayer that the defense lawyers in the Nirbhaya case, who also featured in the BBC’s Documentary, India’s Daughter, Advocates M.L. Sharma and A.P. Singh be barred from entering the Court.
The petition, reportedly also states that the comments made by the Advocates, which were shown in the documentary have caused“sense of insecurity, indignation and fear among them.” It was also submitted that it also affected their right to work at the Supreme Court with dignity and without gender bias.
Reportedly, the petition reads, “The comments made in the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ are inhumane, scandalous, unjustifiable, biased, outrageous, ill-minded and are a direct affront to and in violation of the dignity of women...comments have caused a sense of insecurity, indignation and fear amongst the female lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court.”
On its part, BCI has already issued a notice to both Advocates ML Sharma and AP Singh, to which they will have to file a reply. The BCI may also cancel their bar license if it is not satisfied with the reply.
Reportedly, the petition filed before the Supreme Court also reads, “The present petition is necessitated due to the ignominy and the direct attack on the dignity of women, especially women lawyers practicing in the Supreme Court who have suffered due to the statements made and publicised by two male lawyers, and specially the Respondent No. 1 (M.L. Sharma who regularly practices in the Supreme Court.”
The other Advocate, Mr. AP Singh had also received flak after he had said, “You have not upheld truth, but lies… This decision has been taken under political pressure and for vote bank politics” to the judge who delivered the Nirbhaya verdict, in open court.
Mr. ML Sharma in the BBC Documentary had said, “…. she should not be put on the streets just like food. The ‘lady’, on the other hand, you can say the ‘girl’ or ‘woman’, are more precious than a gem, than a diamond. It is up to you how you want to keep that diamond in your hand. If you put your diamond on the street, certainly the dog will take it out. You can’t stop it…”
While, Mr. Singh had said, “if my daughter or sister engaged in pre-marital activities and disgraced herself and allowed herself to lose face and character by doing such things, I would most certainly take this sort of sister or daughter to my farmhouse, and in front of my entire family, I would put petrol on her and set her alight.”
The comments made by both the lawyers have been criticized both by the public and the media. An online petition on change.org, seeking action against both the lawyers has also been supported by 185,246 persons.
You may read more of our coverage of the Nirbhaya cases here.