The Bench emphasised that the issue was about a good judicial officer who seeks to join service again. Justice Sikri, in the first of its kind order, the bench passed an order requesting the High Court to hold a full court enquiry and come back within a week, with a decision on her reinstatement with seniority. They pointed out that video conferencing facilities were available in the High Court and there should be no logistical problem in taking a decision as soon as possible. If indeed the High Court agrees to reinstate her with seniority but without back wages, it will indeed set a precedent for women in the judiciary and ensure a working environment free form discrimination.
We see a form of untouchability being practised against the woman in excluding her from the household itself. Senior Advocate Indira Jaising has accurately pointed out to how this extends beyond just “exclusion” and to a complete social boycott. The purification rituals that were conducted inside the temple after the first two women entered is reflective of the deeply entrenched notion of untouchability.
The information as made available in Parliament discloses that of 25 High Courts, 6 High Courts — namely High Court of Himachal Pradesh, High Court of Manipur, High Court of Meghalaya, High Court of Telangana, High Court of Tripura and High Court of Uttarakhand — had no women judges as on January 31, 2019. Further, of sanctioned strength of 1079 judges in all 25 High Courts, only 76 are women judges in the High Courts across the country i.e. a total 7.04% only.
The Kerala Government to provide round the clock adequate security to two women, Bindu & Kanakdurga, who entered the Sabrimala temple. The counsel for the state of Kerala submitted that a total of 51 women of the age group between 10-50 years have already entered the temple.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising mentioned the petition before CJI Ranjan Gogoi today. The Petitioners have approached the Supreme Court seeking direction from the Court that all concerned authorities be directed to allow women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple without any let or hindrance, and without danger to life and liberty, to ensure security and safe passage, including police security to women wishing to enter Sabarimala temple in future.
Anyone who had the slightest of doubts regarding the findings of Justice Chandrachud about the form of untouchability at Sabarimala, the notions of purity and pollution, must be clear of all such doubts after the ‘purification ceremony’ by the Thantri, that reiterates the deep gender bias, the form of untouchability at Sabarimala.
So far, the rule of thumb that prudent men followed was that if you are harassing someone, you will know that you are; it isn’t something you do unknowingly. But cooption of the tools of the #MeToo movement i.e. public shaming with a call to ostracise, by some women to deal with incidents that were basically bad judgment calls by them in their younger days is leading to two very serious problems. One, it is giving plausible deniability to men who have rightfully been accused of harassment. And more disturbingly, it is reducing career opportunities for women in industries that are controlled by men.
It is essential to criminalise marital rape in order to break the age-old understanding that “marriage sanctions sex” or that married women are incapable of giving consent or that consent is presumed/implied upon marriage. This understanding only legitimises the patriarchal notion that a woman is the property of her husband after marriage.
As per the 2013 Act, the definition of sexual harassment (Section 2(n)) is hinged at “unwelcome” acts, whether directly or by implication, which may include any physical contact and advances; a demand or request for sexual favours, making sexually coloured remarks; or showing pornography, or any other verbal or non verbal conduct of sexual nature.
It is not only against the DoPT guidelines but also contrary to catena of decision of the Central Information Commission wherein it has ruled that information under the RTI Act, cannot be denied by mere citing exemption clauses of the Act. CPIO and FAA must give justification for the same.
FIRs for offences under Sections 376, 376A, 376AB, 376B, 376C, 376D, 376DA, 376DB, 376E and the POCSO shall not be put in public domain. No person can print or publish the name of the victim or even in a remote manner disclose any facts that can lead to the identification of the victim, even when she is deceased and the family agrees to disclosure, unless authorised by a judge.
Domestic Violence includes causing any harm or injury to the safety, life, health or well being of the aggrieved woman by committing any physical, sexual, verbal or economic abuse. Moreover, it also includes any injury or harm done to the aggrieved woman or her relative with a view to coerce her or any person, to meet unlawful dowry demand. Threats to commit violence are also covered under this definition.