Activists condemn the Misogynistic and Patriarchal Order of Karnataka HC Judge

Activists have also called the judiciary to correct by itself this blatant violation of women's rights and dignity.

women

Women ´s rights activists and social organisations have expressed deep concern over the recent remarks of Karnataka High Court judge Justice Krishna S Dixit’s statements while allowing a bail plea in a rape case.

On 22nd June 2020, The Karnataka High Court bench comprising of Justice Krishna S Dixit had issued an order in the case of Rakesh BV Vs State of Karnataka. In this order, a plea of Rakesh BV for anticipatory bail against accusations of rape was accepted by the High Court. However, instead of looking at the legal merits of the bail application, the order has judged a women’s conduct on patriarchal, misogynistic, and ‘moral’ grounds.

Issues with the Judgement

The judgement is problematic on various grounds. Firstly it assassinates the victim’s character to dismiss the allegations of rape covered up under the cover of non-availability of prima facie evidence of the crime. The order notes that the victim accompanied the accused to the hotel and did not object to “drink with the accused”. This is an attempt of the judiciary to shift the burden of assault away from the accused and making the victim responsible for the sexual assault she had to undergo. The order also makes unacceptable statements related to the conduct of women. The victim’s claim of having slept after the perpetration of the act as she was tired has been noted as “unbecoming of the Indian women”. It has further gone on to state “That is not the way our women react when they are ravished”. The higher judiciary thereby takes upon itself to judge what conducts of women is acceptable and what is not. This is only a testimony of the judiciary’s patronizing undertone. The judiciary also claims women as it’s own thereby denying the right of women to self-identify as individuals with their own identity and reasoning. The complainants’ failure to justify why she went to her office at 11 PM on the day of the alleged crime is cited as one of the reasons to accept the accused’s bail plea. The undertone of such reasons is only mirroring the patriarchal view while questioning the act of women practicing freedom in its truest sense.

Judiciary and Patriarchy

Despite such efforts, the social and political systems including the judiciary have not been free from discriminatory practices of patriarchy. In fact, the Indian Judiciary has on innumerable occasions has failed to uphold the constitutional values of freedom and equality. One example for the same is the instance when Prof Upendra Baxi and Lotika Sarkar amongst others had to write openly to the Chief Justice of India in 1979 to pull-up the conscience of the judiciary and revisit itself when the top court acquitted the accused by questioning the “moral” integrity of a 15-year old whom it claimed had been “habituated to sexual intercourse”.

The Women’s Rights Activists and concerned Indian citizens have rightly expressed their disappointment about the decision rendered by the High Court of Karnataka. They have also called the judiciary to correct by itself this blatant violation of women’s rights and dignity. The violation of women’s rights and dignity is indeed the violation of the ideals of the Constitution. They have called the judiciary to stand by the women of India in their struggle to build an equitable, just, and democratic society with zero tolerance to violence women and all marginalized genders.

Organisations 

  1. Stree Jagruthi Samithi
  2. Mahila Munnade
  3. Gamana Mahila Samuha
  4. AIPWA (All India Progressive Women’s Association)
  5. All India Janwadi Mahila Sanghatane
  6. Sadhana Mahila Sangha
  7. PUCL Karnataka
  8. AIPF
  9. AICCTU
  10. Swaraj Abhiyan
  11. Karnataka Janarogya Chaluvali
  12. Naavu Bharateeyaru
  13. Karnataka Janashakthi
  14. Forward Trust
  15. Open Space
  16. Blank Noise
  17. HID Forum
  18. Fraternity Movement

Individuals

  1. Ramachandra Guha, Historian, Author
  2. Arundhathi Nag Managing Trustee and Artistic Advisor, Ranga Shankara
  3. Dr. Vijaya, Journalist
  4. Dr. K. Sharifa
  5. Dr E Rati Rao
  6. M.D Pallavi, Singer, Actor, Filmmaker
  7. Sharda Ugra, Journalist
  8. Raghu Karnad, Journalist
  9. Ammu Joseph, Journalist and author, Bangalore
  10. Tejaswini Niranjana, Writer and Academic
  11. Nisha Susan, Writer
  12. Laxmi Murthy, Journalist
  13. Leo Saldanha, Environment Support Group 
  14. Anita Cheria, Open Space
  15. Kaveri Medappa, Researcher
  16. Sudha Nagavarapu, Researcher-Activist
  17. Cavery Bopaiah, Economist
  18. Jasmeen Patheja, Blank Noise #INeverAskForIt 
  19. Nandini, Malarvizhi, ActionAid Association
  20. Jhansi, Slum Mahila Sanghatane
  21. Avani Chokshi, Advocate
  22. Swathi Seshadri, Researcher and activist
  23. E. Roopa Rao
  24. K.S Girija Rao

Also Read: Today, the situation is 20 times worse than Emergency: SR Hiremath

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