‘Shameful that incidents of crime in opposition to girls taking place within the land of Ramayana’ (Ld)
New Delhi, Feb 17 | In its order acquitting journalist Priya Ramani of fees of defamation in a case filed by former Union Minister M.J. Akbar, a Delhi court docket mentioned on Wednesday that it’s shameful that incidents of crime and violence in opposition to girls are taking place in a rustic the place mega epics equivalent to ‘Mahabarata’ and ‘Ramayana’ had been written across the theme of respect for ladies.
“The sufferer of sexual abuse not even speaks a phrase concerning the abuse for a few years as a result of typically she herself has no concept that she is a sufferer of abuse. The sufferer might maintain believing that she is at fault and should dwell with that disgrace for years or for many years,” the court docket mentioned in its order.
Ramani had accused Akbar of sexual misconduct in 2018.
“A lot of the girls who are suffering abuse don’t converse up about it or in opposition to it for the straightforward purpose ‘the disgrace’ or the social stigma connected with sexual harassment and abuse. The sexual abuse, if dedicated in opposition to lady, takes away her dignity and her self-confidence,” the court docket mentioned.
“The girl can’t be punished for elevating voice in opposition to sexual abuse on the pretext of legal grievance of defamation as the suitable of fame can’t be protected at the price of the suitable of life and dignity of lady as assured within the Indian Structure underneath Article 21 and proper of equality earlier than legislation and equal safety of legislation as assured underneath Article 14 of the Structure,” the court docket noticed.
The court docket in its order cited epics like Ramayana. “It’s shameful that incidents of crime and violence in opposition to girls are taking place within the nation the place mega epics equivalent to ‘Mahabarata’ and ‘Ramayana’ had been written across the theme of respect for ladies.
“In Balyamiki Ramayana, the reference of nice respect is discovered. When Prince Laxman was requested to explain about Princesses Sita, he answered that he remembers solely her ft as he had by no means regarded past that,” the court docket noticed.
“The Indian girls are succesful, pave the way in which for them to excel, they solely require freedom and equality. The ‘glass ceiling’ is not going to stop the Indian girls as a street block for his or her development within the society, if equal alternative and social safety are given to them,” the court docket added.
Within the wake of the #MeToo motion in 2018, Ramani had made an allegation of sexual harassment in opposition to Akbar. Pursuant to this, he filed a legal defamation case in opposition to her and resigned because the Union Minister. The trial started in 2019 and went on for nearly two years.
In 2017, Ramani wrote an article for the ‘Vogue’ the place she described her ordeal of being sexually harassed by a former boss throughout her job interview for his publication. One yr later, she revealed that the particular person alluded to as harasser in her article was Akbar.
The judgement within the case is essential because it units a precedent for comparable instances which arose from the discourse-changing #MeToo motion.