September 28, 2018

In more good news today...

// The Supreme Court in a majority opinion of 4:1 on Friday, lifted the centuries-old practice of prohibiting women from the age of menarche to menopause to enter the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala. // - link

// It said that exclusion on grounds of biological and physiological features like menstruation was unconstitutional. It amounted to discrimination based on a biological factor exclusive to gender. It was violative of the right to equality and dignity of women. //


And the best of all, for addressing the issue of celibacy, see the even better separate but concurring opinion from Justice Chandrachud:


// He said the logic behind the ban was that presence of women deviated men from celibacy. This was placing the burden of a men's celibacy on women thus, stigmatising women and stereotyping them. //


Interestingly:


// Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman judge on the Constitution Bench, dissented from the majority opinion. She held that the determination of what constituted an essential practice in a religion should not be decided by judges on the basis of their personal viewpoints. She held that essentiality of a religious practice or custom had to be decided within the religion. It was a matter of personal faith. India was a land of diverse faiths. Constitutional morality in a pluralistic society gave freedom to practice even irrational or illogical customs and usages. //


Related posts:

1. Good job SC on scrapping adultery, let's criminalise marital rape too soon - link
2. Finally something right is happening! - link

September 27, 2018

Good job SC on scrapping adultery, let's criminalise marital rape too soon

Wow.... SC seems to be on form. First scrapping section 377 (link) and now scrapping adultery law (link). Something good seems to be happening in our country, finally.

Section 497 of the IPC:

// Adultery.—Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offense of rape, is guilty of the offense of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor. // - link

So what's the problem?


 // Only an adulterous woman’s husband could prosecute her lover, though she could not be punished; an adulterous man’s wife had no such right. //


// Her affair with another would not amount to adultery if it had the consent of her husband. “The history of Section 497 reveals that the law on adultery was for the benefit of the husband, for him to secure ownership over the sexuality of his wife,” Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote. “It was aimed at preventing the woman from exercising her sexual agency.” // - link

And this is what the court opined:

// Offense of adultery treats women as a chattel and dents their dignity. //

// How couples deal with adultery is absolutely a matter of privacy. //

// Adultery remains ground for divorce. //

Read more here - link

Looks like it's not long before marital rape is criminalised as well. Fingers crossed.

// In Thursday’s judgment, Justice Chandrachud noted: “Sexual autonomy constitutes an inviolable core of the dignity of every individual. At the heart of the constitutional rights guaranteed to every individual is a primacy of choice and the freedom to determine one’s actions. Curtailing the sexual autonomy of a woman or presuming the lack of consent once she enters a marriage is antithetical to constitutional values.” // - link


And what else is pending? Decriminalising consensual sex between minors is due, to add to list of scraping laws which criminalise consensual sex.

Where consensual sex is rape and forced sex is legal right - link

Related posts:

1. When a woman talks about her sex life as her choice, Patriarchy's control over female sexuality is challenged - link
2. In more good news today... - link
3. Finally something right is happening! - link

September 07, 2018

Finally something right is happening!

Thank God for small mercies! A much awaited victory for the LGBTQ community:

// In a unanimous 5-0 verdict, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra led justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra in declaring that a two-judge bench's decision in December 2013 in the Suresh Koushal case, which had recriminalised section 377, "was arbitrary, fallacious and retrograde. //

Read more heartening details here - link

Teaspoon by teaspoon, we will make progress... There's a long road to cover.... Someday, hopefully not too far in the future, we will stop giving legal sanctions to marital rape.

For now, let's celebrate and rejoice in this progress we made as a country towards implementing human rights. Cheers and happy weekend folks!