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Friday, 22 October 2010

Keep, concubine? Senior lawyer Indira Jaisingh says SC's usage anti-women

A 'spouse' in a 'legal and religious marriage' should deserve more respect than concubines (or keeps), or prostitutes.

Even, the Courts in UK/USA have respect for marriages and spouses.

Spouses need to have more respect than keeps and concubines (terminology aside).

We need to know that NOT all women are Keeps or concubines. We need to speak for women who wish to follow the rule of the law.

Keep, concubine? Senior lawyer says SC's usage anti-women
Oct 22, 2010
NEW DELHI: Senior government lawyer Indira Jaisingh created quite a flutter in the Supreme Court on Friday by strongly objecting to the use of the word "keep" in a judgment on the right of maintenance for women in live-in relationships.
An angry Additional Solicitor General, Indira Jaising, told a Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and T S Thakur that the word used in the judgment was highly objectionable and needed to be expunged.

"How can the Supreme Court of India use the word 'kept' in the 21st century against a woman. Can a woman say that she has kept a man?" she asked.

She told a stunned court: "I would like to move an application to get the remarks expunged. I do not want to appear before this court, I would like to withdraw myself." 

Jaising wondered how the highest court of the country could use such an expression against a woman.

At this juncture, Justice Katju, who was heading the Bench, told the ASG to confine herself to the case before the court.

However, Justice Thakur intervened and asked her whether the expression 'concubine' would have been more appropriate than the word 'keep'. 

To this, the ASG submitted that her objection was mainly to the word 'keep' in the judgment delivered on Thursday by the Bench.

Jaising was involved in the framing the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

In an important verdict, the Supreme Court had on Thursday held that a woman in a live-in relationship is not entitled to maintenance unless she fulfills certain parameters. It had also observed that merely spending weekends together or a one-night stand would not make it a domestic relationship.

Married woman can live with her lover? Indira Jaising supports anti-family choices!
November 6, 2008
The Indian society seems to have committed a compete U-turn with regard to its core values associated with the institution of marriage and man-woman relationship. Marriage seems to be no longer a sacred institution nor is it sacred to live with one's life partner. Least of all, the sacred bond between the husband and wife that we all Indians believe that lasts for 7 lives!! Individualism and freedom seems to have swept us off our feet!!

Can a married woman lawfully live with her lover against the will of her husband? The Rajasthan High Court says "yes". In a judgment that has messed up values and ethics related to the sacred institution of marriage, the Hon'ble court allowed a married woman, Manju, to live with her lover, Suresh. “It is improper to pass an order to hand over any unwilling married woman to her husband with whom she does not want to stay,” said justices GS Mishra and KC Sharma. The court also said that nobody should consider an adult woman as a consumer product.

While dismissing a habeas corpus petition filed by Manju’s husband, the court came down hard on the misuse of habeas corpus petitions by people who want to thrust their will upon adult women without their consent. The court said the husband was free to approach the family court for divorce.

Commenting on the judgment, senior Supreme Court advocate and noted women’s rights activist Indira Jaising said, “Though it sounds strange, I am in complete agreement with the high court. At the end of the day an adult woman has a right to decide whom she wants to live with. She can’t be forced to go with her husband against her will," Jaising said. 

In this case, Jaising said, it is clear that the woman was prepared for divorce. She also felt that Manju’s husband had abused the habeas corpus petition because such petitions were generally filed when somebody is actually missing. Asked whether it amounted to adultery, Jaising clarified that the woman could not be prosecuted for this offence under the law. As for the other man, she said, “it seems he is ready to face that”.

This judgement has far-reaching consequences on Indian society. Nobody in his/ her right frame of mind would ever say that a woman or man is a consumer product. Nor would anybody say that the husband in question, in this particular case, had no rights at all over his wife who literally ran away to her lover. The questions that we, as a society need to ask is:
1. If a married woman can legally live with her lover, then, what is the institution of marriage for?
2. What are the rights of a husband in a marriage?
3. If a married woman can live with her lover, can the same be applicable to a married man? [Gender Equality].
4. If a married woman lives with her lover, does that not amount to cheating and adultery? Should the woman not be punished for adultery? Why can't a woman be punished for adultery??

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