Patriarchal nature of the legal system

Patriarchal nature of the legal system

Patriarchal nature of the legal system

GS Paper -1 (Society)

Why in news?

According to the Kerala Sessions Court, the de facto complainant’s attire in “sexually provocative clothing” did not inherently trigger the offence under Section 354A of the Indian Penal Code.

Background of Issue

  • The case involves allegations of sexual harassment.
  • A novelist and social activist in Kerala was granted anticipatory release by the Sessions Court.
  • The sessions court had relied on images included with the accused’s bail application that showed the de facto complainant was donning a “sexually suggestive” garment.
  • The statement directly violated a woman’s constitutional rights to privacy, life, and personal liberty.
  • Other examples: In its rulings on Section 498A (dowry harassment) of the IPC, where it claimed the legislation was being abused, the judiciary’s patriarchal mindset was clearly on display.
  • In rape cases when the court questioned why the rape occurred, the woman consented and did not object.

Section 354A of IPC

  • It has to do with sexual harassment and how it’s dealt with.
  • The following actions by a man are regarded as sexual offences:
  • Physical touch and moves that include unwanted and explicit sexual advances
  • request or demand for sexual favours
  • displaying pornography against a woman’s will
  • making remarks with a sexual agenda
  • Penalty: strict incarceration for a time that may last up to three years, a fine, or both.
  • For comments with sexual overtones, the penalty is a year in jail, a fine, or both.

What is a Freudian slip, exactly?

  • The sessions court judge’s stated ratio decidendi, or justification for the ruling, is a (patriarchal) Freudian error.
  • A Freudian slip is an error in speech, memory, or behaviour that happens as a result of the collision of an unconscious suppressed wish or internal line of thought, according to psychoanalysis.
  • The objectification of women as an erotic quiddity leads to the description of a woman’s clothing as “sexually provocative.”
  • In this instance, a patriarchy was unintentionally ignited, having an impact on not only the specific judicial official but also the entire socio-legal system.

What is the Madhya Pradesh State v. Aprna Bhat Case?

  • Eight additional attorneys joined attorney Aparna Bhat in filing an appeal against the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s contested ruling.
  • As a condition of parole, the accused of sexual assault was required to go to the victim’s house on Raksha Bandhan with a rakhi and be tied by her.
  • In cases of gender violence, the Supreme Court stated that it is especially important to avoid using language that minimises the crime and trivialises the victim.
  • The Kerala Sessions Court judge’s contentious remark clearly contravenes the Supreme Court of India’s directive.

What obstacles do women encounter when seeking justice?

  • For women, the court process is difficult.
  • It is much more difficult when women lack support from their families, society, or the law as it currently stands, either financially or emotionally.
  • Women are also underrepresented in the Indian judicial system.
  • Only 11 women have served on the Supreme Court since its founding in 1950, according to Justice Indira Banerjee, the court’s senior-most female judge.
  • The statement continued, “It belonged to men to formulate, apply, and execute laws, and considered it as an axiomatic truth.”
  • The actual situation was that Myra Bradwell, an Illinois resident, applied to the judges of the state’s Supreme Court for a licence to practise law.
  • Her request for permission was rejected by the Supreme Court, which stated that “the primary destiny and duty of woman is to fulfil the noble and benevolent offices of wife and mother.”
  • According to the Hadiya Case ruling, Hadiya’s parents could choose who to give her to after she was declared property in the case.
  • In India, the ancient belief that women are descended from a lower god still dominates the legal system.

What is the purpose of feminist law?

  • It is a legal concept that is centred on the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
  • Feminist jurisprudence should be taught to law students as a corrective approach to combat the patriarchal mindset that permeates the socio-legal system.
  • The feminist philosophy of law incorporates ideas from feminist political theory, relational metaphysics, and progressive social ontology.
  • Understanding how legal systems impose prevailing gendered and masculinist norms is useful.
  • In an effort to build human concepts and institutions for the future, legal doctrine is being examined and reformulated to overcome historical prejudice and enforced inequality.
  • The choice of attire is essential to a person’s right to privacy and

What has the position of women’s clothing been historically?

  • France’s King Henry III ruled in 1583 that textiles like velvet, satin, and damask were only appropriate for the upper class.
  • The monarch emphasised that god was upset because he couldn’t tell someone’s position by looking at their garments.
  • King Edward IV of England issued a similar royal proclamation in 1463 declaring that extravagant and exorbitant clothing made God angry.
  • When Joan of Arc was put on trial by the Bishop of Beauvais in 1429, one of the accusations against her was that she had begun wearing masculine clothing.
  • Wearing male clothing was against women’s modesty and against divine law.

What should we do next?

  • A more responsive, inclusive, and participatory decision-making process would be achieved at all levels if women were represented in the courts.
  • A judge of the Indian Republic should not be a reincarnation of Henry III, Edward IV, or the Bishop of Beauvais if they are dedicated to the trinity of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
  • The judiciary is expected to be impartial when interpreting legislation passed by legislative authorities.
  • Sensitization to gender issues and awareness could result in change.

Plutus IAS current affairs eng med 31 August 2022

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