Woman lawyer takes on SC judges for 'keep' remark

Jaising moves application to expunge gender sensitive word

Woman lawyer takes on SC judges for 'keep' remark

Appearing before the bench of Justices Markandey Katju and T S Thakur, an angry Jaising said, “As a woman I am very hurt. Not on the verdict, but on certain expressions used in the judgment. I take strong exceptions.’’

To this, Justice Katju, who along with Justice Thakur, delivered the verdict on Thursday, asked, “What is your objection?’’

“You have used the word ‘keep’. No woman is a keep. I would like to move an application for expunging the words,’’ Jaising submitted. “How can Supreme Court judges use this expression that is gender sensitive? The literal Hindi translation of the word is ‘rakhel’ that is derogatory,’’ she said.

‘Works both ways’

Wondering how the Supreme Court could use the term “keep” in the 21st century, Jaising said: “Can we say that woman kept a man? It works both ways,’’ she said. At this, Justice Katju asked Jaising to confine her statement to the judgment.

However, Justice Thakur intervened to ask Jaising, “What is the objection? Would it have been (fine to use) ‘concubine’ instead of keep?” But Jaising, who would have none of that, shot back, saying, “It would have been still worse,’’ as she left the court room.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court said women having live-in relationships with married men were not entitled to claim maintenance if such alliances failed. While delivering the verdict, the judges had said, “If a man has a ‘keep’ whom he maintains financially and uses mainly for sexual purpose and/or as a servant it would not, in our opinion, be a relationship in the nature of marriage.’’
 

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