Court seeks public apology for defaming women

Court seeks public apology for defaming women

The bench comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice K.M. Thaker was  hearing a review petition of Dashrath Devda, who has been slapped with Rs.1 lakh cost for filing a frivolous public interest litigation. He had earlier sought introduction of a new law for protection of husbands against "atrocity by wives" and amendment in the existing law.

The chief justice told Devda: “You have insulted women at large. There are news reports that you’ve been asking people to help you and collecting money in name of the court’s order. As you stood on cross roads and sought money from public for paying for your mistake, you should apologize to the women at large in public.”

The chief justice asked Devda to go to the media and place an advertisement, if he thought fit, to bring it to public notice about his unconditional and unqualified apology.
The chief justice seemed angry at Devda who came to the court with around 40 women and men who he claimed were ‘victims’ of the existing law for protection of women.

“We would initiate contempt proceedings if any of these women would raise their voice and interfere in the court proceedings. You don’t know what a court is and what a judge is,” said the chief justice. The further hearing has been posted for March 30.

Devda had filed the PIL claiming that there was an urgent need of a protective law for husbands against cruelty by wives. The petitioners also sought amendment in the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.

The bench had fined Devda, who is president of Akhil Bharatiya Patni Atyachar Virodhi Sangh (also known as All India Wives Cruelty Opposition Union) for filing a frivolous  petition. The bench has stated that it was an attempt to seek media attention and publicity.

Later, there were media reports that he was ‘begging’ to the public to help him.
The high court earlier had initiated contempt proceedings in a separate case against Devda for carrying out demonstrations and shouting slogans against the family court, high court and the apex court. A judge of family court, K.M. Vin had filed the contempt petition.

The high court in 2005 had awarded Devda one month imprisonment and Rs.5,000 fine for contempt of court. In that case, the court had suggested to him to tender unconditional apology but he had refused. The court had noted that it was nothing but his arrogance and prejudice against the family court.