SOME ROUGH NOTES
(JUDICIAL CULTURE OF ‘CUT-PASTE’)
‘Bigotry’ with ‘Jugglery’
Dr. Arijit Pasayat, Hon’ble Justice of Supreme Court (now retired), in State of Karnataka v. Raju1 has enunciated “Judicial response to human rights cannot be blunted by legal jugglery.” While reading these lines, I could not remember when or where I have read such a phrase, but after some time I could find out that the above lines were originally authored by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer in Rafiq v State of U.P.2 saying “Judicial response to human rights cannot be blunted by legal bigotry”. Justice Pasayat changed the word ‘bigotry’ with ‘jugglery’ and I presume that he must have forgotten to mention the case reference. In fact the language of Justice Iyer leaves inedible prints on the mind of its readers and it’s impossible for any law student to forget the magical expression of Justice Iyer.
‘Degrades and defiles’ the soul
Next day I read Justice Arijit Pasayat writing (in Tulshidas Kanolkar V/s. State of Goa) “While the murderer destroys the physical frame of his victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless female”.3 I again felt that I have read these lines somewhere and got disturbed. By chance when I was reading ‘Justice for Women- concerns and expressions’ by Justice A.S. Anand, I found at page 164 almost the same lines i.e. “ A murderer destroys the physical body of his victim; a rapist degrades the very soul of the helpless female.”4 Justice Pasayat had converted ‘Body’ into a ‘frame’ and emphasized that in addition to ‘degrades’, the rapist also ‘defiles’ the victim.
‘Socially sensitized judge’
In the above said book, Justice A.S. Anand, had reproduced an address at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 7th April 2001 on ‘Relevance of equality- Education for Judges’ wherein he said “A socially sensitized judge, in our opinion, is a better statutory armour in cases of crime against women than long clauses of penal provisions, containing complex exceptions and provisos.”5 I distinctly remember that these words were coined by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer in Rafiq v State6- “A socially sensitized judge is better statutory armour against gender outrage than long clauses of a complex section with all the protection writ into it.”
Hon'ble Justice A.M. Ahmadi and M. Fatima Beevi in, State of Maharashtra V/s. Chander Prakarh Kewalchand Jain7 observed, “It is, however, unfortunate that respect for womanhood in our country is on the decline and cases of molestation and rape ore steadily growing. An Indian woman is now required to suffer indignities in different forms, from lewd remarks to eve- teasing, from molestation to rape. Decency and morality in public life can be promoted and protected only if we deal strictly with those who violate the societal norms”.
Respect & dignity of woman?
After about two years, while acquitting the rape accused, Justice Ms. Usha Mehra of Delhi High Court in Chidda Ram v State8 wrote “In our society respect for the dignity of the woman is on the decline, molestation and rapes are on the increase, though these offences are committed by sick minds but since it deals with the decency and morality in the public life and touches the honour of womanhood hence the offenders are to be dealt with strictly.” Perhaps Justice Ms. Mehra also felt seriously concerned about the decline of respect (dignity) for women (womanhood) in our society (country) because molestation and rapes are on the increase (steadily growing) which deals with the decency and morality in the public life. But she was writing the judgment of acquittal! What a culture of judicial ‘cut-paste’.
Sixteen summers or springs?
In Bantu v The State of U.P9, Justice Arijit Pasayat said “The girl who had not seen six summers in life was the victim of sexual assault and animal lust of the accused” and in Rameshbhai Chandubhai Rathod v State of Gujarat 10 Justice Pasayat again said “In the instant case the victim who had not seen even ten summers in her life is the victim of sexual assault and animal lust of the accused appellant”. In Mohan Anna Chavan v State of Maharashtra11 Justice Pasayat repeated, “Two young girls who had not even seen ten summers in life were the victims of the sexual assault and animal lust of the accused appellant”.
I read the use of ‘summers’ in relation to age for the first time in a judgment of Justice Jaspal Singh of Delhi High Court in Mahabir v State12 where he wrote “had Sheela really not seen the passage of sixteen summers?” Justice Jaspal Singh has satirically used ‘summers’ instead of ‘springs’. I can’t say why Justice Pasayat has repeatedly used ‘summers’ for girls of six and ten years. ‘Sexual assault and animal lust’ is common in all the three cases.
- (2007) 1 SCC 490, para6
- AIR 1981 SC 559
- (2003) 8 S.C.C. 590 at page
- State of Punjab v Gurmit Singh(AIR 1996 SC 1393)
- Justice for Women- concerns and expressions’
Justice A.S. Anand, page 89
- AIR 1981 S.C.559
- AIR 1990 S.C. 658
- 1992 Crl. L. J. 4073 at page 4047
- CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 117 OF 2007
- Criminal Appeal No. 575 of 2007
- Criminal Appeal No.680 of 2007
- 55(1994) DLT 428