Social Justice

SJ News: Allahabad HC On Inter-Faith Marriages, Madhya Pradesh To "Track" Women, Haryana Saves Girls

BP World Bureau | Jan 14 2021 02:21:45 PM
Image credits: BP creatives

Allahabad HC Says Marriage Notification Under Special Act Not Necessary

Allahabad High Court declared against the mandatory publication of notice about intended marriages under the Special Marriage Act, saying it violated the right to privacy, coming as a huge relief to interfaith couples. 

Justice Vivek Chaudhary said that it will affect the couple's freedom to choose marriage "without interference from state and non-state actors."

Section 5 (notice of intended marriage) of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, mandates that the two individuals who intend to get married and solemnise the marriage under this law must give notice in writing to the Marriage Officer.

This judgment comes in response to a habeas corpus petition filed alleging that an adult woman is being held against her will to marry a man from a different religion. 

The couple mentioned a 30-day notice to be put up publicly so that objections can be invited from the public at large, breaching their privacy and unnecessary social pressure.

Uttar Pradesh passed a law against forced conversions which earned flak and support. 

While it was argued that the law intends to protect women from forced conversions, it was slammed for preventing women from their right to choose. 

CSA Victim Dies At Kochi Child Protection Home Conjuring Protests

A teenage autistic child, who was a survivor of sexual abuse, was found dead at the children’s home.

She had been living in a private children’s home in Kochi, under the CWC's  (Child Welfare Committee) protection for two years. 

A crowd gathered in front of the gate, carrying the body of a 14-year-old girl in front of the Child Welfare Committee in Kerala’s Ernakulam district, protesting against her death. 

Police said that the girl's death was due to respiratory issues, but a section of her family and members of the Youth Congress alleged that was foul play.

Read: She News: Vasireddi Padma On Ending Child Marriage, Kamala Harris On Equality 

30,000 Girls Survived Sex-Selective Abortion In Haryana: Reports

The state of Haryana announced that nearly 30,000 girls have been saved from being killed in the womb after determining their sex, serving a minor victory to the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' programme launched by the centre. 

Rakesh Gupta, Haryana nodal officer of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ Programme, said that the sex ratio of Haryana had increased from 871 to 922 girls every 1,000 boys between 2014 and 2020.

Haryana is one of the states in India, apart from Rajasthan, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh, that had a stain in its reputation with its hostility against girls before and after birth.

Gender-based sex selection involves diagnosing the foetus' gender and then aborting it if it's a girl. 

Girls are unwanted due to various reasons like the dowry system, moving out of parents' home after marriage, rampant presence of sexual violence, and the notion of how sons are breadwinners. 

Haryana was also in the news for alleged “bride kidnapping” and human trafficking due to the number of single men in the state.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar commended Gupta's work where 8000 sex-selective abortions were prevented in 2020 alone. 

This was possible due to continuous and regular raids that were carried out under the PC-PNDT/MTP Act against illegal PNDT and MTP Centres operating within and outside Haryana.

Madhya Pradesh To ‘Track’ Women For Safety

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan announced that women will have to register with the local police station after they move out of their homes so that they can be tracked for safety. 

While this is seen as a move to ensure women's safety, this met with flak as how women continue to be denied their rights in the name of safety. 

Others viewed how this will make women further vulnerable to harassment and blackmailing as they can be tracked easily.


Girls Can Reproduce At 15, Why Raise Age For Marriage: Cong Leader Slammed For It

Sajjan Singh Verma, Madhya Pradesh Congress leader and former PWD minister, spoke against raising the marital age of girls to 21 because they can reproduce from 15 years of age. 

His comments came after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called for a national debate on raising the minimum age of marriage.

So far, the minimum age for girls to marry is 18 whereas it is 21 for men. 

Verma said that doctors have mentioned that girls who can reproduce at 15 become matured for marriage at 18. 

BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari slammed his comments saying that he has insulted all the daughters in MP and across India. 

State Congress defended his comments saying that BJP is making an issue out of his comments unnecessarily. 

Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW), slammed Verma for reducing girls to wombs. 

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has issued notice to Mr Verma asking for an explanation within two days for making such discriminatory statements against minor girls.

As per law, the age of consent is 18, therefore sex with minor girls will be treated as statutory rape. 


Read: 'Don't Bring Women To Protests': CJI's Sexist Judgment Conjures Anger 


Chinese Brand Slammed for Ad Glorifying Victim-Blaming, Issues Apology

A Chinese advertisement by a major brand named Purcotton, earned flak for showing victim-blaming. The 26 second long shows a woman being stalked by a man but she scares him off by removing her make-up and looking "ugly."

This conjured anger as it implies that "beautiful" women get harassed or sexually assaulted, putting the onus of male-violence on women. 

 Chinese website that protects the interest of women, China Girls’ Information, operated by the Chinese-government-affiliated All-China Girls’ Federation, also slammed the ad for "demonising" women who suffer such atrocities. 

The brand Purcotton took down the ad and issues an apology. 

“We have allowed a video that did not follow our values to go online. We let you down and hurt your feelings. We deeply regret this," said their statement.