We live in a country where women’s day is celebrated with discounts, sales, and gifts. Whereas what the country needs right now is a safe environment, a strong judiciary, equal rights, and a reduced crime rate against women. Well, however that looks like a distant dream when in retrospect there have been bizarre cases of violation of women’s sanctity and rights not just by criminals but by a legal system which instead of providing protection, instead becomes a reason for distraught, when the lawmakers turn lawbreakers.
Many such cases have happened in the past too but there are two particularly absurd incidents last few weeks where the police and judiciary itself failed women, which makes us question if the lawmakers can be trusted. If not, then what is the level of security for any woman in the country? Where should she go to seek justice? Whom should she approach?
DGP misbehaves with junior IPS officer
A senior lady IPS officer had recently filed a complaint with Tamil Nadu DGP J.K. Tripathy, accusing Special DGP (Law and Order) Rajesh Das of misbehaving with her while on duty. The lady officer, who was posted in one of the northern districts of Tamil Nadu, had alleged that DGP Rajesh Das had misbehaved with her during the tour of Chief Minister. She said the incident took place in the vehicle of the accused.
Senior officers in the department even made several attempts to persuade her to withdraw the complaint, but she refused to budge. The higher officials in the home department were hesitant to take up the sexual harassment complaint as Rajesh Das was the Special DGP. He also sent a strike force to stop her vehicle on the Trichy-Chennai highway and even called her father-in-law to strike a compromise and make her withdraw the complaint.
Read the full story here.
This is not the first time a sexual harassment complaint against an IPS officer happened in TN. In August 2018, a woman SP had accused her senior officer, S. Murugan IPS, the then joint director of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption (DVAC), of sexually harassing her.
CJI asks rapist to marry victim
In another incident, Chief Justice of India, Bobde asked a 23-year-old government servant if he would marry the woman who accused him of rape.
Mohit Subhash Chavan, a technician in the Maharashtra State Electric Production Company Ltd. was accused of raping a minor girl in 2014-15. He was allegedly 17-18 years old then, and the girl was his distant relative and student of Class 9 at the time.
The court was hearing his case when CJI Bobde asked Chavan’s lawyer: “Will you marry her?” In response, the lawyer told the court that he will ask his client and inform the court.
“You should have thought before seducing and raping the young girl. You know you are a government servant… We are not forcing you to marry. Let us know if you will, otherwise you will say we are forcing you to marry her,” the CJI had said.
The accused said that he had initially approached the girl to marry her but she had refused and since he was now already married, he could not.
The judge later said that he was being misquoted. The thought of marrying your assaulter would send chills down anyone’s spine. Imagine living with someone who has violated your body?
Such is the state of affairs in our country. This is the thought process of the lawmakers. What can we expect? Whom do we approach for justice? Before we shout and scream Happy Women’s Day, let’s make sure we have safe spaces and safe working environments for women in the first place and people in authority are those who can be trusted to do their duty with sincerity.