In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations levelled against the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, a silent protest was held today (May 13, 2019) as part of the “Men Too Movement” led by the Bar Council of India (BCI) Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra.
Reportedly, a brief statement signed off by Manan Kumar Mishra was circulated online calling upon the lawyers to support the silent protest at India Gate today at 4pm.
The brief statement reads as “The Common Lawyers who have trust in the institution should support the men too movement and should assemble at India Gate today at 4pm to show their solidarity with the CJI Mr. Ranjan Gogoi.”
The BCI statement also said that “The oral testimony of the prosecutrix is enough to convict under Section 354 and 376 IPC”, Why? We are not in 18th century, that no one can presume that a female will never make such allegations to falsely implicate her enemies. We have great respect for our women. But time has changed, we must keep in mind.”
The letter further reads as “we found 90% (of sexual offence) cases are resulting in acquittals. However, since the “settled principles of Evidence Act is kept in waste paper boxes, false implications are on the rise (sic).”
The BCI had also called for imposing limitation period to report sexual harassment offences, arguing that a delay in reporting such cases “normally very much proves and establishes that the so-called prosecutrix was/is either a liar or was a consenting party.”
In the letter, Mishra has also called for amending laws concerning sexual offences. This included recommending changes to the rape law under Section 376 of the IPC and the offence of outraging the modesty of women under Section 354 IPC.
LawStreet’s View: In general, with the rise in the number of “Men Too” incidents, indeed cases of false implications have now become very common and rampant. There is an increasing need to focus on men’s rights as well. Over the years there has been a steady clamour amongst men as to how provisions of law meant to protect women are being misused by some women only for personal vendetta or extortion. We cannot have an equal society if we are so focused on protecting what we consider a “weaker sex” that we refuse to acknowledge in open the alarming number of women who falsely accuse men.
Opened Letter Signed off by the BCI Chairmen