SC calls Calcutta HC’s advisory for adolescent girls ‘objectionable, unwarranted’

Apex court says judges are not expected to preach

Supreme Court Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Friday took suo moto cognisance of a recent judgment by Calcutta High Court, issuing advisory to adolescent girls on sexual behaviour and SC said the high court’s observations were unwarranted. 

The apex court said that the High Court’s advisory was objectionable and completely unwarranted, completely in violation of the rights of adolescents. Hearing the case, Supreme Court justices Abhay S. Oka and Pankaj Mithal said the suo moto petition was initiated on the directions of the Chief Justice of India “due to sweeping observations/findings recorded by the division bench of the Calcutta High Court", Live Law reported. 

The apex court observed that prima facie, “judges are not expected to express their personal views or preach". “The observations are completely in violation of the rights of adolescents under Article 21 of the Constitution,” the court said.

The Calcutta High Court, hearing a POCSO case recently, acquitted a minor boy who was sentenced for 20 years for engaging in sexual relations with his minor romantic partner. The Court in the judgment also suggested duty-based approach for adolescent girls and boys, advising them to control ‘sexual urges’. In its advice for girls, the High Court suggested, “Control sexual urge/urges as in the eyes of society she is the looser when she gives in to enjoy the sexual pleasure of hardly two minutes.”

“After having carefully perused the judgment, we find that many parts thereof, including para 30.3, are highly objectionable and completely unwarranted. The said observations are completely in violation of the rights of adolescents under Article 21 of the Constitution," Live Law reported.

The Supreme Court appointed senior advocate Madhavi Divan as amicus curiae to assist the court and advocate Liz Mathew to assist the amicus. The Court has also issued notice to the West Bengal state government, the accused and the victim girl. The Court asked the State to inform whether it has or intending to file an appeal against the judgment. 

-with agency inputs.

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