Patriarchal society shapes thinking of males but can’t be justified: Delhi Court on eve-teasing

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“Security, safety and dignity of women has always been and is still a big issue. Gender sensitisation is the need of the hour. Women have been objectified in a negative manner by society instead of according the sensitivity they deserve. Patriarchal society has shaped the thinking of males which can’t be justified but it still, unfortunately prevails,” the court observed on eve-teasing.
Gender sensitisation is the need of the hour as women have not been given their fair share of respect, a Delhi court has observed while convicting two men of injuring a person, who later died, in a scuffle following an eve-teasing incident. Additional Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav held south Delhi residents Suraj and Ajay guilty of voluntarily causing hurt to one Sewa Lal. He however, acquitted them of the chargesof culpable homicide not amounting to murder, saying that the cause of death could be cardiac failure which was “natural”.

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On the issue of eve-teasing, that led to the fight, the court observed, “Security, safety and dignity of women has always been and is still a big issue. Gender sensitisation is the need of the hour. Women, who play a very vital role in the family, society and invariably all walks of life have not been given then fair share of recognition and respect. Women have been objectified in a negative manner by society instead of according the sensitivity they deserve.
Patriarchal society has shaped the thinking of males which can’t be justified but it still, unfortunately prevails,” the court said.

The court observed that factors like undue primacy to the male child, second grade or even below treatment to the girl child, social norms and male cliches “have made the world very unsafe”. “Eve-teasing is one such phenomenon emerging out of the churning of such factors. Instead of respecting the fair sex, males tend to treat them very unfairly,” it said.

According to police, an altercation took place between Ajay, Suraj, Sewa Lal and three others on February 24, 2013 after which police had taken all the injured persons to a hospital. Sewa Lal, who did not go to the hospital saying he was fine, later started complaining of uneasiness and was admitted to AIIMS hospital where he died the next day. A case was lodged by his wife Reena alleging that Lal died after getting injured in the fight by Suraj and Ajay, who were then charge sheeted for the offences under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 323 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt) of the IPC.

The court, while acquitting the accused of the offence under section 304 of the IPC, relied on the post mortem report of Lal which proved that he was a heart patient and was an alcoholic. “It (report) revealed that nothing was found on his body to suggest physical assault and that he could have died of cardiac failure which is a natural cause of death,” the court said.

From his medical report, the court also noted that he was intoxicated and said, “It is evident that liquor has played a big role in the death of Sewa Lal. In these circumstances,the accused persons cannot be held responsible for causing his death.”

It also refused to rely on the testimony of the victim’s wife denying that her husband had any heart ailment, which was contradictory to the medical evidence. However, the court convicted Ajay and Suraj of the charge of voluntarily causing hurt under the IPC while relying on the admission of incident by all the public persons/witnesses.

The case was filed on complaint of Lal’s wife, alleging that the accused persons were responsible for the death as they assaulted him by hitting on the chest, after which Suraj and Ajay were apprehended.

During the trial, the accused had denied the allegations and claimed they were falsely implicated by the victim’s wife who was misled by some persons about the incident.

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