A division bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Mr. Justice J.M. Panchal and Mr. Justice Deepak Verma said on January 5: The Courts can have faith on the word of “any girl or woman in the country who seeks justice against her attackers and need not look for corroborating her evidence if her version inspires confidence.”
“It is a matter of common law”, added the Judges, “that in Indian society any girl or woman would not make such allegation against a person as she is fully aware of the repercussions flowing therefrom. If she is found to be false, she would be looked by the society with contempt throughout her life.”
TRAINING INSTITUTES OF ACTING
The common law, as referred to above, was, we are afraid, framed when training institutes for drama, acting and music had not come into existence in India. Now each and every metropolis, even smaller cities are imparting quality training in acting, dialogue and screen-play writing in addition to singing, dancing, directing, weeping and laughing in films. These institutions are churning out hoards of brilliant actors and actresses being simultaneously absorbed by various serial producers and TV channels, especially those dealing with entertainment.
Actor is a formidable variety of human beings. An ace actor puts the original to shame. A seasoned actor enters into the skin of the character. His acting pales the person into insignificance who he portrays in the role. This is common knowledge indeed.
TV has facilitated the task of those who cannot afford huge amounts of fee of the said institutes. They can learn the art in their drawing rooms.
RE-READ OPERATIVE PARTS
Now re-read the operative parts of the said judgement and think of the reaction of a jilted lover or a betrayed beloved. Would they not tell elaborate lies and speak the unalloyed truth? Story telling with effective dialogues, coupled with punch-lines is an art, taught in the institutes. Now it is no more a secret that the latest laws dealing with domestic violence have been grossly misused by the victim. What is the guarantee of fairness on the part of police or rape victims in case they are exempted from “corroborating evidence.” What is being disputed is the carte blanche to the victim. It is against judicial morality as well.
It takes to a plethora of questions about the Constitution and morality. The point is: is the Constitution of India amoral in content and approach? Is the Indian society amoral in thought and behaviour? Are the courts of law amoral or are they expected to be amoral in the dispensation of justice? Can justice and morality go together or are they bound to remain parallel to each other? Can justice be imagined without its inherent morality? Can a verdict be considered wholesome if it is devoid of its intrinsic morality? Does secularism also mean a safe distance from morals and morality? Does morality run into the face of democracy? Despite the cool and calculated banishment of God from society, can one just think of a human family without morality?
These are some of the questions that start agitating common man’s mind when he comes across a judgement or a direction from High Courts and Supreme Court of India which happens to be at cross purposes with morality or demands of morality.
Not long ago, the apex court asked and simultaneously suggested to the government: “When you say it (prostitution) is the world’s oldest profession and you are not able to curb it by laws, why don’t you legalise it?”
The Judges Mr Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Mr Justice AK Patnaik asked a government solicitor: “You can then monitor the trade, rehabilitation and provide medical aid to those involved.” The Solicitor promised to look into the court’s suggestions.
In simple language, it means two things: one, if the government feels helpless in obliterating an evil, its legalisation is alright rather desirable. And two, the Supreme Court, the highest palladium of justice, is for legalising prostitution!
When the apex court shows willingness to decriminalise what is palpably criminal from the morality point of view, it means it would not mind bestowing respectability upon the ignobility. It is here that unease starts overpowering the poise and equilibrium of the feeling sections of society. Such situation compels the concerned to give up silence.
HC OKEYED SODOMY
The Delhi High Court, in July 2009, declared infructuose Section 377 which prohibits same sex, an act which is against the law of nature. That is not the news. The news is that the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the flawed and outrageous judgement.
We honestly feel the honourable judges of the two courts are honest and erudite, enlightened, well-read and in fact authority on their respective subjects. But we could not persuade ourselves to agree with their lordship on the project.
The first question is: Have sincere and sustained efforts been made to eliminate prostitution and sodomy? We are afraid, only half-hearted efforts have been made in this regard. No effort has been made to eliminate the two evils as endeavours have been made to erase off malaria, measles and tuberculosis.
Secondly, what is the percentage of the practitioners of gay and lesbian sex? Is that that gigantic that the Constitution of the country is being sought to be altered to accommodate the view of a negligible number of perverts.
Thirdly, the countries which allow prostitution as well as same sex are suffering from the breakage of family and the ever-increasing number of divorces along with the attending social malaise. Laxity of law there has opened the floodgates of sleaze inundating the entire society. Today in the most advanced United States, the number of the illegitimate is larger than the number of those who were conceived on the right side of quilt. By showing elasticity on the sex laws some sections of our judiciary, perhaps unconsciously, are sowing the proverbial whirlwind.
MUSLIM VIEW DESERVES ATTENTION
We Muslims, in the light of our sources of inspiration, the Qur'an and Sunnah, believe there will never arise any need of legitimising sodomy or legalising adultery the day the nation decides to outlaw extramarital and deviant sex.
This brings us to the question of morality and Constitution of India. Our reading is the Constitution of India, one of the world’s best constitutions, has streaks of morality. Its spirit is moral. But morality as such is dormant. It is between-the-lines. Let this ambiguity go lock, stock and barrel. After a national debate on the subject let us, let our Parliament amend the Constitution and give it a moral edge, moral overtones, moral orientation and moral ambience. Let this amendment being proposed by the Muslims of India be incorporated in the “basic structure” of the statutes.
Let the Muslim leadership rise to the occasion and give this feeling a powerful voice to be heard in the corridors of power. The Muslim leadership should contact all the parties, thinkers and the social scientists. Who will take the initiative in this regard if Muslims don’t or hesitate to deliver?