Supreme Court: In a suo motu cognizance of the Calcutta High Court’s decision, whereby the High Court issued a slew of advisories to the male and female adolescents regarding the respect of a woman, protection of self-worth, dignity and privacy, and right to autonomy of the female’s body, the Division Bench of Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal, JJ. frowned upon the High Court’s suggestion to adolescent girls to control their sexual urge.
The High Court while hearing an appeal against the Special Judge’s conviction order under Sections 363 and 366 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) and Section 6 of the POCSO Act, observed that it is the duty of a male adolescent to respect the duties of a young girl or woman and he should train his mind to respect a woman, her self-worth, her dignity and privacy, and right to autonomy of her body. The High Court while acquitting the convict gave advice to the female adolescent, identifying the duty or obligation to:
(i) Protect her right to integrity of her body.
(ii) Protect her dignity and self-worth.
(iii) Thrive for overall development of her self transcending gender barriers.
(iv) Control sexual urge/urges as in the eyes of society she is the looser when she gives in to enjoying the sexual pleasure of hardly two minutes.
(v) Protect her right to autonomy of her body and her privacy.
The Court found the High Court’s suggestions to be “highly objectionable” and unwarranted. The Court said that such suggestions/ directions violate Article 21 of the Constitution. The Court remarked that “Judges should avoid preaching and expressing personal views”.
[In Re: Right to Privacy of Adolescent]