Condoms Sent To HC Judge In Protest of Her POCSO Rulings
Justice Ganediwala has been criticized for her recent controversial verdicts in sexual assault cases.
As a mark of protest, a woman from Ahmedabad has sent 150 condoms to Bombay High Court additional judge Justice Pushpa V Ganediwala against her recent controversial verdicts in sexual assault cases under the POCSO Act reported India Today.
Devshri Trivedi, a political analyst said that she had sent condoms to Justice Ganediwala's chamber along with12 different locations including the registry of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court and the principal seat in Mumbai.
"I cannot tolerate injustice. A minor girl did not get justice because of a judgment by Justice Ganediwala. I am demanding that she (Justice Ganediwala) be suspended," Trivedi was quoted as saying by India Today.
In a recent verdict, Justice Ganediwala acquitted a man of sexual assault on the grounds that pressing the breasts of a child over her clothes without direct “skin to skin” physical contact does not constitute “sexual assault” under the POCSO Act.
Trivedi told India Today that she had sent the packets on 9 February and few of the packages have been delivered. She also said that she doesn’t feel she has done anything wrong.
“Women have to stand up for their rights. By this order of Justice Ganediwala, men can go scot-free for sexually assaulting girls over their clothes," she was quoted by India Today as saying.
Justice Ganediwala was also criticized for another ruling which says that acts like “holding the hands of a minor” and the accused “opening the zip of pants” does not amount to sexual assault under POCSO Act.
The registry office of the Nagpur bench said they did not receive any packet of this nature. Shrirang Bhandarkar, senior advocate of the Nagpur Bar Association said "This is a clear case of contempt. We demand that action should be taken against this woman."
Justice Ganediwala was appointed as additional judge of the High Court in February 2019. She was recommended to be made a permanent judge by the Supreme Court Collegium in January 2021. But the Collegium withdrew its recommendations after the controversial judgments surfaced.
Last week, her tenure as additional judge was extended for one year by the government.
BUT NOT EVERYBODY WAS AGAINST HER APPOINTMENT
Meanwhile, a group of lawyers had drafted a representation to the Supreme Court collegium seeking reconsideration, after it withdrew recommendation to appoint Justice Ganediwala as a permanent judge of the Bombay High Court.
Signatures from members of the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) and District Bar Association (DBA) members were taken to make the representation, reported The Times of India.
It was decided that this would be sent to President of India Ramnath Kovind, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others.
WHY WAS RECOMMENDATION WITHDRAWN?
The ‘three-judge collegium’ of SC judges that appoints high court judges had recommended her permanent appointment to the high court on 20 January, but later withdrew this recommendation.
The Times of India had reported that Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar – who are not part of the three-judgecollegium but began their judicial careers in the Bombay High Court –“reiterated their strong reservations against making Justice Ganediwala apermanent judge of the HC in closed-door conversations.”
Both these judges had objected to her appointment as an additional judge in the first place (in February 2019), and thanks to the recent controversy, were able to convince one of the members of the three-judge collegium to withdraw their consent to her permanent appointment, The Times of India noted.
Justice Ganediwala started serving as an additional judge of Bombay HC from February 2019.
(With inputs from India Today & The Times of India)
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