Amid the raging controversy over the documentary India's Daughter , the Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up the Central and Delhi government for failing to make even a single documentary or use the visual medium in any manner to educate people about the nature of sexual offences and the stringent punishments involved.
It also noted the ‘disgusting’ trend of people in high positions to make ‘vile’ statements while voicing their tasteless anti-women opinions.
“We express our disgust and displeasure at the apathy and insensitivity of the Union of India and Govt. of NCT of Delhi for having failed to take steps to produce even a single documentary or for that matter take the help of any other visual media to educate the people of Delhi, about the nature of sexual offences concerning women and child and create awareness amongst them about the existing laws and stringent punishments provided against such offences despite several directions having been given by this Court,” observed the division bench consisting of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta, while also comparing this apathy to the efforts of a foreigner.
“In contrast, one individual, a British filmmaker, could make a documentary film on the brutal gang rape that has managed to kick up a storm and trigger a furore in India,” said the court while hearing an appeal against a judgement sentencing a rape accused.
Making note of the increasing incidents of violence against women, despite newer stringent laws, the court criticised the dismaying trend of educated people holding high positions making irresponsible statements that were detrimental to the interests of women as well as tasteless.
“What is in bad taste are the irresponsible and vile statements made very often by erudite people who hold reputable positions and place in diverse fields, and show no signs of shame while voicing their warped and misogynistic ideals,” said the court.
The court further noted that the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Constitution was not absolute.
“Clause (2) of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution enables the legislature to impose certain restrictions on free speech. And, these reasonable restrictions should be kept in mind by one and all before giving vent to their opinions and views.”