National

Women lawyers slam BCI chief

A file photo of protesters holding placards in the New Delhi.

A file photo of protesters holding placards in the New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: SAJJAD HUSSAIN

Activists allege ‘grave abuse of office’

An open letter endorsed by more than 200 women lawyers and addressed to Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman, senior advocate Manan Kumar Mishra, has accused him of misogyny in light of his recent statements involving the sexual harassment complaint levelled against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi by a former Supreme Court employee

The letter, dated May 15, written by ‘Women of India for Collaboration and Empowerment in Law (Woice in Law), termed Mr. Mishra’s comments as “misogynistic, irresponsible, generalised, regressive, legally and statistically uninformed”.

“We have lately watched with deep concern, as you have made several reprehensible public statements which demonstrate a serious lack of principled leadership of the Bar, and a glaring lack of commitment to basic constitutional values of equality and non-discrimination,” the letter said.

It asked Mr. Mishra to publicly apologise for his statements. The letter criticised his call for a ‘Men Too’ protest in a recent appeal to the legal community. Mr. Mishra had issued a statement after an in-house panel led by Supreme Court judge, Justice S.A. Bobde, concluded that the woman’s allegations against Chief Justice Gogoi had “no substance”.

Mr. Mishra had gone on to comment about the complainant’s intentions, besides lauding the in-house panel and calling for amendments in the law on sexual offences. He said that 90% of sexual offence complaints were malicious.

The letter asked Mr. Mishra to step down from his post.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 6:43:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/women-lawyers-slam-bci-chief/article27141540.ece

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