The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to restrain two lawyers’ bodies from taking any action against an advocate for allegedly making derogatory remarks against women in a BBC documentary on the December 16 gangrape case.
Advocate M L Sharma had made a oral submission that since the apex court was hearing a petition against him there was need for fairness that Bar Council of India (BCI) and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) should not take up the identical issue.
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Without passing any order, a bench of justices V Gopala Gowda and C Nagappan said, “We will hear you.” The apex court on April 20 had granted two weeks time to Sharma, who also represents two convicts in the case, to file response to the plea of women lawyers’ body which has sought action against him and another lawyer A P Singh in the matter, after he had claimed innocence and sought an oral hearing.
During the last hearing, Sharma had told the bench that he respects women and treats them like his own mother and was willing to “mediate” or “settle” with the representatives of the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association (SCWLA). He had also denied giving controversial statements to the documentary makers.
Earlier, the court had issued notices to both the lawyers saying “the matter requires consideration in view of the factual and legal submissions.
SCWLA, in its plea, had sought restriction on the entry of the advocates in the apex court premises, alleging that their remarks in the controversial BBC documentary were “inhumane, scandalous, unjustifiable, biased, outrageous, ill-minded” and are a “direct affront to and in violation of the dignity of women”, especially those practicing in the Supreme court.
The SCBA has supported the plea of women lawyers association.
Earlier, the counsel for SCWLA had said that the Supreme Court has to lead from the front and show zero tolerance for such views.