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India: Women’s and human rights’ organisations condemn slanderous arguments by Ram Jethmalani in Rajasthan courthouse

18 September 2013

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Joint Press Note by Women’s and Human Rights’ Organisations

Jaipur,

17th September, 2013

We women and Human rights organisations of Rajasthan condemn in no uncertain terms, the slanderous arguments provided by Senior Advocate Ram Jethmalani in the Rajasthan High Court, Jodhpur, while arguing that bail be granted to child sexual abuser and assaulter Asumal Harpalani alias Asaram

AS highlighted by the media, presenting arguments that the girl (victim) was afflicted with a chronic disease, "which draws a woman to a man", is completely violative of the law. As indulging in character assassination and , stating sexual histories is not permitted under the revised CrPC. Making such vile and slanderous arguments against a minor shows the low level to which the even senior lawyers of the stature of Ram Jethmalani can stoop too in order to influence the court.

The Women’s groups will write to the Bar Council of India against this slander so that Mr. Jethmalani be debarred from arguing in court, unless he apologises.

We are,

Renuka Pamecha (Women’s Rehabilitation group), Kavita Srivastava ( People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan), Kusum Saiwal & Sumitra Chopra ( Akhil Bharatiya Janwadi Mahila Samiti), Mamta Jaitly (Vividha: Women’s Documentation and Resource Centre), Nisha Sidhu ( National Federation of Indian Women, Rajasthan), Pawan Suran & Dr. Malti Gupta (Rajasthan University Women’s Association), Komal Srivastava ( Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti), Mewa Bharti (Domestic Workers Union, Rajasthan), Nishat Hussein ( National Muslim Women Welfare Society), Asha Kalra (Women’s Cell, State Employees Union), Vijay Lakshmi Joshi (People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Bharat (Vishakha: Women’s Education & Resource Centre), Dr. Meeta Singh ( Dignity of the Girl Child Foundation), Rakhi( Centre for Advocacy and Research, Jaipur), S Suman Devathia ( Dalit Mahila Manch, Rajasthan) and Shabnam Aziz (Action Aid, Jaipur)