ANI Photo | “Judges not expected to express personal views”: SC on Calcutta HC’s order on asking adolescent girls to control sexual urges

The Supreme Court on Friday said that some parts of Calcutta High Court judgment that stated that adolescent girls must control their sexual urges instead of giving in to two minutes of pleasure “were highly objectionable and completely unwarranted”.
A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal said the judges are not expected to express their personal views or preach.
“In an appeal against conviction, the High Court was called upon to decide only the merits of the appeal and nothing else. Prima facie, we are of the view that, in such a case, the judges are not expected to either express their personal views or preach,” the Court observed.
“The observations are completely in violation of the rights of adolescents under Article 21 of the Constitution, says Supreme Court,” it added.
The apex court took suo motu cognisance of the High Court judgment and issued notice to the State government and others.
The state government sought time to apprise the bench whether an appeal would be filed against the verdict.
Senior advocate Madhavi Divan was appointed by the top court as amicus curiae to assist the court and advocate Liz Mathew to assist the amicus.
A division bench of Justices Chitta Ranjan Dash and Partha Sarathi Sen of the High Court had advised young girls and boys to rein in sexual urges while acquitting a man who was convicted of raping a minor girl with whom he had a ‘romantic affair’.
The High Court had voiced concerns over the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) conflating consensual acts among adolescents with sexual abuse and hence called for decriminalising consensual sexual acts involving adolescents above 16 years.
The bench had opined that sexual urge is created by our actions.
“Sex in adolescents is normal but sexual urge or arousal of such urge is dependent on some action by the individual, maybe a man or woman. Therefore, sexual urge is not at all normal and normative. If we stop some action(s), arousal of sexual urge … ceases to be normal,” the judgment reads.
It had, therefore, proposed a ‘duty/obligation based approach’ to the issue, and suggested some duties for both the adolescent females and males.
For adolescent females it suggested that it is the duty/obligation of every female adolescent to protect her right to integrity of her body, protect her dignity and self-worth, and control sexual urge/urges as in the eyes of society she is the looser when she gives in to enjoy the sexual pleasure of hardly two minutes

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