HC Order In Farooqui Case Pushed Women 30 Years Back: Kamla Bhasin

Kamla Bhasin

“I hope that the survivor takes the case to the Supreme Court,” said feminist Kamla Bhasin on the sexual assault case in which ‘Peepli Live’ co-director Mahmood Farooqui had been accused.

The Delhi high court recently acquitted Farooqui saying that the woman’s ‘feeble no’ may sometimes mean a ‘yes’. This judgment caused quite a stir in the nation where women expressing their shock.

Speaking at an event in New Delhi on October 2, Bhasin  said, “There have been two cases — one (Farooqui’s) and the other one in Punjab HC. These judgments have pushed women 30 years back. The entire women’s movement is speaking against it.”

She added, “In both the judgments, they victim-shamed the women saying that she is an educated woman, then why did she not say ‘no’ loudly. Why did she even go to his house? Etc. I have only one thing to say to such people that if I start getting scared of everyone and suspect everyone, then my humanity dies.”

Bhasin said that no woman can live in fear, suspecting 50% of the population. And that the law amendment of Section 376A in 2013 also says that even if a man forces sex on a sex worker, then that is also punishable

On September 25, the Delhi HC acquitted Farooqui and rejected the trial court’s judgment of sentencing him to seven years of jail. Justice Ashutosh Kumar said, “It remains in doubt whether such an incident, as has been narrated… took place, and if at all it took place, it was without the consent/will of the prosecutrix (the woman). And if it was without the consent… whether the appellant (Farooqui) could discern/understand the same.”

“There have been two cases one (Farooqui’s) and the other one in Punjab HC. These judgments have pushed women 30 years back. The entire women’s movement is speaking against it”- Kamla Bhasin

“When parties know each other, are persons of letters, and are intellectually/academically proficient, and if, in the past, there have been physical contacts. In such cases, it would be really difficult to decipher whether little or no resistance and a feeble “no” was actually a denial of consent.”

Bhasin also referred to the case of three former students in Jindal Global Law School of OP Jindal University. In this case, the survivor had alleged that all of them had forced her to comply with their sexual demands for two years. The three men involved in the case are Hardik Sikri, Karan Chabbra and Vikas Garg.

ALSO READ: Delhi High Court Acquits ‘Peepli-Live’ Co-Director From Rape Case

The prosecutrix alleged that Sikri coaxed her into sending her nude pictures to him. He then used those pictures to abuse and blackmail her. She claims that they threatened her to submit herself sexually to them several times.

In this case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court recently released all the accused students on bail. The order said, “The entire crass sequence actually is reflective of a degenerative mindset of the youth. As it breeds denigrating relationships mired in drugs, alcohol, casual sexual escapades and a promiscuous and voyeuristic world.”

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