BBC gangrape documentary: Supreme Court asks advocate to respond

New Delhi, Apr 20: The Supreme Court today granted two weeks time to one of the two advocates, accused of making derogatory remarks against women in a BBC documentary on the December 16 gangrape case, to file response to a plea of women lawyers' body which has sought action against them.

A bench comprising justices V Gopala Gowda and C Nagappan asked advocate M L Sharma, who also represents two convicts in the case, to file his reply when he claimed innocence and sought an oral hearing.

BBC gangrape documentary: Supreme Court asks advocate to respond.
Citing a 'shloka' in Sanskrit, Sharma told the bench that he respects women and was willing to "mediate" or "settle" with the representatives of the Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association (SCWLA).

He also denied giving controversial statements to the documentary makers. "You file your reply," the bench said.

Also read: Nirbhaya controversy: Why does the BBC documentary shock a 16-year-old

During the proceedings, when Sharma was not present, the counsel for the lawyers' body and others said that he and another advocate A P Singh have been evading court notices.

Sharma later appeared and accepted notice and the court then asked the women lawyers' body to serve the other advocate with its notice in next two weeks.

Earlier, the court had issued notices to the both lawyers saying "the matter requires consideration in view of the factual and legal submissions".

Also read: Journalists' body demands lifting of ban on BBC documentary

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 Supreme Court Bar Association (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. Senior advocate and SCBA President Dushyant Dave had said that there should be a meaningful and proper implementation of gender sensitisation regulation. 


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