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HomeIndiaRajasthan Human Rights Commission thinks women in live-in relationships are ‘concubines’

Rajasthan Human Rights Commission thinks women in live-in relationships are ‘concubines’

The Rajasthan Human Rights Commission panel that made the observation included a former judge who once hailed ‘peacock celibacy’. 

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New Delhi: The controversial former Rajasthan High Court judge who made national headlines in 2017 for his sermon on “peacock celibacy” is once again in the news. 

Justice Mahesh Chandra Sharma, a member of the Rajasthan Human Rights Commission (RHRC), and panel chair Justice Prakash Tatia were part of a bench that Wednesday equated women in live-in relationships with “concubines”.

The two-member RHRC bench made the observation as it urged the central and the state governments to bring a separate law to regulate and “register” live-in relationships.

“Keeping a woman as a concubine is against her dignity because this word tantamounts to character assassination. For a woman, life as a concubine is not right to life and such a woman cannot protect her fundamental rights,” the panel said in its order.

Also read: Does women’s liberation mean adultery? How Aparna Sen differed from Satyajit Ray

‘Lifelong brahmachari’

In 2017, Sharma made national news after a media interaction on the last day of his judicial career.

Sharma said, “The peacock is a lifelong brahmachari (celibate). It never has sex with the peahen. The peahen gets pregnant after swallowing the tears of the peacock.”

The comments came after he disposed of a plea on the death of over 500 cows at a shelter near Jaipur, and issued an order calling for the cow to be declared the national animal.

The 139-page order recommended a life sentence for cow slaughter. It asserted that “no crime is more heinous than cow slaughter” and cited benefits of cow urine and cow dung.

Sharma enrolled as an advocate in 1979 and was elevated to the bench in July 2007. He retired in May 2017 and was appointed a member of the RHRC a year later for a five-year term. 

Over his 10 years as a judge, he presided over a case stemming from the alleged fake encounter of Rajasthan bootlegger Dara Singh, and dismissed a defamation case filed by a local resident against PM Narendra Modi over his remark during a public rally that Jawaharlal Nehru had “done nothing for children”.

Also read: Hindu Rashtra to peacocks not having sex: There is no way to assess conduct of our judges



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