“Hon’ble judges are not expected to either express their personal views or preach”: SC on Calcutta HC order regarding the sexual behavior of female adolescents

Share on:

Today (December 08, 2023), the Supreme Court (SC) of India expressed disapproval of the Calcutta High Court’s comment regarding the sexual behavior of adolescents, particularly cautioning adolescent girls to ‘control their sexual urges’ to avoid being deemed as a loser by society. The order was passed by the HC in October 2023. The top court took objection to these remarks and initiated a suo motu case under the title ‘In Re: Right to Privacy of Adolescent’ on December 07, 2023. The matter was heard today by a two-judge bench comprising Justices Abhay S. Oka and Pankaj Mithal. It said that under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, the suo motu writ petition has been initiated as per the directions of the CJI DY Chandrachud, “mainly due to sweeping observations/findings recorded by the division bench of the Calcutta HC.” 

While hearing, the matter, the bench observed that the comments made by the HC violated the rights of adolescents under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. The SC said, “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 Hon’ble judges are not expected to either express their personal views or preach. After having carefully pursued the judgment, we find that many parts thereof, including para 30.3, are highly objectionable and completely unwarranted. The said observations are completely in violation of the rights of adolescents under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

The Calcutta HC order under question reads, “It is the duty or obligation of every female adolescent to:

  • Protect her right to the integrity of her body,
  • Protect her dignity and self-worth,
  • Thrive for the overall development of her self-transcending gender barriers,
  • Control sexual urge or urges as in the eyes of society she is the loser when she gives in to enjoy the sexual pleasure of hardly two minutes,
  • Protect her right to autonomy of her body and her privacy.”

It further added, “It is the duty of a male adolescent to respect the aforesaid duties of a young girl or woman and he should train his mind to respect a woman, her self-worth, her dignity and privacy, and her right to autonomy of her body.” In its order, the HC also said, “We do not want our adolescents to do anything that shall push them from the dark to the darker side of life. It is normal for each adolescent to seek the company of the opposite sex, but it is not normal for them to engage in sex devoid of any commitment and dedication. Sex shall come automatically to them when they grow self-reliant, economically independent and a person which they dreamt one day to be, it concluded.”