LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER BY BRINDA KARAT ON OBJECTIONABLE LANGUAGE USED IN THE CBI CHARGE SHEET IN THE SISTER ABHAYA MURDER CASE
Dr. Manmohan Singhji,
I write to draw your attention to a report in The Indian Express today which gives details of the charge sheet filed by the CBI last week in a Kochi court, in the murder case of a nun, Sister Abhaya. I was shocked and outraged reading the report and I am sure that anyone who read it would have the same reaction. The language used in the charge sheet against an accused, Sister Sephy is obscene, vulgar, and unscientific. It is an affront to the dignity of women; it is insulting to the woman concerned and also reflects a perverted mentality. The language used in the charge sheet against a female accused invites criminal action against the officials concerned under laws pertaining to protection of a woman’s dignity, against harassment as also against obscenity.
Unfortunately in many cases concerning women, including victims of rape, the language used by investigative agencies is often highly offensive. In this case it is the accused who is the victim of the CBI’s objectionable language. I support all efforts to bring the guilty persons to book and bring justice to the murdered nun. While holding no quarter for the accused I request you to send a strong message to all investigative agencies that minimum standards of respect to the dignity of women will be protected. If the premier investigative agency of the country can use such objectionable language, what can women expect from local investigation officers?
I request you to enquire into the matter and if the report of the charge sheet is correct, to ensure disciplinary action and prosecution under the relevant section of the laws against the officers concerned.
I enclose the details of the charge sheet from press reports.