Woman Has Right To Choose Her Lover: Supreme Court Tells Men

The apex court upholding the conviction of a man who drove a woman to commit suicide said, “A woman has an individual choice and it has been legally recognised. This has to be socially respected. No one can compel a woman to love. She has the absolute right to reject.”

New Delhi: With increasing incidents of stalking, eve-teasing and harassment of women, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a right to choose her lover or reject any proposal and no one can compel her.

It also clarified that a woman has right to live with dignity granted under the Constitution and it cannot be violated by detestable instances of eve teasing at public places.

The court upholding the conviction of a man who drove a woman to commit suicide after continuous eve- teasing, a bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said, “A woman has an individual choice and it has been legally recognised. This has to be socially respected. No one can compel a woman to love. She has the absolute right to reject.” The court also asserted that there is no room for male chauvenism in a civilised society.

Rejecting the plea of the appellant, the court said, “A man should not put his ego or for that matter, masculinity on a pedestal and abandon the concept of civility. Egoism must succumb to law.”

Dismissing the appeal of Pawan Kumar, a resident of Himachal Pradesh, aginst the High Court’s order that overturned the acquittal in the suicide case of girl, the court said, “The case portrays the deplorable depravity of the appellant that has led to being a heartbreaking situation for a young girl who has been compelled to put an end to her life.”

The convict, Pawan Kumar, faced a separate prosecution of rape and kidnapping of the victim. However, as the girl supported him during the trial, he was acquitted.
After facing the prosecution in a rape case, Pawn started harassing the girl. The girl set herself ablaze on July 19, 2008, as she could not take the harassment anymore. She succumbed to her burns five days later. She recorded her dying declaration explaining the role of the convict.

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