Should Lawyers ML Sharma and AP Singh be disbarred for their remarks and opinions expressed in the documentary India’s Daughter?

Should Lawyers ML Sharma and AP Singh be disbarred for their remarks and opinions expressed in the documentary India’s Daughter?

Defence lawyers ML Sharma and AP Singh have been served notices by the Bar Council of India (BCI) for their comments in the controversial BBC documentary India’s Daughter. The two lawyers appear in the documentary, that was banned by the I&B Ministry, and made statements that have led to angered reactions from people.

Their statements on a woman’s conduct in the context of the December 16 gang-rape are personal opinions, derogatory in nature, and unfortunately shared by many men as well as women in India. The outrage, however, stems from the fact that they represent the men convicted for the gruesome rape. They have been given three weeks by the BCI to explain why a disciplinary action shouldn’t be initiated against them for their statements. [Lawyers ML Sharma, AP Singh Issued Notices For Remarks on Women. Should They Be Disbarred?]

Do you think the misogynistic (and possibly very ignorant) lawyers defending the Delhi bus gang rape and torture convicts should be disbarred?

If yes, then on what grounds?

Is it against the law for lawyers (or anybody else in India) to express hate for women? What about all the others who agree with these lawyers? Should they be held accountable too (in whichever ways possible)?

A victim’s character, clothing, social life etc are not legally admissible as valid reasons for sexually assaulting her. Should a lawyer be disbarred for still attempting to use these justifications? Why do they continue to try this?

If no, then why not?

Would it help if his statements were publicised and condemned (not banned) and lead to awareness campaigns about:

1. ‘Consent’ in sexual relationships.
2. About every citizen’s right to safety.
3. About our tolerance to violence.
4. Also, more discussions about why some men rape and how to identify and control such potential criminals.

Do many of us think like Rapists and their lawyers? Do listen to Javed Akhtar – 58 seconds and no more than a few sentences.

Another lawyer said:

If he were a woman, he would have filed a case against a man everyday.

Related Posts:

Rape and clothing: How it’s all dressed up – A guest post by Praveen Talwar.

Nirbhaya’s Parents Talk to NDTV About Documentary on ‘India’s Daughter’

Why does the Delhi bus rapist blame his victim in prison interview?

Nirbhaya’s Parents Talk to NDTV About Documentary on ‘India’s Daughter’

Girl has disease that draws her to men: Asaram’s lawyer

“This man is openly threatening his daughter and is instigating others to burn alive their daughters.”

Justice Verma Committee is inviting solutions and ideas in regards to sexual harassment/ assault/ molestation/ rape.

“Ninety percent rape victims go willingly, but later they meet criminal minded people…”

Family court matters taken away from Justice Bhakthavatsala

India might finally get proper laws against sexual harassment, instead of just “eve-teasing”.

Making Marital Rape a legal offence is the fastest way to make it clear that Rape means forced sex, not lost Virginity or Honor.

Who are we hoping to hang with Capital Punishment for rape?

Forcible sex with wife doesn’t amount to marital rape: Court

How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?

Why does Gender Sensitivity in Legal Language matter.

36 thoughts on “Should Lawyers ML Sharma and AP Singh be disbarred for their remarks and opinions expressed in the documentary India’s Daughter?

  1. We are a democratic country, and people should not suffer for their personal opinions, even if they are complete and utter jerks. I fully support free speech as long as it is not inciting violence directly. I think ML Sharma’s views are oppressive and disgusting, but he has the right to express himself, lawyer or not.

    On the other hand, AP Singh openly threatened violence on his daughter and sister on TV. This sort of thing must have an immediate and concrete result. He is basically not just saying that the entire thing was Jyoti’s fault but he is also encouraging people (specifically, Rajputs) to burn their daughters if they step out of line. So yes, I think he should not just be disbarred but some sort of legal action should be taken against him and his daughter should be given the opportunity to distance herself from her father.

    There is also the issue that these lawyers have been spouting crap for years. I remember AP Singh’s comments quite clearly at the time he took up the case. Is the Bar Council only reacting to public outrage? Shouldn’t we have some set standards for people who incite or express direct violence on other people, irrespective of what the public thinks? This entire thing is extremely unprofessional.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is also the problem regarding ML Sharma whether he actually knows and implements the law in his defence. Slut shaming is not allowed in the courts these days and if he is actually giving flowers, diamonds and bread defence for rapists on a regular basis, then he is probably acting outside the legal provisions made for protection of rape victims. All this will have to be considered as well.

      Like

    • I agree ML Sharma has right to ‘free speech’ & making an ass of himself publicly as long as he does not incite people to violence or breaking the law.
      I do hope the judge that ML Sharma goes before to appeal Mukesh Singh’s death sentence takes this opportunity to THOROUGHLY chastise & admonish ML Sharma for his utterly asinine opinions.
      I should think a vehement reprimand of ML Sharma by the Hon’ble Judge making it quite clear that such archaic & ridiculous views will not be tolerated in the courtroom (nor should they be in society) during the opening statement of the trial to start, then another final blast during the judge’s sentencing statement just to make sure the message gets through ‘loud & clear’.
      As for AP Singh publicly encouraging citizens to ‘murder’ & threatening violence against his own family – disbar him immediately & take legal action for inciting people to murder & break the law.

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    • AP Singh’s Daughter and sister has not uttered anything in this ( not that I know, if he has been bless with one)

      That’s what allow this to happen in first place. He knew they wont say anything and so he went on public to say what he said.

      Women are not any less responsible for whatever happening. I hope you have seen NH 10 movie.

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  2. The basic problem is in almost all homes . The daughters are confined to home from early stages and sons are allowed to roam free. The attitude that MAN is superior and FREE is instilled in both man and woman from childhood. Not just man but woman also support this attitude and since they are our parents siblings or relations we accept their rules and dictum’s quietly but the moment someone else points a finger we raise our voices as CIVIL society.
    Till the time we can allow our child irrespective of the sex to roam freely on street without any fear we cannot do any thing to change this view.
    I was into a discussion with one of school mates of 1977 who is presently settled in states and a 2 time divorcee about woman rights and i pointed to him that woman don’t need to ask for freedom they are born free so please don’t ask such questions like “why woman want to act like man ” . Whether a woman smokes or drinks or wears this type or that type of clothes , shouts as a boss etc etc she is not copying MAN because she is made herself that way . Why do you want MAN on pedestal and always say woman wants freedom and she acts like a man .
    His response was ” Now Rachna your view point is very weird , you want to have your cake and eat it too !!!, you want to do things as a man does and still will not accept that you want to act like a man . You want freedom to be on your own but you are saying you are born free ”

    Now how is my batch mates attitude any different from the attitude of the lawyer . They are all groomed and conditioned by our so called society .

    No action can be taken on the lawyer because if you see the film at one place he clearly says ” our society is good but its not for women “

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    • Most men who are above the ages of thirty generally think this way.

      I think the root of the problem is the strict segregation of the sexes that is enforced in some families.

      Men who grow up in such families do not see women as fellow human beings. They see Woman as the Eternal Other, who is the complete opposite of men in every possible way.

      In their view, women are soft while men are tough, women are emotional while men are rational, women are nurturing while men are aggressive, women like flowers while men like, I don’t know, rocks?

      Such men cannot comprehend that men are more similar than different to men. We belong to the same species, for god’s sake.

      My brother has always had a mixed group of friends from his teenage years. He has always had female friends dropping in to “hang out” in college and later.

      The way he relates to women is VERY different from the way my other male cousins, raised in traditional families, view women.

      He has no problems casually draping his arm around his female friends, without it getting a “sexual vibe”.

      If men are raised to see women as regular human beings, not The Weaker Sex, a lot of sexual violence would reduce.

      Sexual violence is rooted in a power differential, not in innate male biology.

      Like

  3. They are lawyers right now. Their views are merely arguments in a court of law. And it is necessary to know both points of view, however absurd. However, they shouldn’t be allowed to rise through the scales and be judges someday! *horror*

    I am not too sure whether that can happen. If that can, better ban them right now. If not, let them be.

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  4. I was out shopping with a male cousin and his Mom in Bangalore once.The cousin is in his thirties, and his Mom is in her sixties. The cousin pointed out some of the women on the roads,wearing off shoulder tops,shorts etc and said to me ‘Its embarrassing to step out of the house with Mom nowadays. Look what the women are wearing.’ To which the Mom replied,’They are wearing what they like, what is your problem?’
    I was aghast. How did such a woman raise such a man? If not his Mom, who could have influenced his thought process? Certainly not his Dad, for I know him to be as liberal as the Mom.

    Is Society’s grip superior to one’s own parents’?
    Or
    Do men have a special chromosome called Misogyny?
    Today, we disbar a lawyer and sit back and relax.
    How do we disbar an entire society that produced people like my cousin?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No, I don’t think he should be disbarred. Freedom of expression after all. As for his threat about his daughter I don’t think there was any immediate threat. The difficulty is in determining whether or not he was being serious – personally, I think that any lawyer defending a rapist is going to change his or her public views to support their client. If he has to go to jail, it should only be if his daughter felt actually threatened.

    It’s a fine line between rhetoric and an actual threat. For an actual threat, there has to be immediacy. Like if he were more specific saying – “Tomorrow I will burn my daughter at 6:00 pm”. Here, she may not even have married. It’s too vague.

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    • I think that anyone who lives with someone who publicly has no qualms about announcing that he would kill her (at some point) is in danger. Domestic killings do not actually happen in a day. There are years of abuse culminating in the sudden murder. Abused women (or men, for that matter) living under such circumstances do not often understand that they are in danger. Far too often, violence is normalised. It’s not just a threat, it’s a showcase of the violent home the man lives in. So yes, I think it would be nice if someone could just check on the daughter, whatever her age or marital status.

      Another point is that he is also claiming it is okay for Rajputs to burn their daughters. This sort of thing is very dangerous in a society. I know you have some very American ideas on free speech, but I do not agree with them. Inciting hatred and violence should be a crime.

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    • It is rhetorical threats that take no time to become actual. Do you think this father would not have made those verbal threats before he actually beat his daughter to pulp.

      Telling people read dalits and minorities to stay in their limits is one such rhetorical threat that is executed too often in this country.

      http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/bengaluru-cop-filmed-beating-kicking-daughter-shamed-on-facebook/359624

      DG

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    • If he is disbarred, it most likely wouldn’t be for making misogynistic statements, but rather for professional misconduct, which includes appearing in publications or films that prejudical to sub judice matters.

      Additionally, even if he is disbarred for airing his point of view, it is NOT an attack on free speech.
      Professional bodies are generally free to set whatever ethical standards they want for their members (as long as they don’t violate constitutional protections against discrimination etc.). As a member of the bar council, he is speaking not just for himself, but also as a member of the bar council of India. If the BCI desires no longer to be associated with him, they can’t be faulted for that.

      In summary, no one is saying that he cannot make such statements, but if he does, he should be ready to face whatever professional consequences follow.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. the one who said he’s burn his daughter can be reprimanded and possibly tossed in jail if his daughter complains . But the other one spouting the dog and diamond story can voice his views. Being an idiot on TV doesn’t warrant punishment. we’ve a ton of those.
    We had a professor who spouted such nonsense. a TEACHER molding young impressionable minds and was technically looked upon as an educator, if he was left to do as he pleased why bother with the lawyer.

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  7. “Woman From Kazakhstan Allegedly Gang-Raped in Delhi’s Karol Bagh” One of the headlines on NDTV today.
    There has to be a social movement around the world and in India right now. Being a foreigner I love India for everything great that it has to offer (delicious food & rich culture)…. But I HATE that the majority of men in the streets consider girls to be worthless (stupid lawyers, fruit stall vendors, bus drivers, etc.,). The government & people of India should unite to try to educate people that Rape & other crimes against woman in NOT okay. My heart breaks every time I think of the suffering Jyoti, God bless her soul, endured. We need justice to be done, people to stop thinking this nonsense about girls being out late, dress like this, smile, and making eye contact these are just cheap excuses to justify sick mentality & twisted ways.

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  8. It is a as simple one idiot in black coat is saying “…women have no place in our culture…” read half a citizens of this country have no right to exist as free citizens but be at the mercy of the other half. As a lawyer he should be talking about citizens and their rights not those of men or women.
    The other idiot I told you 2yrs ago was threatening violence against his daughter even if it was metaphoric and was instigating other parents to follow the violent suit. The following link occurrences are common and will become more frequent least courts step up every time to correct the malady, “NOT WOMAN BUT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT A FELLOW CITIZEN, SHOW SOME RESPECT.”

    Yes, the bar council is now under public pressure or else these sound bites were in the public domain for last 2yrs they did not even bother to check or make a comment.

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

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  9. lets get behind those comments and think about logic. if i go get drunk and roam into a area which is prone to crimes, either i should be able to physically defend myself or should avoid such situation. no body is saying that crime will stop with it but it is like using seat belts which make you safer.
    women fails to think about one think that biologically they need a male defender. now a days state does that work but its powers are limited. see in history, male behavior (means majority of them) is always aggressive and sometimes violent. these types of behaviours is still common in all societies more or less. so its upto women to make correction.

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    • Mukesh, when did they give you access to internet?

      Just kidding of course…Obviously, I don’t mean everyone who espouses this view is a rapist…but this viewpoint so closely aligns with what Mukesh and his lawyers have said that you can forgive my confusion…

      Regarding your comment…it is such an timeworn, outdated argument encountered so many times that I felt exhausted just by reading it…There are a lot of people on this forum who will do a much better job of refuting and destroying this so-called “logic”.

      Just wanted to mention a few points here

      Putting the onus of safety on women themselves and ceding pubic space to rapists will never lead to a safer world. Because if we go by your “logic”, irrespective of any number of precautions, the rapists will still be out there among us. In fact, women do take an incredible amount of precautions that we men cannot even comprehend, much less follow. The fact that rapes still happen with stunning regularity is because this is not a workable, long term solution.
      Not to mention restricting the freedom and movement of all women for the problems caused by some men is incredibly unfair and unjust. If being outside after sunset is not safe because of men’s aggression, then make it safer by restricting all men from going outside after sunset…if bars and pubs are not safe place for women due to men’s aggression, then make it safer by restricting men from entering bars and pubs….Going by your own words, if men’s aggression is the problem, then shouldn’t men be the ones who get restrained? You might reply that this is not a practical suggestion…but the suggestion to restrain all men is no more or no less practical than the suggestion to restrain all women.
      Crime will stop only when criminals are restrained and penalized…crime will not stop when potential victims are restrained…because that still leaves the criminals roaming free.

      Rape and Rapists will never go away…but rape apologism and victim can and should go away.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Why? When male behavior is ad you say aggressive and violent why should women make the correction, shouldn’t males make the correction?
      They don’t because they don’t want too. Yet women don’t gept that choice. If I’m bad and you are good, why would you correct your behavior?
      Do we tell kuda who lie about HW to fix their behavior of we tell the teacher to adjust and fix her expectation.
      Why when it comes to men and their behavior we are to leave them be and fix everything around them?
      I’d say of they can’t control their violence then lock them up, men’s violent urges start at 6pm, in they go under lock and key . We hail criminals to reform them, not the victims.

      Like

    • >> women fails to think about one think that biologically
      >> they need a male defender

      Err… but Nirbhaya did have a male companion. She did follow your rules.. and we all know what happened.

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    • “women fails to think about one think that biologically they need a male defender. now a days state does that work but its powers are limited. see in history, male behavior (means majority of them) is always aggressive and sometimes violent. these types of behaviours is still common in all societies more or less. so its upto women to make correction.”

      Yes, indeed. We’ve always known that the upper castes in India have abused and belittled the Dalits. They have been aggressive and violent. They have poured hot wax into the ears of Dalits who listened to “holy” verses being chanted and beaten them to death for sung a common well for water. Dalits should just stop drinking water. Maybe they should buy alcohol or orange juice instead and stick to what they are allowed to do. It’s like wearing seat belts, which make you safer.

      Like

    • Satish has responded ably to your comment.

      Remember that men don’t face the constant threat of sexual harassment and assault to anywhere near the same degree that women do, and that’s one of the reasons why men generally have no business telling women to ‘be careful’ or to take precautions.

      That is why such ‘advice’ is hollow and condescending. In the end, it feels a bit like a civilian advising soldiers on how to avoid bullets. You have not been in the situation, and you will likely never be in that situation, yet you think your logic makes you qualified to advise people on it? What makes you think women are illogical, or don’t know or understand the dangers?

      Your knowledge of history seems checkered at best, and your idea about women ‘biologically’ requiring a defender is, to be honest, rather silly. Obviously, you are not even an expert in the fields that you base your advice on, let alone an expert on sexual assault from either a legal, sociological or psychological point of view. Perhaps you should reconsider pontificating on issues that you have only a superficial understanding of, and no experience in.

      Liked by 2 people

    • What exactly do you mean by correction? That women should not dress provocatively or go outdoors after dark?

      Yesterday, a 72 year old nun was gangraped WITHIN the convent. What should she have done?

      Last week, a six year old girl was raped with an iron rod in the AFTERNOON.

      What should the girl have done?

      Like

  10. Should a lawyer be disbarred for still attempting to use these justifications? Why do they continue to try this?
    They do this because IT WORKS TO GET THEIR CLIENTS OFF. Why would they work harder than they have to? It’s much easier than making arguments based on fact or law.If they get a judge or a jury with that kind of strong prejudice, they barely have to show up.

    Neither of them should be disbarred for their remarks. However, I think an investigation into whether they’ve committed any crimes is pertinent, because it does make me wonder. There’s a difference between a zealous defense and making people think you identify with your monstrous client. And certainly, if any young men were to apply for admittance to the bar who made such remarks, I would want them investigated and I certainly wouldn’t want them admitted. Character certainly does count, correct?

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  11. In my country anti-semitic remarks are illegal and anyone saying antisemitic stuff in public will be prosecuted. Same goes for apology of war crimes and terrorist acts.

    These lawyers are trying to justify rape and murder. Rape and murder are illegal in India. Therefore theses lawyers are promoting illegal acts and should indeed be disbarred since they are part of the law system.

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  12. Disbar Lawyers, Disbar sexist comments… all fine but how about ensuring that Mukesh Singh is punished for his crime?

    So long as we do not have a efficient law enforcement system, we will never be able to address the issue of rape/sexual assault. And with more and more delays in delivering judgement , people will force themselves to be the judges (Dimapur/Nagaland incident) . Is this what we wish for?

    Fix the Law Enforcement once to start with. Rest can follow.

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  13. If you look at this,

    1. still people are not talking about a person being raped but a daughter, a wife or whatever
    2. Women still are not being considered a separate entity or personality.

    Even in mind of the people who are saying documentary is good and men should be accountable,

    Serious psychological issue I must say.

    Long way to go..

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  14. Nothing will change in India until the society realizes that there is a need to change. University students alone cannot bring change to a culture that has looked down up on women for thousands of years.

    Let the change begin from kindergartens. Let boys and girls sit together and learn. Why do we need separate areas for boys and girls in India. Why can’t families, friends sit together in a church or school auditorium instead of men on one side of the aisle and women on the other side?

    Why do teachers reinforce gender inequality by saying, ‘you are a girl, behave like one’. Why do schools insist girls have to wear skirts? Why not pants? Movement is easier if women wear pants? Why do we need to cover our head? Why can’t a woman be outside late at night? A woman pays as much tax as a man if she has a job- but does a lot more work by doing all the housework at home and practically raises the children all by herself. We also need to remember that it is the older women who take up on the roles of ‘morality police’ in India!

    People of India: Start excluding men (and women) with the attitudes of mukesh singh and his LAWYERS! Law makers of India, instead of banning the documentary, take LEGAL action on the lawyer for inciting violence against women. Where is the law society of India hiding? Kick that lawyer out of your society and take criminal action against them for ‘hate crimes’.

    The lawyers of those rapists need to be disciplined. The Bar Council of India need to grow a back-bone instead of getting into the pockets of such EVIL individuals. As long as people like them feel bold enough to make those statements without repercussions, India will never change. I too am an Indian, and I am sorry to say, I am ashamed of you Bharat, as well as of my countrymen and women with those attitudes.
    Lastly, as a society India needs to take responsibility of those impoverished males.

    Like

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