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.


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

Desi Girl of girlsguidetosurvival shared this:

The bar has not yet taken Suo moto on this lawyer’s statement but is waiting for a written complaint. This man is openly threatening his daughter and is instigating others to burn alive their daughters for transgressions he and others like him do not approve. Women as daughters, wives and sisters are not independent citizens of an independent democracy but are cows to be herded.

HOW ABOUT WE DRAFT A WRITTEN COMPLAINT AND FILE IT WITH THE BAR BY YOUR BLOG AND BLOG READERS- WE CAN SIGN A PETITION. – Delhi gang-rape case: Would have burned my daughter alive for premarital sex, defence lawyer says

When Anil Singhal first shared a link to this threat, I simply assumed that the idea of protecting the rapists and burning alive daughters for consensual sex would be universally condemned. But that was an underestimation the Indian obsession with the sex lives of other people specially with the sex lives of women, including the women we are related to. The same obsession with women’s sexuality (denial of) and sex lives (we believe other people have the right to decide who women have sex with, not doing that makes them ‘impure’ and unworthy of respect, safety, life etc) is what silences the victims of child abuse and rape by family members (including marital rape). These comments echo this mindset.



Many Indians believe that the sex lives of everyone’s sisters and daughters is everyone’s business. It’s so important that brutal crimes can be permitted to ensure the women do not see themselves as sexual beings.

SO … to all who agree that AP Singh has given bad statement… You so agree that everyone’s sister and daughters should indulge in pre marital sex..!! nice going people.. [rahul.arrorra]


Which social value is maintained by preventing an adult from choosing who they go out with, live with, sleep with or marry?  If women do not interact with men – how are they going to meet future partners? But it seems the biggest ‘moral value’ for some Indians is preventing young Indians (specially women) from choosing their own partners.

your daughter goes with boy friend. what do you do? (here my intention is that every parent must take responsible to maintain social values)


Maybe the real concern is that if Indian women started choosing their own partners, then the parents and family elders of Indian male misogynists would find it impossible to find them wives? (Obedient and dependent wives with horoscopes matched, with dowry and a willingness to bear them male heirs)

i am asking one question below commentors who are commenting against him. all are OK that your daughter or sister could go with her boy friend.


Some other comments believe burning of adults who make choices that we disapprove of is ‘a personal matter’. So is it okay to kill, burn, beat, threaten someone so long as the neighbours do not hear about it?

Why comment on such matters in the Public domain ??? Showbiz people always hog the limelight to remain in focus for the audience all the while but this defence lawyer who pulled this Delhi bus case for over 9 months should not have opened his mouth for such comments and shows his attitude We hope in the future Lawyers will have to be carefully given the case and should not air their personal comments like APSingh did


Some others believe that ‘physical relationship’ should not be ‘entertaining’  and that ‘premarital sex break families and will bring embarrassment to parents‘.  Consensual premarital sex will ‘break families’? If families can only be saved by controlling who women and children marry or live with, then are these families meant only for non-women? Or do we believe that everybody knows what is best for the Indian woman except the Indian woman herself? And who finds premarital sex ’embarrassing’ but not marriages based on horoscopes, skin colour, obedience, income and dowry? Or child marriage, marital rape, semi forced marriages and expectations of male heirs from newly wed wives ?  It seems some of us find sex ’embarrassing’ only when the woman chooses the partner.

Let the whole critics blame you. But I do strongly support you Sir. Pre martial $ex is really a shameful one. Parents are not gonna make their children nuns or fathers. They are gonna get them married only. So why do the children need to have pre martial $ex. Why the hell can’t they wait till tying the knot. . ?? Physical relationship has become just an entertainment for people, many don’t understand the love in it. Everybody wish India to be a cultural country, but criticise the man who gives bold statement about saving that culture. Shame on you people. To any extend pre martial sex should be discouraged. Encouraging it will only break families and will bring embarrassment to parents.


But not all the comments saw gang rapes as an opportunity to remind Indian women to marry and have sex with the someone their parents chose.  Here’s a comment I  agree with.

And what if same thing done by the same lawyers son?? definitely he will not burn him, our legal system should give more harsh punishment to these type of peoples, so that the defence lawyers should think twice before speaking in public. [Abhijit Guharoy (Bangalore)]

Related Posts:

Letting an outsider see or comment upon our imperfections is washing dirty linen in public?

13 things Indian Misogynists believe about men’s mothers and sisters.

Why exactly do we disapprove of Live-in relationships and Premarital sex?

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

“why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

BJP and Trinamool are objecting to a lower age of consent on the ground that this is in conflict with “conservative norms” of Indian society.

“A clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous. A city girl learnt it the hard way,”

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

Live in Relationships: The man gets a temporary disposable wife?

Don’t let me down dear daughter!

“Can anyone guarantee that absolute empowerment of women thru feminism will improve the social balance and not give rise to new social problems?”

Dear 35 year old would be groom,

Irresponsible girls who throw away their lives while in throes of lust for the completely wrong person…

“Hearing that he will face the gallows, Vinay started crying in court…”

Why did Vinay Sharma start crying?

Hearing that he will face the gallows, Vinay started crying in court while the other three convicts-Mukesh, Pawan, Akshay-started shouting for pardon, with one of the defence lawyers A P Singh also joining them in seeking mercy.

Perhaps he did not expect to be sentenced? What did he expect then? 

 He had no doubt perhaps, that it’s the rape victims who are ruined and become zinda laash and are hence Honor killed. (He did his best to achieve that in this case, and maybe this was not the first time either).

These six rapists (like most other Indian rapists) expected the tradition, culture and society to come to their support by shaming, blaming and silencing the victim. From what I understand they still wanted to take no chances, they attempted to destroy forensic evidence with an iron rod, and by running the young couple over and by washing the the bus.

Here is what this conviction will achieve,

The girl’s mother said that no such victim should remain silent and must come forward to lodge a complaint.

Conviction of these men will not, in one moment stop rapes altogether (obviously), but it is a definite and much needed step towards a society that questions shaming of the victims instead of condemnation, conviction  and quick sentencing of the rapists.

In a way this case and the  is a small but powerful step towards ending the culture of the entire society advocating for the rapists (mainly by blaming, shaming and silencing the victims)

Defence counsel A P Singh said he will move high court only “if no other rape takes place in next two months after this verdict”.

“If the country wanted this case to be a deterrent, I will wait for two months to see the crime scene. If no rape takes place due to death being given in the instant case, I will give in writing that my clients be hanged,” he said.

[Link: Delhi gang-rape case: Death sentence for all four convicts]

The conviction and sentence also brings to notice our ideas of what makes us view Indian men as good or bad.

What is Vinay’s mothers’ idea of ‘a good boy’?

Spare my son, he is a good boy, pleads a mother [link]

… her son and friend and fellow convict Pawan Gupta were “good boys”. 

“They are hard workers. Not one complaint against them,” she said…

“The judge should give them a second chance to reform themselves. Even God gives every person a second chance,”

Note: I do not think all rapists should be hanged and here is why  [Read more]

“Punishment for the rape should be structured i.e. categorized and graded with severity of the injury to the victim & additional factors”

Gradation of the Punishment may help to limit severity of the cases; as any additional injury caused to the victim may attract more stringent punishment to the accused. In reverse of it abrupt terminal punishments although may act as deterrent but once incidence has been committed, accused may try to kill the victim to escape identification, so severity of the cases will increase & it will an undue risk to the possible victim caused by inherent fault in law. [link] 

Related Posts:

No second chances for an Indian daughter.

“A clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous. A city girl learnt it the hard way,”

When a rape victim chooses her life over her ‘Honor’.

“The same man who rape a girl… respect his mother…so please go ahead and teach them what you want to…”

Don’t let off rapists on flimsy grounds, SC tells courts.

This is what rapists do when there is no fear of punishment.

How Victim Blaming confuses rapists, police and the society about when exactly does non-consensual-sex becomes a crime.

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

“I am safe because I’m very careful in the way I behave and dress in public, on the streets.”

 More links to the news:

Court sentences 4 men to death in New Delhi gang rape case

Delhi rape: Defence lawyers blame Braveheart, her friend, and government

The offence committed by Mukesh (26), Akshay Thakur (28), Pawan Gupta (19) and Vinay Sharma (20) falls under the rarest of rare category warranting capital punishment, the judge said.

Don’t you think we should have a sex offenders’ registry of some sort?

What is the purpose of justice? Solace to the victim? A warning to potential criminals and prevention (or perhaps control) of crime and injustice?
How is justice served in this verdict? I share n’s concerns.

n asked in a comment,

IHM, in the light of the ‘juvenile’ rapist being let off [link 1, link 2] despite being convicted, don’t you think we should have a sex offenders registry of some sort so that we can protect our children and ourselves from monsters like him, rather than keeping his face covered?

Related Posts:

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

What should be the sentence then if fast track courts come?

“Protection and empowerment are really different things and perhaps don’t always go together.”

How Indian women feel when they are being subjected to sexual crimes. How Patriarchy sees sexual crimes.

The rapists often don’t see their actions as crimes, the police said, and don’t expect the victims to report them.

Girl gang-raped in moving bus in Delhi

The Delhi Bus Gang rape victim died in Singapore.

How does Delhi – NCR Police define Rape?

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

Delhi gangrape case: Prime accused Ram Singh commits suicide

Delhi gangrape case: Prime accused Ram Singh commits suicide

Delhi gangrape prime accused Ram Singh on Monday committed suicide by hanging himself in Tihar Jail. Ram Singh was to be produced in the court later today for a hearing in the case.

According to Times Now, the incident took place at 5am in jail number 3 of Tihar. His body has been sent to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for postmortem. ​ [Link shared by Anil Singhal]

I think this confirms what was reported earlier, that he had some mental issues. The cruelty he inflicted and his reputation for being ‘mental’ too was also indicative’.

I would have liked to see him legally hanged for murder, that would have put fear of law in potential rapist’s mind. How did the jail authorities not foresee and prepare for this?

The issue I have with anybody who is intensely hated, dying in jail in suspicious circumstances instead of being hanged via legal procedure is that this might set a dangerous precedence. What if in some future day some innocent citizen is wrongly accused (while the real criminals go free and continue to rape and torture) and then instead of a legal procedure – which is every citizens’ right, they commit suicide and the country rejoices like some TOI commenters, who wish he would rot in hell? Why don’t we see the danger of legal procedures not being followed?

Would it not have been better if he had been hanged for torturing and killing?

Father wants the world to know her real name.

I do think this is historical. For the first time in Indian history we are looking at a rape victim’s father saying,

“We want the world to know her real name.

“My daughter didn’t do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself.

“I am proud of her. Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived these attacks. They will find strength from my daughter.” [Brave dad Badri, 53, told The Sunday People :]

India gang rape victim’s father: I want the world to know my daughter’s name.

And he is not ashamed to be her father.

If there ever was an opportunity or a real hope to change the way Indian culture and society looks at sexual assaults, I think, it is now.

If there ever was a time to take ‘shame’ away from sexual assaults, this is that time.

Updated to add. Found this link:

The newspapers and media are covering, for the first time, what a violent crime does to the victim (or survivor) and their family. For the first time a rape victim and her family is being shown as real people with feelings, lives, aspirations… as one of us.

“Recalling the night of horror, Badri said: “When I first saw her she was in the bed with her eyes closed. I put my hand on her forehead and called her name. She slowly opened her eyes and started crying and said she was in pain. I held my tears. I told her not to worry, have strength and everything will be all right.”

“She cried a lot, she was in a lot of pain. And as soon as she saw her mother and brothers she cried again. But was a courageous girl, even trying to console us and give us hope that everything will be all right,” said Badri in the rare interview.” [Want world to know his daughter  was Delhi braveheart: Father]

“A protected generation of women like my grand mother’s did NOT seek equal rights.”

So you thought nobody could argue with the need for the streets to be safe for women (or anybody) at any hour? If the streets are unsafe for women at 3 am (whatever they are wearing or not wearing) – who does it benefit? (except criminals)

A blogger was harangued by offended comments (trolls?) when she blogged about the Delhi bus gang rape in, ‘Men will be men! But when did they turn into animals?’

She responded to a comment with,

“People like these guys have no right to tell us women what we do/don’t do right! Even if a women walks naked on the street, NO man has to right to force himself on her. We live in a civilized society, not in a jungle, where you pounce on anything that looks like a prey.”

What would you say to someone responding with this?

“BTW are you saying walking nude in the 3 AM is civilized act?”

Not too different from Andhra Cong Chief, Botsa Satyanarayana saying, “Just because India got freedom at midnight, is it necessary for women to move on the streets at midnight?”

Freedom at midnight is reserved for some?

“His wife is an MP. Does she not go around Delhi city at midnight?” asked Vangapandu Usha. Link)

And BTW who makes streets unsafe for women?

Another comment complained:

“A protected generation of women like my grand mother’s did NOT seek equal rights. They knew they did NOT go to war, they did NOT put out fires, they knew they were protected but agreed to their place in society…”

It seems ‘the protected generation of women’ wants to be able to step out of their homes without fearing for their safety too.

Jan 1st 2013, Protesting for safer country for women, Gurgaon



And it’s not just the college students (who go to discos after the protesting) who are lighting candles.



And it’s not just the dented-painted women.


Because we either continue to let the streets be unsafe for every Indian woman by locking ourselves inside our homes, or do every bit to ensure some women aren’t forced to see being safely locked up inside their homes as the better option – believing that ‘known devil (at home) is better than an unknown devil (on the streets)’DSC_9174

I lit two candles.

DSC_9148Related Posts:

It was not just the driver who raped her. – Amit, Mashed Musings

Has this Rape issue been stretched too far ? – Hitchwriter

It could have been you or me – Shail

What do dented-painted women and disco-going protesters understand about a rape victim’s loss of honor?

Women, and not their modesties, are feeling outraged. So is everybody else.

Biology vs. Culture DEATHMATCH!  – Nandini


The Delhi Bus Gang rape victim died in Singapore.

The doctors said the brave young woman fought very hard, but the injuries were too grievous. The rapists intended for her to die, they did not expect her to get medical help or any kind of support (What made them so confident?) Since this is a case of a rarest of the rare horrific murder, I think some of them might be awarded Capital punishment.

There is only one way to honor her courage and her memory, by making sure the protests remain focussed and rational and force a change in Indian legal and social attitudes towards women, which make such brutality, a crime not against a woman, but against her honor. It’s possible, because for the first time in India (in my memory) a rape victim’s trauma is being seen as painful not shameful.

I also wish her family would ask for this brave 23 year old’s name to be shared – why should this courageous woman not be remembered by her own name? I send them my deepest condolences. Their daughter has the love and respect of millions in this country. She will not be forgotten.

What do dented-painted women and disco-going protesters understand about a rape victim’s loss of honor?

What did Abhijit Mukherjee mean when he described the anti rape protesters as ‘dented and painted women’ and disco going youth?

Maybe he wanted to make the anti-rape  protesters look frivolous. And how do we make Indian women and young Indians look bad or frivolous?

Show them as ‘too westernised’ to care about Indian values like a woman’s honor/modesty [Ek Hindustani ladki ki Izzat], and what else is a sexual assault if not loss of honor or modesty of a woman? (Remember, Zinda Laash.)

President Pranab Mukherjee’s son calls anti-rape protesters ‘dented, painted’

“Women who are protesting have no connection with ground reality. These pretty ladies coming out to protest are ‘highly dented and painted” said Abhijit Mukherjee.

Many politicians seem to believe that the best way to make women look not worthy of respect is to show that they are not Adarsh Bhartiya Naari, [Link to the kind of mindset they seem to be appealing to].

Wipe your lipstick before you condemn a politician. (BJP General Secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, soon after 26/11).

And more,10 Sexist Remarks By Indian Politicians.

But here’s why, despite these patriarchal voices, there’s hope.

‘To the Young Women and Men of Delhi: Thinking about Rape from India Gate’ – by .

“stop treating rape as a matter of honor and dishonor altogether, and expose and boycott those who would insist it is a matter of honor and dishonour. Treat it as ordinary, disgusting, evil violence, as the naked expression of power, and you will see that the expression of power is never challenged by the demand for death. It is easy for those who think of women as property to demand death for those who violate their property rights over women. That is why many men who will demand death penalty for rapists will happily go home and rape their wives. (Because in their understanding they cannot ‘rape’ their wives, only strangers can rape ‘their’ wives.) If you want to end rape, to end the forced sexual subjugation of one human being by another. You will have to look elsewhere than the gallows for comfort.

Remember, the rapist’s intention is not sexual pleasure (because the ONLY way in which pleasure can be had is through the reciprocity of desire, through love, through erotic engagement, not through taking away someone’s agency by force and without consent). Rape is not about sex, it is about humiliation, its intention is precisely to make the raped person think that now that they have been subjected to sexual violence, their life will no longer be worth living. The rapist and Sushma Swaraj are in perfect agreement about the worth of the life of a rape victim. The reason why some men rape women or others who are in their power is because they believe that some lives are more important, worth more, than others. That is the key to patriarchy.” 

Where does this sense of impunity that seems to govern the actions of so many men come from? It cannot come from biology alone. Because, thankfully, not all men, not even all men in positions of real or imagined power, are rapists. Rapists choose to access a cultural code of permission. There is something in the cultural baggage or vocabulary available to us all that normalizes sexual violence, even renders it trivial, as a bit of horseplay at worst, or the hallowed order sanctified by tradition, at best.”

Do read the entire article here:

Note: ‘Denting and Painting’ is a commonly used term, generally used by car- mechanics who beat the dents in the car body, back into shape, and then apply paint over scratches to make a dented and scratched car look new.

Photographs: Protest March, M G Road, Gurgaon.

DSC_8392 DSC_8394 DSC_8411“Save girls, think of a world without us.”DSC_8429DSC_8430 DSC_8440 DSC_8454 DSC_8444 DSC_8471 DSC_8493 DSC_8543 DSC_8556 DSC_8563 DSC_8577 DSC_8636 DSC_8655 DSC_8715 DSC_8720 DSC_87181