Author: Sophy K.J.
Author Affiliation: Assistant Professor, National Law University, Delhi
Abstract: Both the cases, Rajesh Sharma (2017) and Dr. Subhash (2018), decided by the Supreme Court, were dealt with under two different laws, the commonality that invites a re-reading of judgments is the ignorance of the judiciary towards its history and objectives with which those laws were framed. Both these judgments as public literature, reiterated the hegemonic construct of patriarchy and casteism and perpetuated ‘structural subordination’ by adopting the popular narrative of ‘misuse’. Judiciary has created an ‘impunity’ for patriarchy and casteism as the interpretation in these cases were related to law against violence over women (gender) and Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes (caste). Though the forms of discrimination/ lived experiences of women and dalits/tribals are different, there is similarity in elements of oppressions, rigidity and limitations on accessibility, which brings these recognized weaker sections under the Indian Constitution together for analysis. Apart from analyzing flawed reasoning, the paper would discuss social realities and impact of these judgments in daily lives of women and dalits/ tribals. The paper would adopt the discourse of development in gender and subaltern narratives, as everyday experiences of discrimination and torture results in undignified social existence and affects productivity and empowered life.
Keywords: Section 498 A, SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, Structural subordination, cultural hegemony, narrative of ‘misuse’, pro-arrest policy, victim empowerment.