Sep 07, 2012 |  AsianAge

Karnataka High Court judge Justice K. Bhaktavatsala’s suggestion that a woman should stay in an abusive marriage for the sake of the marriage and her children, has come in for criticism from various sections. An online petition appealing to Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia to intervene and take action against Justice Bhaktavatsala has been signed by over 500 people across the nation. Some blogs have also publicised the issue and asked for removal of the judge.

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, a Mumbai-based human rights and women’s rights activist on Thursday published an online appeal to Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen to look into the gender-insensitive remarks of Justice Bhaktavatsala. “I urge you not to give matrimonial cases to Justice Bhaktavatsala, so that there will be no miscarriage of justice in all cases relating to women because of such biased views,” the petition says. The activist has also sent a petition to the CJI to remove Justice Bhaktavatsala from hearing matrimonial cases.

“If a HC judge can say such atrocious things, what do we expect of the common man? Just goes to shows the ineffectiveness of the DV Act itself. Women first goes through domestic abuse and thereafter judicial abuse,” one of the comments to the petition reads. Many human rights activists have raised their voice against the judge’s comment and a page on FaceBook ( calls the judge an “MCP” and asks for his removal. The page, titled ‘Remove Justice Bhaktavatsala’, had received 168 likes till Thursday evening.

Social and human rights activists in Bengaluru are coming together to launch a protest against Justice Bhaktavatsala. A woman lawyer of Karnataka High Court has submitted a memorandum to Justice Kapadia demanding that judges should be given guidelines on how to deal with sensitive cases. Senior advocate and former chairperson of Karnataka State Women’s Commission, Mrs Pramila Nesargi, has written to the Chief Justice of the high court to intervene in this issue.