CHENNAI: The Madras High Court tendered apologies to four women plaintiffs for ‘insensitive’, and ‘misogynistic’ remarks made during the trial of a case regarding the partition of properties.
Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy said, “We were a misogynistic society, but, we are fast-changing.” He was referring to the ‘extremely unreasonable’ stand taken by the appellant son of VR Mani, Srinivasan that three daughters from Mani’s first marriage were born to another man, during the cross-examination in a district court. These mistakes which assassinate the character are generally masked for public consumption in the judgment, he added.
Even if Mani, a farmer of Salem, had an opinion that the female children are of no consequence for him, and marry again to have a male child and register his properties in his name, ‘it is not his individual mistake, but is the reflection of our collective failure’, the judge remarked.
“On behalf of the society at large, this Court conveys apologies to the plaintiffs- the daughters - and that they can be rest assured that they are as good as sons for all purposes and that is the purport of the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005,” he said in an order passed on Thursday.
Partially allowing the appeal filed by Srinivasan, son of the second wife, the judge upheld the judgment and the decree awarded by the Additional District Court of Dharmapuri dated June 30, 2015 with modifications. The properties are to be divided by metres and bounds into 25 equal shares and the plaintiffs are allotted 19/25th shares and shall be entitled to separate possession thereof, the judge ordered.
The appellant, who had taken possession of the properties of Mani, filed the appeal against the Additional District Court’s order arguing that the three women were not his father’s children. The property was not ancestral but purchased with the his father’s earnings, he had added.