Breaking her silence on the controversy whether she considered the marriage of her two daughters as a liability, the lone woman judge in the Supreme Court justice Gyan Sudha Mishra on Tuesday said she regarded her children as her biggest assets.
"An innocuous and honest statement of accounts has been used to misrepresent my views on gender issues, without even caring to check with me," she said.
Responding to a news item in an English daily on her mandatory declaration of assets and liabilities, justice Mishra said, "Declaration of my financial liabilities regarding my unmarried children comes from my intent to save and make provisions for their weddings. This can't be misconstrued as treating my children as liabilities."
The judge said merely because she was a mother who only had daughters and no sons, nobody had the right to misinterpret her views.
"The views have been wrongly attributed to a sitting Supreme Court judge, which might create an incorrect impression in the minds of people. Let there be no doubt in anybody's mind about the apex court's stand on gender equality."
Asked why did she mention the marriage of her daughters in the liabilities column of her declaration, the judge replied, "The expenses involved at the time of a son/daughter's marriage can have financial implications. It is an event of financial consequence. The mere mention of daughters should not lead anyone to bring issues of gender bias and treatment of daughters as liabilities."
She pointed out that her declaration on the Supreme Court website also mentions the loan taken for the education of her children.
"An education loan being a liability does not mean education is also a liability. Education is an asset although expenses incurred on gaining that asset is a financial liability, similarly expenses incurred on a wedding has financial implications," the judge said.
"If I had sons instead of daughters, and had made a similar declaration, would gender discrimination and treating sons as a liability provided some fodder for discussion?" she asked.