A Bihar court has fixed January 18 as the next date of hearing to decide on the admissibility of a defamation case filed by lawyer Sidhnath Sharma, who last week disowned his son and filed a defamation suit of Rs. 1 crore against him for marrying out of caste.
The court of sub-judge 3, Tribuwan Nath, in Danapur, Patna, wanted to know what impact the case would have on the society at large.
While fixing the next date, it asked Ganesh Pandey, a lawyer from Ara who prepared the plaint, to present the argument as to why the case should be admitted and how it would impact the society.
Sharma, on his part, reiterated in court that his son, Sushant Jasu, had tarnished the image of the family by doing inter-caste marriage.
“I tried to convince the court that the prestige and honour of the family had been damaged by going against the decades-old-tradition of same-caste marriage,” he added.
Sharma had asserted that his son, who works for the central government as a senior tax assistant in Gujarat’s Palampur town, could no longer use his name and would have to pay Rs. 10,000 as copyright fees every time he used it.
Sushant had married a girl, a resident of Danapur, who works in a private bank on November 19, 2013.
Though instances of inter-caste marriage are gradually on the rise, in Bihar’s conservative society it is still considered a taboo and many a time such marriages face hostile reaction.
This is despite the state government’s endeavor to encourage inter-caste marriages. The state government last year announced to double the incentive for inter-caste marriages -- a woman marrying out of caste will now get Rs. 50,000 instead of the earlier Rs. 25,000.
Sharma’s assertion is that his son could not go beyond the wishes of the parents, who nurtured him and wanted him to abide by family traditions.