After NCW chief’s tweets, plea in Bombay HC seeking her removal from postUpdated: Oct 28, 2020, 23:22 IST
A writ petition has been filed in the Bombay high court seeking the removal of National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma due to her recent tweets about meeting Maharashtra governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and discussing the issue of love jihad. The petition has claimed that as the term love jihad is not a term used in Indian laws and is only used informally for inter-caste marriages, especially between Muslim men and women belonging to other communities. It further said that the NCW chairperson’s attempt to highlight the term is aimed at creating animosity in society. In light of this, the petition has stated that Sharma is not capable of heading a sensitive post, hence should be relieved from the responsibility.
The petition filed by social activist Saket Gokhale has stated that NCW chief Sharma has been making non-partisan communal discourses by referring to her tweets about her meeting with Governor Koshyari and discussing the issue of love jihad. The petition has claimed that based on her tweets it was apparent that her mindset was not befitting someone who could prevent crime against women, hence she should be removed from the post of NCW chief.
“By invoking the baseless communal concept of “love jihad”, the chairperson of NCW has interfered with the freedom of inter-faith couples to practise their faith freely, while marrying each other without the fear of persecution and targeting based on religious grounds by NCW,” the petition reads.
The petition has further stated that the tweets also indicated an official’s policy of demonising inter-faith marriages as there is no term like love jihad in Indian law, nor has such cases been reported by any central agencies, by the ministry of home affairs. Hence the petition states that Sharma had engaged in ‘blatantly communal and divisive discourse’ which casts aspersions on her ability to act in a non-partisan secular manner as NCW chairperson.
The petition has also referred to some old tweets of Sharma which are misogynist and sexist and made with the intention of political attacks. The petition states that as Sharma has utter disregard for fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India as well as towards the ideas of secularism and pluralism, she should be removed from her post as NCW chairperson, under article 14 (equality before law), 21 (right to life with dignity), 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) of the Constitution of India.
The matter is expected to come up for hearing in due course.