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Judge directs HC registry to delete 'controversial' observations

twitter-logoPTI | August 22, 2019 | Updated 19:41 IST

Chennai, Aug 22 (PTI) Madras High Court Justice S Vaidyanathan, who had withdrew his observation that co-education in Christian institutes was "highly unsafe" for the future of girl children, on Thursday deleted some more controversial paras in his order. The judge had made the observations recently when refusing to quash a show-cause notice issued to a Madras Christian College professor facing sexual harassment charge from at least 34 girl students pursuing third-year Zoology course at the college. Justice Vaidyanathan said, "The High Court Registry is directed to issue a fresh order copy after removing the expunged paras." Senior advocate Vaigai had on Wednesday made a mention before the judge in the court to hear the case again for removal of some controversial paras in the order. A delegation of 64 lawyers led by Vaigai had made a representation before the Madras High Court chief justice not to post any cases on Christian missionaries as well as women before Justice Vaidyanathan. The delegation also requested the chief justice to counsel the judge to recall the order and delete some more paras in it. The representation said, "It is well established judicial norm that judges do not venture into issues that is not the subject matter of adjudication and judicial restraint is exercised to ensure that all the statements made by a judge are backed by evidence and are germane to the issue being considered." "The court room cannot be used as a platform to voice personal views and opinions as every word uttered by a judge carries weight and meaning and has the full force of a judicial pronouncement," it said. In his order dismissing the plea of Assistant Professor Samuel Tennyson, the judge had on August 16 said, "There is a general feeling among parents of students, especially female students, that co-educational study in Christian institutions is highly unsafe for the future of their children." The judge had also said that Christian missionaries always come under attack for one issue or the other. Christian organisations, including the Tamil Nadu Bishops Council, and various sections of society had expressed concern over the observations of the judge in the order. When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, a mention was made by John Jackria, the counsel for the Madras Christian College, seeking withdrawal of the observation. The judge had acceded to the mention and withdrew part of his observations. PTI CORR BN DPB

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