Madras High Court Retracts Remark On Women Safety In Christian Institutes

Several Christian bodies, including the Tamil Nadu Bishops' Council, had hit out at the Madras High Court's comments, calling them "unwarranted" and said they were made "without any evidence"

Madras High Court Retracts Remark On Women Safety In Christian Institutes

Justice S Vaidyanathan subsequently deleted the entire paragraph of the verdict

Chennai:

The Madras High Court Judge who declared parents of female students felt "co-educational study in Christian institutions is highly un-safe for their children" withdrew his comments today, after Christian bodies called the comments "unwarranted" and "without any evidence". Justice S Vaidyanathan made the observations while dismissing a plea filed by a former faculty member of the Madras Christian College (MCC), who had been sacked for sexual harassment.

"Although they impart good education, the preach(ing) of morality will be a million-dollar question.  As long as a religion is practiced in streets in lieu of places of worship, like temples, mosques and churches, such devastation, as in the present case, does occur and will be mushrooming," Justice Vaidyanathan added. 

Today, the counsel for the college had asked for the removal of paragraph 32 of the verdict, which contained the contentious statement, calling it "unnecessary".

The same paragraph also had comments on conversion; it read: "Christian missionaries are always on the source of attack, in one way or the other, in the present era". 

Justice Vaidyanathan's written comments extended to include forced religious conversion; he said, "There are several accusations against them for indulging in compulsory conversion of people of other religions into Christianity." 

Acceding to the college lawyers' request, the judge deleted the whole paragraph. 

The sacked faculty member, who had been accused of harassment by more than 30 female students of the college, had asked the High Court to quash a report filed by the college's internal complaints committee. 

The Tamil Nadu Bishops' Council was among several Christian organisations that expressed concern over the comments. 

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