Justice Vaidyanathan, who made the observations, has in the past faced criticism for his comments and judgments, especially about women.

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news Court Wednesday, June 02, 2021 - 10:26

The Madras High Court on Tuesday observed that the sanctity of marriage has been diluted after live-in relationships were approved under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005. The court observed that that marriage is not a contract but a sacramental one. "Of course, the word 'sacrament' has no meaning after coming into effect of the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, that, approves live-in-relationship. Husband and wife must realise that, 'ego' and 'intolerance' are like footwear and should be left out of their house, when they enter the home, else the child/children will have to face a miserable life," the High Court said, reported Bar and Bench.

Justice S Vaidyanathan was hearing a plea moved by a man who was suspended from his workplace based on a domestic violence complaint lodged by his wife. While quashing the suspension order, the Madras HC also observed that ‘unfortunately’ there is no Domestic Violence Act for husbands to proceed against their wives, reported The Hindu.

The court passed the orders after pointing out that the petitioner's wife lodged a domestic violence case against him days before a Family Court in Salem granted him divorce on the grounds of cruelty and desertion by her. Noting that although the petitioner’s wife had been made a party to the case at the High Court, she failed to appear before the court despite notice. Justice Vaidyanathan stated that the petitioner’s wife had filed the domestic violence complaint with the intention to harass her husband. Ordering the petitioner’s reinstatement, the HC also stated that the allegations of domestic violence against the man would have to be decided by the appropriate forum.

Justice Vaidyanathan has in the past come in for criticism for his observations and judgments, especially on women. In 2019, 64 senior advocates of the Madras High Court had petitioned the then Chief Justice Vijaya Tahilramani asking her not to post any cases relating to Christian missionaries, their institutions and women before Justice Vaidyanathan. This after Justice Vaidyanathan had observed that co-educational study in Christian institutions is ‘highly unsafe’. The court was hearing a petition filed by a professor from Madras Christian College who was accused of sexually harassing his students. Following objections to his observations, Justice Vaidyanathan had withdrawn the same.

While hearing the same case, the judge had said that there were certain laws that made it easy for women to misuse and file ‘frivolous false cases’ against men. He went on to urge the government to bring suitable amendments to these laws in order to safeguard the interest of the ‘innocent masculinity’.

In their representation to the CJ, the senior advocates had pointed out that Justice Vaidyanathan had made ‘unwanted’ comments against women in the past as well and sought deletion of the observations made against women, which were not connected to the case.

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