Punjab & Haryana High Court Takes Suo Moto Notice of Semi-Naked Parade Incident

Punjab & Haryana HC suo moto takes note of elderly woman semi-naked parade incident allegedly by son's in-laws, directs action.

The Punjab & Haryana High Court has taken suo moto cognizance of a distressing incident captured in a viral video from Taran Taran, Punjab. The video depicts the semi-naked parade of an elderly woman allegedly by her son's in-laws on March 31, as a protest against his marriage to their daughter.

Administrative judge of Taran Taran, Justice Sanjay Vashisht, remarked, "I am reminded of the historical event that had taken place during 'Mahabharat Era' i.e. Chirharan of Draupadi at the behest of Kauravs'. And silence of the Pandavas including Bhisham Pilamah which ultimately resulted into bloodshed of thousands of people in Mahabharat War."

Expressing concern over such incidents happening openly under the nose of the administration, Justice Vashisht added, "After centuries thereafter, an ordinary common man does not expect even today that Nyay Pranali (Judicial System) would be a mute spectator in such like incident."

The matter was brought before Acting Chief Justice G.S. Sandhawalia and Justice Lapita Banerji, who issued notice to the State, directing them to take necessary steps to remove the video from social media platforms. Additionally, they sought a status report on the actions taken against the accused involved in the alleged incident.

According to news reports, a 55-year-old woman was subjected to assault and semi-naked parade in a village in Punjab's Tarn Taran district, purportedly by her son's in-laws, due to his marriage against their wishes.

Referring the matter to the division bench, Justice Vashisht highlighted the alleged negligence of local police, who reportedly ignored the victim's initial complaint until the issue gained attention on social media. Only then, an FIR was registered on April 3, and as of April 6, four out of five named accused have been arrested.

"I am of the considered opinion that cognizance of this incident is required to be taken up suo-moto on Judicial side, because the High Court cannot be a mute spectator to such incidents," remarked Justice Vashisht, emphasizing the importance of prompt action in cases where a woman's dignity is openly violated.

The division bench has summoned a response from the Punjab Government and requested a status report for the next hearing. However, a detailed order is still awaited.

During the proceedings, Additional Advocate General Saurav Khurana represented the Punjab Government.