Mr. Rebates

Thursday, December 30, 2010

SC woman judge lists daughters as ‘liabilities’

Dec 29, 2010

NEW DELHI: It is a line that even Bollywood has banished for a while now. But while declaring her assets and liabilities, sitting Supreme Court judge Gyan Sudha Mishra, the only woman judge in the SC at present, has listed the marriage of her two daughters in the "liabilities" column, apparently without considering anything to be much amiss. 

The SC's official website in its assets of sitting judges column gives Justice Mishra's declaration where she lists "two daughters to be married" against the liabilities column. While this might be a sentiment still shared by a section of the middle class, it could be regarded as being very politically incorrect, especially on the part of the country's seniormost woman judge. 

Other entries in the liabilities column are "guarantor for education loan of my daughter" and residential house to be built post-retirement. The view that daughters are a "liability" (often because of the high cost of their marriage), or a burden of some sort, is a notion that the government is fighting to eradicate through many campaigns. 

The declaration is likely to attract comment as it is does not seem in sync with the SC's otherwise progressive image on social issues in general and women's rights in particular. It could be seen to be betraying a thinking on which the SC is often called to deliberate on while handling sensitive gender parity cases. 

The assets Justice Mishra, who formerly headed the Chhattisgarh high court, has declared are not out of the ordinary. "Stridhan" of one gold set and "few gold rings and a pair of bangles" are listed under jewellery. There are no shares or mutual funds and fixed deposits total just Rs 5 lakh. 

Justice Mishra has a PPF of Rs 3 lakh and has listed her VIth pay commission arrears as well. Her landed property includes an original allottee of one flat in a society for judges and lawyers in Mayur Vihar in Delhi and a residential plot in Faridabad. The flat and plot cost Rs 5 and Rs 6 lakh at purchase though their value would be much higher now. 

She has shown nothing to declare under the vehicle column while her spouse owns just one Maruti 800. He also has an office space in Rani Bagh purchased in 1999 for Rs 4 lakh and one unregistered residential plot in Fraidabad. He is also claimant to a share in joint family property in Dhanbad


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