The Madras High Court has withdrawn comments on the safety of women in Christian institutions that were made as part of the verdict in a recently concluded case. In his order dismissing a plea by a former faculty member of the Madras Christian College (MCC), who had been sacked for sexual harassment, Justice S Vaidyanathan said parents of female students felt “co-educational study in Christian institutions is highly un-safe for the future of their children”.
“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.
Earlier, several Christian bodies including the Tamil Nadu Bishops’ Council, expressed concern calling the comments “unwarranted” and “without any evidence”.
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