The Supreme Court in the case of Sundar Sundarrajan v. State by Inspector of Police has given advisory to courts to refrain from using patriarchal remarks in judgments. “It does not and should not matter for a constitutional court whether the young child was a male child or a female child. The murder remains equally tragic. Courts should also not indulge in furthering the notion that only a male child furthers family lineage or can assist the parents in old age. Such remarks involuntarily further patriarchal value judgements that courts should avoid regardless of the context.” the court held.”
The court was deciding a petition in which a review petition was filed to review the penalty awarded to a convict for the kidnap and murder of a 7-year-old boy. The Supreme also cited the judgement given in Aparna Bhat and others v. State of Madhya Pradesh and others, in which the Supreme Court had issued several guidelines to Courts to avoid patriarchal and misogynistic comments in judgments.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice PS Narasimha further observed, “Purposefully killing the sole male child, has grave repercussions for the parents of the deceased. Agony for parents for the loss of their only male child, who would have carried further the family lineage, and is expected to see them through their old age, is unfathomable. Extreme misery caused to the aggrieved party, certainly adds to the aggravating circumstances.”