Manusmriti is not a statute book to be read only in a particular way, and it is a 2,000-year old ancient text which can be interpreted, the Madras high court said while declining to entertain a public interest litigation seeking to disqualify VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan as MP. The PIL alleged that the Lok Sabha member had made adverse remarks against women and that he had misinterpreted Manusmriti which are against the oath he had taken while assuming office.
“What is the infraction of statutory provision. Code of ethics is not statutory, and it cannot be imposed,” the divisional bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha said. “Thirumavalavan has interpreted Manusmiriti in his own way. What can we do for that. Everyone has freedom of expression.” The bench added.
The court dismissed the PIL as withdrawn, as the petitioner sought permission of the court to withdraw his plea with liberty to file a fresh petition citing appropriate statutes which are violated by the actions of the MP.