HC judge withdraws remark against Christian educational institutes

Chennai: Madras High Court judge Justice S Vaidyanathan on Tuesday withdrew his controversial observation that co-education in Christian institutes was highly unsafe for the future of girl children.

The judge had made the observation recently when refusing to quash a show-cause notice issued to a Madras Christian College professor facing sexual harassment charge from at least 34 girl students pursuing third-year Zoology course at the college.

“There is a general feeling among parents of students, especially female students, that co-educational study in Christian institutions is highly unsafe for the future of their children,” Justice Vaidyanathan had said in his order dismissing the plea of Assistant Professor Samuel Tennyson.

The judge had also said that Christian missionaries always came under attack for one issue or the other. “In the present era, there are several accusations against them for indulging in compulsory conversion of people of other religions into Christianity… Though they impart good education, their preaching of morality will be a million dollar question,” Justice Vaidyanathan had added.

Christian organisations, including the Tamil Nadu Bishops Council, and various sections of society had expressed concern over the observation of the Judge in the order. When the case came up on Tuesday, a mention was made by John Jackria, counsel for the Madras Christian College, seeking withdrawal of the controversial observation. The judge, who acceded to the mention, said he was withdrawing para 32 of the order.