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India minister Jaiswal taken to court over 'sexist' remark

image captionMr Jaiswal said he was "joking"

A court case has been filed against a senior Indian minister for his remark that wives lose their appeal with age.

Non-governmental organisation Lakshya has accused Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal of making obscene and defamatory remarks.

Mr Jaiswal has apologised for the comments he made at a poetry meeting.

He said he had been quoted out of context and that he was joking when he made the remarks. He said he did "not want to insult women".

Petitioner Anita Dua of Lakshya, an organisation based in the northern city of Kanpur where Mr Jaiswal made the comment, lodged her complaint in the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate NK Pandey on Wednesday.


Her lawyer said they had submitted a recording of Mr Jaiswal's comments to the magistrate and that Ms Dua has been asked to appear in court on 8 October.

Several women's groups in India have expressed outrage and said Mr Jaiswal's comments were "very unfortunate".

The minister made the remarks at a Hindi language poetry meeting on Monday night.

He was referring to the Indian cricket team winning a game against Pakistan in the ongoing World T20 championship in Sri Lanka.

"New victory and new wedding, both of them have their own importance. As time will pass, the victory will become old," Mr Jaiswal was reported as telling the meeting.

"As time passes, wife also becomes old, that charm does not sustain".

After footage of Mr Jaiswal's comments was aired on TV channels, women's groups and opposition parties criticised the minister and demanded an apology.

The main opposition BJP said the minister had made a "sexist remark" and called him "insensitive".

The chairman of the National Commission for Women, Mamta Sharma, said the minister's comments were "very unfortunate".