New Delhi [India], October 16 (ANI): The Supreme Court has sought Attorney General KK Venugopal's view on a plea about courts imposing bail conditions for sex crime offenders which end up further harassing and objectifying their victims.
A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar issued a notice to the office of Attorney General and sought his assistance in the matter while posting the matter for hearing on November 2.
The apex court also asked the petitioner to serve a copy of the petition to the Attorney General's office.
Nine women lawyers have approached the top court against the backdrop of a Madhya Pradesh High Court's order which directed a man accused of sexual assault to visit his victim at home on Rakshabandhan and "allow" her to tie a rakhi on him as a condition of bail.
During the hearing, senior advocate Sanjay Parikh told the Bench that this petition was filed under an extraordinary situation. Such condition for bail is against CrPC, it trivialises the offence, he argued.
Parikh added, "Courts should not impose such weird conditions for bail... a direction needs to be issued to High Courts and trial courts."
"We are not on the bail condition but the observations such as this trivialise the offences against women in sexual assault cases," he further contended.
Approaching the top court, the women lawyers, led by advocate Aparna Bhat, said the High Court's order was a "trivialisation of victim's trauma."
The law prescribes the victim be kept far away from the accused, the plea said, adding that instead, here the High Court has ordered the accused to visit the home of the woman -- the very place where the crime is alleged to have occurred.
The order only succeeds to victimise the woman and retards the years of work done to sensitise the courts about how damaging it would be to attempt a compromise "by way of marriage or mediation between the accused and the survivor", plea added.
The plea of women lawyers further said that the High Court further ordered the accused to gift the woman Rs 11,000 "as a customary ritual usually offered by brothers to sisters on such occasion and shall also seek her blessings."
Earlier in September, the Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court had granted bail to a man, accused of outraging the modesty of a woman, on condition that he has to celebrate 'Raksha Bandhan' with the complainant and promise to protect her.
The bench had allowed the bail application of the accused on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one solvent surety of the like amount. The bench had also directed him to tender Rs 11,000 to the complainant as a customary ritual usually offered by the brothers to sisters and to tender Rs 5,000 to the son of the complainant for purchase of clothes and sweets. (ANI)