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Tying Rakhi As Bail Condition: Petitioners Seek Directions From SC Against Orders Which Affects Dignity Of Women And Trivialise Sexual Offences

Sanya Talwar
2 Dec 2020 6:09 AM GMT
Tying Rakhi As Bail Condition: Petitioners Seek Directions From SC Against Orders Which Affects Dignity Of Women And Trivialise Sexual Offences
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In the Petition challenging the MP High Court Order with tying Rakhi as a bail condition, the petitioners have sought directions from Supreme Court against Orders which trivialize/tend to trivialize the occurrence of serious sexual offences against the women and children.The petitioner had challenged a bail condition on an accused charged with outraging the modesty of a woman to have a rakhi...

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In the Petition challenging the MP High Court Order with tying Rakhi as a bail condition, the petitioners have sought directions from Supreme Court against Orders which trivialize/tend to trivialize the occurrence of serious sexual offences against the women and children.

The petitioner had challenged a bail condition on an accused charged with outraging the modesty of a woman to have a rakhi tied on his wrist by the complainant, imposed by Madhya Pradesh High Court.

The petitioner has stated that no observation/condition should be made which initiates and encourages compromise that normalizes an otherwise heinous crime thus indicating a mindset, which accepts such offences. It is further submitted that no observation/condition should be made which notes that the best option for the victim is to marry the accused.

In doing so, the petitioner has stipulated various instances wherein the courts have imposed strange conditions during grant of bail trivializing the offence.

In Ravi Jatav v. State of M.P, the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Gwalior granted bail to an accused for a crime under Sections 376-D, 366, 506, 34 IPC with one of the conditions being that the petitioner shall register themselves with the District Magistrate, Datia as "Covid-19 Warriors" by entering his name in a Register named as COVID-19 WARRIOR REGISTER.

Petitioner states that no such observation/condition should be made which trivializes/tends to trivialize the seriousness of the offence.

Further, while imputing that no such observations should be included which reflect bias and affect the dignity of a woman, the petitioner has pointed to observations made by the Karnataka HC in Rakesh B. V. State of Karnataka whereby bail was granted to an accused with certain observations about the victims conduct.

While pointing to observations in the case of V Mohan V. State, whereby the appellant was asked to participate in the mediation talk, the petitioner states that no observation/condition should be made which initiates and encourages compromise that normalizes an otherwise heinous crime thus indicating a mindset, which accepts such offences. It is further submitted that no observation/condition should be made which notes that the best option for the victim is to marry the accused.

The petitioner highlights Gyanaranjan Behera v. State of Odisha and submits that in POCSO cases, no observation/condition should be made which takes note of the fact that the victim has attained majority and that the accused has offered to marry her.

Furthermore,

"In Vikas Garg v. State of Haryana, the Punjab & Haryana High Court had granted bail to 3 accused persons in a crime under Sections 376D, 376(2)(n), 376, 292, 120-B, 506 IPC and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 by making observations regarding the victim's "casual relationships", "promiscuous attitude" and "voyeuristic mind". ..... It is submitted that no observation/condition should be made which grants bail on the ground that the victim is of "loose character" or is habituated to sexual intercourse"

In this background the petitioner has sought directions for high courts, sessions courts or the courts of MM or any special court ensuring that in every order that they pass in relation to cases of sexual violence against women and children, there should be no observation made, conditions imposed or directions passed which are extraneous to the facts and circumstances of the case, including any such observation, condition or direction:

"I. Which trivializes/tends to trivialize the seriousness of the offence.

II. Which reflects bias and affects the dignity of a woman.

III.Which affects the conduct of the trial in a fair and unbiased manner.

IV. Which permits the accused to meet/have access to the victim and her family members.

V. Which initiates and encourages compromise that normalizes an otherwise heinous crime thus indicating a mindset, which accepts such offences.

VI. Which takes note of the fact that the victim has attained majority (in POCSO cases) and that the accused has offered to marry her.

VII. Which notes that that the best option for the victim is to marry the accused

VIII. Which allows bail in favour of an accused for the purpose of solemnizing marriage with the victim.

IX. Which grants bail on the ground that the victim is of "loose character" or is "habituated to sexual intercourse".

X. Which directs marriage of the accused with the complainant/victim on an assumption to grant "legitimacy" to a child born as a consequence of the violence.

XI.And any other condition which is extraneous to the offence and the requirement of the bail."

The note also states that in addition to the above, there is a need for continuing judicial education for all judges and the National Judicial Academy may conduct special sensitization workshops to familiarize these directions for all judges of the trial courts which are presided by the judges of the High Courts and this Hon'ble Court.

Supreme Court advocate Aparna Bhat and eight other women lawyers have challenged (before the Apex Court) one of the Bail Conditions in the Bail Order dated July 30 passed by Madhya Pradesh High Court, wherein the Court had imposed a bail condition upon the person (accused of outraging the modesty of his neighbour) to request the victim to tie the rakhi around his wrist.

The top court is expected to hear the matter today.

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