SC seeks AG’s assistance on plea in opposition to trivialisation of sexual offences

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 16

The Supreme Court on Friday sought Attorney General KK Venugopal’s assistance on a PIL filed by nine women lawyers seeking a stay on the Madhya Pradesh High Court order granting bail to a molestation accused on the condition that he would request the victim to tie him a ‘Rakhi’.

Woman has right to stay in shared house

  • Maintaining that the progress of any society depends on its ability to protect and promote the rights of women, the Supreme Court has clarified the legal position on “shared household” under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, that has often been a matter of dispute.
  • Giving a liberal interpretation, a three-judge Bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, ruled a woman is entitled to claim right to residence in a “shared household”, where she has been living with her husband even if the said house belongs to his relatives.

A Bench, headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, formally issued a notice to the office of the Attorney General on the PIL that wanted the top court to restrain courts across India from imposing such bail conditions against the principle of law.

“The trauma of the victim is trivialised by such conditions. These kind of conditions are imposed which are against the principle of law. Repeatedly, such observations are being made,” senior advocate Sanjay Parikh submitted on behalf of the petitioner women lawyers.

Maintaining that the appeal had been filed under extraordinary circumstances, Parikh urged the top court to stay the bail condition imposed on the accused by the MP High Court.

At one stage, the Bench sought to know from Parikh if he was making the submission only for Madhya Pradesh or for the entire country.

As Parikh said he wanted the direction for all courts across India not to impose extraneous conditions for bail, the Bench issued the notice to the AG’s office and posted it for hearing on November 2.

The High Court had on July 30 granted bail to a molestation accused and imposed a condition that he along with his wife shall visit the house of the complainant and request her to tie a ‘Rakhi’ to him with the promise to protect her to the best of his ability for all times to come.

Alleging that such an order amounted to trivialisation of sexual offences by courts, the petitioners said the bail condition further victimized the complainant and trivialized the trauma that she suffered.

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