New Delhi, October 13: Nine women lawyers have approached the Supreme Court against a Madhya Pradesh High Court 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.
The lawyers, led by advocate Aparna Bhat, said the High Court order was a “trivialisation of her [victim’s] trauma”, The Hindu reported.
The law prescribes the victim to be kept far away from the accused. 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 case is that the accused forcibly entered the victim’s house to commit the crime. The petition said the High Court further ordered the accused to gift the woman ₹11,000 “as a customary ritual usually offered by brothers to sisters on such occasion and shall also seek her blessings.”
The High Court also ordered the accused to offer ₹5000 to the woman’s son for the “purchase of clothes and sweets.”
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.”
The petition urges the apex court to stay the condition for bail passed by the High Court in July.