Judges need to be educated on gender sensitization so that they are sensitive while dealing with sexual assault cases, Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court today. The country's top law officer was referring to the Madhya Pradesh High Court's order directing a man accused of sexual assault to get a rakhi tied by his victim as a condition of bail.
The comments by the judges were "condemnable" said the Attorney Genreral, adding that the judges seem to have been "carried away" while passing the order.
Mr Venugaopal was addressing a Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, which was hearing an appeal against the Madhya Pradesh High Court order.
He told the court that the national judicial academy and state academies should teach that this is not permissible.
"Judges need to be educated. Judges recruitment exam should have a part on gender sensitization. The exam for judges and National judicial academy and state judicial academy must have programmes on gender sensitization," he told the bench, which also comprised Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna.
"So far as sensitization is concerned, gender sensitization and grievance redressal committee is there in Supreme Court. Lectures need to be given to district and subordinate, and high courts too about gender sensitization," he added.
Following Attorney General's observations, the Supreme Court asked him to circulate note on the issue and scheduled the next hearing after three weeks.
The top court, in its last hearing, had sought the Attorney General's assistance on a plea for stay on the Madhya Pradesh high court order.
The group of nine women lawyers who have moved the top court said the High Court order was a "trivialisation of victim's trauma."
The high court, in its July 30 order, had granted bail to the 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 on him with the promise to protect her to the best of his ability for all times to come.
With additional inputs from PTI