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AG says judges need education as MP HC asked molester to tie rakhi and protect victim

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New Delhi, Nov 02: Attorney General K K Venugopal on Monday termed the bail order by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which had asked an accused to get a 'rakhi' tied by a woman who had levelled molestation charges against him, 'drama'.

AG says judges need education as MP HC asked molester to tie rakhi and protect victim

The bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna sat today to discuss the issue of a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge allegedly trivialising the condition of bail to a molester. The bench asked the molester to tie rakhi on the victim and promise to protect her. That was the condition for bail. This decision was challenged.

Condemning the judgement Venugopal said there is need to educate judges on gender sensitization. He added the high court judge seemed to have been carried away, as this order was nothing less than a drama that must be condemned.

The AG's comment came on a petition by lawyer Aparna Bhat, who pointed out similar orders by high courts across the country.

A plea against this particular high court judge's order was brought by nine lawyers. The plea states that such orders "objectify women" and is a gross trivialisation of the trauma suffered by the victim.

Venugopal was assisting the bench with regard to a petition by nine women lawyers to set aside a Madhya Pradesh High Court order granting bail to an accused in a molestation case on the condition that he requests the complainant to tie him a rakhi.

The bench found favour with Venugopal's statements and said that the discretion that a judge can exercise in laying down conditions while granting bail has to be delineated.

"Once we define what's permissible and what's not, this can be one way of doing it. And we can also deal with this case by case as and when such occasions arise," added the bench.

It asked Venugopal as well as the petitioners to submit their suggestions which can be borrowed at the time of the final order. The court will hear the matter next on November 27.

The Madhya Pradesh High Court had on July 30 granted bail to the accused, with the condition that he and his wife shall visit the complainant's house with a rakhi on August 3 and a box of sweets. The court had also asked the accused to give Rs 11,000 to the complainant as a "customary ritual", usually offered by the brothers to sisters on rakhi and also seek her blessings.

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