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Opinion

Provide gender awareness training to judges to avoid stereotypes of women, says AG KK Venugopal

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Attorney General KK Venugopal suggested to the Supreme Court on Wednesday that judges who are old-school and have a patriarchal focus should be sensitized to deal with cases of sexual violence.

During the hearing of a petition that seeks guidelines so that the courts do not impose bail conditions, targeting women especially through bail orders in cases of sexual violence, the Attorney General said that the sensitization of judges by the Judicial Academies of the State.

Venugopal further said in a court headed by Judge AM Khanwilkar that all lawyers should also receive training in gender awareness for two to three years.

Venugopal said: “The patriarchal approach of judges, especially of the old school where women are stereotyped, should be avoided with training and awareness.”

He said that when a defendant is granted bail in cases of sexual violence and is a neighbor of the victim, protection must be provided so that cases of acid throwing or coercion of witnesses do not occur.

The Bench reserved its order after hearing arguments in the case.

Read also | AG calls for a greater role for women in the judiciary to help victims of sexual crimes

Previously, the higher court had asked the Attorney General and others to recommend ways to improve gender sensitivity towards victims while setting bail conditions for sex offenders. harassing more, objectifying its victims.

Nine lawyers had approached the high court questioning bail conditions imposed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which ordered a man accused of sexual assault to have a Rakhi tied on the victim as a condition of bail.

Approaching the high court, the lawyers, led by defender Aparna Bhat, said that the High Court order was a “trivialization of the victim’s trauma.”

The law prescribes that the victim stay away from the defendant, the statement said, adding that instead, here the High Court ordered the defendant to visit the woman’s home, the very place where the crime is presumed to have occurred.

The order only succeeds in victimizing the woman and delays the years of work carried out to sensitize 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 argument added.

The statement said that the High Court further ordered the defendant to present the woman a sum of 11,000 rupees “as a customary ritual that brothers usually offer to sisters on that occasion and that they will also request her blessing.”

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