Delhi High Court: “Gender-Neutrality” Must Permeate Through Every Judgment

Transgender Law Insider

Published on: April 27, 2024 19:51 IST

Delhi High Court marked the imperative of gender-neutrality in judicial opinions, setting aside an order that discharged a husband of a police official from charges of cruelty under the Indian Penal Code.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma, delivering the court’s opinion, rebuked the notion that a police officer could not be a victim of domestic violence solely based on their profession, calling it an unjustified bias. The court underscored that judges must not allow stereotypes to cloud their judgments and urged for a mindset free from preconceived notions or prejudices based on gender or profession.

Highlighting the importance of integrating gender sensitivity in judicial education, the court directed the Delhi Judicial Academy to incorporate it into its curriculum. It stressed that principles of justice and equality had been disregarded in the case, with undue emphasis placed on the gender and professional background of the complainant.

The court criticized the sessions court’s decision, which held the wife’s position against her while overlooking the accused husband’s actions in light of his professional standing. It emphasized that professional success should not detract from an individual’s entitlement to legal protection and privileges.

Moreover, the court advocated for continuous judicial education programs to address issues like gender equality and cultural diversity, fostering a deeper understanding of different perspectives and experiences. Such initiatives, it noted, would enhance public trust and confidence in the legal system.

In its concluding remarks, the Delhi High Court reiterated the principle of equal respect and recognition for every individual, regardless of gender or background, asserting that women empowerment should not be used to disadvantage them. It emphasized that every woman deserves equal access to legal protections, extending the notion to men as well.

The ruling stands as a significant step towards ensuring gender neutrality in judicial proceedings and reaffirms the commitment to justice and equality under the law.

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