SC issues notice to AG Venugopal seeking assistance on orders trivialising sexual assaults

By Astha Joshi-

The Supreme Court bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and BR Gavai issued a notice to Attorney General KK Venugopal to seek assistance on whether the court can issue directions like tying a “rakhi” to the accused, for bail in sexual offences.

A plea has challenged the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order of getting a “rakhi” tied to get bail, as such acts trivialised the seriousness of the offence.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh, representing women lawyers, had approached the court to set aside the direction released by the High Court to get tied “Raksha Bandhan” by the victim.

The plea said that it has been observed that women do not seek redressal from the system in sexual assault cases to avoid the secondary trauma they face.

The plea also challenged the validity of the High Court’s order to ask the accused to pay Rs 11,000 to the victim as a customary ritual and Rs 5,000 for buying her son sweets and clothes.

It stated, “While it is routine for courts to award certain compensation to survivors of sexual offences to be paid by the accused, it is highly objectionable for the High Court in the present case to put the complainant in a position where she is forced to accept the sum of Rs 11,000.”