Courts Should Avoid Patriarchal & Stereotypical Notions About Women: Supreme Court Issues Guidelines For Dealing With Sexual Crimes

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Case: Aparna Bhat and others v State of Madhya Pradesh and others

Coram: Justices AM Khanwilkar and S Ravindra Bhat

Case No: Cr.A 329 of 2021

Case Observation: “Using rakhi tying as a condition for bail, transforms a molester into a brother, by a judicial mandate. This is wholly unacceptable, and has the effect of diluting and eroding the offence of sexual harassment. The act perpetrated on the survivor constitutes an offence in law, and is not a minor transgression that can be remedied by way of an apology, rendering community service, tying a rakhi or presenting a gift to the survivor, or even promising to marry her, as the case maybe.

The law criminalizes outraging the modesty of a woman”, observed the judgment delivered by a bench comprising Justices S Ravindra Bhat and AM Khanwilkar. “use of reasoning/language which diminishes the offence and tends to trivialize the survivor, is to be avoided under all circumstances”.

“The law does not permit or countenance such conduct, where the survivor can potentially be traumatized many times over or be led into some kind of non-voluntary acceptance, or be compelled by the circumstances to accept and condone behavior what is a serious offence”, the judgment authored by Justice Ravindra Bhat said.


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