Supreme Court seeks AG's help on a bizarre bail granted to the accused in molestation case

The Supreme Court on Friday sought Attorney General K.K. Venugopal's assistance to decide a contention whether a court can pass general direction like a rape accused getting bail by simply offering rakhi as a condition.

In a truly bizarre case happened in Madhya Pradesh, the person accused of molesting was told to tie a rakhi and give a sum of rs11,000 to the victim as an apology. In turn, the high court acquitted the accused and granted bail. The top lawyers of the country saw this wild judgement and decided to file a plea in order to challenge this decision by the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Further, Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh, declared that the plea is not limited to this case only and stretches to wider implications, such as the trivialisation of trauma faced by a rape victim, or objectifying victims' sexual assault. 

The plea filed by 9 women advocates seeking an answer for the judgment has been profoundly announced in the Supreme Court: Key Points

  • The plea has been filed by advocate Aparna Bhat and eight other women lawyers against the July 30 order by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, where an accused of sexual assault was asked to get a Rakhi tied on him by the victim as a condition for bail.
  • "The bail condition in question amounts to further victimization of the survivor in her own house. In the context of Rakshabandhan being a festival of guardianship between brothers and sisters, the said bail condition amounts to a gross trivialization of the trauma suffered by the Complainant in the present case," said the plea.
  • The petitioners argued that the bail condition by the High Court should be set aside. The top court observed that a case is not made out against the Madhya Pradesh High Court bail order, as the bail condition was already met.
  • Bhat has contended in the plea that order has been passed by a constitutional court such as a High Court of a state and there is a strong likelihood that such observations and directions may result in normalizing "what is essentially a crime and has been recognized to be so by the law."
  • The plea said: "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 as part of the customary ritual of Rakhshabandhan. Moreover, the said bail condition also goes a step further by stating that Respondent No. 2 (the accused) tender Rs 5,000 to the son the complainant."