Attorney General KK Venugopal on Monday termed as “drama" the bail order by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which had asked an accused to get a ‘rakhi’ tied by a woman who had levelled molestation charges against him.
The law officer submitted before the Supreme Court that such orders need to be condemned and that judges must get training in gender sensitisation too.
“The judge seems to have been carried away… This is a drama and it has to condemned," Venugopal told a bench, headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar.
Venugopal was assisting the bench with regard to a petition by nine women lawyers to set aside a Madhya Pradesh High Court order granting bail to an accused in a molestation case on the condition that he requests the complainant to tie him a rakhi.
AG criticised the HC order, adding: “My suggestion is counsel them, train them in gender sensitisation. The judgments by this court on conditions of bail should also be uploaded on all websites so that they know what can be done and what can’t."
The bench found favour with Venugopal’s statements and said that the discretion that a judge can exercise in laying down conditions while granting bail has to be delineated.
“Once we define what’s permissible and what’s not, this can be one way of doing it. And we can also deal with this case by case as and when such occasions arise," added the bench.
It asked Venugopal as well as the petitioners to submit their suggestions which can be borrowed at the time of the final order. The court will hear the matter next on November 27.
The Madhya Pradesh High Court had on July 30 granted bail to the accused, with the condition that he and his wife shall visit the complainant’s house with a rakhi on August 3 and a box of sweets. The court had also asked the accused to give Rs 11,000 to the complainant as a “customary ritual”, usually offered by the brothers to sisters on rakhi and also seek her blessings.
He was asked to further promise the complainant that he would “protect her to the best of his ability for all times to come”.
The women lawyers contended in their appeal that such orders trivialise the offence against women and must be set aside.