Supreme Court: Training on Gender Sensitisation mandatory for Judges and Public prosecutor & to be included in AIBE & LL.B syllabi

A special leave petition was filed in The Madhya Pradesh High Court for seeking directions stating that all the High Courts and trial Courts be directed to refrain from making observations and imposing conditions in rape and sexual assault cases, at any stage of judicial proceedings, that trivialize the trauma undergone by survivors and adversely affect their dignity.

Certain intervenors also preferred an application in support of the appeal, seeking clear directions to all Courts to refrain from imposing “irrelevant, freaky or illegal bail conditions”.

Justices AM Khanwilkar and S. Ravindra Bhat stated that some set guidelines should be followed by the courts while dealing with sexual crimes:

•Bail conditions should not mandate or even permit contact between the accused and the victim.

•Bail conditions must seek to protect the complainant from any harassment by the accused.

•complainant/prosecutrix may be heard on whet

her there is any peculiar circumstance which may require additional conditions for her protection.

•Wherever bail is granted, the complainant may immediately be informed that the accused has been granted bail.

•Bail conditions must be free from stereotypical or patriarchal notions on women & their place in society.

•The Courts while adjudicating a case, should not suggest or entertain any notions towards compromises between the prosecutrix and the accused to get married, as it is beyond their powers & jurisdiction.

Court mandated training sensitization of judges and lawyers, including public prosecutor, a module on gender sensitisation will be included in foundational training of every judge.NJAC is requested to make necessary inputs in judges training, in consultation with state academic.

The syllabi and content of such courses shall be framed after necessary consultation with sociologists and teachers in psychology, gender studies or other relevant fields, preferably within three months.

Public Prosecutors and Standing Counsel too should undergo mandatory training in this regard.The course should contain topics such as appropriate court-examination & conduct & what is to be avoided.

Bar Council of India (BCI) should also consult subject experts & circulate a paper for discussion with law faculties & colleges/universities in regard to courses that should be taught at undergraduate level, in the LL.B program.

The BCI shall also require topics on sexual offences & gender sensitization to be mandatorily included in syllabus for All India Bar Examination.

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