Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Corrective voice from top court against stereotyping women

Topics Covered: Issues related to women.

Corrective voice from top court against stereotyping women:


Context:

in its latest judgement, the Supreme Court has:

  • Forbid judges from making gender stereotypical comments.
  • Stopped courts from trying to mandate marriage or compromise between a sex offender and his victim.

The judgment was based on an appeal against a Madhya Pradesh High Court order directing an alleged molester to “allow” his victim to tie a rakhi on him.

Need for:

The judgment came days after the court ran into a maelstrom of criticism after the Chief Justice of India (CJI), during a virtual hearing on March 1, reportedly asked an alleged rapist’s lawyer to enquire whether his client would marry the survivor.

Need for these measures:

  • Gender stereotypical comments by the top court diminish a sexual offence and tend to trivialise the survivor.
  • Even a solitary instance of such order or utterance in court, reflects adversely on the entire judicial system of the country, undermining the guarantee to fair justice to all, and especially to victims of sexual violence (of any kind from the most aggravated to the so-called minor offences).

Notable judgments which have lashed out at sex stereotyping include:

  • The framing of the Vishaka Guidelines on sexual harassment of women in working places.
  • Justice D.Y. Chandrachud’s historic judgment giving women Armed Forces officers equal access to Permanent Commission while debunking the establishment’s claim that women were physiologically weaker than men.
  • In the Anuj Garg case, the Supreme Court had rebuked “the notion of romantic paternalism”, which, “in practical effect, put women, not on a pedestal, but in a cage”.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Vishaka Guidelines.
  2. Anuj Garg case is related to?
  3. About Permanent Commission for women.

Mains Link:

Gender stereotypical comments by the top court diminish a sexual offence and tend to trivialise the survivor. Comment.

Sources: the Hindu.