But, this isn’t the first time that the Indian court has failed the women of our country. From time to time, we have encountered multiple judgments that expose the regressive and patriarchal mindset of our courts. Here are a few of those regressive judgments that failed women and caused outrage among the masses.
#1: Year 2020: Victim To Tie Rakhi To Sexual Harassment Offender
In a shameful ruling, the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of sexual harassment granted bail to an offender and ‘requested’ the victim to tie a rakhi to the accused. Additionally, it ordered the accused to pay a sum of ₹11,000 as part of the Rakhi tradition. This regressive court order mentioned the following ruling:
“The applicant, along with his wife, shall visit the house of the complainant with rakhi thread/band on August 3 at 11 am with a box of sweets and request the complainant to tie the rakhi band to him with the promise to protect her to the best of his ability for all times to come.”
MP HC orders lady survivor of molestation to tie rakhi on accuser as pre-condition for HIS bail!
Bench ordering this needs to be put in jail & the keys thrown away
#2: Year 2020: Married Women Who Don’t Wear Sindoor Are Unwilling To Accept Marriage
During a divorce case hearing, Guwahati High Court said that a married Hindu woman’s refusal to wear Sakha (bangles made of conch-shell) and Sindoor (vermillion) as per the marriage rituals and customs, shows her unwillingness to accept her marriage to the husband. In its order, the HC said that the woman’s unwillingness to wear Sakha and sindoor signified that she doesn’t accept the marriage and granted the husband’s plea for divorce.
“Under such circumstances, compelling the husband to continue to be in matrimony with the wife may be construed to be harassment,” the HC stated.
Refusal by wife to wear sakha and sindoor signifies refusal to accept marriage: Gauhati HC
Karnataka High Court granted bail to a sexual offender because Justice Krishna S Dixit believed and ruled that the rape victim’s behavior was ‘unbecoming’. Her behavior was not in line with “how women react when they are ravished”. He questioned how the victim had slept after being assaulted. He also blamed the victim for going to the office late at night and not objecting to having drinks with her offender. The ruling created a lot of outrage and hence, the judge removed these words from the official judgment. But still, the offender was granted bail and set free.
So, Karnataka HC invokes ‘Before-rape’ and ‘after-rape’ code of ethics that must be followed by Indian women! Anything for the rapists?
#4: Year 2019: Granted Bail To Molester On Condition To Plant Trees
It left many shocked when the court of the city, that witness Nirbhaya, granted bail to the molester on the condition that he would plant 50 trees in a government school. The ruling of the Delhi court disappointed many as everyone felt the brunt of our court’s regressive mindset. Sadly the same year, Ghaziabad court also recalled the arrest warrant of a man accused of kidnapping and raping a minor. He was asked to plant 5 saplings in return!
#5: Year 2017: Victim Blamed & Accused Set To Free On Account Of Being Young
The Punjab & Haryana High Court granted bail to three men, who were accused of gangraping a woman. The victim was blackmailed and raped multiple times over a period of one and a half years by the prime accused. But, sadly rather than supporting the victim, the court blamed “the promiscuity of the victim and the voyeuristic tendencies of all parties involved, including the victim.”
While granting the bail to the accused, the court’s regressive judgment mentioned: “It would be a travesty if these young minds (the accused) are confined to jail for an inordinately long period.”
#6: Year 2017: Not Enough Injury Marks On Victim’s Body
In 2017, the Rajasthan High Court dismissed a victim’s complaint of rape and ruled in favor of the alleged rapist. The reason being – the victim’s body lacked injury marks. The court order stated,
“The medical evidence did not indicate any injury on any part of her body which suggested that she was never subjected to any forcible rape.”
#7: Year 2016: Victim Behavior Is Not Consistent With Someone Who Has Been Assaulted
The Supreme Court reversed the verdict of a High Court that sentenced three men for gang rape in 2016. The Supreme court stated that the victim’s behavior was “not at all consistent with those of an unwilling, terrified and anguished victim of forcible intercourse if judged by the normal human conduct.” The court added that because the victim stayed to collect evidence, instead of hurrying back home in a devastated state, the victim isn’t seeking justice but revenge!
#8: Year 2015: Allowed The Accused To Meditate With His Victim
When the rape convict applied for bail, the Madras High Court let the rape convict ‘mediate’ with his victim (a minor) as a “free man”, outside of jail. Because the victim bore a child out of the incident, Judge believed that this was a “fit case for attempting compromise between the parties.” This judgment was criticized heavily as the court allowed the rapist to mediate with his minor victim. This judgment was later recalled.
When our judiciary system, which is supposed to be fair and unbiased, shows such a regressive and patriarchal mindset, it is a moment to worry. In the country, where women are fighting for their basic rights, judgments like such only send us centuries back in our fight for equality.