Judges should refrain from making gender-biased insensitive remarks, says Delhi HC

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Judges hearing cases pertaining to women should refrain from making any kind of insensitive and gender biased comment, says the Delhi High Court.

The division bench comprising of justice V Kameswar Rao and justice Pradeep Nandrajog, put forward the suggestion while expunging a couple of such comments made by a fast track court. The bench even went to the extent of calling the the remarks made by the court’s trial judge during a rape trial “prima-facie insensitive”.

Judges should refrain from making gender-biased insensitive remarks, says Delhi HC. It further stated that the “sweeping observations” made by the judge against alleged rape survivor were not “based on the evidence on record”.

Apparently, the trial judge made the comments during a case filed by a girl against a man who allegedly established physical relationship with her on the false pretext of marriage.

“It is apparent that the remarks, which are general in nature, are not based on the evidence on record, appear to be the result of the experience of the judge… The judge has imparted his personal knowledge pertaining to females in the decision making,” the bench commented, Times of India reports.

“The passage brings out the dilemma of the women in the Indian society. Caught between her ambition to choose a life partner and the pull of the patriarchal society, women are torn apart between her personal ambition and the patriarchal society. So placed, she has to be treated with sympathy and care and not made the object of ridicule by styling her as a person who is in conflict with herself,” it added.

The High Court said that any gender biased comment that comes as a part of a judicial pronouncement, is likely to be used as a standard by the law enforcement agencies and prosecutors while determining how they should go about investigating and prosecuting the case.

“The observations by the judge are prima-facie insensitive observations and are capable of influencing the police to take up women harassment cases lightly, resulting in an insensitive investigation and complete evidence not being brought before the court,” the bench noted.