India

Judges told not to make traditional rituals a condition of bail in sexual assault cases

The supreme court of India has slammed judges who impose ‘wholly inappropriate’ bail conditions in cases of sexual violence, like requiring that the accused visit the woman concerned and give her gifts. The court has also ordered that judges, lawyers and prosecutors must undergo gender sensitivity training to stop language and bail conditions that retraumatise victims.

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It’s hard to believe that a court, considering bail in a sexual harassment case, should stipulate that the accused must visit the woman concerned with ‘a box of sweets’ and request her to complete various traditional rituals with him, that would bind them together as ‘brother and sister’.

Top judges of world’s largest democracy strike down anti-gay sex law

INDIA’S highest court has struck down the country’s anti-gay sex law as unconstitutional. The decision, widely welcomed as conforming to a modern understanding of constitutionality and rights, was the result of India’s highest court, the supreme court, reconsidering the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. The judgment, likely to be hugely influential worldwide, followed a 2013 decision of the same court when two judges upheld the Code. Earlier this year, however, the supreme court decided to revisit the issue, but with a larger bench.

FIVE judges of India’s supreme court, including the chief justice, heard the challenge to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code in July this year, and since then their decision has been eagerly anticipated.

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