Legal fraternity, activists welcome SC ruling on mediation in rape

New Delhi, (IANS) Expressing hope that the Supreme Court ruling will have an effect on courts across the country, activists and the legal fraternity on Wednesday welcomed the apex court ruling that no mediation or compromise can take place in rape cases.

Stressing the need for gender sensitisation lessons for lower court judges, senior advocate Kamini Jaiswal said the SC ruling gave much needed relief.

“I am glad that the SC ruling has finally came. It will be binding (on courts) across the country. The Madras High Court judgment was a totally male chauvinistic one. There is nothing more inhuman and disgusting than to ask a woman to live with her rapist. The lower court judges have to be made gender sensitive,” Jaiswal told IANS.

Last week, the Madras High Court gave bail to a man convicted of raping a teenager in 2002 and ruled that he should have a “mediation” session with the survivor, who gave birth to a child after the rape.

Lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover said the SC ruling was in accordance with constitutional and human rights.

“I am hoping that the ruling will bring an end to the irresponsible judgments by Madras High Court and other lower courts. The ruling is going to have a positive impact,” she told IANS.

Grover added that there was a need for conversation and orientation of judicial officers on the rights of women, gender role and equality.

Describing the situation as one step forward, two steps backward for women, Flavia Agnes, activist, said that the Supreme Court ruling has to filter down to the lower courts.

“The judgments like the Madras High Court happen all the time. You keep hearing about it. Unfortunately, Justice Verma Committee recommendations doesn’t have a finding. Now that SC has pronounced the ruling, it will hopefully set the tone right,” she told IANS.

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