Indian Court Rules That Rape Cases Must Have Female Judges

India’s Supreme Court has set up special courts to deal with rape cases that will be judged by female judges. According to the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), the court has asked that all courts show more responsibility and sensitivity while dealing with sexual assault cases. The female judges will also deal with cases of sexual harassment and dowry-related offenses in India.

The judges noted that rape is a crime against basic human rights and it violates the victim’s right to life, reports IANS. According to IANS, the judges asked that these cases be dealt with sternly and severely because sexual violence is an unlawful intrusion on the right of privacy of a female as well as a de-humanizing act.

The Indian capital of Delhi has a high rate of crimes against women, reports BBC News and the number of incidences of sexual assaults is 22 percent higher than last year. A few months ago, a Swiss diplomat was raped after a film festival in India. A filmmaker was also raped on the same night, and a medical school student was gang-raped by four presidential guards the same week.

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BBC News 12/19/03; IANS News 12/26/03; Feminist Daily News 10/17/03

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