Delhi High Court Advocates for Gender Neutrality in Judicial Decision-Making


In a landmark judgment, the Delhi High Court delivered a resounding message advocating for gender neutrality in judicial decision-making, particularly in cases involving allegations of domestic violence.

The case centered on allegations against a police officer, prompting Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma to reiterate the fundamental principle that justice must remain blind to gender biases and professional stereotypes. The accused husband, a police officer himself, was discharged by a sessions court under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), with the assumption that a female police officer could not be a victim of domestic violence.

However, Justice Sharma's comprehensive judgment rebuked such stereotypes, emphasizing the need for judges to remain unbiased and treat each case on its merits. She highlighted the vulnerability of empowered women within their matrimonial homes and underscored the importance of acknowledging their sufferings without dismissing them.

Advocate Divjot Singh Bhatia, representing the petitioner, argued against the discharge of the accused, citing specific incidents of dowry demand and torture outlined in the complaint. The High Court concurred with Bhatia's assertions, noting the sessions court's failure to adequately address these allegations.

In her concluding remarks, Justice Sharma emphasized the necessity for the Delhi Judicial Academy to modernize its curriculum by incorporating pertinent issues such as gender equality and cultural diversity. She stressed that such enhancements would equip judges with the requisite knowledge, awareness, and empathy needed to navigate complex legal matters fairly and impartially.

The court's emphasis on ongoing education and training, focused on understanding diverse backgrounds and lived realities, will contribute to reshaping societal perspectives and result in better-drafted judgments, ensuring justice for all.

Author: Anushka Taraniya 

News Writer, MIT ADT University