Need to sensitise police force on how to deal with same-sex couples in conflict with kin: HC

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said there was a need to sensitise the police force across Maharashtra on how to deal with cases pertaining to same-sex couples in conflict with family members.

A division bench headed by Justice Revati Mohite Dere was hearing a plea filed by a woman seeking police protection on the grounds that she and her female partner were being threatened by her partner’s family.

On the previous hearing on July 6, the state government had assured the court that it would give the couple police protection.

However, on Wednesday, the court was informed by the couple’s lawyer that the police later said they were yet to receive the court order and hence no protection was given.

The bench noted that the police were required to deal with such cases with sensitivity and empathy towards the couple.

“There has to be sensitisation of the entire police force across the state on how to deal with such cases,” the bench said.

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The court referred to an identical case before the Madras High Court where the judge had asked the Tamil Nadu government to come up with sensitisation programmes across departments in the southern state.

“There were guidelines issued by the Madras High Court after which the police conduct rules were amended,” Justice Dere said.

The court asked the couple’s lawyer to look into the guidelines issued by the Madras HC and posted the matter for hearing on July 28.

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