SC sets precedent over Battered Women Syndrome

SC sets precedent over Battered Women Syndrome

Jan. 5, 2015, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 08 No. -13 December. 26- 2014 (Poush 11, 2071)

The Supreme Court has set a precedent that the perpetrator of a crime triggered by battered women syndrome (BWS) should be subjected to less punishment than would otherwise be the case.

A bench of Justices Sushila Karki and Baidyanath Upadhyay, in the full text of an earlier verdict in a murder case brought against one Radhika Shrestha, also directed the government to institute the necessary legal provisions for considering the testimony of experts on BWS as admissible evidence in a murder case.

The bench has adopted L.E. Walker´s definition of battered woman as a ´wife or woman in any form of intimate relationship with men and who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful physical or psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do something he wants her to do without any concern for her rights´.

The bench stated that considering expert testimony on BWS as admissible evidence is a necessity of the times and every necessary legal arrangement should be made to lessen the sentences or to give amnesty to such battered women.

The bench has explained that in the case of a battered woman, the deceased himself triggers the crime by repeatedly subjecting her to forceful physical and psychological behavior.

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