Marry your rapist: A compromise in Rape Cases? By Ishita Dutta @LEXCLIQ

Recently a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.S. Bobde asked a rape accused to marry her victim. The accused, who is a state government employee, is facing charges for repeatedly raping his relative- when she was a minor. The apex court was hearing a petition against an order of the Bombay High Court, setting aside a session court’s order granting anticipatory bail to the accused. This is not the first instance, when a court has tried to compromise a rape case. It is often seen that high courts or session courts try to compound rape cases by marriage between victim and the accused.

Section 320 of the CrPC provides provision for this type of compounding or compromise in the cases. Compounding of offence means to establish a compromise between the parties. In this, the victim receives some other compensation or gratification (not necessarily pecuniary to act) and abstains from prosecuting the wrongdoer. Section 320 provides two category of offences- first, which can be compounded without the permission of the court and second, where permission of the court is required for compromise. Offence of rape does not find mention under any of the category, for which high courts use their own power for compounding rape cases, which is provided under section 482 of CrPC. The superior courts often allow or suggest compromise, reduce the punishment or even acquit the accused for the sake of justice. This happens especially in the cases, where accused offers to marry the victim or they have already married.

Case laws with similar approach

Due to some problematic decisions of courts in rape cases, it has become a kind of common notion that accused can be acquitted or his punishment can be reduced in case of compromise between the victim and the offender.

In Saju PR v. State of Kerala, a Supreme Court bench quashed a “rape lawsuit” on the basis of a settlement between the accused and the survivor, for “doing full justice to the parties concerned.”

In the case of Baldev Singh v. State of Punjab, the trial court awarded  a ten-year sentence to rape accused Considering the fact that the incident took place 14 years earlier and the accused had already spent about 3 1/2 years in jail, after which the accused and the complainant married ( not to each other) and reached a compromise. Considering the peculiar circumstances of the case, the apex court reduced the sentence to the period already undergone.

The Delhi High Court also acquitted a rape accused on the pretext of marrying the victim, and reduced the sentence to the time he had already served in the case of Rahul v state of NCT Delhi.

In Dalbir Singh and Ors. v. State of Punjab, the charges for rape were quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court because the case had been compromised and  the victim was married to one of the accused.

In Md. Jahirul Maulana v. State of Assam, the Guwahati High Court quashed case against a ‘rape offender’ who married the ‘victim,’ stating that the probability of conviction is less due to the parties’ compromise and marriage.

In the shocking case of V Mohan v. State, Madras High Court suggested rape victim to solve the matter by mediation. The judge stated that such ADR methods are now used in criminal trials as well, and that such forms of dispute resolution can be observed in Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity.

The correct position of law

There are many cases, in which the courts chose compounding approach to solve the rape case and allowed the marriage of the victim and accused. However, there are plethora of other cases in which honorable court criticized this kind of approach and reflected the correct position of law in this regard.

It was clearly stated by a three judge bench in the case of Shimbhu and Another v. State of Haryana that rape is a non-compoundable offence. It is a matter not just against the victim but against the whole society.  The crime of rape should not be quashed on the basis of compromise between the victim and preperator, considering the fact that the consent of victim in this situation is not absolutely free, but affected by trauma or helplessness. The accused can also use force against victim to marry her so that his prosecution can be quashed. Therefore, courts should avoid to use their discretionary power on the basis of compromise between the rape victim and accused. The same views were expressed by the Delhi high court in the case of Ananda D.V. v. State & Anr.

The apex court observed in the case of Gian Singh v. State of Punjab– “if the parties have entered into settlement, and it has become clear that there are no chances of conviction, there is no illegality in quashing the proceedings under Section 482 Cr.P.C. read with Article 226 of the Constitution. However, the same would not apply where the nature of offence is very serious like rape, murder, robbery, dacoity etc”.

In Ramphal v. State of Haryana, the Supreme Court held that compromise between victim and offender has no direct impact or relevance to court’s approach of deciding the matter. Further, as held by the apex court in the case of Parbathhai Aahir v. State of Gujarat, power of high courts is limited in this aspect.

Narinder Singh v. State of Punjab and State of Madhya Pradesh v. Madan Lal are other cases in which Supreme Court held that in the case of rape or attempt to rape, the conception of compromise under no circumstances can really be thought of.

Any compromise in rape cases, between a rape victim and offender compromises the woman’s honor.  In the case of rape or attempted rape, the idea of compromise should not be considered, because these are crimes against the body of a woman, which is her own temple.

Rapist is a person whose mind is such that he can rape a woman. Even in some cases, rapist usually suffers from behavioral and physiological disorders. They are observed to be of aggressive tendencies, because of their upbringing conditions. Thus it is highly unlikely that the rapists would change their behavior after the crime has been committed. These tendencies are cognitive and are present in nature.

There can be exceptions, where the rapist repents the crime and marries the victim with honest intentions as a sign of guilt. This cannot, however, be used as a general assumption and established as a standard for the court judgments. Moreover, Even if the person truly repents, he should not be left unpunished by the law, when his crime is retributive in nature.  One cannot escape prosecution simply because he shows remorse for his crime. This would permit all those who plead guilty in court and accept their acts to be left free from implications. India clearly does not look forward to such a situation and, therefore, it would be severe injustice if such a judgment were to be taken as a precedent for cases to come.

 

Leave a Reply

Articles

Healing Hemp CBD Gummies (Pros and Cons) Is It Scam Or Trusted?

What are Healing Hemp CBD Gummies? Healing Hemp CBD Gummies are a reasonable extraordinary and hearty course of activity. They incorporate present day and standard adornments to address or fix logical issues. You need to kill the cannabinoids from the plant with exorbitant mindfulness. It very well might be joined with first rate trimmings to […]

Read More
Articles

#1 Shark-Tank-Official Healing Hemp CBD Gummies – FDA-Approved

Healing Hemp CBD Gummies work to improve your health and wellness by harnessing the residential or commercial restorative properties of CBD oil. The formula is also natural, so the mode of action is natural and there is no risk to your health and well-being as a result of any adverse effects. It is a natural […]

Read More
Chocolate Boxes
Articles

5 Tips to Choose the Perfect Chocolate Boxes Company

Chocolate boxes are containers used to package and store chocolates, but you may have some difficulty choosing the perfect one for your purposes if you don’t have experience with this sort of product or industry. Here are five tips that will help you to choose the perfect chocolate box company to get your job done […]

Read More