February 23, 2010

Times of India

Rape victims claim not always true: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that a rape victims testimony cannot be considered the absolute truth, though its her statement that has to be relied upon in most cases.
A bench of Justice H S Bedi and Justice J M Panchal said while primacy had to be given to the victims statement, it could not be presumed that she was telling the ultimate truth as the charge had to be proved beyond reasonable doubt as in any other criminal case.
We know that in a rape case, the victims statement must be given primary consideration . But at the same time, the principle that the prosecution has to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt applies equally to rape as any other criminal case and there can be no presumption that a prosecutrix would always tell the entire incident truthfully, the apex court said in an order.
The court passed the observation while acquitting one of the three accused , Abbas Ahmad Chowdhary, charged with raping a minor girl. The incident goes back to September 15, 1997, when the accused-appellants , Md Mizazul Haq, Abbas Ahmad Choudhury and Ranju Daswho is abscondingraped the victim after forcibly taking her to a tea estate in Jalalpur.


Sex for lure isn't consensual

Luring a young girl into having sex for a favour in return cannot be called sex by consent, the Bombay high court ruled on Wednesday.
Upholding the conviction of Sanjay Gondchar, a teacher from a school in Amravati, the Nagpur bench of the court observed, “The appellant exploited the prosecutrix’s mindset and allured her to sexual intercourse. Under these circumstances, her consent for the sexual intercourse with the appellant [Gondchar], who was her teacher, cannot be labeled as a free consent.”
Gondchar was convicted for committing rape on his 16-year-old student by promising to help her pass her examinations. Challenging his conviction and five-year jail sentence before the high court, Gondchar had contended that the sexual intercourse between him and the girl did not amount to rape, as the girl had consented to the affair.

However, in her statement before the trial court, the teenaged victim had said that Gondchar told her: “If you allow me to do this to you, I will pass you with good marks. Further in X standard also...I will get good marks for you.”

She said that in March 2006, Gondchar had sent a message through her friend and called her to his house. According to her statement, he had a sexual intercourse with her against the promise of good marks in her examination.

“One cannot be oblivious of the mindset of an adolescent girl,” justice AP Bhangale said in his order. He added, “The allurement by the appellant could be enough for her to entertain a dream of passing the examination with flying colours.”


Times of India

Most women blame victims for rape, says British survey

LONDON: More than half of women believe that the rape victims are more responsible for the attack on them than the rapists, according to a new British survey.
The survey of 1,000 adults found 54% of women — mostly those aged between 18 and 24 years — believe rape victims should be held accountable for the attacks. Over 24% of this age group said wearing a short skirt, accepting a drink or having conversation with the rapist made victims partly responsible.
Nearly a fifth of women thought the victim was at fault if she went back to the attacker’s house, while more than one in ten — 13% — said dancing provocatively or flirting made them partly responsible. According to sexual assault clinics that carried out the poll, this blame culture is deterring victims from reporting the crime.
The ‘Wake Up To Rape’ report also found that 14% of women believe most rape claims were made up. Alarmingly, the survey also found that one in three men claimed they didn’t think it was rape if they made their partner have sex when they didn’t want to, the Daily Mail reported. The poll also found one in five women wouldn’t report a rape to the police, with half of these saying they would be ashamed.



My daughter went through mental agony: German rape victim's mother

Panaji: The German minor girl who was allegedly sexually abused by a Goa minister’s son went through mental agony and had to be referred for psychiatric care after the incident, her mother said. One day I prevented my daughter from going out so that she should not remain out late night, she assaulted me with a knife, I recollect this unfortunate incident of assault on me by my daughter took place on the very next day of filing my complaint on October 2, 2008," the mother told the court.
The infamous German rape case involving state education minister Atanasio Monserratte’s son, Rohit, came up for hearing before the children’s court this week. The mother was cross examined by senior counsel Ram Jethmalani, who represented Rohit in this case, which had hit headlines in 2008.

She said that on the next day, when complaint was filed, the 14-year-old victim broke many things from the house in anger and assaulted me again because I went to the police station to file a complaint against Rohit. "She was accusing me of destroying her friendship not with the accused but with friends in general," the mother said.

The deposition before the court revealed that the victim had to be referred to Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour (IPHB) from September 17, 2008 to September 23, 2008, when the victim started behaving violently and even tried slitting her wrist. The mother, according to her deposition, for the first time saw lewd messages sent from Rohit’s number on her daughter’s cell during her stay in IPHB. I had an opportunity to read the messages received on the mobilephone of my daughter and some of the messages were regarding sex and were rather obscene," she said.

The mother had lodged police complaint on October 2, 2008 but was registered only on October 14, 2008 after intense media pressure.

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