Supreme Court says no to compromise, mediation in rape cases

The observations have come days after a Madras High Court Judge asked a woman to consider mediation with a man, convicted of raping her.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: July 8, 2015 3:17 am
Supreme Court, SC order, SC rape order, SC rape ruling, rape compromise, rape mediation, madhya pradesh rape case The Supreme Court on Wednesday held that there can be no compromise in a rape case in the name of promising wedlock

Days after the Madras High Court favoured mediation in a rape case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday held that it would be a “spectacular error” to adopt “any kind of liberal approach” in sexual assault cases.

The court was hearing a case related to an attempt to rape a minor in Madhya Pradesh in 2008.

“The conception of compromise, under no circumstances, can be thought of in a case of rape or attempt to rape,” said a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant.

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“Dignity of a woman is a part of her non-perishable and immortal self and no one should ever think of painting it in clay. There cannot be a compromise or settlement as it would be against her honour, which matters the most. Any kind of liberal approach or a thought of mediation in this regard is thoroughly and completely sans legal permissibility,” it said.

Stating that any proposal by the accused to marry the victim was an attempt to put pressure, the court said: “We say with emphasis that the courts are to remain absolutely away from this subterfuge to adopt a soft approach to the case, for any kind of liberal approach has to be put in the compartment of spectacular error. Or to put it differently, it would be in the realm of a sanctuary of error.”

The bench asserted that sexual assaults are offences which “suffocate the breath of life and sully the reputation” of a woman. “Such an attitude (favouring mediation) reflects lack of sensibility towards the dignity and the elan vital of a woman… it ruptures the sense of justice and punctures the criminal justice dispensation system,” it said.

Last week, a Madras High Court judge referred the case of a minor’s rape for mediation between the victim and the accused, and granted interim bail to the latter. The victim, whose parents are no more, is the mother of a child who was born after the rape. While the victim refused to participate in the mediation, the high court order sparked off an outrage over its legality.

In the Madhya Pradesh case which came up before the SC bench today, the accused, Madan Lal, had sought to compromise with the parents of the seven-year-old victim but the trial judge junked his plea. It held him guilty and sentenced him to jail for five years in 2009. The high court, however, converted the charge into molestation and reduced his sentence to the time that he had already spent in jail, which was little over a year.

The state government challenged this order in the top court. Setting aside the high court order, the bench said the high court judge appeared to be influenced by the compromise between the accused and the victim’s parents, which was impermissible.

The bench referred the matter back to the high court for hearing it afresh. It also asked the police to take the accused into custody during his appeal.

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  1. A
    Jul 1, 2015 at 1:40 pm
    [for our leader's Arvind K advisers] It is well known, not to the typical Indians, which forgot the recent history, but for the other enthusiasts, supporting AAP steps, that the legal investigation of the 26NOV2008 terror attack, directed by anonymous from the sea to Bombay, had not been investigated in full. 1. No typical Indian investigative authorities of 2008-2009 had analised and reported, who exactly have been accomplishing inside India [behind the border], but prior to the border crossing by killed suspects [except one, who lost his memory]. Evidences are located inside the phone sets which belong to the attackers. Evidences were located in the Bombay police firstly. Can you do? 2. The reason is next after Haryana could be the Bombay changes in the police top official staff. The reason of the accusations: lack of qualifications at the border and at the Bombay police stations[ thee all slept at night on 26NOV2008 and continue to receive ries].
    1. D
      Jul 3, 2015 at 5:48 am
      Supreme Court: finally Acts against monkey judge in chair. Judge has to be removed from bench, Permanently.
      1. A
        Jul 1, 2015 at 2:39 pm
        what action against the judge delivering such judgement?
        1. E
          Jul 1, 2015 at 1:02 pm
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          1. Vinay Verma
            Jul 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm
            what about dignity of mens, if case is false haan, all law is feminine justice,
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