oppn parties SC Says No to Compromise in Rape Cases

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  • The government will make new IT rules to make it mandatory for platforms to provide traceability of content
  • PM Modi says India striving to move to evidence-based policy making by 2022
  • Patna High Court says that courts are clogged with cases against prohibition in the state
  • NCP-Congress say unanimity reached on government formation in Maharashtra, talks with Sena today
  • Surrogacy Bill referred to 23-member select committee by the Rajya Sabha
  • Government has asked the IITs to follow the quota system in hiring faculty
  • Gujarat police say self-styled godman Nithyanand has fled the country
  • Muslim parties are split over seeking review of the Ayodhya verdict
  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli says the pink ball could pose a lot of challenges due to its weight, hardness and colour
  • India to play its first pink-ball Test match against Bangladesh from Friday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata
  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
Perfect start for India in the first pink-ball Test. Bangladesh skittled out for 106 runs while India make 174 for 3 in reply. Ishant Sharma took a fiver
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SC Says No to Compromise in Rape Cases

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Supreme Court has ordered that a rapist cannot be allowed to escape punishment even if he reaches a compromise with the person, or the family of the person, he raped. This is the right line of thinking in such cases, as the court itself pointed out that reaching a compromise was nothing but “putting pressure in an adroit manner.”

If one goes by purely by law, the manner in which several high courts across the country were showing leniency to the rapists was blatantly illegal. For, the rape law is clear â€" the rapist needs to be punished if the guilt is proven. There is no law in India which says that a rapist can be let off, or given a lesser sentence, if the raped person or his/her family thinks so. The raped person, or his/her family, does not have the authority, legal or otherwise, to pardon the rapist. It was surprising how the Madhya Pradesh high court in the instant case and the Madras high court a few weeks earlier, had taken cognizance of a compromise reached between the parties to show leniency towards the rapists.

In the case Shimbu and Anr v Haryana, the apex court had most emphatically observed that “rape is a non-compoundable offence and it is an offence against society and is not a matter to be left for the parties to compromise and settle ….a compromise entered into between the parties cannot be construed as a leading factor based on which lesser punishment can be awarded.” Despite this, the Madras high court had granted bail to a rape accused to allow him to meet the survivor and explore the possibility of a compromise. What if the rapist had gone ahead and committed another rape? Or worse still, murdered the survivor and absconded? The Madras high court order was illegal and against the society.

In the instant case, the Madhya Pradesh high court made an equally disconcerting order. It freed a rapist after he reached a settlement with the parents of the minor girl he had raped. The court did not consider the trauma the minor must have suffered. The court also did not consider the fact that if the family was poor, the rapist could have reached a compromise by offering them money. In any case, how does a compromise negate or lessen the original crime? The Supreme Court cancelled the MP HC order and asked that the convict be taken back into custody and the case be tried afresh.

It is surprising that high courts continue to overlook the directives of the apex court. Where the law is clear and where clear SC guidelines exist, any deviation should be made a ground for the removal of the erring judge or judges. Only then will the lower courts refrain from passing headline making orders which are illegal, to say the least. Society will not benefit by showing leniency to rapists. The intention of the rapist was not to marry the survivor when he was raping her. It was only when he was faced with getting punished for the act that he thought of a compromise. Society will benefit only when rapists are punished for their crime. The high courts, by passing such lenient orders, will only encourage future rapists to immediately start settlement proceedings with the survivor, negating the crime. In effect, it will also reduce the law to a farce.