TN High Court Bails Out Rape Accused to 'Mediate' with Victim
NEW DELHI : In a bizarre act of encouraging reconciliation between a rapist and his victim, the Tamil Nadu High Court delivered a verdict earlier this week giving bail to the accused so that he could “mediate” with the victim and settle the matter outside the ambit of law. And now the TN Women’s Association has also seconded the verdict and approved of the method of mediation.
“Mediation is the only solution and of they (rapist and victim) can join together, this commission will be very happy to see that both the criminal and the girl.. get along together peacefully. That is our aim and objective,” said Visalakshi Nedunchezian , chairperson of women’s commision.
"There is no question of right or wrong in this case. If the girl has no source of income or livelihood she may adjust and live with him. Toleration is the main point here," she said, discounting the enormity of the crime in first place.
The accused, V Mohan had raped the victim in 2002, a 15 year old orphan then, which resulted in the pregnancy and eventually a child-birth. She is now the mother of a six year old.
Meanwhile, the High Court verdict came in response to Mohan’s bail plea, contesting the 2002 sentence of seven year and a fine of 2 lakh, slapped on him by a Cuddalore Mahila Court.
“In the facts and circumstances, the case before us is a fit case for attempting compromise between the parties. ‘Mediation’ mode is best suited to them…Keeping the appellant inside the jail and asking him to participate in the mediation talk will not result in any fruitful result,” said the judgment by Justice D Devadass.
It further said:In fact, even in Islam, Hinduism and Christianity, there are instances of solving the disputes in a non-belligerent manner. The result of it is very good because there is ‘no victor, no vanquished.
“The victim-girl has become mother of a child. But as on date, she is nobody’s wife. So she is an unwed mother. Now there is a big question mark looming large before the girl as well as her child, who is completely innocent…. Generally, in this type of cases, the girl concerned is stated to be a victim, but really speaking the child born out of such a physical contact is also a victim. The child is a victim of circumstances. She was born to suffer a social stigma for no fault of her. It is a great tragedy.”.
Justice P Devdass’s verdict has drawn ire of many jurists and law experts who have questioned the constitutionality and ethicality of the move.
Justice SN Dhingra said the verdict went beyond the intent and powers of the High Court.