Rape was a silent right of man. It had been a long struggle for the society to depose rape from that position in the minds of the patriarchal attitudes. Yet, one cannot say – despite the fact that we are 21st century – rape is dethroned from the attitude of a ‘right’. Marital Rape is still never mouthed by the Indian Penal Code. Pathetic Right?
If one would recall, during the Nirbhaya’s case, her parents were among the ones to say her real name out into the media. That was a strong lash out against the society’s conventional perspective to embarrass the victim and give a silent applause, at times, to the rapist.
In the end, despite how raped our minds are, one person who can lay back and enjoy the view is a rapist. The opportunities that are offered to cleanse his sins are manifold. It begins from the argument that the girl was wearing ‘indecent’ dress; his intoxicated state of mind etc:. Yet, since centuries, one act from the rapist’s side is powerful enough to canonize him. That is, marry the victim. In the Holy Scriptures of all the religions, we would find the mention of this ‘glorious sacrifice’ of so-called ‘upright men.’
Yet, one question that is remaining in my mind is whether it can undo what was done. Whether marrying her would erase her trauma? At times, the victim might give consensus for the fear of social shaming. Is marriage the ultimate recourse to get back to living life? If that was so, I would say that the Indian Penal Code can choose not to exist. What was the relevance of mens rea and actus reus?
The Delhi High Court have realized this in its recent judgment. Mr. Vishal Kumar had filed a petition under section 482 of Cr.P.C for quashing the charges of Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation), Section 376(2) (rape by public servant). He claimed that the victim was now having a consensual relationship with him and the rape complaint was frivolous.
whether the mere fact that the parties have allegedly got married should be a reason good to quash the F.I.R registered under Section 376(2) (N)/ 323/ 506 of IPC and consequential proceedings emanating from them?
The court completely negated this point of view. What is done cannot be undone through a marriage? If so, it would be a mockery of our justice system. Hence, Justice Pratibha Rani noted that:-
“In the view of the settled legal position enumerated in Gyan Singh Case the criminal proceedings emanating from a FIR registered with allegations of rape, which is an offence against the society, despite the alleged marriage of the petitioner with the accused cannot be quashed in exercise of the powers of the conferred under section 482 of Cr.P.C.”