The Allahabad High Court recently denied bail to a man who was convicted for the rape of his cousin sister. The survivor had become pregnant and given birth to a boy. While denying the bail, the judge observed that “such offences demolish social fabric.”
The judgement was made by Justice Anil Kumar Ojha of the Allahabad High Court. He took into account that the convict and the survivor were brother and sister, and the DNA of the child born matched with that of the convict’s. In order to do blood samples of both the child and the father was taken and the report came out positive.
The convict, who is from the Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh, which is 465.4 kilometers away from Allahabad, had filed an appeal in the court for bail. He was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment by the trial court, where trial and conviction first took place.
While hearing the case, Justice Ojha said, “Such offences demolish the social fabric. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, particularly the fact that the victim (survivor) has supported the prosecution version, I am of the firm opinion that appellant is not entitled to be enlarged on bail.”
The convict’s lawyer had submitted in court that the man was “wrongly” imprisoned and that the trial court had misinterpreted the evidence submitted in the court. The lawyer also argued saying that there was a delay of one month and 24 days in filling the first-person report (FIR). Considering the trial court had evicted the person for the rape of a minor, the lawyer argued that the survivor was a major at the time, which means she was above 18-year-old.
Not just that, the DNA argument was also countered under the justification that the two are relatives under the same family tree and thus have the same DNA.
Regardless of this, the court said that the DNA of the child matched with the convict’s and denied bail to the convict in the heinous crime. Other than that, the court also took into consideration the survivor’s statement that she became pregnant after rape and gave birth to the child.
In a country where filing rape cases or even coming out and reporting one is difficult considering the stigma attached, the court’s decision to not take to account the delay in filing the case with the police can be justified.
This stigma and fear doubles when the convict is someone from the family. Then the pressure is made on the survivor on the lines of what will people say or will it give a bad name to the family? The trauma of being violated by someone whom you have grown up with and trusted is deep. One cannot blame the survivor for being “late” to file a case.
It is not just a violation of the “social fabric” but also a violation of a woman’s right and a serious crime against women. It is not just about the survivor being the “cousin sister” of the convict. The woman is a survivor of rape in a country where the majority of such crimes take place by relatives or people known to the survivor.
Recently, the Allahabad High Court was in news for putting out a controversial judgement. The judge reduced the punishment of a man who was convicted under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, for forcing “his penis in a boy’s mouth” in 2018. Earlier the convict was charged with ten years of imprisonment, the Allahabad HC bench reduced it to a minimum of seven years of imprisonment. The court said that the offence committed by the convict does not come under “aggravated penetrative sexual assault.”