#News

Rape Survivor’s Sexual History No Ground To Absolve Accused: Kerala HC

Verbal Sexual Assault
Sexual History Of Rape Survivor: The Kerala High Court recently ruled that a rape survivor’s sexual history will not hold any groud in the case and it will have no bearing on the credibility of the testimony of such survivors. The single judge-led bench held that even if a rape survivor is ‘a girl of easy virtue’, it would not be ground to absolve an accused of charges.

Justice R Narayana Pisharadi said that even when a survivor admits that she has had sexual relationships with another person earlier, it won’t affect the credibility of her testimony.

The judgment read, “Even in a case where it is shown that the victim is a girl of easy virtue or a girl habituated to sexual intercourse, it may not be a ground to absolve the accused from the charge of rape. Even assuming that the victim is previously accustomed to sexual intercourse, that is not a decisive question. On the contrary, the question which is required to be adjudicated is, did the accused commit rape on the victim on the occasion complained of. It is the accused who is on trial and not the victim.”

The ruling came during the hearing of a rape case. The accused named Unnikrishnan was convicted for raping and impregnating his own daughter. The court also said that the evidence given by the survivor should be seen with the same amount of suspicion as that of the accused.

“Only if the court finds it difficult to accept the version of the prosecutrix on its face value, it may search for evidence, direct or circumstantial, which would lend assurance to her testimony,” the judgment said.

The survivor had alleged that her father raped her repeatedly which led to her pregnancy and she ended up giving birth to a child. The DNA evidence proved that the father was responsible for the pregnancy. The man was booked under several sections of the Indian Penal Code in addition to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The accused then approached the high court challenging the same. The court observed that there can never be more graver and heinous crime than the father committing on his own daughter. “The protector then becomes the predator. The father is the fortress and refuge of his daughter. Charged of raping his own daughter under his refuge and fortress is worst than the gamekeeper becoming a poacher and treasury guard becoming a robber,” the Court said. The survivor had alleged that her father repeatedly sexually assaulted her and threatened to kill her if she ever revealed it to anyone. When the girl became pregnant, she shared the same with her mother and aunt who took her to the police, as per reports.

The Court found that no contradiction or omission had been brought out in the testimony of the victim with reference to the first information statement given by her to the police.

On being informed about the survivor’s sexual history, the court said that it is not a decisive question. “On the contrary, the question which is required to be adjudicated is, did the accused commit rape on the victim on the occasion complained of. It is the accused who is on trial and not the victim as held in State of UP v. Pappu,” the Court stated.

The accused man has been sentenced to 12 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of ₹50,000.

We request you to support our award-winning journalism by making a financial contribution towards our efforts. Your funds will ensure we can continue to bring you amazing stories of women, and the impact they are making and spotlight half the country's population because they deserve it.

By proceeding, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service .View our FAQs and Support page .