Victim's character can't be cause for rape, says SC

Victim's character can't be cause for rape, says SC

A rape victim’s character –– promiscuous or otherwise –– cannot be taken as defence by the accused for his offence, the Supreme Court has said, adding even a woman of easy virtue has a right to life, which cannot be compromised for any reason.

Holding that rape was not only an offence against a woman but a crime against entire society, a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and F M I Kalifullah said courts should deal with such cases sternly and severely.

“Even if the victim had lost her virginity earlier, it can certainly not give a licence to any person to rape her. It is the accused who was on trial and not the victim. So as to whether the victim is of promiscuous character is an irrelevant issue altogether in a case of rape,” the Bench said.
The Bench was dealing with an appeal filed by a rape convict challenging his conviction on the grounds that the victim was of promiscuous character and had been habitual to sexual activities.

Refusing to grant any relief to the accused, the court said that it was not material that the rape victim was accustomed to sexual intercourse.

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