Madras High Court judge gives bail to rape accused to ‘mediate’ with victim

A child was born out of the relationship

Chennai: To enable an accused, convicted to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment for raping a minor girl, to participate in the mediation proceedings as a freeman, the Madras high court has granted interim bail to him.

Holding that criminal cases, fit and appropriate cases registered under section 376 IPC (rape) can also be solved under alternative dispute resolution system, Justice P. Devadass permitted the accused to participate in the mediation process. “Compromise, if any, arrived at shall be reduced into a form of a memorandum of understanding and it shall be submitted to this court,” he added.

The victim, a minor girl, living with her adopted mother as her parents were no more, was raped by the accused in 2008 when she was 15 years old. She gave birth to a girl child the next year.

The DNA test confirmed that the child was born to the accused. Before the trial court, the accused said the physical relationship was consensual. The trial court in Cuddalore district awarded 7 years’ RI to him. Against this order, the accused filed the present appeal to suspend the sentence and grant him bail.

Justice Devadass said, “Generally, in this type of cases, the girl 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 had born to suffer a social stigma for no fault of her. It is a great tragedy.”

Pointing out that ADR mechanism was now being used in criminal cases also and, in fact, it was good to the litigants and the state and court, the judge

cited a judgment of the Supreme Court and said there is no bar to attempt at reconciliation even in a criminal appeal where the accused has been convicted under section 376 IPC.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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