Rape complaint is not time-bound: B Kemal Pasha

Justice Pasha told DC that several offences as per the Indian Penal Code are not bound by the period of limitation.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former judge of Kerala High Court Justice (Rtd) B. Kemal Pasha has said a delayed complaint of sexual assault, including rape, does not weaken the litigation since its reporting is not time-barred. Justice Pasha told DC that several offences as per the Indian Penal Code are not bound by the period of limitation.

On the issue whether consensual sexual intercourse is rape, he said consensual sex between heterosexual adults is not rape. "But that is wholly true only when the consent has been of free will," he said. The consent is said to be free when it is not affected by fraud, coercion or undue influence. If a person is in a dominating capacity and influences the will of the other person, the consent is not free. Coercion is involved when there is pressure tactic. The free will provision is governed by Section 14 of The Contract Act, read along with IPC."

Most often victims/survivors of rapes are women who are powerless to resist the aggressors in authority. "Caught in a predicament, where there is no effective remedy is available within her immediate society, the victim submits to the coercive influence until she is unable to suffer the physical and mental torture," Justice Pasha said.

He said the Supreme Court had differentiated consensual sex and rape. The court had ruled that "rape is the most morally and physically reprehensible crime in a society, as it is an assault on the body, mind and privacy of the victim. While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless female.

"Rape reduces a woman to an animal, as it shakes the very core of her life. By no means can a rape victim be called an accomplice. Rape leaves a permanent scar on the life of the victim, and therefore a rape victim is placed on a higher pedestal than an injured witness. Rape is a crime against the entire society and violates the human rights of the victim. "Being the most hated crime, rape tantamounts to a serious blow to the supreme honour of a woman, and offends both her esteem and dignity. It causes psychological and physical harm to the victim, leaving upon her indelible marks."

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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