SrinagarThere is no end to human degradation where it is a question of sexual intercourse, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court said on Tuesday as it dismissed an appeal by a man who had allegedly raped a girl in front of his wife who even had helped him in kidnapping the victim.
Bashir Ahmad Matoo with the connivance of his wife Dilshada had enticed and kidnapped the girl with the intention to commit rape.
On the basis of the information, an FIR (No. 66 of 2003) was registered at Police Station, Khanyar, for the commission of offences under Sections 363, 366A, 376 and 109 RPC and the investigation ensued. On the completion of the investigation of the case, a chargesheet, was laid against the accused and trial started.
The trial Court held Matoo and Dilshada guilty on 10 May 2014. Both were convicted and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a period of 10 years and fined Rs 10000 each.
The contention of the counsel for the accused that the accused could not have committed the offence of rape in the way it has been imputed to him, can be answered by stating that there is no end to human degradation, where it is a question of sexual intercourse, A bench of Justice M K Hanjura said. There are cases where fathers and uncles have sexually assaulted their daughters and nieces, male teachers doing the same to their girl students. This is a tale of woe covered by thin veneer of the so-called modern fast civilization. Those, who are behind the scenes, see all the course pulleys and dirty ropes, which the ignorant audiences do not know.
In spite of the rapid process of urbanization going on in the country, the court said there still remains a more than half the population of the country, which is rural inhabitat and rustic in culture. The culture of theirs consists of old traditions, old sentiments, techniques, institutions like family marriage, religion, customs, norms, standards, mores, social taboos, practices permitted and prohibited, relationships of blood, joint family system and a plethora of other overt and covert factors of social behaviour. One of the customs, originating in ancient history of the country, is to suppress even to the extent of breathing not a word to any other person in the matter of pertaining to a crime against girls and women, particularly sexual assaults or molestations or rapes, the court said.
It takes a long time for a family to decide whether or not to report such a matter to the concerned authorities, the court said. The instant case is one such case. In it a very unfortunate and sad event of an adult male sexually raping a fourteen years old girl has taken place. The time gap between the occurrence of the crime and reporting the crime is approximately six days. But the Judges, in such cases, cannot take shelter behind the legalisms or eristic disputations. They must exercise their own innate sense of Justice in such cases, particularly in rustic areas of Arcadian social life. Delay in lodging the FIR in such cases can be understood and it cannot be held to be fatal to the prosecution. Holding so will be adding insult to the injury.
The tragedy of the rape, the court said, must be fresh in the mind of the victim, her parents and her uncle. However, they should be the last persons to fabricate the case against the accused. Being relations, they cannot substitute a person in place of the real culprit and, that too, in a heinous offence of rape. Very rarely will a girl in India make false allegations of sexual assault. A girl, in the tradition bound society of India, would be extremely reluctant even to admit any incident which reflects on her chastity, the court said, adding, She would be conscious of the danger to which she will be exposed. She would be conscious of being lowered down in the estimation of her own family members, relatives, friends, neighbours and others. She will have to face the whole world. It is, therefore, always desirable to test the evidence of the witnesses on the anvil of objective circumstances of the case. The instant case must have shattered the prosecutrix. The incident might have shaken her life and soul. So, to say that the occurrence has been manipulated by the prosecutrix, will be to rub salt into the wounds of the victim.
The behavioral pattern and perceptive habits of the witnesses have to be judged as such, the court said. Too sophisticated approaches about human conduct cannot be applied to those given to the lethargic ways of our villages. To hope for rigour, in the proof of a correct version, is almost to hope for the moon.
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