HC advises rape convict to go for mediation

The Madras High Court has asked a rape convict to opt for mediation talks with the rape survivor, a minor at the time of the offence. The court granted interim bail to the convict to enable him to participate in the talks.

Hearing his plea, seeking suspension of the seven-year sentence imposed by the trial court and bail, Justice P. Devadass observed, “Keeping the appellant inside the jail and asking him to participate in the mediation talks will not have any fruitful result. He should be allowed to participate in the deliberations as a free man and vent his feelings and open his mind. Where there is a will, there is a way,” he said.

V. Mohan was convicted by a local court in Cuddalore district in 2009 and sentenced to seven years on charges of raping a minor girl, who gave birth to a girl. The accused was directed to pay Rs. 2 lakh to the survivor. Observing that the survivor was an unwed mother of a child, the judge said, “There is a big question mark looming large over the survivor as well as her child.”

The judge said the ADR mechanism was being used in criminal cases too. “In fact, it is good to the litigants as well as to the State and to the court.”

“There is no bar to attempt at reconciliation even in a criminal appeal where the accused has been convicted under Section 376 IPC,” he said.

The judge directed the local court in Cuddalore to keep in fixed deposit Rs. 1 lakh given by the convict and disburse the monthly interest to the survivor.

“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 said, adding that in case of violation of spirit of this order, it would entitle the survivor or the police to move this court for cancellation of the interim bail.

Sought for a comment by The Hindu , noted advocate Geetha Ramaseshan said, “Rape is a sexual offence and a non-negotiable offence and one cannot have any mediation except in the situation where the woman alleges breach of promise to marry. Rape is a non-compoundable offence and there has to be a sentence.”

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 4:25:35 am |