Role of Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism in cases of rape with minors in India, discussed

Madras High
Court: Dealing with rationality of incorporating
Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism in cases of rape done on minors under
Section 376 of the IPC, the single judge bench of P. Devadass, J. stressed on
the need to enhance the role of mediation processes in criminal justice system
in order to have an alternative to the time consuming expensive conventional
court system. He targeted the hypocrisy that prevails in India where on
one hand women are considered to be the epitome of virtue and family respect,
while on the other hand they are condemned and accused when such incidents of
rape happen. He rightly pointed out that women are also human beings who have
the right to live with dignity as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.

In the given
case, the accused was alleged to have raped a girl of 17 years who became
pregnant and gave birth to a female child. In the petition filed, the accused
pleaded for the suspension of his sentence of imprisonment. It was held that
the matter would be forwarded to the Mediation center as this is a fit case for
attempting compromise between the parties. In addition, the Sessions judge of Mahila Court was
directed to deposit Rs. 1 lakh taken from the accused in the bank in the name
of the petitioner.  It was also directed
that a compromise should be made in the form of an MOU and in case of any
violation of spirit of this order; the petitioner was allowed to move to the court
for the cancellation of the interim bail appeal. Counsels C. Arunkumar and P.
Govindarajan represented the appellant and the respondents respectively.  

The rationale
given by the learned judge was that in such cases the victim is not only the
minor girl but also her child who is a victim of circumstances. He cited
various similar cases where the Court kept human sentiments and elements into
consideration while giving judgments, where not only the accused married the
victim, but it also resulted in securing the future of the victim as well as
that of the child. He made sure that the spirit of the judgment lives by
ensuring that at the end of the mediation procedure the parenthood of the girl
child would be decided and the petitioner would get the monthly interest of the
money deposited in the bank account for her, thus securing the future of both
the minor and her child. [V. Mohan v. The Inspector of Police, 2015
SCC OnLine Mad 3578, decided on 18.06.2015]
Source: Legal news India

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