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Asking rape survivor to verify her allegations adds insult to her injury: Supreme Court

The apex court said that reforms must be made for a survivor-centric system.

The apex court expressed that trial courts should not harass a rape survivor by asking her to corroborate her allegations against the accused as it adds insult to her injury and an affront to womanhood.

The Supreme Court of India on Thursday observed a case in which a man has been accused of raping his nine-year-old niece. The court convicted the accused with 12 year imprisonment.

As quoted by HT, the bench headed by Justice AK Sikri said, “Why should the evidence of the girl or woman who complains of rape or sexual molestation be viewed with the aid of spectacles fitted with lenses tinged with doubt, disbelief or suspicion.”

The rape case that the apex court announced its judgement on had earlier overturned by Himachal Pradesh High Court after a fast-track court convicted the accused man. The HC order was based on the argument that the case was lodged three years after the incident. The bench asserted that criminal justice system should have reforms to make the system more survivor-centric.

“Another deterring factor which many times prevent such victims or their families to lodge a complaint is that they find whole process of criminal justice system extremely intimidating coupled with absence of victim protection mechanism,” Justice Sikri said. “Therefore, time is ripe to bring about significant reforms in the criminal justice system as well.”

[via: HT]

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