There can be no compounding of rape cases: SC

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supreme court of indiaSupreme Court on Wednesday set aside and held illegal the Madras High Court order granting bail to a man convicted of raping a minor girl so that he could settle the case by “mediating” with the victim and held that such orders of reconciliation promising marriage between a rape accused and the woman compromises her dignity.

“We would like to clearly state that in a case of rape or attempt of rape, the conception of compromise under no circumstances can really be thought of. These are crimes against the body of a woman which is her own temple,” the bench headed by justice Dipak Misra read in its judgment. It also ruled there can be no compounding of rape cases as it is an offence against the state.

The SC said it was painful to see how some judges, even of high courts, were being lenient in handling such cases. It even added a word of caution for judges not to have a lenient view in such offences which “sully the reputation” of the fairer sex as it is against the law and contrary to the precedents settled by the top court.

The apex court’s order came on an appeal by Madhya Pradesh government challenging the state HC’s verdict that acquitted a man accused of rape but convicted him for molestation. The HC had set aside the trial court order declaring the man guilty of raping a minor and sentenced him to just one year under the lesser penal offence.

The SC remanded the matter back to Madhya Pradesh HC for a reconsideration.

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