Madras HC recalls order directing mediation between a rapist and the victim

Chennai(web team): The Madras High Court has recalled a controversial verdict directing mediation between a rapist and his victim days after the Supreme Court came down heavily on such attitude, describing it “against the dignity of women.”

The court has also cancelled bail of the convict who was granted bail and asked him to surrender by July 13. Justice P Devadass of Madras HC passed the order on Friday in view of the Supreme Court order recently in the state of Madhya Pradesh vs Madanlal case.

The 22-year old victim who was offered a mediation with her rapist by the Madras High Court on Friday however had already rejected the offer. She said the suspect could go to any extent to escape punishment.

V Mohan was sentenced to seven years in jail for raping a 15-year-old orphan in 2008. The girl became pregnant and is now a young mother of a six-year-old daughter.

“How can I marry someone who himself told me that he will be marrying his cousin. At least three times he would have told me that he will be marrying her??”, the victim, whose name is not being revealed, said on the phone to PTI.

Asked whether she was ready to settle with him if Mohan offered to transfer his property in her name or the child, she said, “No way. All these are his gimmicks. He will go to any extent to cheat anyone and the court, like he did to me”

Last month in a controversial judgment, Madras HC referred a case of a rapist, who was awarded seven years imprisonment by a trial court, to its mediation centre to settle the matter taking note of the future of the victim, now a mother of a child.

Justice P Devadass, holding that alternative dispute resolution such as mediation is now being used in criminal cases said “In fact, even in Islam, Hinduism and Christianity there are instances of solving the disputes in a non- belligerent manner. The result of it is very good because there is no victor, no vanquished.”

Granting interim bail to the accused Mohan, the judge in his order said he has already referred a similar matter in February for mediation which has yielded a good result and nearing happy resolution.

“The victim-girl has become mother of a child. But as on date, she is nobody’s wife. So, she is an unwed mother. Now there is a big question mark looming large before the girl as well as her child, who is completely innocent.” “Generally, in this type of cases, the girl concerned is stated to be a victim, but really speaking the child born out of such a physical contact is also a victim. The child is a victim of circumstances. She had born to suffer a social stigma for no fault of hers. It is a great tragedy,” the judge said.

In July 2002, a mahila court in Cuddalore district acquitted two others in the case but found Mohan guilty of rape. Besides Rs 2 lakh fine, he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for seven years.

But this judgement created outrage in the country with woman right activists taking strong exception to it.