“There should be no mediation and no compromise in rape cases, a woman’s body is her temple,” the SC said in its judgment.
An apex court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra said that any compromise promising wedlock between a rape accused and the victim compromises the dignity of the woman.
The court said that such a compromise lacks sensitivity on the part of those promoting a settlement.
Holding that courts cannot take a soft approach on the issue, the bench described as a spectacular error and lack of sensitivity on the part of a lower court which had allowed a rapist to go scot free by accepting an agreement on wedlock.
The order came while accepting the Madhya Pradesh government’s plea challenging a lower court’s acquitting a man accused of rape.
READ ALSO: Madras HC allows rapist of a minor to ‘settle’ case by mediation
Recently, in a much-talked about order, the Madras HC had asked a man, found guilty of raping a minor and sentenced to seven years, to “settle the matter by mediation”.
Justice P Devadass, holding that alternative dispute resolution such as mediation is now being used in criminal cases also, 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’.”
(Along with inputs from agencies)