The Aurangabad bench of the High Court of Bombay has pulled up an Additional Sessions Judge for using slang and foul words disrespectful to women while recording a rape survivor’s evidence and later in the judgment of the case.
“The trial court has used the words F***** and F******,” said a division bench of justices Ravindra Ghuge and BU Debadwar. “…we need to record our strong displeasure about the choice of a particular word, which has been repeatedly used by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Kopargaon (Coram: Shri. S. V. Ranpise) while recording [the] testimony of the prosecutrix [rape survivor], the PW1 and testimony of the investigating officer, P.W.9 and also in the body of the judgment.”
The bench noted the survivor used decent Marathi words while testifying, but the trial court repeatedly used the objectionable words while recording the English version of her testimony and in the judgment.
The matter came to light as the bench was hearing an appeal against the acquittal of a 52-year-old accused of raping his brother’s daughter-in-law in March 2010. The lower court acquitted him in August 2012.
On March 1, the bench said that “It is important to record that if the prosecutrix has opposed a sexual intercourse by any person, her disinclination or her refusal will tantamount to the male counterpart offending her physically, and such intercourse committed against the will and the desire of the prosecutrix, would constitute an offense punishable under Section 376 [rape] of the IPC [Indian Penal Code]”.