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India: Bombay HC Warns Against Uncomfortable Questions to Rape Victims During Trial

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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RAPE TRIAL, BOMBAY HC

The Bombay High Court has come up with a strong warning to trial courts to ensure that rape victims should not be asked scandalous or insulting questions during cross examination. This is a welcome decision from the court where the dignity of the victims might hopefully be protected during future trials of rape cases. In their decision, a division bench of Justices Sadhana Jadhav and Sarang Kotwal advised trial courts to use Sections 148, 151, and 152 of the Indian Evidence Act to stop such cross-examination and remind the victim that she cannot be compelled to answer the defence lawyers' questions. The court made these remarks while dismissing appeals filed by three convicts sentenced to life in jail by a Pune Sessions Court in a case of gang rape of a 25-year-old married lady. The court also expressed their dissatisfaction with the passive approach taken by the learned judge while such questions which crossed all lines of decency were being put to the victim.

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