Isn’t a Man Who Is Acquitted of Rape Also a ‘Survivor’? Asks Judge

The judge acquitted a man of rape charges over four years after he had been accused and taken into custody.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Since the politically correct terminology for a rape victim is “rape survivor”, what of the men who are “honourably acquitted” of rape charges? This perplexing question was posed by a Special Judge at the Tis Hazari Court in Delhi, while announcing the acquittal of a man charged with rape and under sections of the POCSO Act, reported The Indian Express.

The judge was presiding over a case that came up in 2012-13, when a girl just a month short of turning 18, accused a man of raping her. She lodged a complaint in west Delhi’s Ranhola and a chargesheet was filed.

Once the case moved forward, however, the girl turned hostile while recording her statement in court, saying the accused and she were in love and were in a consensual “physical relationship”. She reportedly confessed that she got angry when he turned her down for marriage, and accused him of raping her.

While acquitting the man over four years after he was accused, Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma reportedly said:

In recent times, a new expression is being used for a rape victim, that is, a rape survivor. The prosecutrix, a woman or a girl who is alive and has levelled allegations of rape by a man, is now called rape survivor. The accused has been acquitted of charges of rape after trial, as evidence of prosecutrix is not reliable. In the circumstances, such a person – an acquitted accused who has remained in custody for a considerable period during inquiry, investigation and trial, and has been acquitted honorably – should he now be addressed as a rape case survivor?

The judge also took cognisance of the “humiliation, distress and misery” the accused went through, other than the legal fees and expenditure over the years.

The Indian Express further quoted the judge as saying:

His plight may also continue after his acquittal as his implication may have caused an uproar in society, but his acquittal may not even be noticed.

Sharma further went on to opine that there is little conversation surrounding dignity of men, even as society is “fighting for the rights, honour and dignity of women.”

Laws for protection of women are being made, which may be misused by a woman, but where is the law to protect a man from such a woman where he is being persecuted and implicated in false cases, as in the present case? Perhaps, now it is the time to take a stand for a man.

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