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Criminal Appeal No. 547 of 1997

Decided On: 17.12.2003

Appellants: State of Punjab Vs. Respondent: Ramdev Singh

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Doraiswamy Raju and Dr. Arijit Pasayat


Arijit Pasayat, J.

1. Sexual violence apart from being a dehumanizing act is an unlawful intrusion on the right of privacy and sanctity of a female. It is a serious blow to her supreme honour and offends her self-esteem and dignity - it degrades and humiliates the victim and where the victim is a helpless innocent child or a minor, it leaves behind a traumatic experience. A rapist not only causes physical injuries but more indelibly leaves a scar on the most cherished possession of a woman i.e. her dignity, honour, reputation and not the least her chastity. Rape is not only a crime against the person of a woman, it is a crime against the entire society.
It destroys, as noted by this Court in Shri Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Miss Subhra Chakraborty   MANU/SC/0245/1996 : AIR1996SC922 , the entire psychology of a woman and pushes her into deep emotional crisis.
It is a crime against basic human rights, and is also violative of the victim's most cherished of the Fundamental Rights, namely, the Right to Life contained in Article 21 of the Constitution
of India, 1950 (in short the 'Constitution') The Courts are, therefore, expected to deal with cases of sexual crime against women with utmost sensitivity. Such cases need to be dealt with sternly and several. A socially sensitized judge, in our opinion, is a better statutory armour in cases of crime against women than long clauses of penal provisions, containing complex exceptions and provisos.

2. The State of Punjab questions acquittal of the respondent (hereinafter referred to as 'the accused') who was charged for commission of offence punishable under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (for short 'the IPC').

3. We do not propose to mention name of the victim. Section 228A of IPC makes disclosure of identity of victim of certain offences punishable. Printing or publishing name of any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under Sections 376, 376A, 376B, 376C or 376D is alleged or found to have been committed can be punished. True it is, the restriction, does not relate to printing or publication of judgment by High Court or Supreme Court. But keeping in view the social object of preventing social victimization or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence for which Section