Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable

Supreme Court examines legality: Can women be accused in rape cases? Widow's case sparks legal conundrum

The legal tussle emerges from a case accusing the widow and her son of being complicit in the alleged rape of a woman earlier this year. The complaint unfolded a series of events involving a long-distance relationship between the complainant and the widow's elder son, that began through social media.

Supreme Court examines legality: Can women be accused in rape cases? Widow's case sparks legal conundrum AJR
Author
First Published Dec 1, 2023, 2:19 PM IST

The Supreme Court was on Friday (December 1) confronted with a perplexing query regarding whether a woman can be accused under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a rape case. A 62-year-old widow mother found herself entangled in a distressing situation, asserting her innocence in a false rape case filed against her son. Before a bench comprising Justices Hrishikesh Roy and Sanjay Karol, the Court raised doubts about the possibility of implicating a woman in a rape case.

Expressing skepticism, the Court orally observed that, in its understanding, only a man can be accused under Section 375 of the IPC, the provision that defines the crime of "rape" in Indian law. The bench proceeded to issue notice before adjourning the anticipatory bail plea filed by the widow mother entangled in this complex case.

UP 'saree' murders: 9 women killed in 6 months in Bareilly, 'psycho killer' on the run

The legal tussle emerges from a case accusing the widow mother and her son of being complicit in the alleged rape of a woman earlier this year. The complaint unfolded a series of events involving a long-distance relationship between the complainant and the widow's elder son, that began through social media.

According to the widow mother's testimony, the complainant started residing with her after an informal "marriage" with her elder son through a video call. The mother claimed that family pressure led to a compromise agreement between the complainant and her, resulting in the termination of the relationship and a monetary settlement.

Despite this settlement, the complainant lodged a criminal case accusing the widow mother and her younger son of rape, wrongful confinement, hurt, and criminal intimidation. The mother sought pre-arrest bail after unsuccessful attempts in lower courts, contesting the allegations as baseless.

97.26% of Rs 2000 notes backed, RBI affirms currency's legal status

This case rekindled debates over the legal standing of women in rape cases. In a parallel development earlier this year, the Allahabad High Court weighed in, emphasizing that while women cannot commit rape, they could face prosecution if they aid in a gang-rape incident as per the amended provisions of the IPC.

Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios