We must express our strong disapproval of the approach of the trial court and its casting a stigma on the character of the prosecutrix. The observations lack sobriety expected of a Judge. Such like stigmas have the potential of not only discouraging an even otherwise reductant victim of s*xual assault to bring forthcomplaint for trial of criminals, thereby making the society to suffer by letting the criminal escape even a trial. The courts are expected to use self- restraint while recording such findings which have larger repercussions so far as the future of the victim of the s*x crime is concerned and even wider implications on the society as a whole-where the victim of crime is discouraged - the criminal encouraged and in turn crime gets rewarded! Even in cases, unlike the present case, where there is some acceptable material on the record to show that the victim was habituated to s*xual intercourse, no such inference like the victimbeing a girl of "loose moral character" is permissible to be drawn from that circumstance alone. Even if the prosecutrix, in a given case, has been promiscuous in her s*xual behavior earlier, she has a right to refuse to submit herself to s*xual intercourse to anyone and everyone because she is not a vulnerable object or prey for being s*xually assaulted by anyone had everyone. No stigma, like the one as cast in the present case should be cast against such a witness by the Courts, for after all it is the accused and not the victim of s*x crime who is on trial in the Court.
Supreme Court of India
The State Of Punjab vs Gurmit Singh & Ors on 16 January, 1996
Equivalent citations: 1996 AIR 1393, 1996 SCC (2) 384