While pronouncing the verdict in the Dhaula Kuan rape case where a 20-year-old girl from Mizoram was gangraped by four men in a moving car the judge extensively criticized the prevalent practice of defence counsels of putting a question mark on the victim's character to prove that her statement is unreliable. "It cannot be said that a lady who has already lost her virginity is an unreliable lady,'' ASJ Gupta said in the judgement. ..."Definition of rape is categoric to the effect that sexual intercourse is done without the consent or against the will, meaning thereby that an adult can have sexual intercourse with some other person only with his/her will,'' the judge said.
This is the sort of thing we should all be able to take for granted - that if one was raped one would be able to accuse one's rapist without being put on trial for...what, exactly? And that judges will be familiar with the definition of the term rape, and should be able therefore to apply it. It should be obvious, yet it never happens that way, and I retain the right to be disproportionately elated when it does.
Here's the Outlook story on the same case.
* Especially since the last thing I'd read in the TOI was also rape related - the Delhi Times coverage a few weeks ago of the Madhur Bhandarkar case that argued that a) Rape can't be rape if it happens multiple times and b) rape conviction laws are like, totally unfair to men. (Luckily, this evening someone linked me to this, which totally restores my faith in the paper).