KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has observed that the fear of social concern about the honour of the family and the family life leading by her would make a woman extremely reluctant in disclosing an incident of rape.
"When a woman is ravished, a deep sense of deathless shame is caused to her more than the physical injuries. No doubt rape is one of the most heinous atrocities committed on a woman in our society. Sometimes she could not reveal her ordeal to anyone," observed the court.
The court added that mere delay in lodging the complaint cannot be considered as a strong ground to throw away the case of the victim. Justice Shircy V issued the order while dismissing the anticipatory bail plea of CC Johnson, a former Pastor and a trustee of Emperor Emmanuel Church, Mooriyadu, Thrissur, an accused in the rape case. The case came to light after Olympian Mayookha Johny held a press meet and alleged that her friend was raped in July 2016.
The court said that "of course, the alleged incident was on July 9, 2016. She preferred the complaint almost after four years. Law is well settled that delay in lodging the FIR in a rape case is not of much significance". The delay in lodging FIR per see is not fatal. What is fatal is the delay, without proper explanation.
According to the victim, the terrible incident happened while there were marriage proposals for her and she got married subsequently in the year 2018. The mere delay in lodging the complaint cannot be considered as a strong ground to throw away the case of the complainant, the court said.
The prosecution alleged that the accused had captured her naked photographs in his mobile phone with the ulterior motive to subjugate her and thereafter threatened her with dire consequences. Later he sent vulgar and obscene messages to her mobile phone. The investigation is in full swing. But as the alleged incident was in the year 2016, and the complaint was lodged only in 2021 the investigating agency could not collect all the required materials including the medical evidence.
The court flayed the police and said that "there was no such attempt on the side of the investigating agency to collect the details, if any, available in the mobile phone of the accused." The court noted that immediately after the incident the victim had consulted a lady doctor. Whether the investigating agency could gather any supporting evidence from the doctor with whom the victim had a consultation immediately after the incident, is also not revealed from the records.
Hence, custodial interrogation of the accused is inevitable for the investigating agency to have an effective investigation in this case. The court directed the accused to surrender forthwith and co-operate with the investigation.