CUDDALORE: She was raped, impregnated and abandoned, and was then asked by the Madras High Court to go for mediation with the accused. The court’s directive about six months ago, had created a furore across the country. Now, far away from media glare, the victim woman and the man who did it all have gotten married, following which the trial court in Cuddalore acquitted him from the rape case about a week ago.
A Mohan from a village near Thittagudi in Cuddalore district was accused of raping the girl, said to be a minor aged only 15 years, in 2008, following which she gave birth to a daughter who is now studying in Class 2. Both hailed from the same village near Thittagudi. After the Mahila Court there awarded him seven years imprisonment and `2 lakh fine in 2012, he moved the Madras High Court for appeal.
During the hearing in June, the judge made an unusual decision asking the victim to go for mediation under the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to explore the possibilities for a compromise.
This triggered a huge furore across the country, with several legal experts, activists and feminists opposing this. Following this, the High Court sent the case back to the trial court in Cuddalore on October 6, asking it to examine the case afresh after doubts were raised about the age of the victim. A week ago, on December 30, the Mahila Court here acquitted Mohan from the case, after it was informed that the two have gotten married. Special public prosecutor Bhavani and advocate of the accused, Chandrasekar, confirmed to Express that the two are now married.
“Following the marriage between Mohan and the victim girl, judge M Selvam acquitted him from the charges. Mohan has also given assurance to take care of their child,” SPP Bhavani said.
Defence counsel Chandrasekar added that the prosecution failed to produce proof that the girl was only 15 years of age at the time of the incident. “They produced a school transfer certificate but that was inadequate. They failed to submit the supportive documents for age proof. Meanwhile, the girl and Mohan got married in the second week of December, which she herself informed the court. They are now living together with the child,” he told Express.
Asked about the exact grounds for acquittal, he said: “I have sought a copy of the judgment. For now, I can only say that the court has acquitted him.”
A local villager whom Express spoke to confirmed that they were married and were living together now.