The system does not seem to be friendly for sexual abuse victims to fight against abuses: Madras HC

The court quashes a criminal case on sexual abuse as the victim is made to suffer at trial court and the perpetrator cannot be identified
Representational image
Representational image(Express Illustrations | Amit Bandre)

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has observed that the system does not seem friendly to sexual abuse victims to fight against such abuses and they have to undergo embarrassing moments in the court piling up their mental agony.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh made the observation while quashing a sexual abuse case pending in a Chennai city court as he found the trial would bring no useful outcome as the perpetrator was not identified.

“The instant case brings to light the stark reality that is involved in sexual abuse cases. Not many are willing to come to Court and fight for the abuse that they underwent. Even for those who want to fight and establish their right, the system does not seem to be friendly and on the other hand, such victim will have to undergo embarrassing moments in the Court,” he said in a recent order.

Apart from quashing the witness summons that was issued to the petitioner, this Court is also inclined to quash the proceeding pending in the Fifth Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore.

He noted, “In the facts of the present case, this Court is forced to pass such an extraordinary order taking into consideration the dignity and interest of the petitioner. At the best, what will come out of this case will be the sexual abuse suffered by the petitioner and nothing else. It is not necessary for a criminal trial to go on just to dabble with an incident involving sexual abuse even without identifying an accused.”

He added that if this is allowed, it is the victim who will actually be “embarrassed and vilified” and the so-called accused person will go scot- free, since he was not identified by anyone in this case. If the case is proceeded further, “it will make a mockery upon womanhood”.

The matter pertains to the petition filed by the victim girl seeking to quash the summons issued to her by the trial court where she was made to sit in the court for longer hours without any fruitful proceedings on August 11, 2023. The court had taken cognizance based on the FIR filed by the Anna Nagar Police station in 2020 based on her complaint that a man, on motorcycle, groped her while on a morning walk.

She also collected the CCTV footages from a neighbouring house and handed to the Police.

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