MACR voices strong objection against compromise in rape cases

The MACR convener pointed out that rape is a non compoundable offence and that the case cannot be compromised at any cost by the private parties.

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Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR) has drawn the attention of the community leaders to stop promoting the (illegal) practices of compromising and settling rape cases between the victim’s party and offender’s family without prosecution by a competent court.

MACR convener, Montu Ahanthem was reacting to the sexual assault to a minor girl of only three-and-half year-old at Moreh on September 15, which is 12 days after the Mayang Imphal gangrape incident.

He said as per MACR sources the two parties of Moreh Rape Case of minor are trying to settle through negotiations even though an FIR has been lodged by the Moreh Police Station under Section 6 of POCSO Act.

Stating that raping of a minor of 3 and half years old is a heinous offence, he urged the Moreh police to expedite the police investigation process, arrest the offender at the earliest and disallow any kind compromise arrangement.

The practices of compromising such a heinous crime will be an injustice to the victims and on the other hand it is indirectly encouraging committing such heinous crimes repeatedly without fearing of deterrent legal penalties in future, he added.

The MACR convener pointed out that rape is a non compoundable offence and that the case cannot be compromised at any cost by the private parties, as the very offence committed is seriously affecting the society and laws of the land.

In case the offender is to be a juvenile, the case must be dealt as per the provisions of Juvenile Justice (care and protection of children) Act 2015, but there is no option for compromise and settle at individual level, the release said.

The case cannot be left to the private parties’ discretion to compromise or settle at their will. The offence is termed as “Aggravated Penetrative Sexual Offence” under POCSO Act, punishable with rigorous imprisonment for at least twenty years, or life imprisonment or even death penalty, it added.

Meanwhile, strongly condemning the incident, the Women Action for Development (WAD) has urged the police to arrest the accused and frame the chargesheet without delay.

According to WAD, the case has been settled by paying Rs 3.50 lakh under customary Law and that the adoptive mother refused to disclose the details of the alleged rapist and the accused is still at large.

“If this is true, then it is very unfortunate for the future generation of Manipur. We learned that there are many cases of such heinous crimes committed against women and children which are settled by offering pig, buffalo, etc and failed to be reported to authorities concerned especially from the hill districts,” said the women’s body in a statement.

It further asked the family, community and village chiefs to take initiative and to handover the rapist to police without delay.

WAD also urged to all the CVOs, tribe unions, student bodies, religious institutions in Moreh to strongly condemn such acts of brutality to the minor girl child not to support such an act and also appealed to extend every possible support to police in arresting the rapist.

First Published:Sept. 20, 2020, 9:02 a.m.

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