Sunday, February 10, 2013


Had meant to keep away from the subject rape since I think I wrote too many posts on the same but yesterday's revelation by an "eminent" judge gave me a sleepless night and I had to vent my fury on this poor blog!

The Suryanelli case must have got the attention of the entire nation since PJ Kurien, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha is also one among the accused. He never faced trial owing to many reasons while the victim continued to stand by her accusation. Initially all accused were punished by the lower court but later when they appealed, the High Court punished only one person to 5 years and let the others free. The reason being the the rape happened due to the consent of the victim! The two esteemed judges ends the 2005 judgement thus:

201. In the fiercely consumerist society that we live in, a young girl child is also exposed to so many temptations that it is difficult for the child which has not been groomed in proper atmosphere with a proper value system inculcated in it, to resist such temptations. Such children can be termed deviants but cannot be merely condemned and left to their fate . They too deserve the sympathy of the system as it is no crime of theirs that they are born and forced to grow up in such atmosphere. It is the duty of the secular state to give the requisite education to instil a proper value system in such future citizens. That must be reckoned as the incident of the constitutional obligation of the State to give free primary education. That obligation cannot be relegated by the State to religious or optional institutions. They too deserve the protection of the law against unintelligent, imprudent and immoral consent being extracted from them at that early age. No one should be permitted by law to rely on such alleged consent given by a minor aged less than 18 years, the fond child of law and equity. I may sum up by stating that raising the age of consent for sexual intercourse to 18 consistent with the stipulations in the saner subsequent enactments appears to be the unavoidable imperative before the system. At least the Kerala Legislature must take bold efforts to bring in suitable local amendments to S.375 of the Indian Penal Code and give leadership to others.

Yet, the reverse is what the judges have done by their judgement. Yesterday Basant reduced this girl to a child prostitute and also added that child prostitution is not rape but is only immoral! One girl's infatuation reduced her to a child prostitute; and all thanks to our eminent judges. With one stroke of the pen these "eminent" judges reduced the  victim to a child prostitute while letting loose potential molesters onto an unsuspecting public!

I doubt if these two gentlemen have ever raised children. We parents do not raise angels; they show many faults and if any childhood offence automatically reduces them to future criminals or prostitutes then strange are the laws that guide this society! 

56. When we read the evidence of PW3, we have to be cognisant of her psyche - her mental make up. Her past conduct and behaviour have to be borne in mind. She was only a student of 9th standard. She had squandered Rs.450/- entrusted to her by her father for remitting hostel fees, whether it was given to Arun as stated by the appellants or to the first accused as stated by the Prosecutor. 
A 9th standard girl's infatuation forced her to give money to her lover; how does this make her deviant? Instead it is very clear that a criminal tendency was shown by the much elder lover who took advantage of the girl's naivety. I know of much older girls with higher education who have fallen for such lovers. 

The case also talks about a letter that was supposed to have been written by the victim stating that she is leaving the house on her accord but this was never produced in court, yet the judges makes a bid deal out of it.

9. It is submitted by the appellants that no conspiracy is proved in this case. There is no cogent evidence in that regard. On the other hand the letter said to be written by PW3 to DW3 in the second case which has been suppressed by the prosecution will cut at the root of the allegation of conspiracy, it is contended.
Throughout the judgement care has been made to make it look as the girl willingly consented to all the accused.

11. It is further contended that even if PW3 is found to be believable otherwise, a conjoint reading of her evidence in toto will show that she was not an unwilling partner for intercourse. So far as the accused are concerned, there was no resistance from her part, so that those who approached her could discern that she was not willing for intercourse or there was absence of consent from the part of PW3. Absence of consent on the part of PW3 has not been satisfactorily proved in this case to bring home the guilt of the accused under Section 376(1) or 376(2)(g). It is further contended that the unwillingness now spoken to by PW3 before the court below is really an excuse found out by her to save her face in the family and among the relatives for her long absence of 40 days from her house. 

When the judges themselves agree that absence of consent has not been satisfactorily proved how did they arrive at such a judgement? Yesterday the judge repeated the visit of the girl to two hospitals and wonders why she never raised an alarm. Were the doctors too a part of this conspiracy? Or was she threatened to behave?

But after reading the entire judgement I now believe that an attempt was made to tarnish the image of the girl and her family and thus make the case weak. This has happened in every rape case and our nation is very familiar with the same. This case has been no different. The judges made no attempt to see through the usual patriarchal turf. They refused to see a girl in captivity raped endlessly by many but they saw a child prostitute willingly submitting to each visitor and taking either pleasure or money in return! I heard one lawyer heaping praises on Basant; but after reading the judgement I find no reason to support her. She should remember that if this incident was to happen to her or me, we would face the same fate. Our imaginary life and character will be written in courts and we will end up as the criminal while the accused walks free as victims of circumstances!

I suspect that this judgement was done in such manner that a re-investigation of the same would be very difficult. But they never expected the Supreme Court to be affected by the recent Delhi rape case. Her death has not been in vain. As someone commented yesterday, the revelation of the judge is also good at this juncture since it revealed the deep prejudices or outside influence that can affect the outcome of a case.

This judgement would also make any future allegation against P J Kurien difficult. But in the case of PJK, times have changed since two alibis( 1, 2) are now talking differently. The most curious fact is that none of them were produced in court or were any written/signed statement produced. I am not sure under what basis PJK escaped law but after reading this judgement any doubt of his innocence have evaporated from my mind. 

I only wish the media will pursue this case with the same vigor that they show now. As for Indiavision TV, the judge accuses them of wrong doing. But the lady reporter did reveal her identity and the judge did see a cameraman accompany her. The eminent Judge must know that journalists are always out for a cause. Basant also repeated the "child prostitute" theory during a seminar. Tehelka might have started sting operations but what Indiavision TV did could not be called such. Anyway, it has been the media which brought out the statement of the two alibis. They need to be applauded. 

But whatever, my only wish is that this girl and her family will be given justice at least after 17 years!

For further reading on gender bias and child prostitution:


  1. Good Post. At what stretch of imagination a supposedly learned Judge can say that a 16 yr ok'd girl willingly allowed 35 men to use her body for 40 days?
    And he had the guts to say it again publicly after all these years!
    The treatment suggested by VS is apt.

    1. Thank is all planned and today Dharmaraj says that it is he who took PJK..nd hope the court wont say he cannot be trusted etc. VS spoke the mind of the majority of Keralites. When even the court fails where does one go for justice?

  2. The Judge, mercifully retired has still managed to comment in an outrageous and sickening manner.
    I do wonder how impartial and dispassionate a judgment from such a man would be. If someone accuses Justice Basant of omissions and commissions in this judgment, I certainly will not be surprised.
    Leaving that aside one can only hope that the sustained pressure from society and the media will pave way for reopening the case. P.J.Kurien knows where he stands he must in the least step down and wait for all suspicions on him to be cleared. However his comments only tell that out of power and in the sidelines will not help in exercising undue influence and pressure to derail the retrial or investigation.

    What baffles me is why did not the girl attempt to escape or cry for help all those forty odd days when forty men violated her?

    I did not see any comment from the Church officialdom. Perhaps they are wary after the onslaught from the Abhaya case!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. He has retired but practices in SC..wonder if rape is his specialty! Yes..the least PJK can do is step down and face the court. It is shameful if he continues in the present chair.
      As for the girl maybe she resigned to her fate? or she was threatened well? and besides I feel this is the only reason she is still alive. If she had protested we may have not seen her alive

  3. hk..
    one of my favorite books is Henry Denker's Outrage - see if you can find it and then read it..

    1. Thank you Maddy..will try to get it you get to view Kerala news? There is a heavy competition among channels these days and the result is so far very good.

    2. I read the details of eh case only last week.
      pathetic, but not surprising how people in power twist the law..

  4. This whole case is so depressing. I agree, the learned Judge had no right to comment in such a manner on the victim.

    Whatever his opinion may be, and in my view it is incorrect- having sexual relation with a 15 yr old girl is legally rape. Does not matter what the circumstances were.

    1. Manju: the circumstances was that she was lured out by her lover and led to a pimp who sold her to customers. and one customer is alleged to be the current Rajya Sabha DC. The "learned" Judges in turn punishes the victim and let loose these "eminent" members of our society!

      My disgust fails to abate!

  5. Like some one said "the law is an ass" But I think we make it an ass by giving in and accepting such verdicts.

    1. Haddock: you are right.. but who can go against these self appointed guardians of law? If this case fails again in SC then justice is lost forever.

  6. "No single innocent should be punished even if 1000 criminals escape"

    "Yet, the reverse is what the judges have done by their judgement. Yesterday Basant reduced this girl to a child prostitute and also added that child prostitution is not rape but is only immoral! "
    "A 9th standard girl's infatuation forced her to give money to her lover; how does this make her deviant?"

    The answer is in the same and very next paragraph which you copied this line from.
    Added to this is, as suggested by the
    counsel for the appellants, that she was even courageous
    enough to approach a jeweller for pledging an ornament of
    hers which her parents had given her to wear, meaning
    thereby that she had that much capability or courage of
    even withstanding a question by her parents as to the loss
    of such ornament. She admitted during evidence that she
    had done so. So this gives indications about the conduct
    and mental make up of PW3. She is shown to be one who was
    prepared to take such risks. She was mentally ready to
    take that risk for raising money. She needed money. She
    was prepared to raise it. She had needs which her parents
    did not know. She was prepared mentally to advance a
    different false version to justify herself. The jeweller
    was a kind soul. He became suspicious. She gave a false
    identity to him. He verified her books. He realised her
    ploy. He informed PW1. She is thus shown to be a girl of
    deviant character. She was not a normal innocent girl of
    that age. She was a different person. The peculiarity in
    her personality must realistically be borne in mind. The
    evidence of a person of her age with such a conduct
    certainly has to be viewed seriously and with caution. A
    court cannot meekly swallow her version. It requires
    serious critical assessment."

    When the judges themselves agree that absence of consent has not been satisfactorily proved how did they arrive at such a judgement?
    What else can the "law" do?

    "Were the doctors too a part of this conspiracy? Or was she threatened to behave?"
    She was alone shopping and buying medicines, could have walked away.Was at crowded places alone too, where she could alarm. What if there was no conspiracy? "No single innocent should be punished even if 1000 criminals escape"
    To convict someone the accusation has to be satisfactorily proved.

    1. Vineeth, this pledging of her ornaments happened before she was with these men...this is my understanding..based on this the Judge has called her deviant. Sure the girl is naive to have pledged her ornaments to give her lover some money. She did make a mistake but her age has to be considered. And when confronted which child readily admits his/her guilt?

      nd nowhere in the judgement I read that she went shopping for medicine and alone while she was under their custody..

    2. If one could get the earlier judgement which convicted these rapists, maybe some light can be shed..specially on the medical examination.


Blog Archive