A Woman Can Be Held Guilty Of Gangrape If She Has Facilitated Rape With A Group Of People: Allahabad HC
The Allahabad High Court has observed that if a woman has facilitated the act of rape with a group of people then she may be prosecuted for Gang Rape.
“As such, a women cannot commit the offense of rape but if she facilitated the act of rape with a group of people then she may be prosecuted for Gang Rape in view of the amended provisions. Unlike man, a woman can also be held guilty of sexual offences. A woman can also be held guilty of gang rape if she has facilitated the act of rape with a group of person.”, Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav observed.
The Court made this observation while dealing with a plea by a woman seeking quashing of the order whereby she has been summoned to face the trial under Section 376-D, 212 of Indian Penal Code.
Advocate Ravindra Prakash Srivastava appeared for the applicant-woman whereas R.P. Mishra, A.G.A., appeared for the State.
As per FIR, someone had enticed away the daughter of the informant aged about 15 years and took her with him.
The victim in her statement stated that the woman-applicant was involved in the alleged incident.
The counsel for the applicant submitted that the applicant is a lady hence no offence under Section 376-D IPC is made out against the applicant and that she has been wrongly summoned by the trial court.
It was submitted that a woman cannot commit rape and therefore, she cannot be prosecuted for gang rape because woman cannot be said to have an intention to commit rape.
The Court noted that the argument that a woman cannot commit rape and, therefore, she cannot be prosecuted for gang rape is not correct.
“So far as the argument of learned counsel for the aplicant that a woman cannot commit rape and, therefore, she cannot be prosecuted for gang rape is not correct after going through the amended provisions of Section 375 to 376E IPC…”, the Court observed.
The Court observed that as per the language used in Section 376-D IPC, in order to establish an offence under Section 376-D IPC, the prosecution has to adduce evidence to indicate that one or more persons had acted in concert and in such an event, if rape had been committed by even one, all the accused will be guilty irrespective of the fact that victim had been raped by one or more of them.
The Court further noted that the term "person" used in the Section should not be construed in a narrow sense.
“Section 11 I.P.C. defines ‘person’ as it includes any company or association or body of persons whether incorporated or not. The word "person" is also defined in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary in two ways: firstly, it is defined as "an individual human being" or "a man, woman, or child"; and, secondly, as "the living body of a human being".”, the Court observed.
Thus the Court held that a woman can also be held guilty of gang rape if she has facilitated the act of rape with a group of person.
The Court held that the application filed by the applicant had no force, accordingly the Court dismissed her plea.
Cause Title- Suneeta Pandey v. State of U.P. & Another