Case Title: Suneeta Pandey v. State of UP
The bench of justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav was hearing an application seeking quashing of a December 2018 order by which the applicant was summoned to face trial for the offences of gang-rape and harbouring an offender under the IPC.
The case of the prosecution someone has enticed away the daughter of the informant aged about 15 years and took her with him. Thereafter, a FIR came to be registered against unknown persons under Sections 363 (kidnapping) and 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc) IPC.
After the victim was recovered, she alleged that gang-rape was committed upon her and in her statement, she also stated that applicant was involved in the alleged incident but the applicant was not named in the charge sheet.
The counsel for the applicant submitted that the applicant is a lady hence no offence under Section 376-D I.P.C. is made out against the applicant and she has been wrongly summoned by the trial court solely relying upon the statement of Victim as well as some other extraneous documents, which in fact is not sufficient. It is argued 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 petition was opposed by stating that a woman can be prosecuted for gangrape as per the amended provisions of Section 375 to 376E IPC by Act 13 of 2013 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The court after going through the amended provisions of Section 375 IPC & 376 IPC states that the question whether a female can commit the offence of rape is itself clear by the non-ambiguous language of section 375 of IPC.
After going through amended Section 376-D and section 11 of IPC, the court observed that 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 persons.
Story Update By: Ms. Nandini Nair, Content Head at Lawgic.