In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself.

Shree Venkatram linked to this news in her post ‘Rape and molestation, mindset and judgments‘.

The Bombay High Court has reduced punishment for a man convicted of sodomising a 10-month-old girl child, accepting his contention that he lost control over himself as he was living away from his family.

Although the court upheld his conviction under Section 377 of the IPC, it reduced the sentence handed out to Ramkishan Harijan, who worked as a labourer with a brick-trader in Mumbai, from 10 years to seven.

In his judgment, Justice M L Tahaliyani also said that the six years Harijan had already spent in jail be taken into account.

Trial judge was aware of the fact that the appellant (Harijan) was married and (had) two children and his family was staying in Uttar PradeshNo doubt, this by itself may not be a reason for lenient sentence. However, had it been considered in the proper perspective, the learned trial court probably would have imposed lesser sentence than 10 years,” Justice M L Tahaliyani wrote in his judgment recently.

According to the prosecution, Harijan was a neighbour of the victim, and both lived on Mankhurd-Ghatkopar Link Road. On January 10, 2006, he took the child to a deserted place near her house and sodomised her while her father was away.

The victim’s mother came to the spot on hearing the child’s cries and claimed to have seen Harijan fleeing. The child was bleeding from her private parts. Harijan was arrested the next day.

On January 1, 2008, a sessions court acquitted Harijan of charges of rape but held him guilty under Section 377 on charges of sodomy.

Arguing against the quantum of sentence awarded to Harijan, his lawyer Arfan Sait said he was poor and “living alone, away from his native place and therefore probably he lost control over himself”. [From here]

Examine the stereotypes pushed as truth – Men just can’t control themselves. The stereotype is that men always want sex. [Link]

Rape culture is a term or concept used to describe a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media normalize, excuse, tolerate, or even condone sexual violence. (Definition from Wikipedia)

In Rape Culture almost everybody sounds like this rapist’s lawyer. They feel the victim has rights, but they can’t help sympathizing with the rapist’s compulsions.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION BELOW TO PROTEST –

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-child-abuse-victims/

Related posts:

Does a rapist deserve a reduced sentence because he lost control since he was living away from his family?

So a precedence of leniency had been set in an earlier case…

69 thoughts on “In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself.

  1. Ughhhh! imagine the despair the kid’s parents must have felt. how can anybody even listen to excuses given for rape. no wonder we are the most unsafe country in the world when it comes to our girls.

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  2. As a mother, my heart bleeds for the child. A 10 month old child is not sexual in any imaginable way and yet this man hurt the child till it bled. And the judge wants to show some perspective? I can feel the bile rise in my throat at this disgusting thought.

    And yet again, so called men lose “control” only with defenseless helpless beings. This time an infant. I am sure there were plenty of “well developed” women around him, why did he not try anything with them? Because the whole concept of losing control is not being able to direct your actions. If he had the time and patience to wait and then harm this child when no one was looking, I would say this man was totally in control of his actions.

    When the judge talked about his family and children, I would think it would have been all the more reason for an increased sentence or at least suspending his rights as a parent. Here is a proven pedophile who , as the defense says, is prone to losing control around children and the court wants to reunite him with his children? Do they not care about the safety of those children?

    People who lose control and cannot control their actions pose harm to themselves and to the society. Such people should be locked away in asylums.

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  3. such people { does he deserve to be called a people / human } should be behind bars for the safety of their own children as well

    so many children / girls are being raped and molested by father and step father and these offenders have a history of such crimes because they never take it as crime

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  4. Horrendous!!! There should be no excuse for such animals! We will not be sympathetic to a rabies animal when it has bitten a human, will we? This case reminds me of a heinous child abuse case I read recently, where a new born baby in UK was admitted to hospital with broken ribs and other clear signs of horrendous abuse.

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  5. this is sic, the act as well as the verdict, there is in no way the acquittal justified, in fact his punishment should be doubled tripled – such cases dont only reflect on mentality of the person who committed crime, but also on quality of life these people lead. The place where this works, the owners of that firm should be brought forward for having workers labour in such conditions that make them social threats. It is always larger machinery which is responsible for such crimes being committed, but this fact always get ignored or very carefully avoided since we seem more interested in only punishing the person who is the offender.

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    • //having workers labour in such conditions that make them social threats//
      Blawgh, well-to-do men also commit similar crimes, and also those who live with their families and are not lonely; and thousands of other men live away from their families but they don’t rape babies, so I am not sure if the work conditions are responsible for his crime. I think he has a serious problem and should not be allowed to roam free, or atleast those in his neighbourhood should be aware of his background. It’s criminals like this man, who wait for women to pass by on lonely bridges.

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  6. a man raping a 10 month old is JUSTIFIED?!!!!!!!

    I think ****** !

    Grrr!

    me – Not justified, “considered in the proper perspective” – Not sure what the parents can do, wonder if it can be taken up by some NGO, I guess the parents are too poor appeal in a higher court.

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  7. Bloody hell. There are millions of people living away from home. Are they all going around raping? I cannot believe living away from family is being suggested as an excuse for the rapists behavior! What sort of society do we live in?
    Horrendous does not cover this crime.😦

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  8. Rape is inexcusable. That of a 10 month old girl is unimaginable. This reasoning is even worse.
    What the hell do they mean by saying that men lose control? After 1.2 million years of evolution? They say the same thing for rapes of women dressed in western clothes. She provoked it etc. Then does everyone abroad go about raping every woman on road due to short clothes or because they are away from family??
    This is the lamest thing I have heard in my life. ***…

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  9. Please explain to me, how such men are the ones who lose control, perform acts of horror by painfully raping an infant, scarring her family as well in the process, and it’s their views that we need to keep in perspective. Yet another load of crap. So many people, stay away from family, so does not mean that they go on committing crimes. What’s to say that he will not committ another crime, or rape another kid if he is away from friends and family again?

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  10. I am  unable to overcome my revulsion.
    This is is the second  time I am being disappointed with a judge’s decision mentioned on your blog.
    You recently posted about a judge wanting to disallow marriages for a girl less than 21 unless her parents have chosen the groom.
    That was merely silly, but this is revolting, sickening and shocking in the extreme.

    Nothing less than Chemical castration will satisfy me.
    Some of you have argued that rape is not about sex, but about wielding power.
    This is neither.
    This is simply inhuman perversion, and for society (and his own children) to be safe, this fellow must be rendered incapable of using his male appendage except for  purely excretory functions.
    I have always been in favour of castration for rarest of the rare rape cases.
    No, I am not calling for the Lorena Bobbit treatment.
    Chemical castration will serve the purpose and is a more civilized option.
    To those who may be shocked by my suggestion, I say that if we accept hanging, electric chairs, gas chambers and lethal injections, we should not find this revolting but actually rather humane.

    A man who can do this to an innocent 10 month baby, is not a human but a wild beast on two legs.
     I am shocked and disgusted that living alone, and away from his native place are being being considered as extenuating circumstances by a learned judge.
    Are all our brilliant Indian student scholars in in the USA not living alone and away from their native places? What about the huge expatriate Indian population slogging in the Gulf countries.

    I am too shocked to say anything more.
    Regards
    GV

    Like

    • “Are all our brilliant Indian student scholars in in the USA not living alone and away from their native places? ”

      GV – I watch a show on msnbc called “To catch a predator”. The show uses decoys to chat on live chat rooms where men look for young girls to have sex with. The men are then invited to a home where the local law enforcement waits to catch them. Several desi men have been caught in this. Desi students, software engineers, etc have been caught.

      “What about the huge expatriate Indian population slogging in the Gulf countries”

      While living in the Gulf, I would read almost everyday about Indian expat drivers and maids being caught. The punishment is severe in the Gulf countries, when compared to US.

      I presume most of these people think they can get away as they do in India.

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    • @GV, What about the millions who work in the Gulf? They don’t come home every year. What about the infantry officers deployed in the border? Most of them are not even allowed their whole two months of annual leave. What about the jawans whose plight is even harder?
      So many stay away from home for the sake of a livelihood. So I wonder what perspective we are supposed to keep in mind regarding the rapist?
      I have heard that child molesters and rapists are shunned by other inmates of prisons. They are hated and considered lowly forms even by hardened criminals. But look at the situation here!

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    • “No, I am not calling for the Lorena Bobbit treatment.”..

      Actually i would whole heartedly support a Lorena Bobbit treatment. Such monsters deserve nothing less

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    • Now you are being very lenient. I would love to see this guy beheaded in full public view. I think I have mentioned something similar in IHM’s blog somewhere.
      What I don’t understand is that why isn’t there at least a life imprisonment of a rapist once the charges against him are proved. Why 10 years or 15 years? And people like this guy should be disposed off immediately. Vapourised or something similar.

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  11. I had to read it again to confirm that here we are talking about a 10 month old baby. I have a 10 month old nephew and my heart just bleeds. This whole story is sick !!!!
    First it was said that women who dress like “sluts” bring rape on themselves. How a question for those people – so what is the fault of this 10 month baby here ?
    Does the judge here fail to see the twisted logic – a man away from his wife – craving for sexual satisfaction – sodomonises a 10 month baby – is this really the bahviour of a normal person ?
    A baby brings out feelings of love in a person but sexual desire – huh ??? It is so disgusting even to imagine. And this bull-shit about not controlling oneselves – oh if it were true rapes would be taking place in public view and not in secluded places – and cerainly not of babies and children.
    I am still shaking with anger that people exists who think that babies can bring out sexual craving in man.
    I hope the family gets justice.

    Like

  12. Thats actually disgusting that its happens only here. Even at this age, with so much awareness women/girl is still treated badly, or worse. A person with a proper mind set will never do that, so no talks on the guy but how can the such a ridiculous comment be made, is he forgetting that it was “just a child”. What difference will it make whether he was with his family or not. Wrong is always wrong, you can never make it right by twisting.

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  13. I am not a parent, but I feel very much the same way that clueless does.

    Of course, being a male, I am little more than an animal and am apt to “lose control” at inopprortune moments. If an honorable judge believes that it is so, then who am I, a mere “overseas citizen” of this nation, to believe otherwise?

    Yet, as clueless’s heart bleeds for this child, my heart bleeds too. As the bile rises in her throat, so the bile rises in my own. Just what in the name of HELL are we doing here? A man rapes this child and people actually sympathize with the RAPIST? They claim that he had no control over his actions!

    How can such an argument even be considered? Did he make an insanity plea? If he had no control, then he belongs in a psychiatric ward, not in civilized society! If he was so worried about his wife and children, then he should’ve thought of them BEFORE he raped a ten year old. I shudder to think what his wife must be going through right now, not at the thought of his being in jail, but at the thought of being married to a convicted child molestor!

    Why is it that in our society, the feelings of the rapist always seem to take precedence over the feelings of the victim? We hear the rapist when he cries a river about his loneliness, but we all turn deaf when it comes to listening to his victim’s cries. We are concerned about the welfare of the rapist’s family, but we do not care a fig about a child going through a lifetime’s worth of psychological trauma. We are mindful of the sexual needs and desires of men, but make light of the other half of society’s desire to be safe and free, to have some degree of personal liberty, their desire to not spend a lifetime walking on eggshells.

    As a member of the legal fraternity, I am revolted and disgusted on a very personal level.
    I am ashamed that I must consider myself a member of a society which is this inhumane. I am disgusted that I must breathe the same air as people like this criminal and his supporters. I am repulsed to have the slightest of connections with them.

    A very sad day for justice, and an ever sadder one for any person who has the slightest of compassion for victims of sexual assault, and for humanity in general.

    Yes, I am Gutted.

    Like

  14. Aditya,

    “Rape”, under Section 375 of the IPC, refers specifically to penile-vaginal intercourse involving actual physical penetration.

    My wife has written about it here, if you are interested:

    http://lawstintranslation.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/the-problem-with-section-375/

    Sodomy is a different offense in Indian law, dealt with under Section 377 of the IPC.
    As no penile-vaginal intercourse was involved, the man was acquitted of rape, but was held guilty of sodomy.

    Like

      • Nitya,

        Absolutely not.

        Section 375 explicitly defines rape as a crime that a MAN commits against a WOMAN. It is not worded in gender-neutral terms.

        If the male-rape involves carnal intercourse, criminal remedies are available under section 377. If it is some other form of rape (eg oral), the victim is pretty much out of luck, because there are no specific laws against that kind of thing.

        It’s a very archaic system and there are ongoing attempts by the law commission to scrap it all and formulate an overarching, gender-neutral law against “sexual assault” instead of having separate laws for rape, sodomy and sex-related violence.

        Like

  15. The only perspective I can see is from the 10 month old baby’s. She’s a baby. Doesn’t even qualify as a child. He ‘lost control’ with a baby.Baby. Baby, Baby. I dont see how anyone can see or think of anything beyond that. How can his lawyer, a human being (we presume) stand there and say he lost control of himself. That was a little baby. Do i need to say that again?

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  16. Judgment from a kangaroo court! This judgement sounds dangerous. It gives some kind of a sympathy vote to migrant men. Every rapist should be castrated. No more, no less.

    A cousin who lives in Goregaon, Mumbai told me last year that her maid’s 5 year old daughter had been raped and killed by a neighbour. The maid left her 5 year old daughter and son to play, while she was away at work. The lack of child care services for low income families has left them with no choice, but to leave their children unattended. Some of the homes in which they work, may not allow them to bring their children along. Another insensitive aspect of our society.

    A similar incident took place to the child of a maid who worked near BJP Nitin Gadkari’s house too. The poor mother is fighting for the case in a court of law.

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  17. pedophilia is mental sickness; jail isn’t enough.

    This devil needs lock-up in asylum for life or till medical experts evaluate him as safe to be released in free society.

    Like

  18. I dont know how to react to this, my heart bleeds for the child and its parents, I am filled so much anger , if I were the child’s mother I would have bled the man right in the court.

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  19. IHM,
    Yes, I saw the mistake right after I submitted the comment.

    I’ve sent out some emails to see if we can do something about this. Emailed Smt Krishna Tirath (MOS for women and child development) as well. Not too sure what she can do though, considering that this was a High Court ruling and all.
    This has impacted me deeply.
    Let us hope for the best.

    Like

      • IHM,

        The complainants can of course try to appeal the judgement. This would require a certificate from the Bombay High Court which says that the case is a fit one to be heard by the SC. If this is granted, money should not be an issue – there are bodies to help out people who cannot afford the process. The Supreme Court Legal Aid Committed helps people with incomes less than Rs 18k per annum and those earning between 18k and 120,000 per annum can apply to the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Society for assistance.

        The only other option I can think of is to file a Writ petition at the SC itself, and try to convince the court that the matter is one of larger public interest. Needless to say, that won’t be an easy task.

        I am not an expert in criminal law in India, but I don’t think there’s much anyone can do about it (except the complainants themselves).

        Like

  20. What stupifies me is that why is Indian public not raising a voice instead of making vociferous accusitions on chat board. When we can come together to raise our voices against corruption using Facebook as a social media, we can use the same media to hold candle light vigil/ switch of power in our house for 1/2 hr to suppport such a cause. It is no use blaming the judiciary/politicians. Come out guys!!

    Like

  21. This is Disgusting… I cant believe the reason they have given for lessening his punishment. I feel like the others who have already said the same things i want to say…I wonder if we could have an Occupy the HC and SC, happen in India so that we can change the laws that allow such horrendous things to happen.

    Like

  22. 7 years? 7 years?? He should be locked away for life in an asylum!

    Proper perspective? He should have at least recommended chemical castration, since he’s away from home and can’t control himself, you know?

    Like

  23. A comment by Stieg Larsson of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ fame:

    ‘It might happen in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Mexico, Tibet or Iran. But the fact is that there’s no such thing as soft or hard oppression of women: men want to own women, they want to control women, they are afraid of women. Men hate women. The oppression of women has nothing to do with religion or ethnicity.’

    He deeply believed in equality of the sexes and was very disturbed on hearing news about the oppression of women. I feel this statement of his correctly sums up every act of violence ever committed by men against women.

    Like

  24. This sent goosebumps! I had to read it twice to make sure I was reading it correctly..sentence reduced?!!!
    Why is the judge even considering the fact that he was living away from his hometown? How is that even relevant here? Yes, he could not control himself, because he CHOSE not to control himself!!! As simple as that. The judge’s statement makes this look like the rapist had no other option but to lose control of his senses. This is the most dangerous logic I have seen! Every mistake (and in this case, a grievous crime) is always blamed on circumstances. Blamed on alcohol. blamed on the victim. In all these cases, is the mind handicapped? Is the mind dead? Absolutely not!!! The person committing the crime is very much aware that he/she is committing a crime. That also means, stopping themselves from committing the crime is absolutely in their hands. They just choose not to stop! And we freakin never stop blaming everything other than the criminal for the crime. And the fact that a judiciary body (which is supposed to be the house of justice) is doing this, is shocking!
    IHM, can we do like a signature campaign or something so that the sentence can be reconsidered and increased? Or, if there is already one, where can one find it and sign it?

    Like

  25. IHM,

    I am trying to see if the parents can be contacted via NGOs in the area. No positive responses so far, unfortunately. There is one more NGO left which has not replied yet. I’ll at least provide you with a list of numbers and email IDs that people here can use to contact people who can actually do something. Perhaps enough pressure can be created.

    Right now, everybody seems to be satisfied that the guy at least got convicted and recieved a relatively harsh sentence. Whatever.

    All the numbers and IDs below are in the Public Domain. Best be polite:

    Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Women and Child Development

    krishnatirath [at] yahoo [dot] in

    011-230740-52, 53, 54

    Childline India

    dial1098@childlineindia.org.in

    022-23881098

    Arpan (NGO against child sexual abuse)

    info@arpan.org.in

    022-26862444

    More NGO contacts:

    http://www.molestation.in/useful-contacts-ngos

    If you have any other ideas, let me know.

    Like

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  27. She was a baby. I’m just shutting this information out of my head because I don’t even know how to deal with it.

    That guy is a wild beast, nothing more. And he needs to be removed from civilised society because he is dangerous to everyone around him.

    And that judgement, it makes me ashamed to be part of this society, a society which accepts ‘losing control’ as some sort of defence for raping a 6 month old baby. I’m absolutely ashamed.

    Like

  28. Absurd! It’s really disheartening to come across such a verdict from a court which has long-lasting impact on the way men, women and the society as a whole perceive sexual abuses.

    Leniency? Ok. So, while penalizing a company for a fraud in its accounts, the court may show leniency BECAUSE the company wasn’t making profits for last 4-5 years, right?

    Like

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  30. That was the most disgusting thing ever! How on earth can any court of law reduce his sentence! If not anything else, they should be worried about his own children! The poor child!

    More proof that we are a society that is always ready to find excuses for horrid behavior.

    Signed the petition, IHM, I do hope the petition makes some difference..

    Like

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