File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Tukaram v/s State Of Maharashtra - Analyzing a Landmark Legal Battle

Tukaram & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra also known as the Mathura rape case, was a significant rape case in India. The incident that gave rise to the case occurred in 1972 when police in Maharashtra's Chandrapur district detained Mathura, a 16-year-old girl. She was allegedly raped by Tukaram and Ganpat, two police officers, while she was being held captive.

Mathura complained about the constables, but the Sessions Court first dismissed the matter. However, the High Court of Bombay overturned the verdict and found the constables guilty of rape. The constables were then given special leave to appeal by the Indian Supreme Court.

In a contentious ruling, the Supreme Court cleared the officers. The court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to establish Mathura's rape. Additionally, the court determined that Mathura lacked credibility as a witness and that her testimony was full of inaccuracies and improbabilities.

The Supreme Court's ruling in the Mathura rape case drew harsh criticism from women's rights advocates. The verdict was viewed as a setback for India's efforts to combat rape. In addition, the case prompted other legal changes, including the 2013 passage of the Protection of Women from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act.

The Mathura rape case serves as a reminder of the difficulties women have while trying to get justice for sexual assault. The story also emphasizes how crucial it is to have effective institutions and regulations that can shield women from abuse.

Facts of the case
The young orphan Mathura resided with her brother Gama. She performed manual labor at Nushi's home. She had a sexual relationship with Ashok, Nushi's sister's son, while she was working. They made the decision to wed a short time later. All the persons involved, including Ashok, Nushi, and other relatives, were taken before the police station on the basis of a report filed by Gama on March 26, 1972, alleging that Mathura had been abducted.

Around 10:30 p.m., when their testimonies had been recorded, everyone started leaving. Ganpat, the first appellant, requested that Mathura should wait at the police station. He dragged her up to the loo and raped her despite her resistance after locking the doors and turning out the lights inside.

The second appellant Tukaram arrived and fondled her privates when he was finished. Due to his extreme intoxication, he attempted to rape her as well but failed.

Mathura told her family and friends about this occurrence when she was reunited with them. After a medical examination, it was determined that Mathura was between the ages of 14 and 16 years old. Her hymen showed signs of previous ruptures, but the rest of her body was unharmed.

On March 27, she underwent a medical examination by Dr. Shastrakar, on whose recommendation an FIR was filed. The Supreme Court exonerated the appellants in 1979 after a protracted legal battle.

Ratio Dicedendi
The learned session judge acquitted the accused, as he found that there was not enough evidence to prove that Mathura was not a minor on the date of the occurrence and considered Mathura as a 'shocking liar' and her testimony is based on falsehood and improbabilities.

But he pointed out that "the farthest one can go into believing her and the corroborative circumstances, would be the conclusion that while at the police station, she had sexual intercourse and that, in all probability, this was with Accused. However, he went on to say that there was a huge difference between "sexual intercourse" and "rape" and that rape had not been proven, despite the fact that the defense's version, which consisted only of a denial of the charges of rape, could not be taken at face value.

The court further added that Mathura was habitual to sex and he tempted the accused to fulfill her lust, in order to show herself virtuous in front of Ashok he invented the whole story as she was in love with Ashok and then the court concluded that the prosecution had failed the case against the appellants.

Further, the High Court took note of the findings arrived at by the session judge and reversed the judgment of the session judge. The High Court took a different view and held that the acquittal of the accused is not justified on the ground that the sexual intercourse was forcible and hence amounted to rape. The High Court stated that it was not the defense's argument that Mathura knew both of the accused or any of them before the incident.

It is therefore exceedingly unlikely that Mathura would make any overtures or invite the accused to satisfy her sexual urge, and it is also unlikely that a girl involved in a case made by her brother would make such overtures or approaches. As a result, she implies that the initiative must have come from the accused, and if that is the case, she could not have rejected it. The High Court also erred in appreciating the differences between consent and passive submission.

On the basis of the above findings, the High Court reversed the acquittal and convicted and sentenced the appellant.

All the allegations that were found by the High Court were revisited by the Supreme Court on appeal made by the accused. The appeal was made on the following grounds:

Clause third of section 375 of IPC states as to when the consent will not be consent within the meaning of clause secondly. The consent taken under fear or hurt is not consent. In the present case, there was no finding that such fear was shown and in the absence of such a finding, the alleged fear would not vitiate consent.

No mark of injury was found on the body, showing that the sexual intercourse was peaceful and the claim of resistance was false.

The allegation that the alarm was raised at the time of occurrence, was found false.

The High Court's reasoning that her submission to the act of sexual intercourse was due to fear did not equal consent in the eyes of the law. The High Court overlooks the fact that the accused took the girl from among her loved ones.

From the above findings, the Supreme Court gave the verdict and agreed with the session court and overturned the judgment of the High Court and acquitted the accused, and set aside the imprisonment imposed on them. The High Court's reasoning that her submission to the act of sexual intercourse was due to fear did not equal consent in the eyes of the law. The High Court overlooks the fact that the accused kidnapped the girl from among her loved ones.

The Supreme Court's decision in the Tukaram v. State of Maharashtra case was a miscarriage of justice. Mathura was a victim of rape, and the police officers who raped her should have been held accountable for their crimes. The Supreme Court's decision sent a message to rape victims that their voices would not be heard, and that they would not be able to get justice. This decision was a setback for the fight for women's rights in India, and it is a decision that should never be forgotten.

Since the Tukaram v. State of Maharashtra case, there have been a number of reforms to the Indian legal system to better protect the rights of rape victims. These reforms include the introduction of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act), which provides for stricter punishment for those who sexually abuse children, and the Nirbhaya Fund, which is a fund that provides financial assistance to rape victims and their families.

Despite these reforms, there is still a long way to go in terms of protecting the rights of rape victims in India. The stigma associated with rape, the lack of access to justice, and the fear of reprisals from the perpetrators all continue to make it difficult for rape victims to come forward and seek justice.

It is important to continue to fight for the rights of rape victims in India. We need to ensure that rape victims have access to justice, that they are not stigmatized, and that they are not afraid to come forward and report the crimes that have been committed against them.

  • AIR 1979 SC 185
  • Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, 1850
  • Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1850
  • Section 375(3) of the Indian Penal Code, 1850

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly