Dismissing a rape accused of his claims of consent from the victim and rejecting his bail application, a judge from a Himachal Pradesh court said, “No means no. It doesn’t mean the girl is shy or anything else”, stressing on men not understanding the simplest of sentences.
A day after the incident took place in Rajgarh of Himachal, the police arrested the man on December 18 following a complaint by the 17-year-old victim.
As per the complaint, the crime took place around 90 km from Shimla on December 17th when the girl was waiting for a bus. The accused then allegedly approached her and offered to give a ride home in his jeep.
After accepting the ride and sitting in the car, the man allegedly changed the route and took her to a secluded area. Despite repeated refusals from the girl, the man raped her, directing that the victim did not consent to it at all as opposed to the man’s claims, the court said. Justice Anoop Chitkara noted in his order that the girl said “no” to him.
When he threatened to force himself on her and told to marry him, the girl said no. To which, he allegedly raped her and left her on the deserted road. She somehow managed to get on a bus to head home where she reached to tell the ordeal to her mother. The family immediately informed the police and filed an FIR.
A girl’s refusal cannot be interpreted as her shyness, desire to be coaxed further, or anything along the lines that direct to her consent, the judge said, “NO MEANS NO- The simplest of sentences have become the most difficult for some men to understand. No does not mean yes, it does not mean that the girl is shy, it does not mean that the girl is asking a man to convince her, it does not mean that he has to keep pursuing her. The word NO doesn’t need any further explanation or justification. It ends there, and the man has to stop.”
When he began touching her inappropriately, she again said “no”- a plain sentence which could still not be understood by the man. Judge Chitkara said, “It nowhere implies consent, or zeal and desire to explore and feel each other in romantic love.”
The girl’s narration of the incident to her mother proves that she did not agree to this as she could or else have easily hidden it all. This “points towards the genuineness of the incident”, the judge said.
“It would be correct to say that it was courageous for the victim girl to talk about the unfortunate incident to her mother and later come forward and report the same with the police,” he added.
Judge Chitkara further said the unwilling submission into the act did not refer to the victim’s consent for the same. The absence of the right form of education and morals has brought wrath for women since times immemorial, he added, “She explicitly said no to the accused, but he did not stop. When the curriculum does not include the proper sex education, the children raised by such societies fail the women time and again.”