“Ladki ki ‘na’ mein ‘haan’ chupi hoti hai” – you may have heard this saying before. And this has led many to justify sexual harassment and assault of women. However, Judge Anoop Chitkara of Himachal Pradesh High Court has made it final that ‘no’ means ‘no’.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court recently had a court hearing about a case concerning a 26-year-old guy named Suresh Kumar who had allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl. According to The Hindu, the incident occurred in Solan. The accused had allegedly offered a lift to the girl and instead of dropping her where she needed to go, he allegedly took her to a secluded spot, intimidated her and raped her despite her protests.
The accused allegedly asked her not to cry and said if she resisted, he would force himself on her.
The accused has been in custody since December last year and later approached the court for regular bail. However, the Himachal Pradesh High Court rejected his bail plea.
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During the court hearing, Justice Anoop Chitkara made certain crucial observations. He said:
“No means no — the simplest of sentences has 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.”
The judge noted that the victim said ‘no’, yet the accused kept touching her, reports Live Law.
“Neither the absence of resistance nor the unwilling submission implies consent in any language. She explicitly said ‘no’ to the accused, but he did not stop. When the curriculum does not include proper sex education, the children raised by such societies fail the women time and again.”
The judge went on to laud the girl for her courage without which she wouldn’t have been able to open up about what happened to her.
“It would be correct to say that it was courageous for the victim to talk about the unfortunate incident to her mother and later come forward and report the same with the police.”
What do you think of this incident? Tell us.