Madras HC: Interpreter necessary during Statement Recording of Mentally Challenged Rape Victim

Shivani Gadhavi –

Published On: November 21, 2021 at 19:40 IST

The Madras High Court found the order of a Metropolitan Magistrate unacceptable which refused a mentally challenged rape victim to have an interpreter/educator assisting her during recording her statement.

Justice Nirmal Kumar of the Madras High Court ordered a fresh recording of the statement of the mentally challenged rape victim while setting aside the order dated on 25th August, 2021 of the XVIII Metropolitan Magistrate at Saidapet in Chennai.

The case was registered by the mother of the victim on 15th August, 2021 in an All-Women Police Station in Mylapore, Chennai; who accused their neighbour of committing the crime.

The victim is declared to be suffering from moderate intellectual disability after being tested through various rounds of medical and psychiatric examinations and assessments.

The Magistrate recorded the victim’s statement on his own under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. A special educator of the victim was present before the Magistrate rejected taking her help.

The petitioner stated to the High Court that due to this denial of assistance to the victim, the accused may be able to escape punishment, as the Magistrate might have misunderstood the victim’s statement.

The Court instructed the prosecution to get to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate who can nominate another Magistrate to record a new statement of the victim, preferably a woman Magistrate, with an educator/interpreter assisting the victim as the latter would have to give a detailed description of the sexual assault.

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