Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Cherry Blossoms - Part 5

            "Krishna, I hope you know what it means to register a case of CSA in our country, and that too against someone as rich and influential as Arnav."
            "Raghav, I know that it's not going to be easy.  But..."
            "Easy?"  Raghav interrupted, "Krishna, not only is it going to be an uphill task but extremely dangerous as well.  And I am not talking about your, Sneha's or your families' reputation."
            "Reputation?  Have you seen how Sneha is suffering?  I am rich enough to silence the whole world and as they say even a bad reputation is a reputation.  My family's reputation has been built during hard times and hardships will strengthen it further, if anything.  Only middle-class or nouveau-riche people care about reputation.  People like us don't give a damn about what others say.  We tread on dangerous roads and continue the journey.  This will set an example for anyone who dares play or even think of playing with us or our sentiments."
            Raghav was stunned to hear these words from the scion of one of the most esteemed families of the country.  He looked doubtful but remained silent.
            Krishna broke the silence.
            "Raghav, all I want to know is what should I do to get Arnav behind the bars.  What does the law say?"
            "Krishna, the problem is that our law, like the society, is silent about the matter."
            "Well, you see, in our country Child Sexual Abuse is a matter of shame just like rape.  People don't want to admit that it exists.  As a result, there is no legal framework for CSA or victims of CSA.  There have been efforts by some individuals and NGOs in this direction.  But there's not been much progress."
            Krishna was shocked to silence.
            "You mean Arnav will get away with his crime?"
            "Well, firstly, beware that it's going to be a very long war.  There will be several battles that you'll have to fight before you can think of winning the war.  One thing that Arnav can't say is that Sneha gave her consent and so it was a consensual relationship.  Our law is very clear about it.  One can't sign any contract till one is18.  So she is actually safe on that front.  From what you told me, it appears that she was subjected to CSA when she was 4-5 years old and it continued till she was 10-12 years old.  So in no way could she give her consent.  Now, as it will be treated as rape, they'll ask for a proof.  It's easy to accuse someone but how will she prove it?  She was just a child so she didn't understand it and so she was not ever examined by doctors for the same.  So all possible medical and forensic evidence, including DNA, has disappeared forever."
            Krishna was listening silently.  He had never thought about all this.

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