Urgent need for sensitisation on date rape drugs: Delhi court

Last Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 20:31

New Delhi: Expressing concern over the increase in number of cases where women are administered drugs and then sexually exploited, a Delhi court has said stressed on the need for sensitising people on the issue of "date rape drugs".
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau made this observation while awarding 10 years jail term to a youth for raping a girl after giving her drugs and blackmailing her by making indecent videos.

The judge observed that there has been an increase in number of cases where women have been administered drugs and sexually exploited thereafter.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 on the 26-year-old Delhi resident Harish.

It said the country`s criminal justice system is "not as updated" as it should be and there is an urgent need to sensitise the investigating officers, prosecutors, hospital staff and public on the aspect of "date rape drugs".

It said that testing of date rape drugs should be made a compulsory part of the rape kit while collecting exhibits in the hospital.

"Forensic laboratories are yet to be suitably equipped with techniques and personnel`s possessing the expertise for conducting specific tests for establishing the presence of the date rape drugs in cases relating to sexual assault," it said.

According to the prosecution, the 20-year-old girl who was pursuing her graduation here came in contact with Mangol Puri resident Harish when she gave her mobile phone to him for repair. They maintained contacts and came closer through phone and social networking sites.

In October 2011, the accused offered her cold drink and after consuming it, she felt dizzy and on the pretext of taking her to a doctor, he took her to a house in Rohini where he raped her, it said.

The police said the victim was not in a position to resist him as she was under the influence of drugs mixed in her drink. After the incident, Harish showed her a video clipping which he claimed he had shot during a series of sexual acts with her, it said.

Harish threatened her that he would circulate the video to her friends and also on social networking sites if she disclosed the incident to anyone, police said.

He repeatedly raped her by administering her drugs and blackmailing her with the video. Due to effect of drugs, she could not remember what all had happened with her, it said.

Finding no way out, the girl asked Harish to marry her but he refused. She then attempted suicide by consuming pesticides but was saved in the hospital, it said.

She then disclosed everything to her parents and police and the accused was arrested in November 2011.

The police also found pornographic material including videos in Harish`s mobile phone.

The court, in its judgement, said that it is a matter of concern that women are being drugged for the purpose of rape, through use of odourless, tasteless incapacitating drugs that leads to memory loss for that period and these drugs are freely available in the market.

"The issue relating to free availability and sale of date rape drugs is a matter of national concern being an important subject connected with women health and safety. It is a known fact that detection of these drugs is a difficult issue and unless a victim of drug facilitated sexual assault seeks medical care within 72 hours of the assault, it is less likely that the tests would successfully detect the presence of these drugs, since most of them eliminate from the body, resulting into a negative report," it said.

Due to the effect of these drugs, it is difficult for the victims to know if they consented or not for the act, it said.

The court added for prosecutors also it is difficulty in proving the intent or lack of consent where the rape or assault happened without witnesses (particularly in a private home) and where both parties were consuming drugs or alcohol since neither was able to legally give consent.

PTI



First Published: Friday, February 15, 2013 - 20:31

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