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Report No. 84

III. Trial in Camera

5.5. Trial in camera-Section 327, Cr. P.C.-

There is, however, procedure in regard to which there is scope for reform. A trial for rape, like other criminal trials, is, in general, conducted in public. This is in accordance with the statutory provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure on the subject.1

The reasons why trials are held in public (subject to specific statutory exceptions) have been discussed judicially2 and otherwise, more than once, and set them out. However, in the case of sexual offences, there is an overriding consideration which justifies an exception being made to the general rule of public trial. Certain details of an intimate character may have to be narrated in court in such trials. It is not only embarrassing for the victim to narrate them in the full glare of publicity. Often, by reason of such embarrassment, she may not be able to give all the factual details, and the cause of justice may ultimately suffer. It is, therefore, on the wider ground of interests of justice, that we would recommend that in the absence of special reasons to be recorded by the Court, a trial for rape or allied offences must be held in camera.

1. Section 327, Cr. P.C., 1973.

2. Naresh v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1967 SC 1.

Rape and Allied Offences - Some Questions of Substantive Law, Procedire and Evidence Back

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