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Report No. 84

7.17. Section 155(4), Evidence Act.-

Besides these sections, however, there is a more specific provision in section 155(4) of the Evidence Act, under which, in a prosecution for rape or attempt to lavish, evidence can be given of the "general immoral character" of the "prosecutrix". This provision, it will be noticed, is not confined to past sexual familiarity only with the accused. It is wide enough to cover sexual immorality in relation to others. We need not, at the moment, concern ourselves with the question whether particular sexual episodes can be given in evidence under this provision.

What needs to be emphasised is that matters in which the accused is not at all concerned can also be brought on the record under the head of "general immoral character" by virtue of section 155(4). This means that even if the charge is one of sexual intercourse with a girl below the age of sixteen years-section 375, clause fifthly, Indian Penal Code-which is punishable irrespective of the girl's consent, evidence can be given of her "general immoral" character.

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

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