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Report No. 84

7.20. Sections 155(4), 146 and 53A (proposed), Evidence Act-Recommendation.-

Having indicated the connecting guideline that constitutes the common thread underlying our approach to various provisions under which the question of the sexual history of the prosecutrix may be raised, we now proceed to indicate more concretely, and in regard to each section of the Evidence Act, the amendment that we have in mind so as to carry out the general approach mentioned above.

With reference to section 155(4) of the Evidence Act, it is pertinent to point out that the rule which permits evidence of previous sexual history of the complainant should be considered under two headings, namely, (i) previous sexual relations with the accused, and (ii) such relations with other persons. So far as sexual relations with the accused are concerned, the assumption underlying the admissibility of such evidence would appear to be that once a woman has consented to a sexual relationship with a particular man, she is unlikely to dissent at a later stage. Though such an assumption may not be necessarily realistic in every case, it could occasionally be true. There is, therefore, justification for retaining it.



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