Report No. 84
7.21. Section 155(4) and sexual relations with other persons.-
So far as previous sexual relations with other persons are concerned, there is, in our opinion, strong justification for change in section 155(4). The case for admitting such evidence is totally weak, if not completely without foundation. Such an evidence is not permissible as regards male victims,1 or even in the generality of cases not involving sexual offences. It seems, therefore, hardly defensible, at least at the present day, to continue a legal provision whereunder the character of a female witness can be impeached merely because she happens to be a "prosecutrix" in an offence of rape or attempt to commit rape.
Evidence of acts of intercourse with persons other than the accused indicates a remote or faint likelihood of the woman having consented to the particular act. Even when a harlot or a prostitute is raped, her consent at the time of 'he commission of the crime must be proved by evidence aliunde. For all these reasons, section 155(4) requires modification so as to exclude evidence of sexual relations with persons other than the accused.
1. See supra.