Women and Justice: Keywords

Legislation

Evidence Act (1990)

Sexual violence and rape

Under Section 211 of the Evidence Act, a man charged with rape, attempt to commit rape, or indecent assault may, as a defense, show that the alleged victim against whom the offence is alleged to have been committed was of a “generally immoral character.” The victim is not to be cross-examined on the subject but may be asked whether she has had “connection” with other men, a term not defined but presumably referring to previous sexual relations. The victim’s answer to this question cannot be contradicted. However, the accused may also ask whether the victim has had connection on other occasions with the accused and is permitted to attempt to contradict the victim’s denial should she deny connection.