The women's commission is investigating exactly one such complaint

Rape for prolonged periods is impossible says womens commission member
news Saturday, September 05, 2015 - 18:26

It is impossible for a woman to be raped for a prolonged period a Karnataka State Women’s Commission member has said. However, she denied making that statement in the context of a rape complaint against religious leader Raghaveshwara Swami that is being investigated by the commission.

Speaking as the chief guest at a seminar organized by the Naari Suraksha Samiti in Bengaluru on Friday, Suman Hegde had said that it was impossible for a woman to be raped for a prolonged period of time.

Kannada daily Vijaya Karnataka quoted her as saying:

“False cases are being filed against prestigious people to destroy their reputation and get media attention. Sexual relations can only be possible with the consent of both the man and woman. This cannot be called rape. It is impossible to rape (someone) for a prolonged period of time.”

“The feelings of devotees have been hurt by the filing of false cases against the seer of the Ramachandrapura Mutt.”

Earlier this week a 25-year-old woman had alleged that the seer had sexually assaulted her for several years starting in 2006. The CID is now investigating the case. The woman has also lodged a complaint with the women’s commission.

The woman who has accused the seer of rape has said in her complaint that the seer had sexually abused and also raped her over a period of six years between 2006 and 2012.

Read: Activists fear intimidation of rape complainant, demand arrest of Raghaveshwara Bharati Swami

Speaking to The News Minute on Friday however, Hegde said that denied that she was defending the seer and that she was “speaking generally”. She said that she was a practicing lawyer for three decades and also a member of the mediation centre for marital disputes. “I never said that the case was false,” she told The News Minute.

When asked about research that showed that women as well as children were often subjected to sexual assault over prolonged periods, Hegde maintained that it was impossible. “It is possible for someone to continuously approach someone. But if you say that you have been raped for a prolonged period of time, then it implies consent.”

Asked whether such views did not indicate a lack of impartiality on her part as a member of the commission when it was investigating the woman’s complaint against the seer, Hegde repeated that she made the remarks “generally” and added: “I do not know the details of the complaint. I heard from the media that she had lodged a complaint with us.”

Asked how she could be unaware of the complaint, she then went on to say that the although the women’s commission had been formed by an act in 1995, the rules for the commission were yet to be framed. She claimed that there is no procedure for the division of work between the chairperson and the members when a complaint is lodged. “No one has told me who is supposed to hear this case.”

Earlier Karnataka High Court laywer Pramila Nesargi had defended the seer, claiming that certain individuals and groups were out to malign the seer. Kannada daily Vijaya Karnataka quoted her as saying: “If the CID comes forward to arrest the swamiji, all women must stand against it. We must be ready to go to jail as well. The Naari Suraksha Vedike was born to rein in these Shurpanakhis. They have (fallen into the trap) of certain organizations and are filing false complaints against the seer. Such organizations must be torn up from the roots.”

Nesargi has in the past criticized moral policing.