Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rape accused acquitted after ‘victim’ goes to jail to give him underwear

Rape accused acquitted after ‘victim’ goes to jail to give him underwear

Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Published: Jun 19 2014, 10:03 IST

She claimed she was raped several times over the course of a year by a man she had befriended at her office. The man had promised to marry her, she claimed in her complaint to police. The accused was arrested in February last year and chargesheeted thereafter. However, when the trial reached the central fast-track court, her allegations didn’t stand after the court noted that not only had the victim visited the accused’s wife in hospital when she had a baby, but she had also visited the accused in jail and brought him undergarments on his request.

Noting how “extraordinary” and “unbelievable” this act of a “rape victim” was, the court of Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja acquitted the accused terming the claims by the victim “contradictory”.

In August 2011, the complainant, a resident of Sitaram Bazaar in Delhi, met the accused at her office. The two became friends following which they began meeting regularly. In her statement to police, the woman said the accused would take her to a park at Pusa Road and would rape her there. She also claimed that the accused threatened to “defame” her if she told anyone about the ‘rapes’.

However, on February 18, 2013, she claimed the accused revealed to her that he was already married. Three days later, the woman lodged a case and the man was arrested under sections of rape (376) and threat (506) of the IPC.

In his defence, the accused pleaded that he was innocent and that the woman was demanding Rs 1 lakh from him to withdraw the complaint. He said she also threatened to falsely implicate him if he did not pay her. The accused told the court that the woman was on the interview panel when he joined the office and that she was well aware of his marital status.

After considering arguments from both sides, the court noted, “... in the light of evidence brought on record during the course of the trial, I find myself unable to accept the submissions of the prosecution. I find on going through the record that the prosecutrix cannot be said to be a reliable witness. Her testimony appears to be unworthy of reliance and the conviction of the accused can certainly not be based on her testimony keeping in view the entirety of the evidence on record...She certainly would not have acted upon the assurance of the accused that he would marry

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