Friday, January 24, 2014

3 youths acquitted of gangrape as girl says it never happened

3 youths acquitted of gangrape as girl says it never happened

HT Correspondent  Chandigarh, January 24, 2014
First Published: 15:21 IST(24/1/2014) | Last Updated: 15:23 IST(24/1/2014)

Three engineering students booked on charges of gangrape were acquitted after the 'victim' refused to identify them and even wondered how the case was registered "when I did not lodge the complaint".

With the victim effectively turning hostile, additional district and sessions judge Shalini S Nagpal acquitted Kulwinder Singh, Monty Pandwal and Mohit Subharwal, diploma students at an institute in Sector 26. The police had on April 28, 2013, arrested the three youths on a complaint purportedly written by the 17-year-old girl from Maloya alleging that she was raped in a forest near Sakteri.

But testifying before the court on September 25, 2013, she had denied rape and said, "I have seen these persons (accused) for the first time. I have never been raped or even lodged a complaint. I do not know how the case was registered or why at all I am in the court."

Defence counsel Yadvinder Singh Sandhu told HT, "These students were implicated by the police. The girl told the court that the police had forced her to sign blank papers and she was unaware of the contents which the police called 'her complaint'."

In this 'complaint', it was said that the girl, a school dropout, had become friends with Kulwinder, who told her his name was Prashant, over phone conversations. Police said she was picked up from Sector 41 on a bike by Kulwinder who told her they would go to Sukhna lake. But he allegedly took her towards Saketri, where his friends and he allegedly took turns to rape her. None of it could be proved, though.