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HC says survivor is not infallible witness, lets rape accused escape | India News


NAGPUR: Refusing to trust the testimony of a rape survivor, the Nagpur court of the Bombay High Court acquitted the defendant on Friday, arguing that the survivor’s evidence did not inspire confidence.
“Given the gross omission regarding the rape incident and other dubious circumstances, in the opinion of this court, the survivor is not an infallible witness. It cannot be relied upon solely to impose criminal responsibility for rape on the accused, ”said Judge Pushpa Ganediwala.
“The woman’s evidence is only material about the scene of the incident. In her report, she claimed to outrage his modesty, but as evidence in court, she testified for rape. She has not provided any explanation as to why the rape complaint was not initially filed. Aside from the sole testimony of the prosecution, there is no other evidence to corroborate his story, “said the judge while overturning the defendant’s sentence under Section 376.
“For a rape conviction, the sole testimony of the survivor is sufficient, however, subject to the riders that it must be convincing, consistent, reliable and of excellent quality. This court found foundation in the probable defense regarding the consensual relations between the duo, ”said the judge, adding that the defendant should benefit from the doubt.
On Thursday, Judge Ganediwala reversed the conviction of a 50-year-old man under the Pocso Act for allegedly sexually abusing a five-year-old girl. She ruled that holding the child’s hand and unbuttoning his pants in front of her cannot be defined as ‘sexual assault’.
This followed another order from her saying that touching a girl’s breasts without removing her clothes was not a ‘sexual assault’ as there was no skin-to-skin contact. The order was suspended by the Supreme Court after an uproar.
In the rape case, where she acquitted the accused after refusing to trust the survivor’s testimony, petitioner Binoy Badal Datta de Gadchiroli was convicted under Articles 376 and 323 of the ICC, and was sentenced to rigorous prison age seven by the session court in 2015.
The woman claimed in the FIR that she was cooking when Datta bolted the kitchen door, took her hands from behind, forced her to lie down, squeezed her mouth, removed her clothes, and had forcibly intercourse with she.

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