Delhi court discards U-turn of 12-year-old, convicts man for raping her

The testimony of a rape survivor is usually considered the key evidence in sexual assault cases and the accused gets the benefit of doubt

ByPTI

Published May 17, 2024 | 12:03 AMUpdatedMay 17, 2024 | 12:05 AM

Court convicts man under POCSO (Representational image)

In an unusual verdict, a Delhi court has convicted a man for raping a 12-year-old girl nearly 10 years ago despite the survivor turning hostile, saying “conclusive evidence” like DNA and FSL results nailed the accused.

Usually, the testimony of a rape survivor is considered the key evidence in sexual assault cases and the accused gets the benefit of the doubt and walks free if the victim gives him a clean chit.

Additional Sessions Judge Amit Sahrawat, who was hearing the case against the man accused of raping the minor in October 2014, held, “In a nutshell, it can be said that although the victim turned hostile to the fact that the accused established physical relations with her, the truth has been brought on record by the DNA and forensic science laboratory (FSL) result which is a conclusive piece of evidence.”

Also Read: Kerala court sentences woman to 20 years’ imprisonment for abetting rape of minor stepdaughter

In its order passed on Monday, 13 May, the court said the victim in her statements to the doctor, police and magistrate said the accused established physical relations with her.

In her fourth statement before the court, however, she turned hostile and did not support the prosecution’s case, it said.

“It has generally been observed by this court that victims as well as other public witnesses in their initial statements support the case of prosecution but during their testimony before the court, they turn hostile and there could be several reasons responsible for it, such as family settlements, threat or influence to the witnesses etc.,” the court said.

The judge said the duty of the court was to find the truth and that accused persons could not be allowed to mock the judiciary. “Based on DNA and FSL report, conclusively it can be said that the accused established physical relations with the victim and that is why his biological samples were found even inside the private parts of the victim,” the court said.

“The witnesses can tell a lie but scientific evidence which is of conclusive nature cannot tell a lie and accordingly, they cannot be discarded,” it added.

Also Read: Kerala man sentenced to cumulative 51 years imprisonment for rape of minor stepdaughter

The court said it was also “conclusive” that the victim did not depose truthfully as she was influenced or threatened.

“Hence, the prosecution has proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused established physical relations with the minor victim and therefore, the accused is convicted for offences of rape and penetrative sexual assault punishable under Section 376(2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act( respectively),” it said.

The arguments on sentencing will be heard later.

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