Allahabad High Court Acquits Rape Convict Who Had Spent 14 Years In Jail
The Allahabad High Court has acquitted a rape convict who had undergone 18 years in jail with remission holding that neither the medical evidence nor the statement of the prosecution witnesses supported the commissioning of the offence under Section 376(F) IPC.
Justice Ashwani Kumar Mishra and Justice Shiv Shanker Prasad observed-
"As we have already noticed that neither the medical evidence nor the statement of prosecution witnesses support the commissioning of offence under Section 376(F) IPC against the accused appellant, the finding of guilt returned by the Court below is rendered unsustainable."
The accused-appellant was convicted and sentenced by the Additional Sessions Judge/Fast Track Court under Section 376(F) IPC. The father of the victim had lodged an FIR stating that his eight-year-old minor daughter had been enticed by the accused-appellant who had committed unnatural sex and also raped her and bitten her cheeks.
The victim was also examined medically in which no injuries were found except for a cheek bite. The hymen was found intact and no injuries were noticed on the private parts of the victim. The age of the victim was determined as 11 years. The vaginal smear was also referred for the pathological report in which neither any semen nor any sperms/spermatozoa was found on the victim.
The accused-applicant had denied the accusation made against him and demanded a trial.
The Trial Court on the basis of the material placed during the course of the trial has found the charges leveled against the accused-appellant to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. For such purposes, the statement of the victim under Section 164 CrPC was relied upon in addition to the teeth bites on the cheek of the victim found at the time of her medical examination.
The Court noted that the victim herself did not support the prosecution case and had clearly stated in the cross-examination that no untoward act was done against her by the accused-appellant and the statement of the father of the victim was to a similar effect.
"Once we analyze the evidence available on record, we find that neither the medical evidence nor the victim or her father in their deposition before the Court have supported the prosecution case. The statement of victim under Section 164 Cr.P.C., therefore can not be read in isolation so as to form basis for the conviction of the accused appellant when the victim herself has not supported her previous stand in her deposition made before the Court," the Bench observed.
The Court refused to concur with the findings of the Trial Court for convicting the appellant-accused and thus held –
"We are not impressed by the reasoning assigned by the Trial Court for convicting the accused appellant inasmuch as the finding of guilt has been returned by the Court below essentially relying upon the contents of the FIR as also the statement of the victim under Section 164 Cr.P.C. which cannot be treated as a piece of substantive evidence. As we have already noticed that neither the medical evidence nor the statement of prosecution witnesses support the commissioning of offence under Section 376(F) IPC against the accused appellant, the finding of guilt returned by the Court below is rendered unsustainable."
The Court further observed, "Learned counsel for the accused appellant states that the accused appellant is in jail for more 14 years without remission and with remission the period undergone by him is more than 18 years."
Accordingly, the Court allowed the appeal and acquitted the appellant accused.
Cause Title – Raj Kumar v. State of U.P.
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