The Rajasthan High Court acquitted a man accused of raping his daughter after observing that the sole testimony of a child witness did not “inspire confidence.

The Bench noted that the investigation made by this Investigating Officer was “so defective” that no site plan of the places of occurrence was prepared by him to prove the case of prosecution where the incidents of rape were allegedly committed. Consequently, the Court directed the Director General of Police (DGP) of Rajasthan to initiate an enquiry into the conduct of the Investigating Officers involved. “Needless to add, appropriate action shall be initiated against all the erring officials after affording due opportunity of hearing to them strictly in accordance with law,” the Court remarked.

A Single Bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand observed, “Delay of more than two years in lodging of FIR, not narrating of repeated incidents of rape by the prosecutrix to her mother or anyone for two years, no marks of injury or violence on the private and external parts of the body of the prosecutrix, absence of evidence of recent sexual intercourse in absence of FSL chemical report, non-preparation of site plans of the places of occurrence and not supporting the case of prosecution by the mother of the prosecutrix create serious doubts on the entire prosecution story.

Advocate Sudhir Jain represented the appellant, while PP Imran Khan appeared for the respondent.

The mother of the victim had lodged an FIR against her husband (appellant) alleging that he had committed rape on her 13-year-old minor daughter during her absence. The appellant was subsequently convicted under Section 376 IPC and sentenced to seven years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs.500. However, the High Court found several grounds to overturn this conviction.

The High Court pointed out that there was no provision under the CrPC or criminal jurisprudence to keep any report of the offence of rape or any offence pending for pre-investigation for considerable time and record the statement prior to lodging of FIR.

The entire case is based on the report of the incident lodged by the mother of the prosecutrix and she has not supported the case of prosecution and she has been declared as hostile. Hence, the case of prosecution does not inspire any confidence,” the Court stated.

The Bench also noted that the mother of the victim did not support the case of the prosecution and was, therefore, declared a hostile witness.

The sole testimony of the child witness does not inspire confidence. In the absence of any witnesses or medical evidence to corroborate, reasonable doubt on the commission of the offence by the appellant-accused can therefore be inferred. This court is of the opinion that the discrepancies in the testimonies of the witnesses and the deficiencies noted above, casts a shadow of doubt on the prosecution case, and the appellant's involvement is thus not proved beyond reasonable doubt,” the Court held.

Consequently, the Court set aside the impugned judgment of conviction and acquitted the appellant by extending him the benefit of the doubt.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the appeal.

Cause Title: Ghulam Mohammed v. State of Rajasthan (Neutral Citation: 2024:RJ-JP:23654)


Appellant: Advocates Sudhir Jain and Parth Sharma

Respondent: PP Imran Khan

Click here to read/download the Judgment