Supreme Court on Thursday, dismissed an appeal filed by father of a deceased rape victim against the acquittal by High Court. Apex court Bench of Justices Pinaki Chandra Ghose and R.K. Agrawal held that prosecution could not prove the guilt of the accused by any cogent evidence and, therefore, it is difficult to hold that it was the accused who committed rape upon the deceased and thereafter killed her.
A twelve year old girl was allegedly raped and killed by the accused. The Trial Court convicted the accused and awarded capital punishment to him for offence punishable under Section 302 IPC. The accused preferred appeal before the High Court which was allowed. Both the State and father of the deceased approached the Supreme Court against this order of acquittal.
The court held that the prosecution squarely failed to impute bad character upon the accused. And the motive is also not firmly established against the accused. The court found that witnesses were not only interested witnesses but also they had admitted that their testimony is based on mere hearsay.
Non-explanation of the injuries suffered by the accused is not an incriminating circumstance so as to attribute any criminality upon the accused, the Court held. It said “The accused is a young man, certain abrasions can be regularly sustained during the day while working in and around. Moreover, the accused having worked in his cousin's wedding might have received the abrasions. Medical opinion for explanation to such abrasion is that such abrasion can occur due to itching also. The other injuries on private part, in medical opinion, could be a result of sexual intercourse with his wife” The court found it shocking to note that none of the undergarments of the deceased girl were sent for FSL examination which could have been very useful to establish the identity of the accused.
The prosecution had also placed on record an incident alleged to have occurred a few days prior to the fateful day, when the accused made the deceased sit on his lap and kissed her, for which the accused was rebuked and beaten by the father of the deceased. The court observed that this statement was not made before the Police and “even if the said fact is presumed to be true, we concur with the reasoning of the High Court that mere snugging the deceased once, in itself, is no ground to connect the accused with the alleged incident”
Upholding the High Court’s finding of acquittal, the court said that High Court went into each and every material aspect of the case, examined at length the deposition of the witnesses and rightly held that the links which are collected by the prosecution have not at all been proved by any cogent evidence and, therefore, it is difficult to hold that it was the accused who committed rape upon the deceased and thereafter killed her.
Read the Judgment here.