'Could Have Shown Resistance To Prevent Accused, Woman Was Consenting Party': Punjab & Haryana High Court Upholds Acquittal Of Man Accused Of Raping House-Help

Update: 2024-06-14 15:02 GMT
Click the Play button to listen to article

The Punjab & Haryana High Court has upheld the acquittal of a man who was accused of committing rape on his house help, observing that the prosecution failed to bring home guilt to the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Lalit Batra noted that "The victim/ prosecutrix, a matured lady aged 35 years, could certainly put up the stiffest resistance...

Your free access to Live Law has expired
Please Subscribe for unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments, Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.

The Punjab & Haryana High Court has upheld the acquittal of a man who was accused of committing rape on his house help, observing that the prosecution failed to bring home guilt to the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.

Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice Lalit Batra noted that "The victim/ prosecutrix, a matured lady aged 35 years, could certainly put up the stiffest resistance to prevent...accused from committing rape. The medical evidence does not support the cause of prosecution as...(Medical Officer), who medico-legally examined the prosecutrix, has categorically stated that there was no external injury on the private part of the victim/ prosecutrix and, thus, the possibility of sexual intercourse may or may not be ruled out."

Furthermore, the Court observed that it is "quite strange" that the prosecutrix was medico-legally examined by the investigating agency after 21 days of the alleged incident. "No explanation has come forth for inordinate delay in medico-legal examination of victim/prosecutrix," it added.

These observations were made in response to the appeal filed by the alleged rape victim against the acquittal order of the trial Court, wherein the accused was acquitted of a charge under Section 376 IPC lodged in Punjab's Hoshiarpur in 2019.

According to the prosecution, the victim was raped by a man in whose house she was working as a house help. It was alleged that the woman was threatened of dire consequences when she resisted.

After hearing the submissions and examining the records, the Court noted that there was a delay of two days in lodging the FIR.

"Delay in lodging the FIR in sexual offences cannot be used as a ritualistic formula for doubting the prosecution case and discarding the same solely on the ground of delay in lodging the first information report. Delay has the effect of putting the Court on its guard to search if any explanation has been offered for the delay, and if offered, whether it is satisfactory or not," the Court said.

However, if the delay is explained to the satisfaction of the Court, the delay cannot itself be a ground for disbelieving and discarding the entire prosecution case, it added

The Court noted that in the present case, family members of the prosecutrix including her major son...had come to know about the commission of the alleged offence on 04.07.2019 itself but no effort was made to report the matter to the police on the same day or on the next day and, in fact, FIR was lodged on 06.07.2019.

The testimony of the prosecutrix nowhere reveals that as to what prevented her not to lodge the FIR at the earliest. No explanation has come forth from her as to why the reporting of the alleged offence to the Police was delayed for two days, it noted further.

Adding that there was a delay of 21 days in medically examining the alleged victim, the Court said, "at the time of medico-legal examination of victim, no external injury on her private part was detected."

"It is pertinent to mention here that..Sub Inspector Rajinder Singh has categorically stated that no blood sample of respondent No.2/ accused was collected by the doctor for DNA profiling. Thus, in the absence of DNA profiling, the origin of spermatozoa could not be ascertained," it added.

The bench opined that, "prosecutrix appeared to be a consenting party and in this scenario, respondent No.2/accused cannot be said to be at fault."

In light of the above, the Court held that the Trial Court while appreciating the entire evidence in its right perspective, has rightly held that the prosecution has not been able to bring home guilt to the accused "at least beyond reasonable doubt and while giving him the benefit of doubt, he was rightly acquitted by Trial Court of the charge framed against him."

Mr. Ankit Chaudhary, Advocate for Mr. Vishal Thakur, Advocate for the appellant.

Mr. R.S. Thind, Deputy Advocate General, Punjab.

Title: XXX v. XXX

Full View
Tags:    

Similar News