The Delhi High Court recently acquitted three men, accused of kidnapping and raping a visually challenged pregnant woman, opining that there existed no medical or forensic evidence to connect the three to the crime.
The judgment was rendered by a bench comprising Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel on appeals filed by the three convicts, challenging their conviction by the trial court in September last year. They had been awarded imprisonment for the remainder of their lives.
As per the prosecution story, on January 24, 2015, the three kidnapped the woman from a bus stand in south Delhi, dragged her to a jungle nearby and raped her.
The high court, however, did not agree with the trial court’s reasoning that the prosecutrix’s version was “consistent, coherent, creditworthy and intrinsically reliable”. It, in fact, concluded that her statements were riddled with “inconsistencies and improvements” at various stages.
“The further conclusion of the trial Court that “there is no contradiction in the said version of the prosecutrix on any material aspects of the case in her different statements”, is not supported by the record,” the court observed.
Besides the variance in the narration of the incident, the court also noted that the prosecutrix was not able to correctly identify the accused through their voice in court, with the order stating that since she mistook one for another, her identification of the accused was “doubtful”.
The court further disagreed with the prosecution story, pointing out that there isn’t any evidence that the three accused even know each other. It noted, “How the three of them got together at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station and decided to jointly commit this offence has not… been explained by the prosecution. This is another lapse in the investigation.”
The bench, therefore, set aside their conviction, ruling, “For the aforementioned reasons, the Court finds it unsafe to hold the Appellants guilty of any of the offences with which they have been charged on the basis of the prosecution evidence. Consequently, the impugned judgment of the trial Court convicting the Appellants for the offences with which they were charged and the consequent order on sentence are hereby set aside. The Appellants are acquitted of the offences with which they have been charged.”
Read the Judgment Here