In State of Himachal Pradesh v Tilak Raj, decided by the Supreme Court bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit on Friday, October 27, the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s acquittal of the two accused in 2014, for the rape of a married woman, stood reversed, and the their conviction and sentence to 10 years rigorous imprisonment, in 2010 by the trial court was restored.
The high court reasoned that since the prosecutrix did not raise alarm even when there were opportunities, the incident should be treated as one of consensual sex rather than rape. “There are material contradictions, inconsistencies and embellishments in the statements of the prosecution witnesses. The prosecution has failed to prove its case against the accused”, the high court had concluded.
The Supreme Court in its order held:
“In view of the categorical evidence of the prosecutrix which was rightly and fully believed by the trial court, reversal of acquittal of the respondents is not sustainable (emphasis ours). Accordingly, we set aside the impugned order and restore the order of the trial court.
The Supreme Court order is clear that the State’s appeal is allowed, and the respondents-accused must be taken into custody to serve out the remaining sentence.
Therefore, the words “reversal of” before the word “acquittal of the respondents” in the order must be deleted by the Court in a subsequent order, as the Court’s conclusion is clearly that reversal of their acquittal is sustainable.
Read the Order Here