The Madras High Court recently acquitted a man, who was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment by a lower court in a rape case and primarily blamed the “faulty investigation” for the same.
Justice MV Muralidharan, therefore, directed the Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu to peruse the judgment and arrange for training sessions for all investigation officers throughout the state to sensitize them for handling cases involving sexual offences and other crimes against women.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by one V. Venkatesan, who had been convicted under Sections 450 (house trespass in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment for life), 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Justice Muralidharan now accepted the fact that there have been several lapses in the investigation conducted by the police authorities. For instance, it pointed out that the accused was subjected to a medical examination only after eleven months of having arrested him.
The court, in fact, termed the “faulty investigation” the root cause of the failure of the prosecution case, observing, “It is seen from the records that unfortunately the investigation conducted by PW-12 is the root cause to collapse the case of the prosecution. The investigation Officer, without taking due care, conducted an investigation in a very casual manner. Though it is stated that on 11.03.2008 she entrusted the nighty worn by PW-1 but the same has not been marked as material object. Moreover, PW-12 does not aware as to how an investigation is to be conducted as far as the offence punishable under section 376 of IPC or the offence against the women.”
Additionally, the court observed that the testimony and statements of the prosecutrix did not inspire confidence. It noted that an analysis of her cross-examination also “created a doubt over the prosecution case”.
The court then felt obligated to allow the appeal, owing to the faulty investigation and the conduct of the prosecutrix after the incident. The accused was, therefore, discharged.