‘Mini Trial’ to find out trustworthiness of a ‘rape victim’ before framing charge against accused, impermissible: Manipur HC
The court seems to have made roving enquiry by holding a mini trial to find out trustworthiness of the prosecutrix which was not at all permissible under the law, the Court observed.
Terming a Trial Court order discharging a rape accused, as ‘patently illegal’, the Manipur High Court has observed that holding a mini trial before framing of charge in a rape case, to find out trustworthiness of the prosecutrix, is not at all permissible under the law.
Setting aside the order of discharge, the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court, Justice RR Prasad also directed the Special Judge to frame charge first and to proceed with the trial by recording evidence of the witnesses afresh.
In the instant case, the Trial Court taking cognizance of the offence, proceeded for examining the I.O. and two medical witnesses as court witness before framing the charge to satisfy himself as to whether sufficient grounds are there or not for putting the accused on trial.
The Trial Court, examining their testimonies, observed that the version of the prosecutrix is not getting corroboration from any other witnesses and referring to certain decisions of Supreme Court, held that, it would not be safe to rely on the testimony of the prosecutrix who does not seem to be trustworthy in absence of any corroboration. Against the order of Discharge, the prosecutrix approached the High Court.
The High Court, observed: “While holding so, the Court did not take into account the fact that all those cases related to post trial and that too the said proposition was laid down after finding the prosecutrix not to be fully trustworthy.”
The Court further observed: “I do find that the Court, while discharging the accused, has put reliance on certain materials which was brought on record by way of evidence through witnesses and thereby the Court in view of the provisions of the CrPC and also the decisions rendered in the cases referred to above, committed a gross illegality. That apart, the court seems to have made roving enquiry by holding a mini trial to find out trustworthiness of the prosecutrix which was not at all permissible under the law. Under the circumstances, the Special Judge committed gross illegality in discharging the accused from the accusation. Not only that he has adopted the method to have material by getting certain witnesses examined before the charge was framed for the purpose of passing order on the petition of discharge which is dehors to the provision of the CrPC and thereby any recording of evidence before charge cannot be treated as evidence.”