Mother Wouldn’t Falsely Accuse Child’s Father Of Rape Which Could Damage Daughter’s Marriage Prospects: Bombay HC [Read Judgment]
The Bombay High Court recently upheld the conviction of a father for raping his minor daughter, opining that the mother would have no reason to file a false rape case against him, as it can even damage “prospect of marriage” of the girl child.
Justice AM Badar observed, “The incident in question is that of penetrative sexual assault by the father of the PW2/victim child. It involves honour of the family. Merely because the appellant/accused being a father had beaten his son for bad Company of his son, cannot provoke his wife to lodge such a report which can even damage prospect of marriage of the PW2/victim child of the couple.”
The court was hearing an appeal filed by one Shridhar Kalu Gatir, challenging a judgment passed in August, 2014, convicting him for raping his eleven-year-old daughter sometime in November 2003.
The daughter had informed of the assault to her mother, but the former was scared of approaching the police as the father used to beat the mother as well as the daughter. Therefore, it was only after five days that the mother gathered the courage to lodge the report and an FIR was registered. The father had now contended that his wife had falsely implicated him.
The court however asserted that the evidence of the minor girl was reliable, observing, “This child witness had deposed against her own biological father. There is nothing in cross-examination of this child witness to suggest even remotely that she was tutored by someone else to falsely implicate her father in the crime in question. There was no reason for the PW2/victim child to falsely implicate her own father in such a serious offence.”
It further opined that the testimony of the child, supported by medical evidence indicates penetration and hence, it cannot be said that the prosecution has failed to prove the offence punishable under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
As far as the quantum of sentence is concerned, the court opined that the sentence of ten years rigorous imprisonment was proportionate to the offence held to be proven against him. The appeal was therefore dismissed.