Delhi HC Acquits Man Of Rape, Notes Woman Called Him 529 Times Before Calling Police [Read Judgment]
Delhi High Court acquitted a man charged with rape noting amongst other things the fact that the complainant woman called him 529 times before calling police which made her narration shady.
Bench of Justice Manmohan and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal was hearing an appeal filed under Section 372 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, challenging the judgment of the Trial Court, whereby the accused-respondent was acquitted of charges under Section 328/376(2)(n)/343/506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Court after considering evidence before it agreed with the finding of the Trial Court that the testimony of the appellant-prosecutrix is 'highly unreliable', 'untrustworthy' and 'inspires no confidence' for the following reasons:
- The appellant-prosecutrix alleged that she had received an invitation to attend a seminar on 13th December, 2016 at IIM, Noida. However, 13th December, 2016 was a gazetted holiday. Furthermore, the RTI reply sent by IIM, Noida stated that on account of the gazetted holiday, there was no seminar scheduled for 13th December, 2016 and they had not sent any invitation to the appellant-prosecutrix.
- There is a major contradiction in the statement of the appellant prosecutrix inasmuch as, in the written complaint dated 05th January, 2017 made to the DCP, Dwarka, and the complaint dated 17th January, 2017 to the SHO PS Pahar Ganj, the appellant-prosecutrix had not mentioned that she had come in contact with the accused-respondent through LinkedIn for the purpose of research work. However, she has mentioned the aforesaid fact in her statement before the Court.
- The appellant-prosecutrix had submitted her I.D. proof to the hotel and in the same she had mentioned her address of Aligarh, UP as Delhi Police Guidelines do not permit the hotel to allot a room to a local Delhi resident.
- The entrance of the hotel room is manned by security guards 24 hours and no one can enter the hotel without the permission of the guard. The appellant-prosecutrix could have easily come out of the hotel room to make a call to the police or raise an alarm or could have requested any of the hotel staff to make a call. The appellant prosecutrix is mobile and does not suffer from such a serious disability that she could not have raised an alarm.
- There is no evidence placed on record to suggest that the appellant prosecutrix was administered intoxicating substance and its effect lasted for three days.
- On 15th December, 2016 after the alleged incident, the accused respondent allegedly took the appellant-prosecutrix to Shivaji Stadium Metro Station. There he admittedly returned her belongings, including her mobile phone. It is highly improbable that the appellant prosecutrix, being a daughter of a retired Commandant of CRPF and herself being a Professor, could not make call to the police or any other person after receiving her mobile phone.
- There is a delay of 32 days in filing the FIR, according to the Trial Court or at least 20 days as admitted by the appellant-prosecutrix. According to the appellant-prosecutrix, there was a delay as her brother was abroad. But such an alibi on the part of the appellant prosecutrix is difficult to accept as appellant-prosecutrix is an educated lady who is gainfully employed as a Professor in a university.
- The appellant-prosecutrix also did not hand over her mobile phone to the I.O. The appellant-prosecutrix deposed that the police during investigation did not ask for it. However, the I.O, who deposed before the court, stated that she had asked the appellant-prosecutrix to hand over her mobile phone but she refused to do so.
- Appellant-prosecutrix had made 529 calls to accused-respondent between 16th December, 2016 (after the date of rape) to 29th January, 2017 (before filing of the complaint). Her act of making so many repeated calls is not consistent with her allegations.
Keeping in view the aforesaid cumulative findings, Court found testimony of the appellant-prosecutrix as unreliable and inspiring no confidence and noted that there are compelling reasons for rejection of her testimony. It said further that the Section 114A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, is not attracted as the factum of sexual intercourse is not proved.
It also noted that there are various lacunae in the case of the prosecution and the benefit of doubt will have to be given to the accused-respondent. Consequently it dismissed the appeal being bereft of merits.
Appellant was represented by advocate Simran Sadyora with advocate Sanjeev Bhatia and State was represented by Aashaa Tiwari, APP for State with SI Vishvendra, PS Paharganj in the case.