The Supreme Court in Raja & Ors. vs. State of Karnataka, has set aside a Karnataka High Court judgment, which had reversed the acquittal recorded by a trial court in a gang rape case, and had sentence the accused to life imprisonment.
The Bench, comprising Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice Amitava Roy, observed that the prosecutrix has contradicted herself qua the place of alleged kidnapping and her version in the complaint with regard to the offending act and the number of persons, who had committed the same, was inconsistent with her testimony on oath at the trial.
“Her conduct during the alleged ordeal is also unlike a victim of forcible rape and betrays somewhat submissive and consensual disposition. From the nature of the exchanges between her and the accused as narrated by her, the same are not at all consistent with those of an unwilling, terrified and anguished victim of forcible intercourse, if judged by the normal human conduct,” the Bench observed.
Referring to medical report, the court said it belied the allegation of gang rape. The court also said her post incident conduct and movements were also noticeably unusual. “Her confident movements alone past midnight, in that state are also out of the ordinary.” the Bench remarked.
Referring to Raju and Ors Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh (2008) 15 SCC 133, the Bench also reiterated that though generally the testimony of a victim of rape or non-consensual physical assault ought to be accepted as true and unblemished, it would still be subject to judicial scrutiny, lest a casual, routine and automatic acceptance thereof results in unwarranted conviction of the person charged.
Read the Judgment here.