Deprecating the hue and cry over acquittals in rape cases, a Delhi court has said that the judiciary cannot be swayed by emotions or media reporting and has to limit itself to the ambit of law, testimonies of witnesses in deciding such cases.
“It would not be out of place to mention here that today there is a public outrage and a hue and cry is being raised everywhere that Courts are not convicting the rape accused. However, no man, accused of rape, can be convicted if the witnesses do not support the prosecution case or give quality evidence, as in the present case where the prosecutrix is hostile.
“It should not be ignored that the Court has to confine itself to the ambit of law and the contents of the file as well as the testimonies of the witnesses and is not to be swayed by emotions or reporting in the media,” Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma said.
The court made the remarks while acquitting two Delhi residents Pawan Kumar Tyagi and Kailash Chand of the charges of rape, abduction and criminal intimidation after the alleged victim turned hostile.
Tyagi and Chand were arrested by the police in March last year on the basis of a complaint lodged by the girl in which she had alleged that Tyagi had repeteadly raped her on the pretext of marriage while Chand had outraged her modesty last year.
However, during the trial, the girl retracted from her earlier statement given before the police and told the court that she had come in contact with one of the accused through social networking site and had developed physical relationships with him on her own consent.
She also told the judge that she had lodged the case at the instance of her well wishers.
“It is clear that the evidence of the prosecution is neither reliable nor believable and is not trustworthy and the prosecution has failed to establish outraging the modesty, abduction, rape and threat. The evidence of the prosecutrix makes it highly improbable that such an incident ever took place,” the court said.
During her cross-examination in the court, the alleged victim had said that both the accused have not committed any wrongdoing with her. The police had slapped charges of rape and kidnapping on the pretext of marriage against Tyagi while Chand was booked for outraging the modesty of woman and criminal intimidation.
Both the accused had pleaded not guilty during the trial. The court, while acquitting the duo, said that the alleged victim, has not deposed an iota of evidence of her being raped at all.
“She has not even mentioned the word ‘rape’, ‘threat or ‘outraging of modesty’ against both the accused persons in her evidence nor has deposed anything incriminating against both the accused persons,” the court said.
“There is no material on record to suggest that accused Kailash Chand outraged the modesty of the prosecutrix and that the prosecutrix was ever abducted by the accused Pawan Kumar Tyagi, raped by him on false pretext of marriage and threatened by him,” it said.
Image: A woman holds a placard protesting against the rising cases of rapes in Kolkata. Photograph: Nicky Loh/Getty Images.