In a significant ruling, the Madras high court has held that a rape case cannot be quashed even if the victim 'resiles' from her allegations as the offence was not against any individual but against the state.
In another case, the Madurai bench ruled that a rape case could not be quashed just because the results of the DNA test proved that the accused was not the biological father of the baby conceived and delivered by the victim after the sexual assault.
Justice T Sudanthiram gave the orders on petitions by the accused in two different rape cases. In his first order dismissing a petition by five accused, the refused to quash a first information report filed by the Tirchirappalli police and rejected their plea that they had settled the issue amicably.
The judge expressed shock over a written statement by the victim and her maternal aunt, who filed the complaint, that no such incident as charged by the prosecution ever took place. He observed that either the alleged occurrence must be false or the present statements made by the complainant and the victim must be false. It was a matter of serious concern even if either was true.
Allowing prosecution to proceed against the complainant and the victim for going back on their charge, the Judge made it clear it was not open to their working out a compromise.
Government Advocate S Prabha said police were about to file a chargesheet when the victim and complainant resiled for some 'obvious' reasons. In the other petition, the accused, charged with raping a 14-year-old girl and making her pregnant, had sought quashing of the case filed in 2006 on ground that two DNA tests by different laboratories had proved he was not the biological father of the female child.
Dismissing the petition, the Judge said medical evidence was not enough to quash the case. "Medical evidence is one part and not the only part of evidence in a criminal case."
The victim should be given a chance to prove her case before the trial court rather than quashing it in the initial stage, the Judge said while agreeing with the government pleader.
The DNA test results may be in favour of the accused, but this is not the stage to conclude the case. The DNA test is only a scientific opinion, the Judge said.
The trial court had to decide the issue after considering all aspects, scientific opinion, experts view and evidence of the witnesses, the judge said.