False allegation of committing rape causes humiliation and damage to the accused

Delhi High Court: While dealing with a case where seven persons were falsely implicated for committing rape on the prosecutrix by threatening her that they will kill her brother and display the photograph (in which she was being raped) in front of her house, a division bench on G.S. Sistani and S.D. Sehgal JJ.  held that no doubt the rape cases cause great distress and humiliation to the victims of rape, but at the same time false allegation of committing rape also causes humiliation and damage to the accused, as the accused also has right which has to be protected and the possibility of false implication has to be ruled out.

Vikas Pahwa, the Counsel for the appellant contended that the prosecutorix had an affair with the appellant since long time, and when the appellant refused to accept the marriage proposal of the prosecutorix, she falsely implicated the appellant in the rape case. The Counsel further contended that it is dangerous to punish the accused of rape solely on the basis of oral evidence of the prosecutorix. Per Contra, Firoz Khan Ghazi, the Counsel for the State favoured the conviction of the accused and argued that the prosecution has proved their case beyond any shadows of doubt.

The Court stated that it is a settled principle of law that conviction can be based on the sole testimony of the victim of sexual assault without corroboration of any other evidence, if the testimony inspires confidence and has complete link of truth. However, in the instant case, the Court observed that the  prosecutorix confronted with her statements recorded under S. 161 and 164 of CrPC on several issues/ facts contrary to the deposition in Court, and noted that “large number of contradictions, improvements and exaggerations in her statement cast shadow of doubt to rely upon her version”. The Court further noted that the prosecutorix failed the test of being a sterling witness, whose statement can be relied on face value without any hesitation, as her statement neither stood corroborated from medical evidence or any other material on record, and thus the prosecution failed to discharge its onus to prove the rape on the prosecutrix. The Court concluded that the trial court erroneously appreciated the evidence, as the photograph, identity of persons in the photograph and the genuineness of the negative has not been proved. Accordingly, the Court setaside the order passed by the trial court which convicted and sentenced the appellants (accused) for the offences punishable under S. 376(2)(g) /342/ 506(II) read with S. 34 of the Penal Code, and acquitted them of the charges framed against them. Rohit Bansal v. State, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 9937, decided on 29.05.2015

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