Mumbai: Observing that the evidence of an adult woman in rape cases, must corroborate with other evidences on record, the Bombay High Court acquitted a man convicted for kidnapping and committing rape on a woman.
A single-judge bench of Justice Anant Badar said, “Minor discrepancies in the version of the prosecutrix cannot be made use of, for acquitting the accused in cases of sexual offences. In certain cases, however, corroboration of other evidence is ordinarily required.”
“Testimony of a woman having attained majority and who is habitual to sexual intercourse may require corroboration depending on facts of a particular case as there is likelihood of levelling accusation of rape on account of instinct of self-preservation,” Justice Badar added.
The court was hearing an appeal moved by one Anant Shivde who was sentenced for total of nine years’ rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping and committing rape on a woman living in Thane district.
According to the woman’s statements, she lived with her uncle, who was financially low. She also claimed that during the day of the incident, the accused – Shivde had entered her home and informed her that her brother had met an accident.
It was her contention, that Shivde had forcefully taken her along with him to a jungle by tying her mouth with handkerchief. She also claimed that there Shivde had removed her clothes and committed rape on her. She also stated before the Magistrate, that she escaped the spot after a man on ‘scooty’ saw her and helped her to reach Shahapur police station.
After scrutinising her evidence, Justice Badar noted the fact that when Shivde was ‘forcefully’ taking her to the jungle, she tried to shout but no one came for her help. “This implies that other villagers were very much present on the spot when the prosecutrix was being. Normally, villagers know each other and such incident spreads like fire in the village. However, strangely enough, the prosecutrix claimed that nobody came for helping her while she was being abducted,” Justice Badar said.
The court also noted the fact that the woman had no bruises or scratch marks on her despite being pushed and dragged on stones by Shivde. The court also noted that if she was taken deep inside the forests then how come the scooty rider see her.
“This makes her version highly doubtful and artificial,” Justice Badar said.
While acquitting Shivde, Justice Badar said, “The prosecutrix’s evidence suffers from several infirmities and is doubtful and accordingly the benefit of doubt goes to the applicant.”