Free Press Journal

Witnesses’ testimony enough to prove sexual offence: Bombay High Court


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court recently said a sexual offence is not necessarily required to be proven by tye evidence provided by the victim or survivor. The HC has said such offences can be proved by relying on the testimony of the witnesses as well as circumstantial evidence.

The statement came from a single-judge bench of Justice Anant Badar heard a bail application moved by city resident Devendra Bansraj Singh, the father who was arrested for sexually exploiting his minor daughter.

According to the prosecution’s case, the minor victim, who was facing sexual exploitation at the hands of her father, had narrated her ordeal to her school principal. Thereafter, the principal along with a female teacher of the school and the girl’s tutor, approached the police and filed a complaint against Singh.

In her statements to the police, the minor victim stated her father used to abuse her in the absence of her mother. She further revealed when she objected to her father’s advances and warned him of lodging a plaint, however, Singh continued to commit rape on her. Subsequently, the police nabbed Singh and he was sent to judicial custody. However, after some time, the girl retracted from her statements and wanted to withdraw her case against her father.

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Taking a note of it, Justice Badar said, “The subsequent U-turn taken by the minor female child prima facie appears to be for protecting her father. It at the most shows tampering of the evidence of the prosecution.” Justice Badar noted that there were statements of the girl’s school principal, teacher as well as the tutor, who supported the victim’s version accusing Singh of raping her.

Justice Badar said, “Apart from the evidence of the daughter, there is other evidence against Singh on which the prosecution can rely in the matter.” “The offence is not necessarily required to be proved by the evidence of the victim of such sexual offence. It can be proved even by examining other witnesses as well as by adducing circumstantial evidence,” Justice Badar added. Accordingly, the court rejected Singh’s bail plea.

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