Mumbai: Observing that “truth must triumph,” the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court recently upheld conviction of a 46-year-old man for raping his own minor daughter. The HC upheld the conviction order which was solely based on the DNA reports since the prime witnesses including the victim and her mother had turned hostile, only to save their “sole breadwinner.”
A single-judge bench of Justice Manish Pitale was seized with a criminal appeal filed by Salim Ansari, a vegetable vendor at Yashoda Nagar, Nagpur. Justice Pitale said, “Merely because the material prosecution witnesses, particularly the victim of the crime and her mother, had turned hostile, it cannot lead to acquittal of the applicant (Ansari).”
“It is indeed sad and poignant that despite such a reprehensible act committed by Ansari against his own daughter, his wife and the daughter, who is the victim, have chosen not to support the prosecution case and have turned hostile. But the scientific evidence in the form of DNA test report on record, has nailed his guilt. I believe the truth must triumph ,” Justice Pitale observed.
According to the prosecution case, it was in March 2014, when Ansari’s wife learnt through a doctor that their minor daughter was pregnant. She then enquired from her daughter, who informed her mother that her very own father forcefully raped her on several occasions. The mother, accordingly registered a police complaint against Ansari, after which investigations were conducted and meanwhile, The victim delivered a baby girl.
During the course of trial, the victim, however, turned hostile and her mother too was declared hostile. These prime witnesses turned hostile seeking acquittal of the “sole breadwinner” of their family i.e. no one other than Ansari. The trial court however went on to convict Ansari on the basis of the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) report, which proved that the baby girl, born to the victim, was related to Ansari.
Taking into consideration the DNA report, Justice Pitale said, “A DNA test is an effective tool of investigation and proof of guilt of the accused and it has now been accepted with the advancement of scientific technology, especially due to the accuracy of the test. This test has an unparalleled ability, both for exonerating the wrongly convicted and to identify the guilty.” The court further said that the only requirement for considering the DNA test is that the sampling of the blood samples, have to be proper and there should no material indicating any “tampering.”