If a woman says she was raped, her version needs to be taken: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: If a rape survivor states on oath that she was subjected to forcible sexual intercourse, her statement needs to be accepted without any corroboration. This ruling was made by the Bombay High Court recently, while turning down the plea of a man, who had raped a girl during the Ramzan month.

The observations were made by Justice Anant Badar while hearing an appeal of Devendra Murgan, who was convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment by the Sessions Court. He had challenged his conviction contending that he was falsely implicated.

Prosecution said the girl, lives in a hostel and was in Antop Hill at her parent’s house to observe Ramzan. During her stay at her parent’s house, Murgan along with two of his accomplices entered her house and raped her. The girl attempted to free herself from Murgan’s grip and in this led to some noise of utensils, after which the trio left the place.

The girl then made an attempt to commit suicide by consuming her mother’s tablets. Murgan’s counsel argued that the prosecution only relied on the statement of the girl and her mother. The counsel also argued that no independent witness was examined by the prosecution.

“It is well settled that in sexual offences, the court is expected to be sensitive and consider the broader probabilities of the case of the prosecution rather than giving importance to minor discrepancies and contradictions.”

“If the victim of rape states on oath that she was forcibly subjected to sexual intercourse, her statement needs to be accepted, normally even if it remains uncorroborated, because the very nature of such offence makes it impossible to seek corroboration. If the evidence of the victim of the offence is trustworthy, then there is no need of searching for corroboration to her testimony,”  Justice Badar held.

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