New Delhi: A couple and a youth have been sentenced to varying jail terms for the offences of raping and kidnapping a minor girl by a Delhi court which relied on the testimonies of the victim and her father, saying they were “convincing and truthful”.
The court awarded 10-year jail term to 55-year-old Ram Udagar and Tej Narain, 23, for the offence of rape of the nine-year-old girl and sent Ram’s wife Sukhia, 45, to seven years rigorous imprisonment for kidnapping the child and abetting her abduction to compel her for marriage. “Victim’s testimony is natural, clear, cogent, convincing, trustworthy and inspires confidence. She is not a tutored witness. Her version on the core spectrum of the crime has remained intact,” Additional Sessions Judge M C Gupta said.
The judge, while also relying on statement of the girl’s father, said, his testimony was “reliable and having a ring of truth” and “there is nothing to suggest that he had any animus against accused to falsely implicate them in the case.” The court also relied on the medical report of the victim which proved she was raped and statement of policemen. It imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Ram, Rs 35,000 on Sukhia and Rs 25,000 on Tej Narain for the offences under IPC. According to prosecution, a complaint was lodged by victim’s father, on May 13, 2011 alleging that his daughter was missing since four days and after searching for her everywhere, he could not trace her.
The police said that the couple had kidnapped the girl when she was playing outside her residence in Delhi and kept her in their house where Ram raped her several times. His wife Sukhia then sent the girl to Narain in Bihar, who also raped her and all three accused threatened to kill her if she disclosed it to anyone, it said. The police said that the girl was rescued 15 days later from the house of Ram and Sukhia, who were the complainant’s neighbours, and were arrested.
Charges were framed against all the three accused under sections 363 (kidnapping), 365 (kidnap to confine a person), 366 (abduction of woman to compel her for marriage), 506 (criminal intimidation). The two men were also charged for offence under section 376 (2)(f) (raping a woman below 12 years of age) of IPC. During the trial the accused claimed they were falsely implicated and that the victim was tutored by her parents. They also contended that there was an inexplicable delay in lodging of FIR and that there was no eye witness to the crime they were charged for. The court rejected all the contentions saying, delay in FIR was “satisfactorily” explained by the victim’s father who had said he was searching for his daughter everywhere for four days after which he lodged FIR. It also observed that “non-joining of public witnesses does not falsify the prosecution case… It is a matter of common experience that public persons are reluctant to assist the police in the investigation.”