New Delhi: A man, accused of raping his niece and forcibly marrying her, has been acquitted by a Delhi court after the woman said she had voluntarily married him.

Additional Sessions Judge T R Naval also freed the man’s wife of the charges of abetting the rape of their niece, saying the prosecution has failed to prove its case against the accused couple, residents of East Delhi.

“The prosecutrix (woman) did not support the prosecution case. Her statement was found inconsistent, unreliable and untrustworthy. In the testimony of the woman, the ingredients of rape, sexual harassment, criminal intimidation and abetment of rape could not be established,” the court said.

It also said that the other material prosecution witnesses also failed to support the prosecution case and were declared hostile.

“They inter alia, stated that the prosecutrix did not tell anything to them against the accused persons. Conversely, they deposed that prosecutrix told them that she got marriage with the accused no. 1 (man) on her free will. Thus, material witnesses did not support the prosecutrix,” the judge said.

Both the accused and the woman practice Islam.

According to the prosecution, the woman had lodged a complaint at Mayur Vihar Police Station in May 2013 alleging that in March when she had gone to her maternal aunt’s house, she was served with a sedative-laced cold drink.

After drinking it, she felt giddy and her aunt’s husband, the accused, offered to drop her home but he took her to an unknown place and raped her, she alleged.

The next day, he again took her in his car and showed their nude photographs and videos and threatened to kill her brother, if she refused to marry him, she said adding that, he forcibly married her and raped her.

The woman, however, changed her statement in the court and deposed that she had wilfully married the man and he had not raped her.

The woman said she had reported the matter to police due to some misunderstanding on the issue of living together with his first wife.

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Free Press Journal