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Rajasthan HC acquitted a man accused of raping his minor daughter

The Rajasthan High Court acquitted a man accused of raping his daughter after observing that the only testimony of a child witness did not “inspire trust.

The bench observed that the inquiry conducted by the investigating officer was “so flawed“that he had not prepared any situational plan of the places where the incident took place, which could constitute the basis for initiating criminal proceedings in connection with the alleged incidents of rape. The Court, therefore, directed the Director General of Police (DGP) of Rajasthan to initiate an inquiry into the conduct of the investigating officers involved. “Needless to say, appropriate action will be initiated against all erring officials after giving them due opportunity of hearing, strictly in accordance with law,– noted the Court.

Single bench Justice Anoop Kumara Dhanda he noted, “Delay of over two years in filing the FIR, failure to narrate the repeated incidents of rape by the prosecutor to the mother or anyone for two years, absence of any marks of injury or violence on the private and external parts of the prosecutor’s body, absence of evidence of recent sexual intercourse in the absence of FSL chemical report, failure to prepare site plans places of events and the failure to confirm the accusation by the prosecutor’s mother raise serious doubts as to the entire course of the accusation.

Advocate Sudhir Jain represented the appellant, however PP Imran Khan appeared at the defendant’s.

The victim’s mother lodged an FIR against her husband (appellant) alleging that he had raped her 13-year-old minor daughter in her absence. The appellant was subsequently convicted under Section 376 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.500. However, the High Court found several grounds for overturning this judgment.

The High Court pointed out that there was no provision in the CrPC or in the criminal jurisprudence requiring preservation for a longer period of time of any report relating to the offense of rape or any offense pending preliminary investigation and recording of a statement before lodging an FIR.

The entire case is based on an incident report submitted by the prosecutor’s mother, who did not support the prosecution’s case and was considered hostile. Therefore, the prosecution case does not inspire any confidence,– stated the Court.

The bench also noted that the victim’s mother did not support the prosecution’s position and was therefore deemed a hostile witness.

The testimony of a child witness alone does not inspire confidence. In the absence of any corroborating witnesses or medical evidence, reasonable doubt can therefore be drawn as to the commission of the offense by the accused-appellant. This court is of the opinion that the discrepancies in the witnesses’ testimonies and the deficiencies noted above cast a shadow of doubt on the prosecution’s case and, therefore, the involvement of the accused has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt,– stated the Court.

Consequently, the Court quashed the contested conviction and acquitted the appellant by giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Therefore, the Supreme Court allowed the complaint.

Case Title: Ghulam Mohammed v. State of Rajasthan (Neutral citation: 2024:RJ-JP:23654)

Appearance:

Appellant: Supporters of Sudhir Jain and Partha Sharma

Defendant: PP Imran Khan

Click here to read/download the judgment