‘Absence of independent corroboration of charge’

A 70-year-old advocate, accused by a former client in 2011 of repeatedly raping her between 2004 and 2006, has been acquitted by a Sessions court which noted that the two had a bitter falling out in 2006 and were subsequently engaged in a series of litigations. The woman had also made a number of complaints in different forums against the lawyer but until 2010 had not reported him for rape.

The woman claimed that she had remained tight-lipped to prevent any blemish on her character, to protect her daughter, and because she was living with her parents.

She had engaged the lawyer to fight a case against her ex-husband. She alleged that when her parents arranged a second marriage for her in 2011, the lawyer contacted her and demanded that she renew her relationship with him, at which point she confided in her parents and they encouraged her to lodge an FIR in the case.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said the woman’s testimony did not appear trustworthy and that there was no valid explanation for the delay in reporting of the matter by a woman who was well-educated and aware of her statutory rights.

The court said it was also handicapped by the absence of independent corroboration to her testimony coupled with the fact that the allegations made against the accused by the prosecutrix were highly vague in terms of date, time and place of crime.

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