The Delhi High Court has acquitted a man of rape charge, pointing out that the victim’s testimony on the offence does not inspire confidence.
However, the Court upheld his conviction and that of his accomplice for kidnapping and wrongfully confining the victim.
The prosecution charge against the accused, Puran Chand and Girish, was that they had abducted the victim near Madangir market in South Delhi and taken her to a deserted place when she was returning to her jhuggi after purchasing vegetables in 1992.
Initially, the local police had charge-sheeted the accused under Sections 376 (2) (g) (gang rape), 354 (molestation), 342 (wrongfully confining any person) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The trial court had later charged them under Section 366 (kidnapping a woman to compel her marriage or to cause her defilement) and 342.
Puran Chand was additionally charged for the molestation. Initially, in her statement recorded before a magistrate, the victim had not mentioned the accused raping her.
However, when she appeared before the trial court for recording of evidence eight years after lodging the case, she alleged that Puran Chand had raped her. Thereafter, the court had added the rape charge against him.
The trial court had held Puran Chand guilty of the rape charge and sentenced him to seven years of rigorous imprisonment.
However, Justice S. P. Garg acquitted him of the rape charge.