A Sessions court in New Delhi has sentenced a 61-year-old man to ten years’ imprisonment for raping his daughter-in-law when his wife and son were not present at home.

The victim deposed before the court that the convict had made advances on earlier occasions too and that she had complained to her mother-in-law but the convict did not mend his ways.

Additional Sessions Judge Vijay Kumar Dahiya said that in one sense of the word “a daughter-in-law is at par with one’s own daughter” but the convict had blemished the “sacrosanct and pious” relationship and therefore deserved no leniency.

The court noted that though the woman had a low IQ and was not able to detail the complete chain of incidents there were no material contradictions in her testimony and she had repeatedly affirmed that the convict had raped her. “The prosecutrix has identified the accused, understood the questions put to her, and deposed that she has been ravished by the accused; as such her testimony is found to be impeccable,” the ASJ said.

The defence made an issue of the victim not deposing after taking the mandatory oath to truthfully testify. Because of her condition she could not understand what an oath meant. “So far as non-administering oath to the prosecutrix in order to doubt her veracity is concerned, the said fact is immaterial and the testimony of witness without oath is as good as that of the witness examined on oath and conviction can be sustained on the testimony of a witness examined without oath, in case such testimony inspires confidence and non administration of oath cannot be a fact to discard the testimony of the witness,” said the Judge.

Though the convict’s brother was an eyewitness to the incident he had turned hostile.

Keywords: Delhi rape case

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