The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction and sentence of 10 years of imprisonment of a man for sexually assaulting a seven-and-a-half-year-old deaf and dumb girl in the Mandir Mag area in New Delhi in 1996.

Justice S. P. Garg upheld the conviction of convict Guddu Rathore on the basis of testimonies of the victim’s parents and the medical evidence. The convict had assaulted the girl at his jhuggi on Kali Bari Marg.

While upholding the conviction of Rathore on the basis of the evidence of the victim’s parents, Justice Garg said: “In the absence of examination of the prosecutrix, the statements of other witnesses can be considered and relied upon to examine the guilt of the accused.” He made the observation while rebutting the defence argument that the prosecutrix was not examined in the trial. She was not examined because she could not respond to the queries to the sign language experts as she was not aware of it.

Immediately after the incident, the victim had narrated it to her parents.

The parents had told the police that their daughter was bleeding profusely when she had narrated to them about the crime committed on her. They had immediately taken her to a doctor for treatment. She was so shocked and the injuries were so serious that she remained in hospital for a week.

While seeking acquittal in the case, counsel for the accused argued that the victim’s parents were interested witnesses. He also said that the jhuggi in which the incident had occurred was not in the exclusive possession of the accused and that nobody had seen him taking the victim to his jhuggi. Further, there was no direct evidence and independent witness to the incident. Besides that, there was a time gap between the occurrence of the incident and lodging of the FIR, counsel for the accused submitted.

However, Justice Garg rejected all the defence arguments. Upholding the conviction, he said: “The accused did not give any plausible explanation to the incriminating circumstances proved against him. He did not adduce any evidence that the jhuggi did not belong to him and he never resided therein. He did not examine any witness to prove false implication due to any ill-will or enmity with the prosecutrix’s parents.”

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