Mumbai

After 10 years, HC acquits Thane man convicted of rape

Says accused’s statement was recorded at fag end of trial and he did not get an opportunity to challenge it

The Bombay High Court recently acquitted a man convicted of raping a minor who later set herself on fire.

A Single Bench of Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing an appeal filed in 2013 by Madhukar Barora, a carpenter in Thane. He challenged an Additional Sessions Judge’s order convicting him under Sections 366A (procuration of minor girl), 376 (punishment for rape), 306 (abetment of suicide) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

On October 11, 2009, the minor girl had gone to the toilet outside her home when Mr. Barora held her, threatened her at knifepoint and dragged her into a forest. He later detained her and sexually assaulted her throughout the day.

On October 13, she was dropped near her house at 4 a.m. She later poured kerosene on herself, and when she could not withstand the pain, shouted, waking up her parents. On October 19, she succumbed to 82% burns and a case was filed against the accused. On January 16, 2010, a charge sheet was filed under Section 306 as it was a case of self-immolation. The case mainly rests upon the dying declaration alleged to have been given to the victim’s father.

The Bench took note of the accused’s statement recorded under Section 313 (power to examine the accused) of the Code of Criminal Procedure at the fag end of the trial.

‘Irregularities in case’

The court said, “There was no opportunity to challenge this and hence the accused deserves to be acquitted. Since it is not possible to correct the irregularity by any other means at this stage, it has become incumbent upon the court to consider the impact of the lapse on the overall case.”

The court also said, “Besides the dying declaration, there is no other material to support the case of the prosecution. The court recorded that the irregularities in recording of (Section) 313 cannot be rectified at this stage as the accused has undergone the whole sentence and therefore it would be futile to make an endeavour to fill up the lacunae in recording the statement. Hence he deserves to be acquitted.” The Bench quashed the order of conviction and acquitted the accused of all charges.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 7:43:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/after-10-years-hc-acquits-thane-man-convicted-of-rape/article27142182.ece

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