NEW DELHI

Father acquitted of charge of raping his daughter

Disbelieving the statement of the victim in view of the other attending circumstances and evidence going against it, the Delhi High Court has acquitted a man of the charge of raping his minor daughter.

While acquitting Atender Yadav, a Division Bench of Justice Kailash Gambhir and Justice Indermeet Kaur said that the eleven-year-old daughter of the accused had lodged the case at the instance of her mother and grand-parents.

The girl’s mother was driven to lodge a false case against her divorced husband out of revenge as she had not been compensated adequately at the time of the divorce and had the desire to take back the custody of the two children. On the other hand the parents of the accused were driven by the lust to take possession of a property of their son which was willed to him by his grand-parents from the paternal side, the Bench noted in the judgment.

The Bench acquitted the accused citing discrepancies in the evidence of prosecution witnesses, including the girl and her mother. The medical evidence was also found to be weak by the Court.

Moreover, the parents had later a change of heart and refused to support the prosecution case.

The couple belong to the middle class and had got married in 1995. However, after some time the relations between them soured which led to each one filing several cases against the other. However, they had later withdrawn all the cases filed against each other following the divorce.

In the settlement, the wife had got Rs.1 lakh in cash as full and final payment while the husband got the custody of the two children, daughter and son. The accused also had agreed not to insist on repayment of Rs.1 lakh which he had lent to his former wife’s sister.

Quashing the trial court judgment on an appeal filed by the accused who was sentenced to life imprisonment, the Bench said: “Taking an overall view of the aforesaid facts of the present case, the judicial conscience of the court impels us to disbelieve and disagree with the finding of the learned trial court holding the appellant guilty of committing rape of his daughter in the month of November–December 2006. The evidence produced by the prosecution and even the medical evidence does not lead us to believe that the appellant had committed a rape of his daughter.’’

Commenting on the role of the girl’s mother in the case, the Bench said: “The Court is appalled as how the mother for her personal vendetta compromises the wellbeing of her daughter to let her live for a lifetime with such a stigma and scar of being raped by her own father. The question is best left unanswered in the interest of humanity.’’



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