New Delhi: A 24-year-old rape case that was begging for justice due to non-appearance of the accused has been reopened in a fast-track court here dealing with sexual offences against women after the arrest of the absconding offender.
Additional Sessions Judge Sarita Birbal reopened the trial after the accused, Lakhpat, who was evading arrest, was produced before the court by the police. The court has now posted the matter for Jan 6, 2015 for recording the statements of the remaining prosecution witnesses.
The prosecution has alleged that Lakhpat kidnapped a 12-year-old girl from east Delhi on July 6, 1990 and took her to his village in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh and raped her.
It added that Lakhpat, who was around 24-years-old at the time of incident, was a tenant in the victim`s house.
The girl was later rescued and the police arrested Lakhpat and lodged a first information report against him in east Delhi`s Bhajanpura.
He was granted bail on Dec 21, 1994.
The trial began Jan 5, 1995 after a sessions court here framed various charges dealing with rape and kidnapping against Lakhpat. He had appeared in the court for the next few hearings but then absconded.
Thereafter, the sessions court hearing the case issued a non-bailable warrant against him but he was untraceable.
The court declared him a proclaimed offender on Feb 2, 1998 and stayed the trial, saying it could not be conducted without Lakhpat`s presence.
Till then, four of the 11 prosecution witnesses, including the victim, who is now 36, were examined.
On Oct 28, acting on a tip-off, police arrested Lakhpat from R.K. Puram in south Delhi and produced before a magistrate, who remanded him to judicial custody.
The magistrate then marked the case file to the fast track court, which Nov 25 ordered the trial be resumed on Jan 6, 2015.
"Lakhpat was evading arrest so that he could flee from justice and put the trial on hold," a police officer told IANS.
He added that Lakhpat, now 48, had thought that he could stay out of jail by absconding.
"He was making a mockery of legal system by escaping from trial," the officer said, adding: "However, police has arrested him acting on source-based information and brought him back before the court to face the trial."