New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has upheld the seven year jail term awarded by a trial court to a man for raping a mentally challenged woman who was his neighbour.
Justice SP Garg dismissed the plea of Surender Krishan Seth who claimed he was falsely implicated by the mother of the victim as she wanted to grab his plot of land.
"A mother is not expected to tender false evidence against an innocent in her attempt to grab the plot and spoil the reputation of her unmarried young daughter," the court said.
Seth had challenged the Dec 20, 2010 order of the trial court that sentenced him to seven years imprisonment for raping the 30-year-old mentally challenged woman.
On Aug 8, 2007 Seth had dragged the victim to his house and raped her. The victim after reaching home apprised her mother about the incident, who then lodged the police complaint.
The medical examination of the victim established that she was sexually assaulted.
Seth claimed that the victim was not a virgin and he was falsely implicated in the case as in the medical report it was stated that the victim could on earlier occasion have had sexual intercourse.
Justice Garg rejected the argument, saying that mere statement of the doctor that the victim had sexual intercourse earlier also, in no way casts doubt on her evidence.
"Even if it is hypothetically accepted that the victim had lost her virginity earlier, it did not and cannot in law give licence to the accused to rape her. It is the accused who was on trial and not the victim," the court said.
The court relied upon the Supreme Court ruling that "even if the victim has been promiscuous in her sexual behaviour earlier, she has a right to refuse to submit herself to sexual intercourse to anyone and everyone because she is not a vulnerable object or prey for being sexually assaulted by anyone or everyone".
Seth claimed that the trial court had not considered the evidence in its proper perspective and fell into grave error to base conviction upon the sole testimony of the victim.
Major discrepancies in the testimony of the prosecution witnesses were ignored without valid reasons, he pleaded.
The high court dismissed the plea and said: "The victim, a partially mentally retarded girl made a positive statement that she was sexually assaulted by the accused against her wishes and it is corroborated by the medical evidence and the evidence of her mother, her evidence inspires confidence."
"The conviction of the appellant (Seth) is based on fair appraisal of the evidence...," the court said.