New Delhi: The Delhi High court has set aside the conviction and ten-year jail term awarded to a man, who was held guilty of raping his 30-year-old tenant, saying that the woman's version was not 'convincing'.
Justice S P Garg directed immediate release of the convict who was in custody since November 2009, holding that there were several 'defects' in the prosecution story and the man 'deserves benefit of doubt'.
"Taking into consideration the inherent defects in the prosecution case, the vital infirmities and discrepancies in the statements of the prosecution witnesses, the version given by the prosecutrix cannot be considered cogent and convincing to base conviction in the absence of any independent corroboration...
"In the light of above discussion, conviction and sentence recorded by the trial court cannot be sustained. The appellant deserves benefit of doubt," the high court said.
The court's order came on the man's appeal against the trial court's April 2013 decision by which he was held guilty of raping his tenant while she was alone in her house and sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment.
The man was facing charge of raping a woman, who was the mother of two grown-up children, on November 13, 2009 to which he had pleaded innocence before the trial court.
As per the prosecution, the man raped the woman and threatened her not to disclose the incident to anyone.
The high court, however, observed that during the trial neither the victim's husband nor her children were examined.
"The prosecutrix disclosed that she had informed her husband about the rape incident soon after its occurrence. However, he did not rush to the spot and asked her to inform the police authorities on her own.
"...This conduct of the prosecutrix and her husband is highly unbelievable. Victim's husband after coming to know of the incident is not expected to remain aloof...And not move the authorities concerned to apprehend the culprit," it added.