New Delhi: Five youths, accused of kidnapping and gang-raping a woman, have been acquitted by a fast track court here on the ground that she turned hostile.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat, heading one of the fast track courts set up to try cases of sexual offence against women, freed Lokesh, Somvir, Tejpal, Amit Kumar and Manbir Singh saying the girl had "physical relations with the accused persons out of her free will".
"It is to be seen that the prosecutrix has not supported the case of the prosecution at all and has deposed against it. She has specifically stated that she was neither kidnapped nor beaten by any of the accused and that none of the accused committed rape upon her.
"She has clearly mentioned that she maintained physical relations with the accused persons out of her free will and consent and without any pressure or threat," the court said, adding that nothing incriminating has come against any of the accused, so they are liable to be acquitted.
According to the prosecution, the five accused had kidnapped the woman on the intervening night of June 7-8, 2012 and had gang-raped her in a moving car.
It said they were caught when they tried to flee after police stopped them at one of the pickets for checking their vehicle.
Advocate Avneesh Rana for accused Lokesh, while seeking his release, had told the court that the woman in her statement herself said that she had consented to accompany the youths.
Allowing the defence counsel`s plea, the court also took note of the girl`s testimony which showed that she went along with the accused youths on her own free will.
"In view of the aforesaid deposition of the prosecutrix, it was found futile to carry out the further trial of the case...," the judge said while ordering release of the accused from jail.
"The star witness for prosecution was the prosecutrix. However, she has turned hostile and did not support the case of the prosecution at all," the judge said.