New Delhi: A father of two, accused of kidnapping and raping a minor, has been allowed to walk free by a Delhi Court which only found him guilty of taking away the victim out of lawful guardianship of her parents and awarded him imprisonment he had already undergone during trial.
32-year-old Pawan, a resident of Najafgarh in west Delhi who is married with two children, was acquitted for the offence of raping the 15-year-old girl by the court which found several "contradictions" in the evidence produced by the prosecution.
However, Additional Sessions Judge Vijay Kumar Dahiya, said there are "corroborative evidence" and statement of victim`s mother to support that "the accused had taken her away out of lawful guardianship of her parents without her consent and further confined in his vehicle, so offence under Section 366 (kidnapping) and 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) of the IPC is proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt."
While acquitting Pawan, the court said not only "medical evidence is contrary to the oral evidence" but "one set of evidence is in contradiction to other set of evidence" in the case.
The court referred to the medical report which "ruled out the possibility of sexual intercourse by a fully grown male."
The judge, who convicted the accused for kidnapping class IX girl said that he is a young person having two children to bring up, so there is chance of his reformation.
"In view of the fact that convict is a young person having children to bring up, I am of the opinion that there are chances of reformation of the convict," the judge said, while imposing a fine of Rs 2,000 on the convict.
The court also elaborated the grounds for acquitting the man on the charge of rape saying "it is a settled law that if one set of evidence is in contradiction to other set of evidence, then the prosecution story cannot be relied upon and is not believable and to be discarded, so far as allegations of rape have been levelled by the victim against the accused.
"Therefore, the prosecution has failed to prove that the prosecutrix was subjected to rape so accused Pawan is hereby acquitted of the offence punishable under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC," the court said.
As per the prosecution, in November 2008 the convict called the victim on her mobile and offered to be her friend but she refused. However, he kept on calling her.
On January 6, 2009, the accused made a call and asked the girl to meet him on January 7, near a temple in Najafgarh area here, to which the victim gave her consent.
The prosecution further stated that on reaching the spot, Pawan and two of his friends sitting inside the car pulled the victim into the vehicle and took her to a nearby flat and raped her.
The accused had also threatened that if she disclosed the incident to anybody, he would kill her and her family members, who are natives of Haryana.
The court, in its order, said that the victim in the FIR had stated that she knew the name of accused as Rajeev whereas in her deposition she has stated that she did not know the name of accused.
"The vehicle which was used by the accused in commission of offence whether it was a car or motorcycle, which is alleged to have been used by Pawan for commission of offence, was also not traceable by investigating agency...," the court observed, while freeing the convict.
It also said that the place of incident was also not identified by the victim.