‘No corroboration required in rape victim`s claim’

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 23:56

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that
in rape cases there was no need for corroboration and
conviction can be imposed on the sole statement of the victim
as her testimony cannot be looked at with suspicion.

"It is a trite law that a woman, who is the victim of
sexual assault, is not an accomplice to the crime but is a
victim of another person`s lust. The prosecution stands at a
higher pedestal than an injured witness as she suffers from
emotional injury.

"Therefore, her evidence need not be tested with the same
amount of suspicion as that of an accomplice. The Indian
Evidence Act nowhere says that her evidence cannot be accepted
unless it is corroborated in material particulars," the apex
court said.

A bench of justices P Sathasivam and BS Chauhan passed
the ruling while dismissing an appeal filed by Mohd Imran
Khan and Jamal Ahmed challenging their conviction for rape of
a minor girl about 22 years ago.

The defence had argued the victim`s statement cannot be
relied upon as she had eloped with the accused.

The apex court also chided the then investigating officer
Puran Singh of the national capital`s Vinay Nagar police
station for attempting to favour the convicts by turning
hostile and claiming that the birth certificate record of the
victim initially presented in the court was not valid.

"In respect of the date of birth, we are of the view that
Puran Singh, IO, unfortunately made an attempt to help the
accused/appellants, though in the examination-in-chief the
witness has deposed that the birth certificate providing the
date of birth as 2-9-1974 was genuine.

"Be that as it may, by now Puran Singh might have retired
as the incident itself occurred 22 years ago. Therefore, we do
not want to say anything further in respect of his
conduct," Justice Chauhan writing the judgement said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 23:55

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