New Delhi: A youth convicted for raping a 16-year-old girl here has been sentenced to seven years in jail by a Delhi court which held that the testimony of the victim was "trustworthy".
Additional Sessions Judge Deepak Garg handed down the jail term to 24-year-old Beerbali, a Delhi resident, and also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him while holding him guilty of the offence of rape under section 376 of IPC.
"The testimonies of both the witnesses (victim and her mother) are credible and trustworthy and corroborate each other," the judge said.
The court also relied on the medical report of the victim, while convicting Beerbali.
While awarding the sentence to him, it referred to a Supreme Court judgement and noted that "if a convict did not get the punishment commensurate with the nature and gravity of his offence, the fundamental grammar of sentencing is guillotined."
According to the prosecution, on July 29, 2012, Beerbali forcefully entered the house of the girl and locked the door from inside. When she tried to raise an alarm, he tied her hands and mouth with a cloth and raped her.
It said the girl told the police that a man who was her neighbour, heard her screams and knocked her door following which Beerbali managed to escape.
She narrated the entire incident to the man and her mother after she returned from work and a police complaint was lodged.
Beerbali, who was arrested a week later from his Adarsh Nagar residence here, claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case by the girl's mother as she saw them talking to each other.
The court rejected the contention of the defence counsel that the girl had given contradictory statements and was not reliable witness.
"It has been held that the testimony of the girl is trustworthy. Minor contradictions, inconsistencies, embellishments or improvement on trivial matters without affecting the case of the prosecution, should not be made a ground to reject the evidence in its entirety," it said.
It also rejected the submission of the defence counsel that her neighbour, whom she had narrated the incident, was not produced as a prosecution witness.