Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has acquitted a science teacher of charges of raping a student at his house on the ground that the prosecution had failed to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Accordingly, the court set aside the 10-year jail term imposed by a sessions court on 28-year-old Dharmaraj Ganpatil, a teacher in a school in Ratnagiri area of Maharashtra.
Hearing an appeal filed by the convict, Justice Sadhana Jadhav recently ordered Ganpatil`s release from Kolhapur jail where he is currently lodged.
According to prosecution, the teacher used to coach the victim studying in 10th standard at his house and one day he expressed his love for her. She refused his offer, saying it was not befitting him. The victim did not inform her family but continued to visit the teacher`s home for tuitions.
The teacher repeated his offers of love but she refused. He even threatened her that her marks would be cut if she did not relent. One day he forced the victim to a room and ravished her. Thereafter he repeatedly molested her, according to the prosecution.
The girl conceived and her parents took her to a doctor who examined her and found that she was eight months pregnant. Finally, in 1996, she delivered a baby who eventually died two weeks after birth.
It is the case of the prosecution that the prosecutrix (victim) or her parents had not approached the police station. However, an anonymous letter was received by police on the basis of which her statement was recorded on August 4, 1996.
She had disclosed in her statement that she had no intention to lodge a report against the accused, Dharmaraj Ganpatil. She further stated that someone had written an anonymous letter to police only to tarnish the image of her family and herself.
She had further stated that she does not wish to prosecute the matter or lodge a formal complaint to the police as she does not feel it necessary to do so. She admitted in her statement that she was responsible for the said incident and that she intended to lead a peaceful life in future.