‘Victim's version enough to nail assault accused’



Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has held that in cases of outraging modesty of women, the evidence tendered by the victim should be sufficient to nail the accused and it was not necessary to seek corroboration.

The court observed this while finding a man guilty of outraging the modesty of his brother's wife. In this regard, the judge relied entirely upon the evidence given by the victim.

"Such evidence can be given only by the victim herself. There is no other to see, depose or corroborate it. There have been divorce proceedings between the complainant and her husband. She was living in the same house with her child. The family members would naturally not help her if such an incident transpired," noted Justice Roshan Dalvi.

The victim has been cross-examined at length. However, no discrepancies were pointed out in her evidence. "No other can depose on her behalf", the Judge noted in her order on June 10.

The court dismissed an appeal filed by Ashok Ghodke against a Pune magistrate's order finding him guilty of outraging the modesty of his sister-in-law. However, he and other family members had been acquitted of charges of cruelty (section 498A) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code.

The high court also upheld the lower court's order of February 24, 2009, rejecting the plea of the accused that there was no independent witness in the case.

"There would be none under such circumstances. Only her (the victim's) little son was present with her. The incident happened after midnight. Hence the neighbours would be asleep", the judge observed.

"She was not allowed to shout when she tried to shout because the applicant herein closed her mouth. He would have overpowered her. The learned magistrate has rightly observed that multiplication of witnesses is unnecessary and such evidence needs no corroboration of any sort", Justice Dalvi remarked.

PTI