New Delhi: Should a person acquitted of rape charges be considered as a "rape survivor", a Delhi court has pondered while acquitting a man accused of raping a divorcee.
Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma made the observation while acquitting a Haryana native of the offence of raping the woman after she retracted from her complaint and said she was now happily married to the accused.
"Today there is public outrage and a hue and cry is being raised everywhere that courts are not convicting rape accused. However, no man, accused of rape, can be convicted if the witnesses do not support the prosecution case or give quality evidence, as in the present case where the prosecutrix is hostile," the judge said.
"...In the circumstances, an acquitted accused, who has remained in custody for a considerable period during trial and who has been acquitted honourably after prosecutrix deposed that he has not raped her and she had physical relations with him with her free consent, should he now be addressed as rape case survivor? This leaves us with much to ponder about present day situation of veracity of rape cases," the judge said.
The court, while absolving the accused of the charge, took into consideration the girl's statement before it that she lodged a false complaint against him due to wrong advise and influence of some well wishers.
According to the prosecution, on March 11, 2015, the woman, who got divorced seven years ago and had three children, told the police that the accused had promised to marry her and established physical relation with her forcefully.
She claimed that she knew the accused since a long time as he was from her village.
However, during the trial, she turned hostile and in her cross examination she said she did not have any physical relations with him and they were now married.