HC upholds acquittal of Army man in rape case - ECAS Punjab

HC upholds acquittal of Army man in rape case

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has upheld the acquittal of an Indian Army sepoy accused of raping the doctor wife of a lieutenant colonel. The prosecutrix had claimed that she was pregnant and had returned home from a visit to a hospital when the alleged incident occurred.

“Long silence regarding the alleged occurrence of prosecutrix and her husband, both of whom were well educated, creates doubt regarding the prosecution story,” the Bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh observed.

The Bench also dismissed the prosecutrix’s application for grant of leave to appeal after terming it as “devoid of merit”. An FIR in the matter was registered for rape and criminal intimidation under Sections 376 and 506 of the IPC at Sujanpur police station in Pathankot against the sepoy. But Pathankot Additional Sessions Judge acquitted the accused after giving him the benefit of doubt in his judgment dated January 20, 2016.

In her complaint to the police lodged in February 2015, the prosecutrix had alleged that the incident had taken place in March 2014. She was pregnant and had gone to the hospital for medical check-up in her husband’s official vehicle driven by the accused. He followed her inside the house while carrying a bag of groceries before the incident occurred.

The Bench asserted the explanations put forth by the prosecution regarding delay in lodging the FIR did not appeal to the mind of the court.

The prosecutrix claimed she disclosed the alleged incident to her husband in January 2015. Even her husband stated the same. But the doctor treating her admitted that the husband of prosecutrix informed him about the incident in November 2014.

The Bench asserted it was not clear why the prosecutrix and her husband did not report the alleged incident dated March 4, 2014, to the police till February 2, 2015. The prosecutrix, while appearing in the witness box, admitted she kept accompanying the accused in the official vehicle to the hospital for her medical check-up during the next 15 days.



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