New Delhi, Feb 14: The Supreme Court has said that rape victim's testimony cannot be considered to be the gospel truth.
A bench comprising of justices H S Bedi and J M Panchal said, "We are conscious of the fact that in a matter of rape, the statement of victim must be given primary consideration."
"There can be no presumption that she is telling the ultimate truth as the charge has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt as in any other criminal case," they said.
The court passed the observation while acquitting one of the three accused Abbas Ahmad Chowdhary charged with raping a minor girl.
On Sep 15, 1997, the accused-appellants Md Mizazul Haq, Abbas Ahmad Choudhury and one Ranju Das (absconding) had raped the victim after forcibly taking her to a tea estate in Jalalpur.
"It must first be borne in mind that in her statement recorded on Sep 17, 1997, the prosecutrix had not attributed any rape to Choudhary," the apex court said.
The courth further said, "Likewise, she had stated that he was not one of those who kidnapped her and taken to Jalalpur Tea Estate."
"It is true that in her statement in court she has attributed rape to Choudhary as well, but in the light of the aforesaid contradictions some doubt is created with regard to his involvement," it said.
"We are, therefore, of the opinion that the involvement of Choudhary is doubtful," the apex court said.
The apex court, however, upheld the conviction of Mizazul Haq and dismissed his appeal.