HC acquits rape convict, disbelieves victim's evidences

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HC acquits rape convict
Mumbai, Apr 30: The Bombay High Court has acquitted Ramdas Rahate, a 56-year-old man, despite the verdict of a lower court which had sent him to jail two years ago. The High Court did not believe the version of a rape victim on the basis of her conduct and hence, this judgement was passed.

Two years back, the rape victim had alleged that she was confined to a cattle-shed for more than 48 hours by the accused who raped her for two consecutive days. The prosecutrix(victim) and accused belonged to the same village and knew each other. It was alleged that on December 3, 2010, the accused took the victim to a cattle-shed on the pretext of taking her to meet a friend.

However, the High Court observed that from the evidence, it appeared that the victim had remained there voluntarily for more than 48 hours before escaping on the third day although she could have escaped earlier in a similar way.

Judge M L Tahilyani recently said, "The conduct of rape victim does not permit me to place reliance on her evidence. Though conviction for the offence of rape is permissible to be based on sole testimony of the prosecutrix, it is equally necessary to be borne in mind that in such a case, the conduct of prosecutrix is of great importance and court has to be careful while examining evidence in such cases,". Judge Tahilyani stated that withholding of evidence of three important witnesses in the trial, and the conduct of the rape victim, had made the case of prosecution "highly doubtful".

"In my considered opinion, the evidence of the prosecutrix is not reliable. It was absolutely unsafe on the part of the trial judge to base conviction of the appellant on the evidence of such unreliable witness. In the result, the appeal succeeds," the Judge declared. Accordingly, the Court acquitted Ramdas Rahate, a resident of Buldana district of Maharashtra, of charges of rape, criminal intimidation, voluntarily causing hurt and wrongful confinement. He was ordered to be released from jail immediately if not required in any other case.


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