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In a rape case, the accused could be convicted on the sole testimony of the prosecutrix if it is capable of inspiring confidence in the mind of the court: Gauhati High Court

The accused might be convicted on the only record of the prosecution. If there is no medical proof or the entirety of the circumstances supporting the version given by the prosecutor and believes that the case established by the prosecutor does not act on the only evidence of the prosecutor. If the entire case is implausible and implausible, the courts shall take great care to accept the only evidence of the prosecutor. The judgment was passed by the High Court of Gauhati in the case of  Sri Rajib Bordoloi v. State of Assam & Anr. [Crl.A./450/2019] by Single Bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice Mir Alfaz Ali.

The facts of the case are the appellant accompanied by three others came to the house of the victim and forcibly kidnapped the victim. The appellant and his companion ravished the victim repeatedly and they also assaulted the victim causing multiple injuries. Thereafter, they left the victim, where after she came home and the FIR was lodged by the father of the victim, on the basis of which, police registered a case under Section 366(A)/376(g)/325 IPC.

Learned counsel for the appellant, submitted that the entire prosecution case was based on the solitary testimony of the victim, which was not at all reliable, in view of the material contradiction in her evidence as well as the other attending facts and circumstances. It was also submitted that the FIR was lodged after 7 days without any proper explanation. Further contention of the learned counsel was that the prosecution sought to suppress the real facts and lodged the FIR by making a concocted allegation and as such, the conviction and sentence of the appellant warrants interference.

Learned counsel, on the other hand, submitted that the testimony of the victim cannot be disbelieved and the conviction can be based on the sole testimony of the victim in an offence of sexual assault.

While allowing the petition the learned court noted that “It is no doubt true that there is no bar in basing conviction on the sole testimony of the prosecutrix in a case of sexual assault provided the testimony of the victim is worthy of inspiring confidence in the mind of the court or the testimony of the victim must be free from any doubt or the witnesses must be of starling quality so as to inspire the confidence of the court.” In the present case “there are inherent inconsistencies in the story of the prosecution as revealed from the evidence of the victim. The medical evidence as indicated above also raises doubt about the veracity of the prosecution story as sought to be projected in the instant case.” Therefore, it is difficult to say that the testimony of the victim is free from doubt and worthy of inspiring the confidence of the court.

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