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A conviction cannot, however, be reached only on the basis of the prosecutrix’s statement unless it meets certain requirements for dependability, credibility, and truthfulness: Uttarakhand High Court

A conviction cannot, however, be reached only on the basis of the prosecutrix’s statement unless it meets certain requirements for dependability, credibility, and truthfulness is upheld by the Uttarakhand High Court in the case of Sanjay Semwal v. State of Uttarakhand(Criminal Appeal No. 265 of 2021) through Justice Ravindra Maithani.

FACTS OF THE CASE

The prosecutrix left her home to buy some items at the market but never came back. The following day, she came back. She claimed that the co-accused Rajat and the appellant lured her into Scooty.

¬†After that, the appellant drove her to his aunt’s residence. He forced her to drink beer, raped her against her will in the dark, and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. A case was filed in accordance with the POCSO Act of 2012 and Sections 363, 376, and 506 of the IPC.

JUDGEMENT

Inquiry revealed that the prosecutrix was more than 18 years old, and the POCSO Act, 2012 charge was thus, subsequently dismissed.

The Trial Court’s decision to find a man guilty of raping a girl and order his immediate release from custody was upheld by Uttarakhand High Court on appeal. It must be demonstrated that the conduct was performed without the prosecutrix’s consent in order to establish the offence.

Additionally, it is well established that the court shall presume that the woman did not consent when the accused’s sexual intercourse with another person is proven and the woman testifies before the court that she did not consent.

The Court also held that a conviction cannot, however, be reached only on the basis of the prosecutrix’s statement unless it meets certain requirements for dependability, credibility, and truthfulness. The court after taking into account the following factors tried to establish that the prosecutrix granted her assent to the act

The prosecutrix initially join appellant in their group when she would have politely declined his request to speak with her if she had not been open to it. Also, the prosecutrix has firmly declared during cross-examination that she did not cause any alarm.

In light of the aforementioned grounds, the Court believed that the prosecution could not prove the act of the appellant violated Section 375 IPC because the prosecutrix gave her free and informed consent. The appellant was further ordered by the court to be released from custody.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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