Man acquitted in kidnap, rape case

Three others already discharged

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court has acquitted a man accused of kidnapping and coercing a woman to marry him and then gang-raping her along with his accomplices at Palam in North-West Delhi in 1999.

Acquitting the accused, Harish Saini, the Additional Sessions Judge, D.S. Paweriya, said: “In the light of the evidence placed on record, I am of the opinion that the prosecution has not been able to prove its case against the accused, and the statements made by the witnesses against the family members of the accused are to be discarded.”

There were four accused in the case: Harish Saini, his father, Man Singh, mother, Shakuntala, and sister, Geeta.

The three — Man Singh, Shakuntala and Geeta — were discharged at the stage of charge framing, while the court framed the charges of kidnapping and rape under Sections 366 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code respectively against Harish.

Letters written by the prosecutrix to the accused and photographs of the marriage ceremony of the accused and the prosecutrix held at an Arya Samaj temple proved clinching for the decision of the case in favour of the accused.

Appearing for the accused, S.S. Sindhi, submitted that the photographs and the contents of the letters showed that the prosecutrix was in love with the accused and she had later married him of her own will.

Allowing the submission by Mr. Sindhi, Mr. Paweriya said that the statement of the prosecutrix that she was not aware of the nature of the accused was totally false.

“If one goes through these letters, there remains no doubt that the prosecutrix was deeply involved with the accused,” the Judge observed.

The photographs also showed that the prosecutrix was wearing bridal clothes and ornaments and taking the ritual steps with the accused without any support, which proved that she was in normal conditions, not under the influence of any intoxicant as alleged by the prosecution.

The case of the prosecution against the accused was that he and his associates had kidnapped the prosecutrix when she was going to Shikha Bahrti School at Palam in South-West Delhi in February 1999. They then took her to an Arya Samaj temple and forced her to marry Harish, and thereafter, the accused took her to a room where she was gag-raped by them, the prosecution alleged on the basis of the statement of the prosecutrix.

Source: The Hindu

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