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'Delay in filing rape complaint must not mitigate conviction'

New Delhi, Jan 26, 2013, PTI:

Man convicted of raping daughter’s 15-yr-old friend

Holding a man guilty of raping a 15-year-old friend of his daughter, a fast track court has said delay by victim in lodging complaint of sexual violence should not be a mitigating factor for conviction of accused as it is agonising for victims to confide in such cases.

“Sexual assault destroys the entire psychology of a woman and pushes her into deep emotional crisis. We cannot expect the victim of a sexual assault to cry in the middle of the road that she has been raped or to visit the police station alone for the lodging of the complaint in this regard, when she has nobody to trust around her,” said the judge of the fast track court set up here in the aftermath of December 16 gang rape case.

Additional sessions judge Virender Bhat said sexual assault is the most hated crime and it needs immense courage on part of the woman to disclose such crime against her to her well-wishers and police.

“Victim of sexual assault feels it embarrassing and against her honour and dignity to disclose the incident even to her near relations or well-wishers. It takes immense courage for her to apprise her close relations or friends about the incident,” the judge said.

The court held Surya Prakash guilty of raping the minor girl who was his daughter’s friend and turned down his plea that case against him should be dismissed as the girl had filed complaint days after the incident.

The victim, a class 12 pass out, ran away from her native village near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh as her brothers wanted to fix her marriage and came to Delhi in April 2011.
She got acquainted with the daughter of the accused who took her to his father at a farmhouse in West Delhi, where he was working as a caretaker.

On August 12, 2011 Prakash raped her when his daughter had gone out of city to meet her brother.

He then dumped her near New Delhi Railway Station, where the police apprehended her and she was shifted to Nirmal Chhaya Complex, Tihar Jail.

During her stay there, she disclosed her ordeal to the officials and then a complaint was filed against Surya.

“Apparently it is after immense counselling provided to her at Nirmal Chhaya Complex that she garnered courage and disclosed the incident to the welfare officer,” said the judge.

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