Man acquitted in rape case due to victim's death during trial

Man acquitted in rape case due to victim's death during trial

A man accused of raping a girl after administering her sedatives has been acquitted by a Delhi court as the charges against him could not be proved due to the death of the victim during the trial.

Additional Sessions Judge Gulshan Kumar acquitted Delhi resident Shaji Thomas of the charges of rape, causing hurt by giving poison and threatening the victim, saying she was the main witness in the case and due to her death, the charges against the accused could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

"In these circumstances, when the main witness of the case i.e. victim has unfortunately expired and she could not be fully cross­examined on behalf of accused, I am of the considered view that case is not proved against accused beyond reasonable doubt...

"Accordingly, accused Shaji Thomas is acquitted of the offences under the provisions of the IPC he was charged with," the judge said. The reason for the death was not mentioned in the order.

The court was informed by the police that the girl had died in September last year in a hospital here.

According to the prosecution, the girl had lodged a case against the accused alleging that he had raped her on December 22, 2010 in a house in Sarojini Nagar after administering her sedatives.

She had also alleged that thereafter on several occasions, the accused obtained her consent for sexual intercourse by stating that he was unmarried and also threatened to kill her, the police had said.

The accused was already out on bail in the case. The case was at the stage of recording of prosecution evidence in which the girl has been partly cross-examined by counsel of the accused and her testimony was yet to be completed.