Court frees man accused of raping woman on pretext of marriage

Court frees man accused of raping woman on pretext of marriage

Delhi Police's failure to produce a woman, who had registered a case against a man for allegedly raping her on the pretext of marriage, has led to acquittal of the accused with a court here noting that its "precious" time should not be wasted if the alleged victim was untraceable.

The judge also observed that although there was "public outrage" that courts were not convicting rape accused, no such person can be held guilty if the star witness, the complainant woman, dooe not appear before it during the trial.

"Despite best efforts several times made by the police including the DCP, West, the SHO Police Station Maya Puri and the IO, the prosecution was unable to produce the prosecutrix, who is the star witness...

"The precious court time should not be wasted in recording evidence of formal or official witnesses when the prosecutrix herself was not available," Additional Sessions Judge Nivedita Anil Sharma said.

The court also said that it has to confine itself to the ambit of law and the contents of file as well as testimonies of witnesses and it should "not be swayed by emotions or reporting in the media".

"It would not be out of place to mention here that today there is a public outrage and a hue and cry is being raised everywhere that courts are not convicting the rape accused.
"However, no man, accused of rape, can be convicted if the material witness like the prosecutrix, does not appear or is not traceable, as in the present case or where the witnesses do not support the prosecution case or give quality evidence or where the prosecutrix is hostile," the judge said.

The observations came in a case in which a woman had alleged that she was raped and threatened by accused Parhlad on the pretext of marriage.

Parhlad was acquitted of offences under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC, after the police told the court that the complainant could not be traced despite efforts.

According to the prosecution, on November 17, 2013, Parhlad had taken the woman to a room in south-west Delhi where he raped her for about three months on the pretext of marriage.

It alleged that the accused had married another girl and on December 15, 2014, he again raped the complainant and also threatened her if she disclosed the incident to any one.

During the trial, the accused had denied the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated.  

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