Rape victims' oral testimony enough for conviction: SC

'A victim of sex crime will not blame anyone but the real culprit'

Rape victims' oral testimony enough for conviction: SC

While upholding a decision of the Karnataka High Court, a bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice R M Lodha said, “On the other hand, their testimony which is found to be cogent, reliable, convincing and trustworthy has to be accepted.’’ The Sessions Court, Mangalore had convicted Santhosh Moolya, an autorickshaw driver, and Surendra Gowda to seven and a half years for raping two sisters and other charges. The High Court had upheld the conviction of both the culprits.

“Any statement of rape is an extremely humiliating experience for a woman and until she is a victim of sex crime, she would not blame anyone but the real culprit,’’ said the judges while dismissing the arguments of the advocate who appeared for the convicts.

“In case of rape, particularly, the victims are illiterate, uneducated, their statements have to be accepted in toto without further corroboration,’’ said the 14-page judgement released here on Tuesday.

The convicts’ advocate submitted that the FIR in the case was lodged after 42 days and the medical report did not confirm the assault on the victims.

The bench justified the condonation of delay by saying that it could be construed from the evidence produced by the victims, statement of their mother and the deposition of the owner of the nearby stone quarry. Both the victims had stated that the delay was because they were threatened by the culprits and there was no male member in their family to support them, the court mentioned in the judgement.

Both Moolya and Gowda had picked up the victims, who were waiting to go to their village –Ashwathapura, Santhakatte on the evening of June 2, 2004 and raped them after threatening them of dire consequences. The convicts were known to the victims and had asked them to sit in the autorickshaw after promising them to drop them at their village.

Contempt notice

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Altamus Kabir reserved its order on maintainability of the contempt proceedings initiated against advocate Prashant Bhushan and ‘Tehelka’ magazine editor Tarun Tejpal on an alleged insinuation against a Supreme Court judge and a few former chief justices of India.

The contempt notices were served on Bhushan and Tejpal by the special forest bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan for his views in an article written by Shoma Chaudhury and published in ‘Tehelka’ magazine, attributing judicial impropriety against the judge for being a part of the bench that pronounced a judgement to allot mine lease in favour of Sterlite company while holding shares of the company.

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