SC allows rape accused to cross-examine victim

The top court, which had earlier stayed the proceedings, also directed the city court to complete the trial within four months.

The Supreme Court has allowed a man facing charges of rape and cheating to cross-examine the victim in a Bengaluru court, to prove his claim that the case was nothing but a consequence of their fallout.

The top court, which had earlier stayed the proceedings, also directed the city court to complete the trial within four months.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha set aside the Karnataka High Court order of January 13, 2017, which had rejected the plea by accused-petitioner Srinivasa.

Advocate Sanjay M Nuli, representing the appellant, contended a criminal trial without granting an opportunity of cross-examination of a witness to the accused would hit his fundamental right to get a fair trial. He also submitted that the cross-examination became all the more important when the accused sought to establish his innocence by putting the victim to certain questions on circumstances related to "their relationship."

The counsel also cited Section 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows a trial court to summon, recall or re-examine any witness if his evidence is necessary for the just decision of a case.

Agreeing to the counsel's contention, the Bench said, "In the facts of the case, we are of the view that the accused-appellant should be afforded an opportunity to cross-examine the victim. We order accordingly."

Earlier, the High Court had declined the plea to recall the witness stating that the application was made after five months of the victim's deposition.

The petitioner, however, submitted that the cross-examination of the victim could not take place on the date of her examination as his counsel was not present.

On December 18, 2012, the woman lodged a complaint with the Mahadevpura police, charging that the accused, who was already married, had sexually exploited her for over one year on the promise of marriage.

 

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SC allows rape accused to cross-examine victim

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