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Posted at: Sep 14, 2017, 2:14 AM; last updated: Sep 14, 2017, 2:14 AM (IST)DNA REPORT ROW

SC: Victim’s statement enough for conviction

Ishrat S Banwait

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13

As the DNA report in the 10-year-old’s rape case has led to multiple doubts, the Supreme Court may provide some clarity. Dismissing an appeal by the accused, the SC had said in 2011 that in rape cases there was no need for corroboration, and conviction could be imposed on the sole statement of the victim as her testimony could not be looked at with suspicion.

The case involves the rape of a minor which was decided 28 years ago. “It is a trite law that a woman, who is the victim of sexual assault, is not an accomplice to the crime but is a victim of another person’s lust. The prosecutrix stands at a higher pedestal than an injured witness as she suffers from emotional injury. Therefore, her evidence need not be tested with the same amount of suspicion as that of an accomplice. The Indian Evidence Act nowhere says her evidence cannot be accepted unless it is corroborated in material particulars,” the apex court had said.

Rabindra Pandit, a senior criminal lawyer at the Chandigarh district courts, who has dealt with many rape cases has echoed the same. “The Supreme Court has time and again said oral evidence alone is sufficient for conviction in rape cases.” He added that this was subject to other evidence and witnesses along with the demeanour of the accused. In many rape cases, convictions have been done without any medical tests being conducted.


What’s on cops’ mind

“The Chandigarh Police may ask for a re-check of the forensic reports to ensure that there is no error in the DNA report,” a senior police official said. He added that the accused had already told the police that he had raped the victim six-seven times. The victim and her mother have already testified in the court and have identified the girl’s maternal uncle as the accused. The 10-year-old rape victim gave birth to a baby girl last month after she was denied an abortion by the apex court.

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