The Bombay High Court single bench Justice AM Badar while putting the onus on the prosecution pertaining to the rape cases has quashed and set aside the conviction of a 45-year old man, resident of Satara, who was accused of raping a woman multiple times.
The court said,
"In a case of rape, the onus is always on the prosecution to prove affirmatively each ingredient of the offence alleged against the accused. Such onus never shifts on the accused. In such a case, it is not the duty of the accused to explain as to how and why he is falsely implicated."
The observation of the Court came while hearing an appeal filed by a man, challenging his conviction under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.
On August 22, 2013, the learned Additional Sessions Judge, Satara, convicted the accused of offences punishable under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.
As per the facts, on June 26, 2008, at 8:00pm, a women on her way towards her office cum residence, met the accussed, who offered lift to her on his motorcycle. She accepted the offer and asked the acussed to drop her at the destination. However, the accused took her to an abandoned place and raped her. Then within the next few hours, the appellant/accused committed forcible sexual intercourse with her multiple times.
The woman rescued herself from the situation with the help of a police official, who was on the escort duty that night and lodged a complaint against the accused for offences punishable under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.
However, during the trial, the appellant claimed that he was being falsely implicated as the woman wanted to extract money from him and his family, but, the lower court ruled against him and handed him seven years rigorous imprisonment.
When the issue came to the High Court, it took note of several incidents including a recording, clearly indicating that woman's father had demanded an amount of Rs. 7 lakhs from the son of accused for securing his acquittal. It was also observed that in the case, the forensic evidence was also of no assistance to the prosecution and also the woman's version of incident was not in tune with the facts registered in the FIR, including her report of medical examination which revealed that she was not injured in any way, not even a minor abrasion, even if she claims forcible intercourse.
The Court said,
"The Court is required to ascertain whether her evidence is relaible and trustworthy," and further maintained,
"It is not the duty of the accused to explain as to how and why he is falsely implicated..........false accusation of rape causes equal distress and humiliation to the accused."