I could not see the human beast in dark; SC acquits rape accused
A rape case in the trial court and sessions court took a different turn. Though the victim had identified the accused and gave statement to the police, when the trial began she did a somersault. Though the trial court convicted the accused to 10 years imprisonment, the High Court of Telangana upheld it. But the Supreme Court finding fault with the trial court verdict, acquitted the accused.
The rape case happened in December 2000. While the victim was returning home from office, a person named N P Raju raped her. She informed her husband and they lodged a complaint before the police. The police recorded the statements of both.
But when the trial began she denied her own words. She told the court that it was dark and she could not see the accused clearly. The prosecution declared her hostile as she did not support the prosecution version. She and her husband were examined as witnesses and the husband too did not support his statement. But the trial court, relying their statements given before the police, convicted the accused for ten years of imprisonment which was upheld by the Telangana HC. The accused there upon moved the Supreme Court.
The SC said that the victim's statement on oath in the trial court has to be the foundation for conviction. But here she did not support her case and in fact said she could not identify the accused in the dark. So it amounted to total denial. The trial court cannot punish an accused relying on the statements she had given to the police and it was illegal. She should have supported the complaint before the police but she deviated.
The SC said that she was shifting stand and it does not inspire any confidence. In such a situation the judgment of the trial court and high court were set aside and the accused acquitted.