Nun rape case: Judgement points out prosecution’s lapses in producing strong evidence

The prosecution didn’t produce the mobile phone of the rape victim before the court. The judgement observed this lapse as a crucial one in the case.

Kottayam: The judgement which acquitted Franco Mulakkal from the charges of the nun rape case highlighted the lapses on the part of the prosecution. Apart from failing to recover scientific evidence, the prosecution committed serious lapses in producing the major evidence before the court.

"Prosecution has failed to give proper explanation for the inconsistent version", it said.

Noting that the victim's original version to the doctor was that there is no history of penetrative sex, the court referred to various judgments and said in view of the victim's inconsistent version, it is of the view that she cannot be categorised as a sterling witness and also cannot be categorised as a wholly reliable witness.

The court said apart from the victim's testimony, "there is no corroborative evidence to prove the prosecution case".

"The police could not seize the mobile phone used by the victim which would have provided some input into the alleged vulgar messages sent by the accused. The explanation offered for the non-production of the phone is thoroughly dissatisfactory", the court said.

It said the laptop also was not subjected to scientific analysis, as it is claimed that the hard disk got damaged.

The court said this was a case in which the grain and chaff were inextricably mixed up.
"It is impossible to separate the grain from the chaff. There are exaggerations and embellishments in the version of the victim. She has also made every attempt to hide certain facts", it said.

The court said it was evident that the victim was swayed under the influence of others who had other vested interests in the matter.

“The in-fight and rivalry and group fights of the nuns, and the desire for power, position and control over the congregation is evident from the demand placed by PW1 (victim) and her supporting nuns who were ready to settle the matter if their demands for a separate region under the diocese of Bihar is accepted by the church", it said.

"As held by the Hon'ble apex (Supreme) court in Jayaseelan (supra) when it is not feasible to separate truth from falsehood, when grain and chaff are inextricably mixed up, the only available course is to discard the evidence in toto.

"In the said circumstances, this court is unable to place reliance on the solitary testimony of PW1 (victim) and to hold the accused guilty of the offences charged against him," the court said in its order acquitting Mulakkal of the offences under various IPC sections.

With PTI inputs

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