By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2022-01-13 07:12:15
A Sessions court in Mumbai convicted a rape accused despite objections by the defence over the absence of a medical report and procedural delay in filing of the FIR. The accused was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years rigorous imprisonment, mainly on the basis of the victim's testimony. This is in line with various Supreme Court judgments, notably Ganesan vs State, where it was ruled that a rape accused can be convicted on the sole testimony of the victim/prosecutrix when the deposition is found to be trustworthy, unblemished, credible and her evidence is of sterling quality. The judge overruled the FIR filing delay objection as in his opinion it was "properly explained."
Although section 164A of the CrPC mandates a compulsory medical examination of a rape victim and section 53A of the CrPC mandates the same for a rape accused and are important as medicolegal evidence, the Supreme Court, recognizing the fact that these examinations might not sometimes be possible due to circumstances or connivance, has clearly stated that reliable testimony of the victim does not need any corroborative evidence and is enough to convict the accused.
In the instant case, the victim, who was from outside Maharashtra, was raped by her workplace senior and her employer failed to register the FIR in time, promising to look into the matter. Her testimony was found trustworthy and credible and the judge had no hesitation is convicting the accused.
In rape cases, the defence tries every trick of the trade to pick holes in the prosecution case. While most of these relate to procedural matters, sometimes the testimony of the victim is also sought to be trashed. But courts have always said that a victim is not an accomplice and if her testimony is clear, unwavering and remains constant throughout the trial, there is no justification for courts not to believe in it. Medical reports may or may not be submitted as evidence and may or may not be used as corroborative evidence but utmost faith must always be put on the reliable testimony of the victim.