A man accused of raping a minor has been let off by a Delhi court after she and her father said they had reported only an incident of harassment by their neighbours to the police but not rape.

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat acquitted the man after the girl, 17, and her father deposed they had never reported any incident of rape to the police and that their statement recorded by the cops was not read out to them.

“These two witnesses were the star witnesses for the prosecution. The other witnesses cited by the prosecution are either police officials or the doctors who had examined the prosecutrix as well as the accused. None of them are eyewitness to the incident and therefore, cannot throw light upon the incident in question,” the court noted while dispensing with further trial.

The prosecution case was that on July 5, 2012, the girl, along with her father, reported to the police that she was raped by accused Dharmender, a co-tenant residing in the same building, a day ago.

Their statements were recorded by a magistrate and charges were framed against Dharmender in November last year.

However, during their examination and cross-examination by Amit Sahni, counsel for the accused, the girl and her father turned hostile.

They told the court that on July 4, 2012 there was a quarrel between the minor’s mother and other women residing as tenants in the same building.

When the girl’s father came home from work the same evening, he was informed about the quarrel upon which he consulted his relatives and reported the matter to the police.

They further deposed that they went to the police with a complaint of harassment and torture by other tenants and were made to sign a statement which was not read over to them.

They also denied having given any statement to the police suggesting that the minor was raped.

(This article was published on February 27, 2013)
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