Monday, Dec 22, 2014

Indian Taxi driver who raped drunk schoolgirl loses appeal bid

By: Press Trust of India | Melbourne | Posted: September 4, 2014 11:34 am

An Indian taxi driver, who was jailed for six years in Australia for raping a drunk and vulnerable 17-year-old schoolgirl, has lost his bid to overturn his conviction.

Nitin Rana, 31, was jailed for six years with a non parole period of four years after he was found guilty by the jury on three counts of rape. Filling an appeal against his conviction, Rana claimed that there was a miscarriage of justice and also informed the police that he had sex with the girl with her consent.

According to ‘The Age’ report, Court of Appeal Justices David Ashley and David Beach dismissed his appeal.

Ashley said evidence from many witnesses and the CCTV footage from the taxi revealed the teenager was in such a state that she was incapable of “giving free agreement to sexual penetration”.

“In my opinion, the jury would have been perverse to conclude otherwise,” Ashley said adding, “The complainant the schoolgirl…as evidenced by CCTV footage at several locations, was shown to be gravely disabled,” he said. Beach said the footage from the taxi showed the victim lying slumped on the back seat.

“A short time into the journey, the complainant moved into the front seat of the taxi. Her appearance accords with a description given by one of the four people who put her in the taxi as ‘floppy,” he said.

Following his arrest, Rana informed the police that the teenager was “acting normally and did not seem drunk”. “She was speaking very naturally and casually,” Rana told police.

He said “She didn’t seem drunk at all.I remember since I picked her up until I dropped her [off], she was all in her senses.” Beach said having viewed the CCTV footage and read the evidence given at Rana’s trial, he would have concluded that conviction in the case was “inevitable”.
Rana was an international student and had arrived in Australia in 2008. The teenager was reportedly drinking vodka at a friend’s house before she was took a cab with her friend to a railway station about 1am (local time) on November 4, 2012.

Her friend continued home in the taxi after dropping her at the station. The girl had reportedly taken anti-depressant tablets and also drank bottle of Vodka with her friend. A group of passers-by saw her fall over trying to cross the road and called triple-0 before Rana drove up in his taxi.

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