“He was a teacher of the children which became a victim in the hands of the convict. It spoiled the pious relationship between a student and a teacher. A teacher has a dominating position over his students and that position has been misused by the convict…” reads the court order.
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Relying on the statement of the three victims, who were sodomised by the accused Zulfiqar Khan, director of NGO TheatreAge, the court while sentencing Khan to rigorous imprisonment (RI) of seven years Friday said that the statement of the witness is sufficient to establish the offence.
Citing reasons to believe the statements of the witnesses in the order, a copy of which is with Chandigarh Newsline, the court clearly pointed out, “The witness cannot be disbelieved on this ground – that his counsel told him that there is no sufficient proof and a complaint can be filed after gathering enough proof. It is correct that the complaint is to be filed with sufficient proof. However, if at the most it is considered that the witnesses corroborating the testimony of the victim cannot be safely relied upon, even in that eventuality also, the offence is proved from the statement of the victim itself. The uncorroborated testimony of the victim can be well relied upon in the present matter.”
Hence the court observed that, “the offence is proved from the statement of the victim himself.”
Nullifying the defense counsel’s plea that complainant, Kanwarpal, nurtured grudge against Khan and the victims were giving statement in connivance with him, the court said, “The witness cannot be disbelieved as they otherwise were able to face the cross-examination.”
Commenting on the offence, the court stated that moral turpitude has been committed with a child which is to be dealt with hard hands. Not only this, the convict has made a number of children his victim.
Slamming the plea of the defence that the witnesses have been influenced the court stated, “There is nothing on the record to show that the witness was influenced by Kanwar Pal. The witness/victim has passed the test of lengthy cross-examination and as such, he can be relied upon. In the above-mentioned circumstances, the testimony of the witness/victim can be relied upon without any corroboration.”