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Guilty,says court: no one has licence to invade privacy

Four years after a 20-year-old student of the Delhi University was gangraped in a moving car in the Dhaula Kuan area,a city court on Tuesday held the lone arrested accused guilty of the crime...

Written by Ayesha Arvind | New Delhi | Published: December 9, 2009 1:01:50 am

Four years after a 20-year-old student of the Delhi University was gangraped in a moving car in the Dhaula Kuan area,a city court on Tuesday held the lone arrested accused guilty of the crime and said the statement of the victim was natural and reliable enough to convict accused Ajit Singh Katiyar.

In his 71-page judgment,Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Neeraj Kumar Gupta also sternly snubbed the defence counsel for trying to question the girl’s chastity,saying nobody had the licence to breach the privacy of a woman or raise doubts over her character on the basis of certain surmises.

The court,which will pronounce the quantum of punishment on Thursday,noted that the statement of various witnesses,as well as the circumstantial evidence,nailed Katiyar for the offence.

Katiyar,along with three other accused who have eluded the law so far,had abducted the victim near a dhaba in Dhaula Kuan around 2.15 am on May 8,2005. The girl is from Mizoram and was pursuing a correspondence course from the Delhi University at that time. She also worked in a Gurgaon-based call centre.

Late that night,she and a friend had gone to the eatery to buy food.

The four accused drove up in a Santro and tried to pull in both,the prosecution said. But they could only drag in the victim who was then raped six times in the moving car as all accused took turns. They also made her take sedatives,threatened her with a gun and later threw her out of the car later in front of a nearby gurdwara.

Katiyar,then a driver with a Noida-based call centre,was apprehended on May 13 after the girl identified him in a test parade. The others are still at large.

ASJ Gupta said the girl stood the test of veracity and cross-examination to come out as a natural witness,whose credibility at no stage could be breached by the defence.

‘Don’t question her character’
In his judgment,ASJ Gupta slammed the defence counsel for putting up medical evidence that suggested the victim was not a virgin — thereby implying that she might have consented to the act.

“The private life of the victim has nothing to do with the case,” the judge said.

Relying on medical evidence that established sexual intercourse and the presence of sedatives in her stomach,the court said raising such pleas were of no help to the accused and that the court could not allow it to demolish her reputation.

“A victim of rape is not a vulnerable object or prey for being sexually assaulted by anyone and everyone and that too only because she had lost her virginity. Nobody had the licence to invade her privacy and assault her,” ASJ Gupta said.

The judge further wrote in his verdict that it was the accused who was on trial and not the victim.

Court throws out false implication plea
ASJ Gupta dismissed Katiyar’s plea that he was being falsely implicated by the police because they had failed to solve the case. He had also claimed the girl helped the police implicate him.

The court said it was unimaginable to believe that a woman would invite perpetual social stigma by falsely implicating anyone in a case of rape.

ASJ Gupta also referred to several material incriminating evidence — Katiyar had not reported on duty after 5.30 pm that evening. His nephew deposed that Katiyar had not come home the night of the crime.

Katiyar’s reference to a letter purportedly written by the victim to the court stating she did not want his prosecution also failed to impress ASJ Gupta,who said the authenticity of the letter was never legally proved by the accused during trial.

The court convicted Katiyar under several provisions of the IPC relating to gangrape,abduction,administering stupefying substances and criminal intimidation.

The other three accused — Danda,Jat and Tappe — were declared proclaimed offenders.

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