Updated: September 1, 2021 4:39:56 pm
The Goa government, in a criminal revision application in the High Court of Bombay at Goa against a trial court order discharging a man in a case of rape, has stated that the lower court’s order “displays a shocking lack of understanding of how sexual intercourse occurs or can occur”.
According to the prosecution, the accused Gulsher Ahmed (37) had raped the complainant in a hotel room in Canacona, South Goa on March 2, 2020 by taking her there under the pretext of getting her a job. The woman had filed a complaint on the same day at the Canacona Police Station. Ahmed was chargesheeted for offences of rape and criminal intimidation.
Discharging Ahmed on March 3 this year, the Sessions Court, South Goa at Margao had observed, “There is no material placed on record by the prosecution to show that semen or sperm of the accused was found on the person of the complainant at the time of the medical examination or that blood or any discharge of the complainant was found upon the accused or his clothes.”
Additional sessions judge Dvijple V Patkar had also observed, “The complainant being a girl aged 20 years, in all probabilities, must be aware of the possible consequences of her act of accompanying the accused to a closed hotel room.”
The trial judge had also noted, “The conduct of the complainant of not raising protest at the reception counter, producing her identity card, accompanying the accused and the receptionist to the room on the first floor and accepting the key after the closed room was opened by a hotel staff prima facie indicate consensual relationship.”
In the revision application filed by the Goa government through public prosecutor Shailendra Bhobe, it contended that the trial court had failed to appreciate that “accompanying any person to a hotel room does not mean that free consent was given for sexual intercourse” and does not warrant the discharge of the accused from the case “as even voluntary accompaniment to a hotel room is not a license for forcible sexual intercourse”.
The trial court, the state government said, had approached the matter “in a manner unknown to law and has entered into the domain of conjectures and surmises of what could have happened.” According to the state, this approach was “unwarranted” as the case was that of rape and the statement of the woman was unequivocal.
The trial court had placed the burden of proof on the victim and had dissected her statement minutely “when the law specifically forbids such an approach”, said the application.
The High Court is expected to hear the case on Thursday.
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