A Delhi court has held a 38-year-old man guilty of digital rape in a complaint by a US national, and rejected his request to brand her as an “unreliable witness”, saying she has come all the way here to depose in the matter.
Additional Sessions Judge of the Special Fast Track Court held that the woman “apparently had no other interest left in India since her marriage… had already broken down irretrievably after the incident”.
Two foreign nationals, from the US and Russia, were allegedly sexually abused by their landlord’s son in the early hours of June 24, 2013, when they were sleeping in their room.
Based on the statement of one of the women, a case was lodged against the accused, who during the trial claimed there were disputes between the woman’s husband and him.
The court, however, concluded: “In my considered opinion, on basis of the testimony of prosecutrix (woman) and the other witnesses examined on behalf of prosecution, it can be safely concluded that the accused had entered the room where prosecutrix was sleeping with her husband on June 24, 2013, between 4 and 4.30 am and had put his finger in her vagina.” “The said act of the accused would amount to rape under the amended definition of rape in Section 375 of the IPC, which came into force with effect from February 3, 2013. Accordingly, accused… is held guilty of offence of rape/digital rape under Section 376 IPC,” it said.
It, however, observed that with regards to the other victim, police failed to prove the rape charge against the accused since it could not produce her for deposition before the court.
The Additional Public Prosecutor, assisted by advocates Karuna Nundy and Anivesh Bhardwaj, the counsel for the victim, argued: “Though presence of (one) victim could not be procured, this fact would not vitiate the case of the prosecution, which has succeeded in proving its case by examining the other victim. It is thus prayed that accused be convicted of charged offences.”
Agreeing with this contention, the court junked the contention raised by the accused’s counsel that since the forensic result is negative, it indicates he is innocent. The court said: “As is evident from the facts of the case, there are allegations of digital rape only against the accused. Even though the FSL result is negative, it is not of much consequence in the facts and circumstances of the present case.”
It turned down the accused’s contention that the woman had come to depose with a view to extort money from him, saying “such a hypothesis is indeed far fetched”. “It is difficult to comprehend that the prosecutrix would incur expenses from her own pocket to travel to India in a hope that accused would pay her money to depose in his favour,” it noted.