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Bombay HC doubts women’s rape story, suspends jail term of accused

  • The Bombay high court expressed doubt over a matter where a 23 year old woman claimed that she was dragged into a vehicle by a lone man who then gagged her, took her to a hotel and raped her.

    Justice Anant Badar questioned the version of the woman and suspended the seven-year jail term given to the accused, Sameer Jadhav. He was released on a bail of Rs 15,000, during the pending of his appeal.

    "Prima facie, the theory put up by the victim is improbable in the sense that she wants the court to believe that an adult woman can be dragged inside a vehicle by only one male person and then her mouth can be tied by a handkerchief and in that position, a man is able to drive the vehicle to take her to a hotel while her hands were not tied," the judge said, adding. "(Her) evidence does not show any resistance by her, despite the fact that her hands were free and the vehicle was being driven by the accused."

    The court added that the woman had lodged the first information report around 11 months after the incident. "It is seen that the prosecution has not adduced any evidence to corroborate version of the victim in the light of the fact that prima facie the incident appears to be improbable."

    The incident dates back to June 11, 2014, when the woman was on her way to her sister's house in Shironda. According to the complaint she made, Jadhav dragged her into his car from the side of the road around 8 am, gagged her and took her to hotel where he sexually assaulted her. She lodged the complaint in May 2015.

    The Sessions court held Jadhav guilty of rape and sentenced him to seven years. He challenged the verdict and also requested the court to suspend his sentence and release him on bail. Jadhav's lawyers did not dispute that there was a sexual relation between him and the woman, but disputed the charges of rape alleged. The defendant claimed that the incident, as narrated by the woman, was highly improbable.
     

    OUR TAKE

    The thought process of the high court in this case is appreciable. Rape being a heinous crime automatically tends to attract biased approach from the third party. The accused always has a backhand is such cases. But we forget that the law is often abused. According to statistics 53.2% rape cases are false and are only filed as a matter of revenge. Amidst all this, only courts can assure that the innocents do not bear the punishments. 


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