Judgement of the day: Om Prakash vs. Dil Bahar

Facts :

The victim was a woman who was 6 months pregnant and had been called to the court along with her husband who was arrested for challan proceedings. The accused was a relative of the parents of the victim who had come to attend the same. In this case, the accused was also a relative of the husband of the victim. During the pendency of the proceedings, the accused asked the brother of the husband of the victim to inquire about the release of the challan. Taking advantage of this opportunity the accused pulled the victim to the verandah of the Zila Parishad near the court and tried to rape her.

The victim raised an alarm which was followed by the accused being assaulted and taken to the police station and an FIR was lodged. The Trial court and the High Court convicted the accused based on the statement of the victim and the eye-witnesses and awarded a punishment of 10 years in prison under Section 376 (2) of the Indian Penal Code 1860 for raping a pregnant woman. The accused’s appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court. Due to the absence of any positive evidence of the crime, the sentence was reduced from 10 years to 7 years.

Judgement :

It is an existing law that the victim cannot be considered an accomplice to the crime of sexual assault and in addition to that, her statement does not require corroboration from any other evidence even the evidence of a doctor. In such a case even if the doctor declares that the evidence doesn’t prove an attempt to rape, the testimony of the victim cannot be disbelieved. In a normal course, it takes a lot of courage for a victim of sexual assault to come forth and talk about the crime to her family, let alone the public.

According to the judges, the Indian women tend to conceal such a crime because it is attached to her and her family’s prestige and she will forever be known as the woman who was raped or assaulted. Only sometimes the victim and her family dare to go to the police station and file a complaint against the wrong-doer. In the given case the argument given on behalf of the victim was that she was falsely accusing the accused, does not appeal to any reasoning. There can’t logically exist a reason for a married woman to falsely implicate the accused after having affected her image and reputation.

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