While acquitting a rape accused on the pretext of a promise of marriage the Sikkim High Court on 1/7/2021 said that a ruined relationship cannot be ruled out.
The victim lodged an FIR accusing Makraj Limboo on 10/01/2018 alleging that she was raped by him and got pregnant because of the same. On 17/08/2013 she was asked by the accused to abort the baby. She further alleged that he raped her again thereafter. The Trial Court charged him under section 376(1) of IPC and sentenced him to seven-year of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 50,000.
In trial, Justice Bhaskar Raj Pradhan observed that there is an unjustifiable delay of five years in filling the FIR. He further added that it is equally important to observe and verify her testimony in court. The court said that “Court can rely upon the testimony of the victim if it is reliable, safe and worthy of acceptance. However, it is important to verify the sole testimony of the victim when the victim is the only evidence available.
Referring to the FIR and the statement of record under section 164 of Cr.P.C the court said that there is a serious disparity on the one side and the temperament on the other side. A victim of alleged sexual assault needs to be conscious about the principle of criminal jurisprudence, more the serious offence, the stricter the degree of proof, the court stated.
The Bench of the judge further observed that “In this case the court said; there is a grave suspicion that the appellant had raped the victim, but a prudent judiciary cannot convict the appellant alone on suspicion. Nowhere the statement version of the victim verified with the statement of her family member so her version of pregnancy and abortion.
There is evidence of the victim being infatuated toward the appellant and expressed her desire to marry him. There is evidence about the victim being visited by the appellant when he met with an accident. “The possibility of a relationship gone sour cannot be ruled out”. Their physical and sexual relationship was also deposed by several prosecutors and this cannot be the ground of rape.