After more than a decade of a man raping an 11-year-old girl in 2010, the Delhi High Court on Friday passed an order for his 10 years of rigorous imprisonment for the crime.
The incident took place in April 2010, when the girl, while returning from school, went to a public washroom where the man followed her and committed the crime. The incident was reported to the police seven days later, and the man was arrested a few days after lodging the FIR.
The bench of the Delhi High Court, Mukta Gupta and Mini Pushkarna, noted that the trial court made a huge error by holding the girl as a tutored witness because, during the cross examination of the girl, she said that she stated whatever she was asked to by her aunt and the police.
The bench noted in its 20-page judgment, “This finding is totally fallacious since the girl, in answer to the court question, had clearly stated that her deposition was made against the accused because the said incident had taken place and she had not deposed against the accused because her aunt and police had asked her to state so.”
Since non-bailable warrants against the man were not executed, the high court in March 2014 directed the initiation of proceedings to declare him a proclaimed offender.
In its judgment, the high court justified the delay in the registration of the FIR by stating that the girl, who had lost her mother at a very young age and whose father was also missing, was staying with her aunt, who was looking after 10 children, 6 of her own and 4 of her brother’s, including the girl. “It may not be lost sight of the fact that the aunt of the victim is a labourer, not an educated woman.”