News By/Courtesy: MADHAV JOSHI | 01 Nov 2018 15:04pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Delhi v. Pankaj Chaudhary and others
  • The bench relied on State of Maharashtra and Another v. Madhukar Narayan Mardikar (1991)
  • even a woman of easy virtue would be entitled to the right to privacy and that she is equally entitled to protection of law.

The Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment delivered in the case of Delhi v. Pankaj Chaudhary and others, has reversed the Delhi high court’s acquittal of four accused in a gang rape and restored the trial court’s conviction. A bench comprising Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee has based the judgment upon consideration of evidence of the rape survivor, the medical report, forensic report and other evidence provided to the court. The woman was raped in Delhi by four men and the case was filed in 1997. The trial court had convicted the accused, sentencing each of them to undergo rigorous imprisonment for ten years. The Delhi high court, however, quashed the trial court’s conviction allowing the appeal of the accused on the ground that the rape survivor was in custody with the police for prostitution during the time when the rape was alleged to have taken place.

The Supreme Court, however, found that the high court failed to appreciate the evidence of the rape survivor, which was corroborated by the medical evidence provided to the court. The Supreme Court also held that the absence of external injuries on the body of the victim does not tantamount to consent, and neither does it discredit the version of the prosecutrix. The Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s conclusion that even if the allegations of the accused that the prosecutrix is of “immoral character” are taken to be correct, it does not give the accused any right to rape her. The bench relied on State of Maharashtra and Another v. Madhukar Narayan Mardikar (1991), an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court, to hold that even a woman of easy virtue would be entitled to the right to privacy and that she is equally entitled to the protection of law.

Section Editor: MADHAV JOSHI | 01 Nov 2018 15:12pm IST


Tags : SC

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