Victims cannot be expected to state facts in a “parrot-like manner” and minor contradictions are bound to happen after a lapse of time, a Delhi court has said while sending four men to jail in a molestation and assault case after relying on the complainant’s statement.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain sent the four men, all Delhi residents, to one year rigorous imprisonment for molesting, threatening and voluntarily causing hurt to the victim, a married woman, after forcefully entering her house when she was alone. “Facts and circumstances clearly show that all accused persons assaulted and used criminal force on her to outrage her modesty. “They gagged her mouth and tore her clothes,” the judge said while holding the accused guilty.
Rejecting the argument about there being discrepancies in the woman’s testimony, the judge said, “Victim of such an incident cannot be expected to possess photographic memory and to state the facts in a parrot-like manner. “Minor contradictions are bound to happen if the witness is examined after a lapse of time. No credence can be given to these minor contradictions if they do not go to the root of the matter and create suspicion as to the veracity of the incident.”
The court said there is enough direct and circumstantial evidence against the men to prove their complicity in the commission of the offence, adding that the complainant remained “consistent and cogent” and her testimony was of “sterling quality”. “Besides the jail term, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on each of the four convicts with a direction that out of the total amount, Rs 30,000 be given to the victim.” According to the prosecution, on the intervening night of September 14-15, 2014, the men — Tukun Das, Pawan Kumar, Vinod Kumar and Dev Kant Giri, who were the neighbours of the woman, entered her house when she was alone and abused her physically and verbally.
It said there had been a quarrel between the woman and Vinod before this incident which resulted into registration of a complaint against him by the woman. After this, in order to “teach her a lesson”, Vinod along with three others, entered her house and used criminal force on her to outrage her modesty, it said.