New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said that the testimony of a victim, if well founded and trustworthy, can be the sole ground for convicting an accused while upholding rigorous imprisonment of seven years awarded to a man for raping his eight-year-old daughter.
A Division Bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Manoj Ohri on Monday upheld a trial court decision which has convicted Jitender Sharma.
The trial court on May 30, 2018, had convicted Sharma under the provision of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO) and under section 328 (causing hurt) of Indian Penal Code.
A case was registered against Sharma on January 2013 at Begumpur in Delhi.
The court said that prosecution has established the guilt of the convict beyond a reasonable doubt.
“There is no gainsaying in the position of law and there can be no quarrel with the proposition that when the testimony of the prosecutrix (victim) is credit-worthy, trustworthy, unimpeached and inspires confidence; the conviction of the appellant can be sustained based solely on it,” the court said.
It observed that the testimony made by the victim has remained unshattered in cross-examination which unequivocally reveals that the commission of the offense by the convict is described in clear and unambiguous words and her testimony has remained consistent during cross-examination.
The victim has clearly stated that her father had committed rape upon her and thereafter threatened her with dire consequences if she told anyone about the incident, the court noted.
The court said: “Nothing can be more heinous than a crime committed on the person of a child by her father, the one who is duty-bound to provide her unflinching protection from all harm.
“Thus, it is needless to state that, corroboration of the testimony of the prosecutrix, is not an essential requirement in a case of rape, and the same is not a sine qua non to bring home the guilt of the accused,” the court said.
“The testimony of the prosecutrix, if well founded and trustworthy, is by itself sufficient to convict the accused.”