No corroboration needed if rape victim’s statement reliable: Bombay HC

The Bombay High Court has upheld the conviction of a 23-year-old man for raping a minor girl while observing that if the statement of a rape victim is trustworthy and reliable, further corroboration is not needed.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice V K Tahilramani and Justice A S Gadkari on September 16 held that the conviction and ten-year sentence awarded by a sessions court to Pandurang Lalasaheb Yadav, a resident of Sangli, for raping a nine-year-old girl was correct.

According to prosecution, on December 23, 2006, the accused accosted the victim when she was on her way home from school. The accused told the girl that her parents were waiting outside his house and hence she should come with him.

He then took the girl to a nearby field and raped her. The girl later informed her mother about the incident following which she was taken to doctor and a case was registered. “We find that the testimony of the victim is wholly trustworthy and reliable and it does not require any corroboration in support thereof,” the court said.

The High Court also held that the victim’s statement has been corroborated by evidence of her mother and doctor who conducted the medical check. The HC, while upholding the conviction, took note of a Supreme Court judgement which said, “A victim of rape stands at a higher pedestal than an injured witness. In the latter case, there is injury on the physical form, while in the former it is physical as well as psychological and emotional.”