The Delhi High Court on Thursday acquitted three people sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2007 for the alleged gang rape of a three-year-old girl.
Surender Mandal, Dhani Ram and Mahender Mandal, who were set free, had already spent 10 years in jail as they did not get bail after the incident in Rampura area of the Capital in March 28, 2003.
"The prosecution failed to establish incriminating circumstances to connect the accused with the commission of offence beyond reasonable doubt. When two incredible versions confront the court, the court has to give benefit of doubt to the accused. Mere suspicion cannot replace proof," justice SP Garg said, allowing the appeals filed by the accused.
"Moreover it is relevant that the appellants have already undergone the sentence awarded to them," the court noted.
The prosecution's case collapsed as the victim's mother, gave different versions in court as to where she saw the three accused. The trial court had convicted them on the basis of circumstantial evidence. The doctor, who had examined the victim also could not give a definite opinion if rape had occured.