Rape victims' testimonies command "great respect and acceptability" but can be disbelieved if the allegations are not corroborated with evidence, the Supreme Court held on Friday.
"The version of victim, in rape commands great respect and acceptability, but, if there are some circumstances which cast some doubt in the mind of the court of the veracity of the victim's evidence, then, it is not safe to rely on the uncorroborated version of the victim of rape," a bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan said.
The bench passed the order while acquitting a man for the offence of rape after taking into consideration that he had established physical relations with the victim at a public place and there was no resistance on her part.
"The place of the alleged incident(of physical relation) and the time is very crucial, so for as this case is concerned. It was early morning at 8:30 am and the place of the alleged incident was on the side of a public road. If she had made any semblance of resistance or made any hue and cry it would have attracted large number of people from the locality.
"Further, the first information report, as already indicated, was lodged after a period of 10 months of the alleged incident. All these factors cast some shadow of doubt on the version of the victim," the bench said