A man, facing trial for allegedly raping his daughter-in-law with abetment of his son and wife, has been let off by a Delhi court on grounds of delay in reporting the matter to the police by the victim, besides her suspicious testimony before it.
While acquitting the elderly father-in-law, a resident of Nangloi in west Delhi of rape charges, additional sessions judge (ASJ) Rakesh Tewari also acquitted his son and wife of abetting charges, besides absolving them of the allegation of harassing and torturing the woman for dowry.
“There is no law that delay in reporting rape cases may always be seen with suspicion because in Indian circumstances, the victims for so many apprehensions in their mind are generally reluctant to come forward and report the matter to the police or public authorities. But, in the present case, both delay and trustworthiness of the deposition of prosecutrix (woman) are not free from suspicion,” the judge said, letting off the trio.
The court acquitted the woman's husband Mukesh, his father Suresh and wife Meena (all names changed), saying the prosecution has been unable to prove charges against them beyond doubt.
According to prosecution, Mukesh had got married on November 12, 2003, and soon after marriage, his wife accused the entire family of harassing her. The altercation was resolved following intervention of her parents, but it got worse soon. The woman alleged her father-in-law asked for some water from her on June 16, 2005, but when she went to his room to give it, her husband and mother-in-law bolted the door from outside exhorting him to teach her a lesson, while he raped her after overpowering her.