An inordinate delay in deciding cases often results in denial of justice. Ulhasnagar-1 resident Yogesh Shinde was acquitted by the Bombay high court of the charge of raping a married woman in his neighbourhood. However, the 32-year-old had already served the full five-year jail term handed down for the alleged crime.
The alleged incident had taken place late night on June 2, 1999. The woman had alleged that Shinde and one of his accomplices had entered her house, threatened her with a knife and took her out of the house while she was sleeping next to her husband.
Shinde then allegedly forced himself upon the woman behind her house.
Six years later a sessions court at Kalyan convicted the Hanuman Nagar resident and sentenced him to a 5-year prison term for raping the woman. The same year Shinde took the matter to the high court challenging his conviction. Consequently justice Abhay Thipsay reversed the trial court verdict finding the woman’s version improbable.
“It would be extremely difficult to accept that the victim could be taken away forcibly from her room, when her husband was sleeping besides her,” the judge observed. The judge also found flaws in the prosecution case that the woman could not raise an alarm for help since the accused had gagged her and was also carrying a knife, although the victim was purportedly lifted while sleeping besides her husband and the locality was a crowded slum.
“It would not be easy for anyone to rape a grown, married woman under these circumstances,” the judge observed.