“A victim of rape is not to be treated as an accomplice after the crime,” the Bombay High Court ruled, while upholding the sentence of a rapist.
“There is no rule of law that her testimony cannot be acted upon without corroboration in material particulars,” the court added. Justice AP Bhangale dismissed the appeal filed by Shivnarayan Bhondaprasad Keskar who raped his 14-year-old niece in 2007 in Chandrapur.
Keskar challenged the order of Ad-hoc Additional Sessions Judge, Chandrapur, that sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment in 2008.
His defence was that he was the “girl’s paternal uncle and could not have committed rape upon her,” was rejected by the Nagpur bench of the high court. After her parents’ death, the girl lived with Keskar.
Keskar said there was no sufficient corroboration to believe the girl in absence of legal proof. The HC reiterated the Supreme Court’s order. “Conviction can be based on the sole testimony of victim… it is improper to test her evidence with a certain amount of suspicion, treating her as if she were an accomplice.”