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State cannot appeal against verdict: HC

The Bombay high court on Wednesday refused the state government permission to file an appeal against the acquittal of six youth, accused of raping a 21-year-old US national studying at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

mumbai Updated: Jun 30, 2011 01:28 IST
HT Correspondent

The Bombay high court on Wednesday refused the state government permission to file an appeal against the acquittal of six youth, accused of raping a 21-year-old US national studying at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).

The rejection implies that the trial court’s acquittal of all six accused has been upheld.

“We are aware that the victim is a foreign citizen and a high degree of caution and sensitivity is required,” noted the division bench of justice Naresh Patil and justice Mridula Bhatkar.

“However, there is no evidence of sexual intercourse,” the bench said. The court rejected the state’s plea saying that the view taken by the trial court was a possible view, and therefore no interference was necessary.

Public prosecutor Shilpa Gajare pointed out that the victim, on gaining consciousness, found her clothes removed and three of the accused lying beside her. She also felt pain in her private parts and later, two of the accused took her to a chemist, insisting she should take a contraceptive pill.

The prosecutor argued that the circumstances led to only one inference — that the girl was raped while she was unconscious.

The judges, however, discarded the contention, noting that there was no evidence suggesting that sexual intercourse had taken place.

“Had the substantial evidence of having sexual intercourse been brought on record, the circumstantial evidence would have helped the prosecution corroborate its case,” the judges observed.