The case against those accused of raping an American student of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on April 12, 2009, fell apart because the court felt her statement"does not inspire confidence".
The judge will give the reasons for this in a detailed order that will be out in roughly a week. However, in court, the judge did agree with the defence stand that the student was changing her version of what happened that night. The judge also pointed out that there was no evidence to corroborate her statement.
Also, the medical examination for rape was negative.
The 23-year-old gender and development student had come to India in October 2008 and was staying at the TISS hostel at Deonar since January 2009.
She claimed that her friend Annie Brown invited her to Café XO in Chembur. It was there, she said, that she met the accused."I had met Jaskaran [Bhullar], Vinamra [Soni] and Anish [Borkataki] earlier at Annie’s birthday party in February 2009 and was meeting Harshwardhan [Yadav] and Dev [Colabawala] for the first time," the student told the police.
None of the accused’s pictures have been used in line with the Hindustan Times’ ethics policy.
She said they ordered 10 bottles of beer and she drank only after she was prodded repeatedly to do so.
After a while, she said, she and Yadav stepped out for a smoke."He asked me about India. Then, he showed me a tattoo of a mushroom on his calf and told me I should try LSD," she said.
When they went back in, the student said, the group again started forcing her to drink beer."I had a little just to satisfy them," she said.
She said Soni fought with a customer in the bar and he sustained minor injuries. As they stepped out, she said,"one of the boys rolled a joint, which had either hashish or marijuana. They smoked it and we went back into the bar. Once more, Yadav insisted I drink. I had a sip of beer. He poured the beer into a glass and insisted I finish it. I did not want to, but I drank it. After a while, I started feeling dizzy and light-headed," the student said in her statement.
She said they left the bar at around 1am. According to her, Bhullar and Yadav kept asking her about her plans for the night and she said she was going to meet her friend Ahmed at Club Bling at the Leela hotel at Sahar.
“Bhullar asked if I would like to stop over at a friend’s place in Andheri for a while. Despite my refusal, they took me to Kundanraj Borgohain’s house."
The student claimed she was in the bedroom when Soni started kissing her and saying he loved her. She said Bhullar too entered the room."I somehow locked myself in the bathroom and tried calling Ahmed, but he did not take my call. I then tried calling a Los Angeles-based friend but his phone was busy," she said in her statement.
She said she later came out of the bathroom but was unable to walk properly and lay down on the mattress.
“When I came to the next morning, I could not open my eyes for a while and felt disgusted and dirty," she said. She realised she was"semi-nude" and that Soni was sleeping next to her while Yadav was playing with her hair. Bhullar, she claimed, was sleeping next to him.
“After I got dressed, Yadav took me to a chemist and made me take a contraceptive pill," the student told the police. She said she narrated the incident to her course coordinator. Shruti Chakravarti, who took her to hospital. She filed a police complaint two days later.