DNA test result not conclusive evidence in rape cases: HC
The prosecution stated that a minor deaf and dumb girl (16) was raped in February 2018, but the pregnancy came to light only after her marriage was solemnised a few months after the incident.Updated: Jul 22, 2020 13:36 IST
An Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court (HC) has upheld a trial court’s view that result of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test is not a conclusive piece of evidence in rape cases, and rejected the bail plea of a rape convict from Maharashtra’s Latur district, even though the DNA test had concluded that the applicant was not the biological father of the rape survivor’s child.
The prosecution stated that a minor deaf and dumb girl (16) was raped in February 2018, but the pregnancy came to light only after her marriage was solemnised a few months after the incident.
A day after the marriage, her husband noticed that she was pregnant and dropped her at her parents’ house.
A first information report (FIR) was registered against the applicant, who was convicted and sentenced to 10-year imprisonment by a special court under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
The convict had moved a plea seeking suspension of the sentence and grant of bail during the pendency of his appeal against conviction, primarily on the ground that the DNA test results of December 2018 excluded him to be the biological father of the rape survivor’s child, and consequently the rape charge against him is null and void.
An assistant public prosecutor, however, opposed the plea submitting that in the FIR, in the statement under Section 164 (statement recorded before a metropolitan or judicial magistrate) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and in her testimony before the trial court, the survivor has stated that she was raped by the applicant and made her pregnant.
The prosecutor submitted that the trial court had held that the negative result of the DNA test did not rule out the possibility of the applicant forcing himself upon the hapless girl, who was a minor (16), when the crime was committed.
He argued that the applicant took advantage of the fact that the survivor was deaf and dumb and her mother was blind, and as a result, deserved no sympathy.
Justice Vibha Kankanwadi found merit in the prosecutor’s submissions and noted that the trial court had taken pains to point out that the DNA test cannot be said to be a piece of conclusive evidence regarding rape and cannot be solely relied on to exclude ocular evidence -- the testimony of the survivor.
“This court agreed to the observation made by the learned trial judge that the DNA report is a corroborative piece of evidence,” said justice Kankanwadi while approving the view adopted by the special court and rejecting the convict’s plea.
The court also clarified that the guiding principle is that when there is a variance between ocular and medical evidence, the former would hold sway over the latter.