Delay in filing FIR in sexual assault cases OK if explained, says Bombay HC
The Bombay high court was hearing a plea filed by a man convicted for rape of a minor. The accused had objected to the delay in filing the FIR and claimed the survivor’s family implicated him falselymumbai Updated: Aug 17, 2017 13:13 IST
Delay in lodging an FIR in cases of sexual offences is inconsequential if it is properly explained and has no bearing on the outcome of the trial, the Bombay high court (HC) said on Monday, upholding the conviction of a city resident for rape of a minor in October 2007.
According to the prosecution, Antop Hill resident Murugan Devendra raped the minor on October 2, 2007, when she was alone at home. After the assault, the girl consumed 18 of her mother’s tablets and fell unconscious. Her parents rushed her to a hospital, where she regained consciousness on October 4. The FIR was lodged the next day, leading to Devendra’s arrest.
On December 20, 2008, a sessions court convicted Devendra and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment. Devendra appealed in the high court, claiming the girl’s family falsely implicated him owing to prior enmity. The plea said the delay in lodging the FIR was fatal to the case.
Justice AM Badar rejected the submission, saying the delay was “inconsequential”.
As the survivor fell unconscious, she could reveal the incident only on October 4, the judge said, adding the delay was properly explained as the family was shocked after the assault.
The judge discarded the argument over “enmity”, saying it is a double-edged sword, which could also mean it may have prompted the accused to take revenge by raping the girl.