Singer Ankit Tiwari and brother acquitted in 2014 rape case
A special women’s court on Thursday acquitted Bollywood singer Ankit Tiwari and his brother Ankur Tiwari in a rape case registered against them by a 28-year-old woman in 2014.
The woman had alleged that the singer had raped her several times between 2012 and 2013 after promising marriage to her, while her brother had threatened her.
Special judge SKS Razvi acquitted both as the prosecution failed to prove the case against the two. Tiwari was arrested by the Versova police on May 8, 2014 after a woman, allegedly a former girlfriend, filed a complaint saying that he had raped her repeatedly between October 2012 and December 2013 on the pretext of marrying her. Ankit's brother Ankur was also arrested.
According to the police, the victim had invited the singer to a party where he allegedly coerced her into consuming alcohol, and sexually assaulted her.
The special court had refused to discharge the singer last year, holding that there was prima facie evidence against him. However, when trial began, the prosecution found it difficult to trace witnesses. Though the Versova police had cited 10 witnesses, they could only bring forward two — the complainant and one of the guests at the party.
“The police could not trace the witnesses, which included the medical officer had examined the girl. The other guests were also not found,” defense lawyer Rizwan Mirchant said.
In August, he allegedly applied 'sindoor' (vermillion) on her forehead in a temple at her residence, as a mark of their marriage the victim had alleged that when she objected to physical relationship, Ankit threatened her of dire consequences.
The special court had last year refused to discharge the singer holding that there is a prima facie evidence against him. However, when the trial began, the prosecution found it difficult to trace the witnesses in the case. Though the Versova police had sited 10 witnesses, they could only bring 2 which included the complainant and one of the guests who had attended the party. The prosecution had in total examined only four witnesses which included the victim girl, a guest of the party and two investigating officers from Versova.
“The police could not trace many of the witnesses which included the medical officer – doctor who had examined the victim girl. Further the other guests who had allegedly attended party were also not found as they had left their respected residence which they had taken on rent,” Merchant added.