South african woman raped in 2005: Two acquitted as victim doesn’t come before court

Published on Feb 29, 2020 12:08 AM IST
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HT Image
By, Mumbai

The special court for crime against women on Friday, acquitted the two men accused of raping a South African woman in 2005, as the victim failed to turn up before the court.

As per the prosecution’s case, the accused, Suresh Kishnani and Sunil Morpani, picked up the woman from Bawa International hotel on December 27, 2005. The prosecution alleged that the accused took her to a hotel in Ulhasnagar and raped her.

The prosecution had also claimed that the survivor was drugged when she was picked up and was raped in the car before being taken to Ulhasnagar.

The duo was charged on several sections of the Indian Penal Code which included administering the drug, kidnapping a woman and also gang-rape.

The accused, while applying for bail, had claimed that the act was consensual. However, when the case came up for a trial, they denied any such incident.

The prosecution failed to prove the case against the accused as the survivor did not turn up to depose before the court. Several attempts were made to contact the survivor through the embassy but she did not respond. This also delayed the trial.

The prosecution also examined 16 witnesses, which included hotel staff and forensic experts. The court, however, did not accept the prosecution case and acquitted the accused.


    Charul Shah is senior reporter covering the legal beat for Hindustan Times. She has spent over a decade in the industry covering criminal investigations and judiciary from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

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