Despite victim turning hostile, man gets 7-year term for rape

Noting that circumstantial evidence and the initial testimony of the victim had proved the prosecution's case, a city court sentenced a 55-year-old man to seven years in jail for raping a woman in January last year.

Additional Sessions Judge (Special Fast Track Court) T R Naval held East Delhi resident Irshad Thekedar guilty of confining his neighbour's wife in a room and raping her. The victim and her husband had both turned hostile and admitted to the court that they had reached a compromise with Irshad, but the court held that circumstantial and scientific evidence proved the prosecution's case.

"It is not only the duty of the judge to see that one innocent person should not be punished even if 100 offenders are allowed to go scot-free, but he also has to see that the accused who has committed the crime must not go unpunished. It is also duty of the court to separate the grain from the chaff," Naval said.

The victim's husband had told the court that Irshad had come to their house and sent him out to buy alcohol. He then used chloroform to make his wife unconscious and then raped her. During the trial, the woman and the husband changed their statements and said they did not know who had raped her.

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