Friday, 12 September 2014
benefit of doubt in rape cases in india.
In the case of Narender Kumar v. State (NCT of Delhi) AIR 2012 SC 2281, it was observed as under:
The Courts, while trying an accused on the charge of rape, must deal with the case with utmost sensitivity, examining the broader probabilities of a case and not get swayed by minor contradictions or significant discrepancies in the evidence of witnesses which are not of a substantial character. However, even in a case of rape, the onus is always on the prosecution to prove, affirmatively each ingredient of the offence it seeks to establish and such onus never shifts. It is no part of the duty of the defence to explain as to how and why in a rape case the victim and other witness have falsely implicated the accused. Prosecution case has to stand on its own legs and cannot take support from the weakness of the case of defence. However, great the suspicion against the accused and however strong the moral belief and conviction of the Court, unless the offence of the accused is established beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of legal evidence and material on the record, he cannot be convicted
Crl.A. No.214/2011 Page 20 of 33 for an offence. There is an initial presumption of innocence of the accused and the prosecution has to bring home the offence against the accused by reliable evidence. The accused is entitled to the benefit of every reasonable doubt.( vide Tukaram and Anr. v. The State of Maharashtra MANU/SC/0190/1978 : AIR 1979 SC 185