Nation Current Affairs 23 Sep 2018 Madras high court ac ...

Madras high court acquits lifer in child rape case

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | J STALIN
Published Sep 23, 2018, 1:22 am IST
Updated Sep 23, 2018, 1:22 am IST
“The climax sent the innocent behind the bars, while the manipulator went whistling scot free”
Madras high court
 Madras high court

Chennai: A lifer in a child rape case was acquitted by the Madras high court ordering his release from the prison while slamming the police for its sham investigation and the trial court too for failing to spot the real culprit. 

In an interesting twist in the case, a prime witness has now landed in trouble as the division bench comprising Justices S. Vimala and S. Ramathilagam directed the prosecution to arraign him as the real accused and remitted the case back to the trial court to complete the trial within three months.

 

The six-year-old girl was abducted around the midnight of February 6, 2008, while sleeping beside her father and visually challenged mother. The parents were tenants of a realtor called Kaatu Raja at whose construction site in Saidapet she was later found unconscious with bleeding injuries on her head and private parts. She was rushed to the Corporation hospital in Saidapet, shifted to the Egmore children's hospital and finally to the Rajiv Gandhi government general hospital, where she regained consciousness three months later and was in a condition to speak t the police.

 

The police team investigating the crime arrested young Iyyappan, working as coolie for Kaatu Raja in his building works after the latter pointed finger at him when asked by the investigating officer (IO) if there was any unmarried man in that area.

The Mahila Court in Chennai conducted the trial and sentenced Iyyappan to life imprisonment after accepting the prosecution case that his employer Kaatu Raja had himself identified him while the child victim did not remember who had abducted her. Iyyappan moved an appeal before the high court.

Pulling up the police for its flawed probe, the Bench said it appeared that Kaatu Raja as “a good script-writer” had himself inspired the prosecution story so as to escape detection by getting his worker Iyyappan trapped. Perhaps he would later get him released if possible. That explained the IO's question on 'unmarried man' which could have been actually penned by Raja himself. “The climax sent the innocent behind the bars, while the manipulator went whistling scot free”, said the Bench.

 

“When there were accused persons ranging from adolescents to octogenarians, it was not known what made the investigating officer to question as to who was the unmarried person in the area”, said the Bench.

Besides, the IO did not bother to take into account the statement made by the child victim to the doctor that she was hit on the head by Kaatu Raja, nor did the trial court lean on it while arriving at its verdict. Both went by the child’s admission she did not see the face of the abductor. How a sleepy child could have seen the face of her abductor at midnight, wondered the Bench, pointing out that the victim had told the doctor she was hit by Kaatu Raja.

 

“However, the child would have got the opportunity to see the face at the time when she had been beaten, sexually abused etc., She might have identified the accused even by his voice. Without understanding the situation in a realistic way the (trial) court has simply brushed aside the statement of the victim child”, the Bench said. 

The Bench said when the child had stated once before the doctor, once before the police and once before the (trial) court that it was only Kaatu Raja who was the culprit, what was the difficulty to proceed against Kaatu Raja was a mystery to be found out. The Bench said the judicial propriety requires a quality to read in-between the lines what the prosecution relies, claims and to find some hidden agenda into the scheme by the prosecution. 

 

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