The Bombay High Court said that further corroboration is not needed if the statement of a rape victim is reliable and trustworthy. The statement was made as the court upheld conviction of a 23-year-old man who is accused of raping a minor girl.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice V K Tahilramani and Justice A S Gadkari on 16 September held that the conviction and ten-year sentence awarded by a sessions court to Pandurang Lalasaheb Yadav, a resident of Sangli, for raping a nine-year-old girl was correct.
According to prosecution, on 23 December, 2006, the accused accosted the victim when she was on her way home from school. The accused told the girl that her parents were waiting outside his house and hence she should come with him.
He then took the girl to a nearby field and raped her. The girl later informed her mother about the incident following which she was taken to doctor and a case was registered.
"We find that the testimony of the victim is wholly trustworthy and reliable and it does not require any corroboration in support thereof," the court said. The High Court also held that the victim's statement has been corroborated by evidence of her mother and doctor who conducted the medical check.
The HC, while upholding the conviction, took note of a Supreme Court judgement which said, "A victim of rape stands at a higher pedestal than an injured witness. In the latter case, there is injury on the physical form, while in the former it is physical as well as psychological and emotional."