New Delhi: A 73-year-old ex-army man has been freed of the charges of allegedly raping his daughter-in-law, by a Delhi court which observed that the woman filed a false case against her father-in-law and "ridiculed him" by making him face the "ignominy of being a rape accused".
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhatt ordered that the woman be booked for falsely implicating her father-in-law merely due to matrimonial dispute between her and her husband.
"It is ironical to note that even old and infirm father-in -law, a fatherly figure, has not been spared of the false rape accusations. The accused, who has already seen 73 summers of his life and had an unblemished career as an army man, had to face the ignominy and ridicule of being a rape accused," the judge said.
The court also noted that "the accused has been falsely implicated by the woman merely on account of matrimonial dispute between her and her husband" who had filed a divorce case against her which is pending.
The judge observed that no potency test was conducted on the accused and the doctor had "casually opined" that he was capable to perform sexual act.
"I wonder why it did not come to the mind of the doctor or his seniors in the hospital that the accused brought before them for potency test is a 73-year-old person and it would be absolutely improper and against the canons of professional ethics to opine without conducting any detailed tests upon him that he can perform sexual act," the judge said, while rejecting the doctor's testimony.
The court noted that it was a common practice in all hospitals that doctors do not conduct potency tests on rape accused and rather carry out a mere physical examination.
"It appears that there are no guidelines for doctors regarding the manner in which potency test of a rape accused is to be conducted. Therefore, let a copy of this judgement be sent to the Secretary, Department of Health, Government of India, with the directions to circulate it amongst all the doctors in Delhi who are assigned the task of conducting potency test of a rape accused and also to frame proper guidelines in this regard, if found necessary," it said.
According to the prosecution, the woman had told the police that the accused was raping her repeatedly for over a year and had been threatening her. She said that hours prior to the complaint lodged on June 14, 2014, also, he tried to sexually assault her and beat her up when she resisted.
On June 14, last year, the woman's brother had lodged a complaint against the accused, a Najafgarh resident, for allegedly committing offences under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (molestation), 376(rape) and 506(criminal intimidation) of the IPC, the prosecution had said.
During the trial, the man had denied the allegations and claimed that he was not capable of performing sexual act because of old age and was suffering from grave arthritis. He had said that the woman had filed a false case as a counter-blast to the divorce petition filed against her by his son.
The judge said the "court would be failing in its duty if appropriate proceedings are not initiated against the woman" and directed the court staff to file a complaint.
"The woman appears to be a prevaricate. Her overall conduct does not indicate that she has been raped," the court said.
The court noted that the conduct of the woman and her strong built did not indicate that she was raped. In fact her father-in-law was old and fragile, it said, adding, "It is very difficult to believe that a person like the accused would succeed in committing forcible sexual intercourse upon a lady like the prosecutrix and that too repeatedly".
While acquitting the man, the court also relied on the medical report of the complainant, saying that the few external injury marks found on her body could be self-inflicted. It also noted that the woman and her husband had started living in a separate house after the first incident of rape, then why did she visit the accused again on the date of the alleged incident.