The Delhi High Court has confirmed a man's conviction and 10-year-jail term for raping his minor niece, saying the "heinous crime" not only caused physical harm but also "shattered" her personality and "degraded her soul".
Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal upheld the trial court's September 2012 decision, convicting and sentencing the maternal uncle of the girl to 10 years imprisonment, saying that her testimony was supported by other witnesses and the medical evidence.
The high court said though there were no witnesses to the commission of the crime, the "remaining circumstances were sufficiently proved" and the chain of events are complete cumulatively.
"Therefore, there is no escape from the conclusion that within all human probabilities the crime was committed by the accused (convict) and none else as proved circumstances unerringly point towards the guilt of the accused."
It further said that the "appellant (convict) has committed the heinous crime against a tender aged minor girl and not only caused physical harm, but also shattered the privacy, integrity and personality of the victim girl, and caused psychological harm to her, and degraded her very soul".
With the observations, the high court dismissed the appeal of the convicted maternal uncle, Rajesh Tiwari, against the trial court's decision sending him to jail for 10 years.
"In the circumstances, having comprehensive view of the matter, and more particularly, after scrutinising and re- appreciating the evidence on record, there is no infirmity in the impugned judgement and order of conviction," it said.
According to the police, on March 20, 2011, while the girl was playing holi, she was lured by her uncle, the husband of the victim's mother's sister, to his house on the pretext of taking a 'dolchi' -- a utensil -- to go and buy milk.
When she entered the house, Tiwari had shut the door, took her to the kitchen and raped her, police had said and added that she was threatened by him to keep quiet or he will harm her parents.
She had later told her mother that she was bleeding and what had actually transpired, after which her family took her to the doctor, the police had told the court.
Tiwari had challenged the trial court's decision on the ground that it erred in completely relying on the sole testimony of the victim in deciding the present case.
The high court, however, rejected the contention saying the that after going through the statement of witnesses, exhibits and other evidence, "it becomes evident that the testimony of the victim was convincing and the corroboration of other witnesses is not required so far direct evidence is concerned and the sole testimony of the victim inspires confidence".
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