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DIG rape case: Delay by complainant a disadvantage say experts

Sunday, 27 July 2014 - 7:40am IST | Agency: dna

Legal experts believe that it will be an uphill task for the police and the prosecution in the rape case against senior IPS officer Sunil Paraskar to put together the sequence of events and evidence that would stand scrutiny as the alleged offence happened some months ago.

A case of rape and molestation was registered against Paraskar on the complaint of a model on Thursday. On Friday, a sessions court granted the police officer partial relief saying that he should not be arrested till July 31.

The experts say that even if an internal inquiry by the police finds some basis in the allegations and the officer is arrested, the prosecution would still have a lot of work to do to prove the chain of events.

Senior advocate Majeed Memon says that when a person alleges a serious crime is committed against him/ her, the version of the complainant must generally be supported or corroborated by some evidence.

"It may be oral evidence of an eyewitness or circumstantial, medical or forensic evidence. It would be difficult to treat the words of the complainant as gospel truth and cannot be acted upon as evidence," Memon says.

He explains that the fundamental rule of prudence in criminal jurisprudence is that the offence registered has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, but if reasonable doubt exists the benefit would go to the accused.

Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian says that if the victim claims to have enough evidence against the accused, the entire responsibility to prove the chain of events is on the prosecution.

"Also, if the victim says (as in the current case) that she has CCTV footage or video recording of the alleged offence, then it can act as an additional evidence and would definitely make the prosecution's case stronger," Salian says.

Senior advocate Ranjeet Sangle suggested that at the preliminary stage the police department would have to look at both the sides. First, they would have to verify whether the officer actually misused his official position and took advantage of the complainant.

Second, they would have to examine whether the complaint was made to tarnish the image of the police officer. "The facts would be clear only after an internal inquiry," Sangle says.

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