The Karnataka High Court has declared that there can't be prosecution of an accused in a rape case, if the victim herself is not cited as a witness.
"In a case of rape, if the victim is not arraigned as a witness, the case loses its significance. In a case of rape or atrocity against woman, the victim must be cited as a witness," a single bench of Justice S Rachaiah said.
The court quashed the proceedings against Sandeep, a resident of Bidar for rape and kidnapping of a married woman on a complaint by her husband in 2016.
It said in the absence of victim as a witness to the proceedings, it would not be appropriate to ask the petitioner to face the trial.
"Therefore, it is a fit case to exercise to inherent jurisdiction to avoid abuse of process of law," the court said.
It also directed the Superintendent of Police of Bidar to take necessary steps or action against the erring officer in not arraigning the victim as witness to the case.
"The investigating officer deliberately and intentionally committed illegality in not citing the victim as a charge sheet witness in order to facilitate the petitioner to avail such benefit," the bench said.
The court, otherwise, also found no substance in the statements of "so called eye witnesses" to the said abduction.
"They have stated in their statements that the victim was going along with the petitioner on motorcycle. The victim being the married woman and if she had really been abducted, she would have raised alarm or grab the attention to that effect. However, no such averments are noticed in their statements. Therefore, it is not appropriate to act upon the statements of the so called eyewitnesses and invoke the provisions under Section 370A of IPC," the bench said.
The husband of the victim, a mother of two children, lodged a complaint on March 20, 2016, alleging that his wife has been abducted by the accused.
During the investigation, the victim appeared before the police on March 23, 2016 and gave her statement that she was cordial with the petitioner and went along with him.
She further claimed, when she reached Basavakalyan, three persons were waiting in a jeep and they have taken her to a open land, there was a shed in the land and the petitioner has committed sexual intercourse with her.