DNA testing can exonerate wrongly convicted, identify the guilty: Bombay HC

“DNA testing has an unparalleled ability both to exonerate the wrongly convicted and to identify the guilty. It has the potential to significantly improve both the criminal justice system and investigative practices of the police,” observed the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court, while upholding the conviction of a 55-year old man for raping a minor who took shelter in his house with her mother and used to call him ‘mama’.

A division bench of Justices Rohit Deo and Urmila Joshi-Phalke dismissed the appeal by the man, observing that he had betrayed the trust of the survivor and “destroyed her life” when he “was under moral obligation to protect the child”.

The child’s mother used to work as a help at the man’s house. After her husband’s death, she and her daughter took shelter at the man’s house, who used to reside with his daughter and son. He even got the child admitted to school.

The child’s mother got married again and went to stay at her husband’s place. However, the child remained at the man’s house. In December 2013, the mother alleged that the man raped her daughter several times since she was in Class 9, the prosecution said.

She learnt about it when the child told her mother about the continuous abdominal pain when she was in Class 11. Medical examination revealed that she was seven-months pregnant. When the girl was to deliver a child and was in labour pain, the man had rushed her to a hospital in an inebriated condition and left her.

The sessions court convicted him for rape under the Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to life imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000. The man challenged his conviction before the high court and claimed that the child had an affair with a man named Rajan. However, he did not deny having intercourse with her.

The court relied on the DNA report, which confirmed that the man was the father of the child. “Modern DNA testing can provide powerful new evidence unlike anything known before DNA technology was a part of forensic science and scientific discipline does not only provide guidance to investigation but also supplies the court accurate information about the tending features of identification of criminals,” observed the court.

“The trust of the victim is betrayed by the accused. The accused was under moral obligation to protect the child as he had a daughter but he instead destroyed her life,” said the court

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper’s PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Source link

Leave a Comment