Rape-murder accused’s acquittal reversed; gets life term

February 13th, 2012 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Three years after a rape-murder accused walked free, he is set to be put behind bars again. The Delhi High Court has sentenced the man to life term and slammed the trial court for committing an error by acquitting him in 2009.

A division bench consisting of Justice S.P. Garg and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat reversed the trial court’s acquittal order and said: “We are satisfied that the trial court committed manifest errors in regard to appreciating the evidence of the deceased’s younger brother.”

Prakash raped a 14-year-old girl in a slum in south Delhi’s Green Park area, strangled her and set the body on fire Jan 18, 2000. The victim’s eight-year-old brother was a witness to the crime.

“The act of the accused by setting fire was clearly intended to result in disappearance of evidence. In view of these findings, the judgment and order of acquittal is hereby reversed,” the court said.

The judges directed Prakash to surrender before the trial court Feb 22 to serve the life term.

The trial court acquitted him in 2009 on the ground that the evidence recorded by the victim’s brother was not corroborated by other witnesses and could not be relied upon.

Dismissing the acquittal order, the high court said that the motive of the accused could not be ascertained but that did not signify its absence.

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