New Delhi, Apr 7 (ILNS) The Delhi High Court acquitted a man convicted under Section 4 of the POCSO Act, on the grounds of inconsistencies in the statement made by the prosecutrix.
A single-Judge bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru said, “It would be unsafe to convict the appellant without any material to corroborate her testimony.”
“There is no dispute that the testimony of a sole witness is sufficient to return a verdict of conviction. However, it is necessary that such evidence must be of unimpeachable quality,” it added.
The appeal was filed by Kumod Mishra, challenging the order of the trial court, convicting him under Section 376(2)(n) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the POCSO Act, while sentencing him to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 20,000.
The bench referred to the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of Rai Sandeep @ Deepu vs State (NCT of Delhi), where the Apex Court set out the qualities of a sterling witness. The Supreme Court had said that the consistency between the statements recorded earlier and the testimony of such solitary witnesses is one of the objective criteria to determine whether such testimony of a sole witness could be considered as one of unimpeachable quality. ILNS/SNG/RJ