Tuesday, November 4, 2014
India: The New Delhi High Court has overturned the conviction of a man accused of killing and raping a woman whom he called his mother
Achey Lal appealed the conviction to the New Delhi High Court who overturned both the rape and homicide decisions. According to court documents, police discovered the semi-naked body of the victim in the house on December 31, 2010 in the house in Manju Ka Tila. The court ruled: "Achey Lal, even if held guilty for causing the offence of rape, cannot be held guilty of murder as he neither had any intention nor knowledge that such a forceful act of sexual intercourse would cause the death of the woman. Consequently, he is acquitted for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC." The court also overturned Lal's rape conviction claiming: "As regards the offence punishable under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC, the woman was aged over 60 years, thus beyond the age of menopause. We find force in the contention of the counsel for the appellant (Achey) that even if the sexual intercourse was forceful, it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased. Hence, we are of the opinion that it has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant committed sexual intercourse with the deceased contrary to her wishes or her consent. Consequently, he is also acquitted of the rape charge." The New Delhi High Court said "besides the injuries on the vagina there is no other injury mark on the body of the deceased or the appellant to show there was any protest by the deceased." They said: "It has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant committed sexual intercourse with the deceased contrary to her wishes or consent."