17 June 2024


Judgments

High Court of Delhi

Rakesh Vs. The State (GNCT of Delhi)

MANU/DE/1585/2021

10.08.2021

Criminal

If the testimony of the child victim inspires confidence and is reliable, it is sufficient to record the conviction

The present appeal is preferred on behalf of the Appellant challenging the judgment on conviction and order on sentence passed by the trial Court arising out of FIR registered under Section 6 of the POCSO Act, whereby the appellant was convicted for the offence punishable under Section 6 of the POCSO Act. Further, vide order on sentence, the Appellant has been sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of 14 years for the offence punishable under Section 6 of the POCSO Act along with payment of fine.

If the testimony of the child victim inspires confidence and is reliable, it is sufficient to record the conviction. In Dattu Ramrao Sakhare and Others v. State of Maharashtra, the Supreme Court held that conviction on the sole evidence of the child witness is permissible, if the witness is found competent and the testimony is trustworthy. While accepting the testimony of a child witness, the Courts have also sounded a word of caution that the testimony has to be evaluated even more carefully as the same is susceptible to tutoring.

As per Section 29 of the POCSO Act, there is a presumption regarding guilt of the accused. The burden of proof on the prosecution is not of beyond reasonable doubt. The prosecution has to lay down and prove the fundamental facts regarding the guilt of the accused. Once such facts are proved, the onus is upon the accused to lead evidence to rebut the presumption. The appellant has failed to dislodge the statutory presumption under Section 29 of the POCSO Act. The State, through the Delhi State Legal Services Authority, is directed to provide requisite compensation to the child victim in accordance with the Delhi Victim Compensation Scheme. Consequently, the impugned judgment on conviction and order of sentence passed by the Trial Court, are upheld and the present appeal is dismissed.

Tags : Conviction Evidence Credibility

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