Guwahati, April 3: Gauhati High Court has set a tea garden worker from Sivasagar free after quashing a sessions court order that had sentenced him to a seven-year jail term, but only after he has already spent six years behind bars, convicted of raping his daughter.
The single bench of Justice B.D. Agarwal issued the order on February 22 after the accused, Rupeswar Tanti of Lakwa tea estate, moved the high court against the judgment by a sessions judge court in Sivasagar in February 2006 that awarded him imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000.
A copy of the high court judgment was made available to The Telegraph today.
The sessions court had convicted Tanti after he was booked under Section 376 IPC based on the FIR lodged by his married daughter with Simuluguri police station in August 2004, alleging rape.
The convict had moved the high court from jail on April 28, 2006 and during trial of the case, the high court quashed the sessions court, observing that investigations into the case were done “perfunctorily” and chargesheets were submitted by recording the statements of only a few witnesses.
“At least in serious matters, the investigation officer should make an attempt to do the investigation in a scientific matter. In the present case, the investigation officer ought to have made a prayer for DNA test as the victim was implicating her father for the offence of rape and also delivered an illegitimate child after two months of lodging the FIR. However, instead of investigating the case scientifically, the chargesheet was submitted on the basis of a few statements of witnesses, implicating the father of a married daughter as an accused of rape and unfortunately, the court also convicted the accused,” the high court said.
Siddhartha Baruah, who was the amicus curie in the case and appeared on behalf of Tanti, today said the high court found that investigation by the police into the case was not proper and credentials of the complainant (Tanti’s daughter) were found to be doubtful.
Tanti’s daughter was married long before the alleged offence of rape and already had a child. After the death of her mother, the girl was brought up by her uncle and aunt. She came back to her uncle’s house after being deserted by her husband. However, after a quarrel with the aunt, the woman returned to her father’s house where she was allegedly “sexually molested” by her father following which she became pregnant.
The court also found that the girl’s aunt had admitted that she was not only reluctant to disclose the name of the person who impregnated her, but she had even tried to hide her pregnancy.