New Delhi: The Supreme Court has acquitted two persons of gang raping a housewife in Delhi 11 years ago noting that the alleged victim was prevaricating and her statement cannot be taken as gospel truth.

The bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and Ibrahim Kalifulla set aside the concurrent findings of a sessions court and the Delhi High Court of the gang rape charge for which Rai Sandeep and Hari Singh were earlier sentenced to 10 years RI.

"In our considered opinion, the 'sterling witness' should be of a very high quality and calibre whose version should, therefore, be unassailable. The court considering the version of such witness should be in a position to accept it for its face value without any hesitation.

"We find that the solitary version of the chief examination of PW-4, the prosecutrix cannot be taken as gospel truth for its face value and in the absence of any other supporting evidence, there is no scope to sustain the conviction and sentence imposed on the appellants," Justice Kalifulla writing the judgement said.

According to the prosecution at around 1.30 am on August 15, 2001, the duo barged into her sister's house where she was staying and gang raped her, besides taking away her gold chain.

On the basis of the victim's testimony and medical evidence the sessions court convicted and awarded 10 years RI to the duo which was affirmed by the high court upon which they appealed in the Apex Court.

Upholding the convict's appeal, the apex court felt that there were a number of inconsistencies in the statement of the victim as her testimony were not supporter even by her own family members.

(Agencies)

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