When is the testimony of a prosecutrix reliable?

The burden of proof always lies on prosecution in general. However there are some exceptions such as dowry death, etc. Privileges are given to the women because of their vulnerable nature and they are subject to exploitation in the workplace or home or subject to acid attacks, rape and the count never ends. As a result of which, there is a general principle that evidence given by the victims of sexual assault is not tested witu suspicion.

It was also observed in the State of M.P v. Preetam, AIR 2018 SC 4212, absence of injury on her body being taken against her. In another word, absence of injury doesn’t mean she was not forced to have sexual intercourse.

So, the evidence of the prosecutrix is given special privileges. But the question is when the testimony of a prosecutrix is not considered reliable ?

 

Who is a prosecutrix?

 

Prosecutrix is a female victim or plaintiff who made a complaint against the accused and the state is representing the female victim. That is the reason why the name of the female is never mentioned in the case. State is mentioned over there. For instance – In Nirbhaya Gang rape case, the case was Mukesh & anr v. State for NCT of Delhi & Ors.

 

Case laws –

 

State of U.P v. Chhoteylal, AIR 2011 SC 697

 

In this case, the court held that if the testimony of the prosecutrix seems to be reliable and trustworthy then her testimony may be itself sufficient to convict the accused. In addition, they observed that corroboration of her evidence is not necessary.

 

State of M.P v. Preetam, AIR 2018 SC 4212

 

In this case, the court held that absence of injury on the body of the victim doesn’t mean she was not forced to have sexual intercourse.

 

Mukesh v. State for N.C.T of Delhi, AIR 2017 SC 2161

 

In this case, the court held that in case of gang rape, the sole testimony of the victim is sufficient to convict the culprits. But the condition is the testimony of the victim should be explicitly reliable.


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