Courts must consider the “aftermath” of such an incident, which causes physical and emotional trauma to the survivor, the court pointed out. “Many a times, a person may not be in an emotional or physical state to take an immediate stand against the assailant or to go through further trauma of investigation by police or through an intrusive medical examination, and an accused should not merely be discharged under Section 376 because the prosecutrix has not stated about the same in her FIR or during MLC (medico-legal case),” Justice Sharma noted.
“An overzealous approach to appreciate evidence in detail and conclude the entire case even before it begins is fatal not only to the case at hand but at times to justice and the faith of the victim in the criminal justice system,” the court added.
The order came on a plea by police challenging a trial court’s order that discharged an accused under IPC 376 while framing charges for other offences. The trial court had said no case was made out to proceed against the accused on the charge of rape because the prosecutrix “never stated in her complaint that she was raped” and also did not mention it during the MLC, and the allegation was made only in her statement under Section 164 (recording of confessions and statements by magistrate) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The HC has set aside the decision.