Court summons US woman to depose as witness in rape case

NEW DELHI
12 Jul 2017

A US national, who accused a man of raping her in a city hotel after drugging her with a laced-drink, has been summoned as a witness by a Delhi court to depose about her misery. The court summoned the woman as a prosecution witness for November 10 after the prosecutor said she was a foreigner and as per the guidelines of the central government, at least four months time is needed to facilitate serving of the summons to such witnesses. Additional Sessions Judge Ramesh Kumar-II framed charges against accused Raghuvanshi, who is in his 40s and is out on bail, for the alleged offences of rape and causing hurt by means of poison under the IPC. The court framed charges against the accused after he pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. If convicted, the offences entail a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The woman had lodged a complaint at the Paharganj police station alleging that she had come to Delhi in May 2013, and booked a room in a hotel there. The accused, to whom she had met earlier in Rishikesh, came to her room with food and cake to celebrate her birthday. She went to his room and had a piece of cake after which he also offered her alcoholic drinks. After taking the drink, she fell asleep and when she woke up, she noticed several marks on her body and found that she was raped. The woman, who wanted to engage in social work, had met the man in Rishikesh as he was running an NGO. The counsel for the accused had argued that no offence of rape after administering stupefying substance was prima facie made against the man. He said there was no medical or forensic evidence to prove that the woman was raped by the man and there was a delay of two years in reporting the matter to the police. The court, however, said the arguments of the defence counsel that there is no medical evidence to show that the victim was administered stupefying substance pale into insignificance. "The court cannot conduct a roving and fishing inquiry into the evidence or a meticulous consideration thereof at this stage. Marshalling and appreciation of evidence and going into the probative value of the material on record, is not in the domain of the court at the time of framing of charges," it said.(PTI)