CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Monday acquitted a 52-year-old man, who was sentenced to life imprisonment nine years back by the Additional Sessions Judge Court, Bhubaneswar for raping a girl. The incident had occurred within Jatni police limits on September 6, 2003. Dilip Swain was arrested during investigation and remanded to judicial custody on September 8.
Dilip was released on bail on October 1, 2004 and continued to be out on parole till the trial court convicted him on January 19, 2012, while acquitting his co-accused. He had challenged his conviction through a criminal appeal the same year.
A division bench comprising Justice SK Mishra and Justice Savitri Ratho concluded that the prosecution had not proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt. "It has failed to establish a case under Section 376 (2) (g) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 (ii) (v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Hence, the appellant is entitled to an order of acquittal," the Bench said.
The victim, an orphan of scheduled caste, worked as a labourer at the Kantia stone quarry. In her statement, she stated that two persons had entered her rented house in nearby Budhabapada hamlet in the night and raped her. But she could only identify Dilip and not his accomplice. During trial she said she does not remember what she had stated before the magistrate and did not implicate Dilip.