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HC upholds life term to man for raping daughter for two years

The Bombay High Court has upheld the life imprisonment awarded to a 43-year-old man for raping his teenage daughter repeatedly for two years. The accused – Kishan Gehlot – was arrested on April 16, 2003 by the city police after his daughter, who was 17 years old then, lodged a FIR against him for raping her repeatedly since September 2001.

According to the prosecution, the accused lived with his daughter and 15-year-old son in suburban Malad. His wife had started living separately after frequent quarrels with the accused. Soon after the wife left in September 2001, the accused attempted to rape the victim and when she resisted he assaulted her. Since then, the accused raped the victim repeatedly for two years.

On April 16, 2003 the victim girl confided about the assault and rape to her younger brother. The siblings then approached their maternal uncle who took the girl to the police to lodge a complaint. The trial court had convicted Gehlot under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code for rape and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

Gehlot then approached the high court challenging his conviction on the ground that his daughter had lodged a false complaint against him at the behest of his estranged wife. The court, however, refused to accept this and said, “It is difficult to imagine that the victim would make false accusation against the appellant, who is her father. Nothing has been elicited in the evidence which would lead us to record a finding that the appellant has been falsely implicated in this crime.”

The court held that the trial court has rightly convicted and sentenced the accused.

“The appellant (Gehlot) was the victim’s father and he took advantage of the relationship and committed forcible sexual intercourse with the victim repeatedly for two years. We do not think that the case warrants any reduction in sentence. In our opinion, the appellant has been rightly convicted and sentenced,” a division bench headed by Justice P V Hardas said.

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