New Delhi, Oct 9: The Supreme Court has held that delay in lodging FIR cannot be the ground for quashing the charge of rape as a woman would have strong hesitation in lodging complaints of such an offence against her.
"When FIR by a Hindu lady is to be lodged with regard to commission of offence like rape, many questions would obviously crop up for consideration before one finally decides to lodge FIR. It is difficult to appreciate the plight of the victim who has been criminally assaulted in such a manner.
"Obviously, prosecutrix must have also gone through great turmoil and only after giving it a serious thought, must have decided to lodge the FIR. Precisely this appears to be the reason for a little delayed FIR," a two-judge bench of Justices V S Sirpurkar and Deepak Verma said.
The apex court made the remarks while dismissing the appeal of two persons charged with the gangrape of a housewife at gunpoint in front of her husband and sister-in-law.
The accused were convicted and sentenced to four years rigorous imprisonment by the sessions court considering the fact that the duo Sohan Singh (19) and Mohan Singh (22) were of a "tender" age as otherwise a minimum seven years sentence is imposed.
The accused had challenged the conviction in the Patna High Court which upheld it, after which they moved the apex court.