The Lahore High Court has ruled that single testimony of child rape victims, in instances where DNA or medical reports aren’t available, is sufficient to record a conviction.
The remarks were passed by Justice Muhammad Amjad Rafiq at a hearing on Saturday. “A rape victim stands on a higher pedestal than an injured witness, because an injured witness gets the injury of the physical form while the rape victim suffers psychologically and emotionally and a single testimony is sufficient to uphold the conviction.”
The court was hearing an appeal by Kamran, 33, accused of raping a six-year-old student at a Gujranwala school in 2017.
According to the police, Kamran was employed as the security guard at the child’s school. On May 12, 2017, when she was on her way to the washroom, the suspect and his accomplice Barkat Ali cornered the student.
Kamran raped her, while Barkat waited outside, keeping guard.
Back at home, she narrated the entire ordeal to her mother, who, then took her to the CMH Hospital with a lady constable Humaira Bashir.
The child’s medical examination corroborated the rape. An FIR was registered three days after the crime and the police arrested Kamran within a week.
After investigation, he was taken to the judicial magistrate of Gujranwala where he was sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs100,000 compensation was imposed on him.
In 2019, Kamran filed an appeal in the Lahore High Court seeking an annulment of his sentence.
He claimed that he was falsely booked in the case to save the real culprits. “No one saw the occurrence, no test identification parade was held, there was inordinate delay in reporting the matter to the police, the testimony of witnesses is inconsistent and contradicted each other and medical evidence negates the rape,” the convict added.
In his 15-page verdict, Justice Rafiq, highlighted the following points.