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The Delhi High court Monday set aside a 10-year jail term awarded to a man for allegedly raping a five-year-old girl and directed the trial court to decide the case afresh.

The high court slammed the trial court and told it to record the accused’s statement while deciding the matter again.

While setting aside the trial court order, Justice Ajit Bharihoke said: “On perusal of the impugned judgment it transpires that the additional sessions judge has approached this case in a careless and casual manner.”

The trial court judge has failed to put all “incriminating circumstances” to the accused while seeking his responses on evidence collected against him, the court said.

“In the interest of justice and taking into account the seriousness of charges, the impugned judgment is set aside and the matter is remanded back to the court concerned to record a proper statement of the accused and re-decide the matter in accordance with law,” Justice Bharihoke said.

The trial court had in September 2006 awarded 10 years jail term to Arjun, a resident of Sangam Vihar in south Delhi, holding him guilty of raping his five-year-old neighbour.

“Such a careless approach of the trial judge in matters relating to life and liberty of the accused is not acceptable,” the high court said.

The next date of hearing in the trial court for re-examination of the accused has been fixed for July 30.


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