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The delay in lodging a complaint itself is no ground to doubt the case of prosecution, a Delhi court has said while convicting a man of sodomising and molesting a five-year-old girl in his neighbourhood.

Metropolitan Magistrate Shivani Chauhan held the man, a south Delhi resident, guilty of the offences of molestation and sodomy under sections 354 and 377, respectively, of the Indian Penal Code(IPC), while relying on the testimonies of the victim and her mother. “The delay in making the complaint itself is no ground to doubt the case of prosecution which has already been duly proved through the unrebutted testimony of the victim and her mother. Thus, it is held that the prosecution has succeeded in proving the case,” the magistrate said.

The court noted that a delay of five-six months in filing the complaint was explained by victim’s mother, who said that the man’s sister had assured her that he would not visit their vicinity again. “She made the complaint when the man again started frequenting the vicinity to visit the house of his sister, who refused to stop him from doing so,” it said.

It also noted that the ‘trustworthy’ and ‘unrebutted’ testimony of the victim was sufficient to prove the guilt of the man. “It is a settled proposition of law that the conviction can be based on the sole testimony of the victim, if the same is found to be trustworthy. The testimony of the victim, who is also the eyewitness, has remained unrebutted and un-controverted and is duly corroborated by her previous statement (before the police) and is sufficient to convict the accused for commission of offence under sections 377 IPC and 354 of IPC,” the court said.

The court is likely to pronounce the quantum of sentence next week. According to the prosecution, in December 2007, the child was standing outside her house when the man, her neighbour, lured her by giving her a gift, and took her to the terrace of his building where he sexually assaulted her by committing unnatural sex with her.

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