Police rarely get witnesses in human trafficking cases: Madras HC

The appellants submitted that the witness named Jebaraj is a stock witness of police and his statements should not be considered for substantiating the charges.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: "Most of the public in the country do not come forward to stand as a witness to any investigations. Only a few public-spirited persons who have concern for public safety and order, come forward to stand as witnesses. More in so, in a case of human trafficking, the police rarely gets witnesses, " Justice G Jayachandran of Madras High Court held.

The judge made these observations on partly allowing a criminal appeal filed by Palani, S Jayakumar, S Manibarathi aka Varadharajan, and P Gopinath. The appellants sought a direction to quash the sentence of 10 years rigorous imprisonment along with a penalty of Rs 15,000 passed by the Mahila Court in Chennai for gang-raping a 16-year-old TV actress at several places in the city in 2006.

The appellants submitted that the witness named Jebaraj is a stock witness of police and his statements should not be considered for substantiating the charges.

However, the judge rejected such contentions observing that even assuming Jebaraj had been witnessed for the prosecution, in a few other cases earlier for that reason his evidence cannot be rejected but has to be tested with more caution.

“The fact which is called to be proved whether the appellants had sexual intercourse with the minor girl in the manner in which spoken by the prosecution. While the victim girl herself has deposed about it and her testimony could not be impeached in the cross-examination, ” the judge held while partly confirming/modifying the Mahila court’s order.

The HC ordered three years of jail term for the accused with a penalty of Rs 15,000.

One man named Saravanan assured her of marrying her and making a chance in acting in movies. However, he cheated and pulled the minor girl to the hands of the accused for money, according to the prosecution.

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