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New Delhi, Dec 3 (PTI) The Supreme Court has ruled that courts cannot quash a case against an accused involved in sexual offences merely because there was a delay in lodging the FIR. "There are several factors which weigh in the mind of the prosecutrix (victim) and her family members before coming to the police station to lodge a complaint. In a tradition bound society prevalent in India, more particularly rural areas, it would be quite unsafe to throw the prosecution case merely on the ground that there is some delay in lodging the FIR," a bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Mukundakam Sharma observed in a judgement. The apex court passed the ruling while modifying an acquittal order passed by the Himachal Pradesh High Court in favour of a school teacher Prem Singh who was earlier convicted for rape by a sessions court. The charge against Singh was that he had outraged the modesty of several girls in the school where he was teaching. On the basis of a complaint lodged by one of the victims, the sessions court convicted and sentenced him to 10 years and six months imprisonment. However, the High Court disbelieved the version of the victim on the ground that there was a delay of over two years in lodging the FIR as contended by the accused, following which the state filed the appeal in the apex court. PTI
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