‘Law Doesn’t Distinguish Between Testimonies Of Abled Bodied & Differently Abled Persons’: Madras HC Upholds Auto-Driver’s Conviction For Molesting Blind Woman
The Madras High Court affirmed the orders of a lower court convicting and sentencing an auto-rickshaw driver to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for abducting and sexually molesting a visually challenged woman. Opining on the probative value of the testimony of the victim, Justice RMT Teekaa Raman remarked, “Law does not distinguish the evidence of able-bodied person with that of the disabled [differently enabled]. Merely because of the factum of disability, her evidence cannot be treated as inferior in nature to that of able-bodied person. To do so, could be negation to the constitution principle of right of equality.” The Judge added, “P.W.1 as a blind lacks vision, but her version had vision and hence, this Court holds that the evidence of P.W.1 is admissible in evidence.” The victim is a visually challenged lady who had come to Villivakkam, Tamil Nadu to learn English Music at an institution. On March 21, 2020 the petitioner instead of driving the victim to the concerned music institute, had taken her to a desolate place and proceeded to sexually molest her. When the victim started yelling and raising alarm, the petitioner threatened her by stating that he would kill her if she did not co-operate.