NEW DELHI: Proving that a girl had been raped by her uncle, two years after the crime, would have been very difficult, but a Delhi trial court relied on the child’s crayon sketches to convict the accused and award him five years in jail.
The girl, who is 10 now and studies in a school, belongs to a broken family in Kolkata, but she suffered the most as an eight-year-old while staying with her aunt in Delhi. Her uncle, Akhter Ahmed, allegedly sexually assaulted her several times before she fled.
He was arrested last June, but his lawyer argued that the girl had been tutored to accuse him of rape and could not be considered a ‘competent witness’. The case turned unexpectedly when the girl, given paper and crayons to keep her occupied during the hearing, sketched an abandoned house, a girl holding balloons attached to entwined strings, and a dress lying beside her. She filled the drawings with ‘gloomy’ colours. Additional sessions judge Vinod Yadav regarded the sketches as the child’s impression of her ordeal.
“If the elements of this drawing are considered in the background of facts and circumstances of this case, then commission of sexual assault upon her by somebody in her house after undressing her, and it leaving an impression upon her mind, becomes evident,” he said, adding that it was enough to explain the girl’s suffering to someone having no knowledge about the facts of the case. “Therefore, I find the child victim to be a competent witness,” ASJ Yadav said.