The Karnataka High Court has said that non-matching DNA samples would not absolve a crime accused since it is only corroborative evidence. The court rejected the petition of a 43-year-old bus conductor who is accused of raping and impregnating a 12-year-old relative. He rushed to the high court, seeking quashing of the case after a DNA test showed that his blood sample and that of the foetus did not match.
The accused is a resident of Mysuru. He has been charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The complaint was filed by the mother of the victim on 19 February 2021. The bus conductor is said to have sexually abused the girl, which impregnated her.
The police filed a charge sheet in the case while the report of the DNA test was still pending. When the report arrived, it showed that the blood sample of the accused and the foetus did not match. He approached the court, contending that he was not responsible for the victim becoming pregnant.
On 15 September, Justice M Nagaprasanna pronounced the verdict, holding that, despite the DNA analysis showing that the accused was not the biological father of the foetus, “that would not absolve the petitioner in entirety for the offences so alleged.”
DNA test can ‘at best be used as a corroborative evidence’
The court said, “The alleged act has not at all happened cannot be the inference that can be drawn due to a DNA sample coming in favour of the petitioner. Mere production of DNA sample report before this court would not mean that it has to be taken as gospel truth without examination or cross-examination of the doctor who has rendered such opinion.”
After quoting the statement of the victim-girl given to the court, the high court said, “They are all unpardonable acts on the part of the petitioner unless proved otherwise. The DNA test cannot discredit what the victim has narrated in her statement that the petitioner had forcibly committed sexual acts on her.”
Terming the DNA test as a corroborative evidence, the court dismissed the petition of the accused.
“The DNA test cannot be said to be a conclusive evidence with regard to the allegations made against the petitioner. The DNA test can at best be used as a corroborative evidence," the Bench noted.
Quoting the Supreme Court in the case of Sunil versus State of Madhya Pradesh, the High Court said, “If a positive result of the DNA comes about against the accused, it would constitute clinching evidence against him for further proceeding. If the result is negative, favouring the accused, then the weight of other materials and evidence on record will still have to be considered for corroboration."
“Therefore, it does not form such a clinching evidence that would result in termination of proceedings against the accused,” the bench said.