A CBI investigation into one of a dozen rape video clips that went viral online has revealed it to be of a couple with the husband as the accused.
The video shows 44-year-old Sunil Lamba forcibly having unnatural sex with his estranged wife.
The husband has been accused of filming the brutal act and even threatening his wife with an acid attack in case of any resistance. The incident reportedly took place in September 2006 in Vadodara while Sunil and his wife were still legally married. They divorced two months later by mutual consent.
The duo had married in 2003, but soon started living separately due to differences. The wife in her statement to the police alleged Sunil’s drinking problem to be the cause of all the trouble.
Whether or not to criminalise rape within marriage has long been debated in India. Section 375 of the IPC says sexual intercourse or acts by a man with his wife are not rape if the wife is not under 15 years of age. However, Section 498A of the IPC can charge a man for subjecting a woman to cruelty.
SC TOOK COGNISANCE OF VIRAL RAPE VIDEOS
The CBI investigation began based on the directions of the apex court. In March 2015, Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of a letter written to former Chief Justice HL Dattu by Sunitha Krishnan, from antitrafficking NGO Prajwala. The letter complained of rape videos being circulated on social media. Krishnan had also given a pen drive and sought action against the culprits.
The CBI had registered an FIR on March 12, 2015 based on the letter from the NGO.
The investigation agency traced Sunil Lamba in Ahmedabad, where he was working as a manager in a car showroom, and had asked him to join the probe.
Lamba was sent to Delhi’s Tihar Jail in September last year. During the scrutiny of the video clip, the agency claimed to have established from the transcript that the wife was threatened, coerced, brought to the house of the accused who confined her to the room and filmed the act while having unnatural sex with her which subsequently got uploaded onto the internet and went viral across digital platforms.
THREATENED AN ACID ATTACK
On the day of the incident, the woman, who was working in her office, received a call from her then husband to accompany him in the car. When she tried to resist, he threatened to destroy her face with acid and took her to his house.
“He snatched my phone and switched it off. He removed my clothes, raped and filmed the entire act. He threatened me that if I ever mention about this act, he would destroy my face. I begged him not to make the video but he did not listen to me,” she told police.
The woman has refused to take part in any judicial process but sought strict punishment for her offender.
At the same time, the CBI also told the court that the original uploader of the video has still not been detected.
Sunil was recently granted bail by the Delhi court after it observed that no fruitful purpose would be served by keeping him in judicial custody.
Advocate Pradeep Rana, representing the accused, said, “My client has been falsely implicated in the matter. The videos are doctored ones. He has been divorced for 11 years now and has his own family.”