Since Macaulay formulated the Indian Penal Code and subsequent to the adoption of the same, the offences had been defined clearly, but the proof of EVIDENCE of the act done or not done, depended on WITNESSES!
So if there aren’t any witnesses, there would be ALLEGATIONS, but no proof, unless out of contrition, the accused herself/himself pleads guilty of the alleged offence.
Essentially, therefore, LACK OF WITNESSES, became the single largest reason for discharge for lack of evidence. Besides real lack of witnesses, sometimes the willing witnesses are threatened or offered inducement to turn hostile . This is the second reason for acquittals!
More than all these, is the lack of belief in the system to control, punish and give succour to the victims, which leads to NON-REPORTING of the offences committed, which do not have witnesses.
In the recent episode of a girl who had alleged ‘lewd remarks’ by a man of 29 years coupled with an unsolicited offer by him to drop her at her place while crossing a road, is another instance where no witness has come forward to confirm what the girl has alleged.
But does that mean, if the event had happened the way as narrated by the girl the man should be allowed to go scotfree in anticipation of lack of evidence? I THINK NOT.
The man has to be brought and told of the allegations and asked for his explanation. Who knows, he might confess and be contrite. If he denies, then to look for evidence which is INDEPENDENT, would arise. To defend the man even before confronting him with the allegations against him, is anticipation of human nature to resist charges and not trust in the system.
It is not merely a case of one woman’s word against a man, it is an unprovoked assault on a human being. That’s the way to look at it.
For better evidence, since the numbers of cops patrolling the streets have dwindled and the numbers of humans walking on streets have increased, it is very important that powerful live cc TV recordings are made and stored for substantial period of time.
Allowing all these one person’s word against another, to lead to lack of evidence should be denied, not out of naming and shaming, which can disturb the equilibrium of the society, and more independent evidences made available through cc TV s and people video graphing instances as clips, for evidentiary value!