Delhi High Court: R.K. Gauba, J., gave benefit of doubt to the appellant in the present appeal who was convicted by the trial court for the offences punishable under Sections 363 (punishment for kidnapping) and 368 (wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person) read with Section 34 IPC.

It was alleged that the appellant gave intoxicated sweets to the prosecutrix (victim) after which she started to feel giddy and thereby helped the co-convict in kidnapping the prosecutrix. She was tried and convicted by the trial court as aforestated. Represented by G.P. Thareja and Mani Mishra, Advocates, the appellant filed the present appeal.

The High Court noted that the prosecutrix changed her statement regarding the involvement of the appellant at least twice. It was stated: “The prosecutrix had changed her stand from one version to the other, the narration of sequence of evidence in the first statement under Section 161 CrPC being materially distinct from what was deposed by her before the Magistrate at the time of her statement under Section 164 CrPC, the Court deposition being even further at variance from the previous two.”

Observing that “The Court deposition of the prosecutrix against the appellant several days after she had been recovered cannot be believed on its face value”, the Court gave benefit of doubt to the appellant and acquitted her. The appeal was thus allowed. [Arti v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7823, decided on 12-03-2019]

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