Del HC | Can the revisional court’s conclusion substitute the lower court’s decision? Read HC’s analysis

Delhi High Court: Subramonium Prasad, J., expressed:

“It is well settled that while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 397/401 IPC the revisional Court should not act like an appellate court.”

The present revision petition was filed under Section 397/401 of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, directed against the Order of Additional Sessions Judge, wherein the accused was discharged from the charges under Sections 376, 328, 354A, 323, 506 and 509 of Penal Code, 1860.

In FIR, the prosecutrix stated that she had been working in two companies belonging to accused/respondent 1 since 6 months prior to the lodging of the complaint. Respondent told the prosecutrix that he had divorced his wife and was staying separately and that he needed a capable woman to handle his work.

Accused made the prosecutrix CEO and later partner in one of the said companies. Further, the prosecutrix added that all the work-related meetings and talks used to happen at the home of accused/respondent 1.

It was alleged that one day, the accused called the prosecutrix to his home and mixed some intoxicant in her cold drink because of which she went semi-conscious state and accused raped her four times. Accused/Respondent 1 told her that he liked her and hence wanted to marry her.

Adding to this, it was stated that respondent 1 started harassing the prosecutrix for salary and stopped paying her salary and remove her from her job. He even refused to pay her dues.

Later respondent 1 called the prosecutrix to his office and gave her one month’s salary and that too in two parts – half was paid in cash and the other half was by way of cheque which was issued in the wrong name. Accused asked her to come to Safdarjung Club where he would make another cheque with the correct name, but at the Club, he came with another accused/respondent 2 who used to work with respondent 1.

Accused threatened prosecutrix that he would viral the video of the prosecutrix if she persisted with her demand for money. Respondent 2 abused the prosecutrix in the parking, respondent 1 caught hold of her and tried to touch her inappropriately.

Additional Session Judge found that there is discrepancy even in the narration of facts by the prosecutrix regarding her visit to Safdarjung Club.

Further, it was held that despite this contradiction the factum of quarrel and prosecutrix leaving the parking of Safdarjung Club in haste to dodge off accused persons was disproved by the CCTV footage obtained by IO. Hence, the Judge found no case to be made out and the accused were discharged.

Analysis and Decision

In view of the above facts and circumstances, Bench firstly discussed the scope and ambit of Section 227 CrPC in a number of Judgments, such as:

Union of India v. Prafulla Kumar Samal, (1979) 3 SCC 4

State of Orissa v. Debendra Nath Padhi, (2005) 1 SCC 568

Vijayan v. State of Kerala, (2010) 2 SCC 398

State of M.P. v. S.B. Johari, (2000) 2 SCC 57

Dilawar Balu Kurane v. State of Maharashtra, (2002) 2 SCC 135

The above-referred Judgments would show that while framing a charge the Court has power to sift and weigh the evidence for the limited purpose of finding out whether or not a prima facie case against the accused has been made and after the analysis of material on record, it two view are possible and the Judge is satisfied that the evidence produced before him while giving rise to some suspicion but not grave suspicion against the accused, he will be fully justified in discharging the accused in exercising its jurisdiction under Section 227 CrPC.

Court cannot hold a mini trial for discharging the accused.

Allegation was that the incident took place two-three days after the birthday of the accused/respondent 1, but it was noted that on those dates, the locations of the accused and the prosecutrix were always different. The tower locations of the respondent were that of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and after entering Delhi on 28-09-2015, his tower location throughout the night until next morning was in the area of Safdar Jung enclave, Delhi, whereas the locations of the prosecutrix were in the area of Qutab Minar Metro Station. Hence, both the accused and prosecutrix were never together at any time.

Therefore, in the present case, call detail records destroyed the prosecution case.

No material was found except for the prosecutrix statement to sufficiently bring out a case of rape.

High Court while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 397/401 did not find infirmity in the impugned order.

Even if a different conclusion is possible it is well settled that a revisional court does not substitute its conclusion to the one arrived at by the lower court unless it is perverse or contrary to law.

Hence, the petition was dismissed. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Jiwan Kant Jain, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 1192, decided on 26-02-2021]

Advocates who appeared before the Court:

Petitioner: Avi Singh, Advocate

Respondent: Aditya Jain, Advocate

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