Meghalaya High Court: The Division Bench of Sanjib Banerjee and W. Diengdoh, JJ., while hearing an appeal which challenged the judgment of conviction of December 21, 2018, which convicted the appellant under Section 3(a) R/W Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, upheld the same and stated that there was no good reason to interfere with the judgement of the trial court.
The main issue before the court was whether the view taken by the trial court in the present appeal which was regarding the commission of rape by the appellant over a 14 year old minor girl was appropriate or not?
The main contention from the side of the appellant was that the sole basis of Conviction was the statement of the alleged victim considering the fact that there was no eye witness and moreover the corroboration was made regarding the entire incident based on the statement of the close relatives of the victim. Another important submission from the side of the appellant was that there was considerable enmity between the father of the alleged victim and the appellant since the appellant had tried to dissuade the father of the alleged victim from continuing an extra-marital affair with an aunt of the appellant.
Another submission from the side of the appellant was that there had been an unusual delay from the side of the victim in lodging the FIR, to which the court was of the opinion that the delay was usual as the victim was threatened by the appellant to be killed and thus the family waited for her father to return in order to proceed with the FIR and hence the delay was justified.
The appellant also argued over the fact that, in course of the medical examination conducted on the alleged victim, an irregular tear of the hymen was noticed and the medical examiner opined that there were signs of penetrative sex, the fact that the alleged victim did not reveal any sign of external injury would take much of the sheen off her allegations against the appellant.
The Court opined that in the present case, the victim’s initial statement and the subsequent testimony bear a close resemblance and she did not flinch during her cross-examination and was perceived by the trial court to have truthfully made the statement. It is difficult to imagine that a conspiracy of such a large-scale could be hatched by the father of the victim along with his three daughters to make a false allegation against the appellant and go through the process in such a perfect manner.
On the basis of the above stated observation and the material and evidences that were placed on record, in the view of the Court it was beyond reasonable doubt that the incident had taken place as the medical examination confirmed penetration and that the appellant had committed the offence. The appeal was dismissed holding that the trial court took relevant considerations into account to arrive at an appropriate conclusion.[Trimborilin Kharbani v. State of Meghalaya, 2022 SCC OnLine Megh 32, decided on 01-03-2022]
For the Petitioner/Appellant(s) : Mr P Yobin, Legal Aid Counsel
For the Respondent(s) : Mr S Sengupta, Addl.P.SP