Madhya Pradesh High Court | The Division Bench comprising of Subodh Abhyankar* and Satyendra Kumar Singh, JJ., reduces life imprisonment awarded to a rape convict into 20 years rigorous imprisonment considering the fact that the convict was kind enough to leave the victim alive, the victim in this case was a minor, a 4-year-old girl.
The appellant, Ramsingh who used to sell medicines and herbs, was accused of luring the victim, a 4-year-old girl to the tent by offering her one rupee and raping her and was later convicted for the same by the trial court. The appellant challenged the judgment of the trial court.
The appellant contended that he was falsely implicated as no FSL report was brought on record to support the prosecution’s case. The appellant also contended that since he had already undergone 15 years in jail since the time of his arrest and prayed that “his sentence may be reduced to the sentence already undergone by him”.
Opposing the appellant’s prayer, the State contended that the appellant does not deserve any leniency.
The Court observed that the statements of the two eyewitnesses were remained unshaken throughout the case and the doctor of the victim was of opinion that the injuries suffered by the prosecutrix could be caused by rape, therefore it is clear that the victim was subjected to rape.
Rejecting the contention of the appellant, the Court opined that not bringing the FSL report on record was the “gross negligence on the part of the police in prosecuting such heinous offences” and absence of FSL report doesn’t weaken the prosecution’s case when there is evidence on record to be appreciated by the Court.
The Court held that “the guilt of the appellant is proved beyond reasonable doubt” and therefore, the appellant was rightly convicted for the offence by the Trial Court.
Partly allowing the appeal, the Court did not find any error in the trial court’s judgment but found the case fit to get the benefit of remission and reduced the life imprisonment to 20 years rigorous imprisonment.
“In such circumstances, this Court does not find any error in appreciation of evidence by the trial Court and considering the demonic act of the appellant who appears to have no respect for the dignity of a woman and has the propensity to commit sexual offence even with a girl child aged 4 years, this Court does not find it to be a fit case where the sentence can be reduced to the sentence already undergone by him, however, considering the fact that he was kind enough to leave the prosecutrix alive, this Court is of the opinion that the life imprisonment can be reduced to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment.”
[Ramu v. State of M.P., Criminal Appeal No. 555 of 2009, decided on 18-10-2022]
On 27-10-2022, the Court took a suo motu cognizance under Section 362 CrPC and modified certain words of the judgment stating that “certain inadvertent mistake had crept in the judgment”.
“It is brought to the notice of this court that certain inadvertent mistake has crept in the judgment delivered by this court on 18.10.2022, wherein the word “Kind” has been used to refer to the appellant who stands convicted of rape”
The Court stated that the mistake is obviously inadvertent as the Court has already held the act of the appellant as demonic and modified and replaced “however, considering the fact that he was kind enough to leave the prosecutrix alive” to “however, considering the fact that he did not cause any other physical injury to the victim”.
Advocates who appeared in this case:
Ms. Sharmila Sharma, Counsel for the Appellant;
Mr. Sudanshu Vyas (G.A.), Counsel for the Respondent.
*Ritu Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.