Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Jasmeet Singh, J.* noted that the minor girl had gone with the appellant by misrepresenting her age and showing herself to be a major, thus, the Court suspended the sentence of a man who was convicted for raping the minor girl.
In the present case, an application was filed seeking suspension of sentence of the order passed by ASJ, Special Court, whereby, the appellant was convicted for offences under Sections 376(2)(n) of Penal Code, 1860 and Section 6 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and was sentenced to 12 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000. The appellant had undergone around 3 years of his sentence and had a remission of around 6 months and had an unexpired sentence of 8 years 3 months and 26 days.
The prosecutrix was around 17 years when she eloped with the appellant. Thereafter, they had a child who was in the care and custody of the prosecutrix. The prosecutrix in her statement and her evidence had categorically stated that she ran away with the appellant out of her own free will and that she was in love with him and prayed that the appellant be released on bail.
The Court noted that the prosecutrix in her cross-examination submitted that she was the one who misrepresented her age to the appellant to state that she was major at the time of running away with the appellant. Thus, the Court held that the facts of the present case persuaded this Court to suspend the sentence of the appellant even though the appellant had not undergone 50% of the awarded sentence.
The Court noted that it was the prosecutrix who had gone with the appellant by misrepresenting her age and showing herself to be a major. Thus, the Court suspended the sentence of the appellant during the pendency of the appeal. The Court further directed that the appellant would not interfere in the life of the prosecutrix and the minor child until and unless the prosecutrix so desired and permitted and the appellant should try and contribute some amount towards the upbringing of the minor child.
The Court further directed DSLSA to pay compensation of Rs. 4 lakhs to the prosecutrix and if additional compensation was payable to the prosecutrix, then the same had to be verified by DSLSA and had to be paid to the prosecutrix expeditiously. Thereafter, the Court disposed of the application.
[Babloo v. State (NCT of Delhi), Crl. A. 91 of 2021, decided on 24-3-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Appellant: Advocate Nitin Saluja;
Advocate Shivani Luthra Lohiya;
Advocate Poonam Dangi;
Advocate Saahil Mongia;
For the Respondent: APP Ajay Vikram Singh;
Advocate Aishwarya Rao.
*Order by: Justice Jasmeet Singh