Allahabad High Court: In an appeal against judgment and order passed by Additional Sessions Judge, wherein, the Court has convicted the appellant (‘convict')for offences under Sections 376, 342 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC') and sentenced him to ten years of rigorous imprisonment for charge under Section 376 IPC and Rs. 5,000/- fine with default stipulation, six months rigorous imprisonment for charge under Section 342 IPC and one-year rigorous imprisonment for charge under Section 506 IPC, Ram Manohar Narayan Mishra,J. opined that there is no misappreciation of evidence on record nor there is any legal error in the application of law by the Trial Court. Further, there is no factual or legal error found on the part of the Trial Court while recording conviction of the convict and awarding sentence against him.
The convict submitted that court below has convicted and sentenced him without considering the evidence adduced during trial in proper perspective and in meticulous manner. The prosecution version and statement of the victim does not find corroboration from medico legal examination report of the prosecutrix. The doctor who conducted medico legal examination of the prosecutrix has categorically stated in her report that victim was habitual for sexual intercourse and no opinion can be given regarding rape. Further, it was submitted that there was lodged after two days of the incident and there is no explanation of delay in lodging the F.I.R
The Court noted that prosecutrix had stated in her sworn testimony before the court that she is acquainted with the convict from before the incident. She was around 15 years of age at the time of the incident. She said the accused committed rape on her by putting her under threat of life.
Further, the Court said that the convict did not adduce any defense evidence. His stand is that of denial. He stated that in his statement under Section 313 CrPC that the informant and prosecutrix had given a false statement against him. There was a love affair between the prosecutrix, and co-convict and she had eloped with him.
The Court said that the delay in lodging the FIR. is self-explanatory in the FIR itself, therein it is stated that victim got missing on 2-11-2001 and the informant (her brother) was searching for her and on next date, she was rescued by witnesses from the room which belonged to convict and thereafter he was apprised of the facts, and he lodged the FIR at the police station by filing a written report. The distance between the police station and the place of incident is 6 km, therefore, the Court opined that there is no delay in lodging of FIR that too in a case like rape.
The Court took note of Raja v. State of Karnataka, (2016) 10 SCC 506 and other cases, wherein it was held that in a case of rape, testimony of prosecutrix stands on a par with that of an injured witness. It is not necessary to insist for corroboration if the evidence of prosecutrix inspires confidence and appears to be credible. Thus, the Court said that women or girl raped is not accomplice and to insist for corroboration of the testimony amounts to insult to womanhood.
Further, reliance was placed on State of U.P. v. Chhotey Lal, (2011) 2 SCC 550 and Madan Gopal Kakkad v. Naval Dubey, (1992) 3 SCC 204 wherein it was clarified that even where no external or internal marks of injury on the private part of the victim of rape was found in medical examination, the testimony of the prosecutrix that she was raped by the convict cannot be discarded.
Thus, the Court affirmed the judgment of conviction and sentence passed by the Trial Court.
[Raje v. State of UP, 2023 SCC OnLine All 145, decided on 25-04-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Appellant: Advocate Dharmendra Pratap Singh, Advocate Sushil Tiwari
Counsel for Respondent: Government Advocate