Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Sanjeev Sachdeva, J. dismissed an appeal filed against the decision of the trial court whereby the accused-appellant was convicted for the offences punishable under Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and Sections 367, 377 and 506 Penal Code, 1860.

It was alleged against the appellant that he lured the victim, a 13-year-old boy, towards the side of a drain and committed unnatural sex with him; however, the victim shouted and somehow got himself released. The victim narrated the incident to his mother, whereafter, the complaint was made to the police. The victim was taken for the medical examination. Based on the testimony of the victim, the trial court convicted the appellant as mentioned above.

Aditya Wadhwa, Advocate for representing the appellant, contended, inter alia, that the version of the victim was contradicted by a report of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). He contended that since no marks of external injury were found on the victim during a medical examination, the allegation that the appellant had started to insert his penis into the victim’s return was not established.

The High Court took note of the trial court’s observation that the victim appeared to be a completely credible witness and had been consistent with his version of the incident starting from the initial complaint to the statement under Section 164 CrPC and his deposition before the court.

Noting that there was no material produced either before the trial court or before the High Court which could shake the testimony of victim or create any doubt on the manner in which the alleged incident had happened, the High Court observed: “Merely because there is no positive FSL report, would not cast any doubt on the testimony of the victim. FSL report is only a corroborative piece of evidence and merely because it does not corroborate the testimony of the victim would not, in any manner, render the testimony of the witness, which is otherwise reliable, as unreliable or liable to be discarded.”

It was further noted that no motive was attributed to the false implication of the accused. The Court was of the opinion that the trial court had rightly held that testimony of the victim was credible and of sterling quality, sufficient to bring home guilt of the accused. In such view of the matter, the instant appeal was dismissed and the impugned order of conviction and sentence was upheld. [Vijay v. State, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 10485, decided on 10-10-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge Bench of Sanjay Kumar Gupta, J., dismissed a petition filed under Section 561-A of the Jammu & Kashmir Criminal Procedure Code, 1889 (CrPC), whereby the order of framing of charge passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Jammu, was challenged.

The respondent/complainant was traveling in his car along with his family members when petitioners in their car and a bike started following the respondent’s car. The petitioners were sometimes coming in front of the respondent’s car and sometimes behind it. On enquiring about the actions of petitioners, the respondent and his wife were beaten by the petitioners with a baseball stick. The respondent cried for help and some passerby intervened and the petitioner fled away from the scene thereafter.

The main issue that arose before the Court was whether the order of the ASJ suffered from any sort of legal infirmities.

The Court observed that according to the reports of the doctor, the injuries received by petitioner and his wife were not grievous in nature, however, non-seriousness of injuries should not be a criterion for framing charges against the accused. Factors such as place of injury; the intentions of accused at the time of inflicting the injuries, weapon of offence with which injuries are caused and other circumstances of the case must be kept in mind while framing the charges. The Court observed that in the instant case, the petitioners dragged the respondents out of their car and started beating them, it was only after the respondent started making hue and cry, some pedestrians gathered and saved the respondent and his wife. Had some person not come on spot, respondent and his wife would have been killed by the accused persons.

The Court held that considering the totality of facts and circumstances of the case, the ASJ did not commit any error while framing charges against the accused under Sections 307, 504 and 506 of the Ranbir Penal Code. Resultantly, the petition was dismissed.[Babloo Kumar v. State of J&K,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 834, order dated 16-11-2018]

 

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench comprising of B.R. Gavai and Sarang V. Kotwal, JJ. decided a criminal appeal wherein the sentence of the appellant (convict) was reduced from life imprisonment to eight years.

The appellant, who threw acid on the victim, was convicted for the offences punishable under Sections 326 and 341 IPC. According to the High Court, the incident appeared to be an outcome of a love affair between the appellant and the victim. It appeared that both were in love with each other for a long time. However, when the appellant asked the victim for marriage, she refused. On such refusal, the appellant became angry and threatened the victim. On the date of the incident, when the victim was proceeding towards her college, the appellant threw acid on her face and shoulder. The appellant was convicted as stated above and sentenced to life imprisonment. In the High Court, the appellant confined his challenge to the quantum of punishment.

The High Court, considered the factual matrix as mentioned hereinabove. It was further noted that during the pendency of the appeal, the matter had been amicably settled between the appellant and the victim. They had solemnized marriage with each other. Further, the victim was undergoing plastic surgery for which the expenses were being paid by the appellant. Not only this, but the appellant had also undertaken to donate skin for the surgical procedure. It was noted that the appellant had already undergone the sentence of more than eight years, which, considering the nature of the factual background, was found to be more than sufficient. The Court held it to be just and necessary that the appellant and the victim be permitted to lead a peaceful life. Accordingly, while upholding his conviction, the sentence awarded to the appellant was reduced to the period already undergone by him. The appeals were disposed of in above terms. [Anil Shivaji Patil v. State of Maharashtra,  2018 SCC OnLine Bom 1408, decided on 27-06-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The vacation bench comprising of Vandana Kasrekar, J. allowed the writ petition filed by a rape victim for termination of her pregnancy.

The petitioner was an unmarried girl, who became pregnant as a result of rape committed on her. She was raped by the accused who initially expressed the desire to marry her, however afterwards, he refused. FIR was filed against the accused of the offence punishable under Section 376 IPC. During the investigation, MLC was conducted and it was found that the petitioner was carrying a pregnancy of 8-9 weeks. The petitioner submitted an application before the Additional Sessions Judge under Section 3 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971, for termination of her pregnancy praying that she did not want to give birth to such unwarranted baby. The Additional Sessions Judge dismissed the application on the basis of the report of Respondent 6 that the petitioner was carrying a pregnancy of more than 10-11 weeks. Being aggrieved, the petitioner filed the instant writ.

The High Court, on 7-6-2018, had directed the Government Advocate to examine the petitioner before the District Medical Board. In pursuance of the said direction, the petitioner was examined by the District Medical Board on 11-6-2018. The report of the Board was placed on record by the learned Government Advocate. The Court perused the report and found that no such fact was mentioned in the report which would compel the Court not to grant relief to the petitioner. On the basis of the opinion of the Board, the High Court held that there was no impediment to order termination of petitioner’s pregnancy. Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the order passed by Additional Sessions Judge was set aside. The respondents were directed to provide proper medical facilities to the petitioner for terminating her pregnancy by a team of doctors. [‘X’ v. State of M.P., WP No. 12463 of 2018, decided on 14-06-2018]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court– Deciding on a writ petition filed wherein it was sought to quash Section 129 of the Railways Act, 1989 as ultra vires Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution; to quash the Railway Accidents and Untoward Incident (Compensation) Rules, 1999 providing for Rs.4,00,000/- as the maximum amount of compensation in case of death or permanent disability and to direct the respondents to revise the upper limit of the compensation, a bench consisting of G.Rohini C.J and R.S Endlaw J. observed that there is no merit in the contention of the petitioner that the very object of establishing the Railway Claims Tribunal is defeated as the intention of constitution of the Railway Claims Tribunal is to provide an expeditious remedy to the victims of accidents and the claimant can also choose to claim higher compensation based on any other statutory provisions as provided under Section 128 of the Act by initiating proceedings before the appropriate forum.

In the instant case the petitioner contended that Rule 4 of the Rules and Section 129 of the Act which conferred unguided power on the delegate are liable to be declared illegal and should be quashed. The Court rejected this contention relying on Rathi Menon vs. Union of India, (2001) 3 SCC 714 wherein it was held “What the legislature wanted was that the victim of the accident must be paid compensation and the amount must represent a reality which means the amount should be fair and reasonable compensation. It is for the said reason that the Parliament left it to the Government to discharge that function”. Regarding the last contention of the petitioner, the Court directed the respondents 1 and 2 to consider the issue of updating the upper limit of compensation observing that it is obligatory on part of the Central Government to update the amount of compensation taking into consideration the substantial change in the money value and the impact it has caused in the cost of living. [Setu Niket v. Union of India, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 13460, decided on 19.11.2015]