Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Mukta Gupta, J. dismissed an appeal filed by the appellant against the judgment of the trial court whereby he was convicted for offences punishable under Sections 367 (kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to grievous hurt, slavery, etc.) and 393 (attempt to robbery) IPC.

The appellant was of the accused persons who tried to rob the complainant of his motorcycle and other belongings. The appellant was however apprehended on the spot. He was tried and convicted as aforesaid.

Naomi Chandra, Advocate for the appellant contended that the recovery of gun from the appellant was highly doubtful. His associate put a gun on him and ran away. Furthermore, nothing was found in personal search of the appellant. Per contra, Ashok Kumar Garg, APP submitted that the impugned judgment suffered from no illegality.

Considering the evidence, the High Court found that it was proved that the appellant was arrested at the spot. It was observed: “The complainant in his statement does not say that the appellant was the one who showed him the pistol, however, the fact that the appellant sat on the motorcycle of the complainant and made him take the motorcycle to Loni which the complainant avoided smartly by reaching a place where PCR van was parked is sufficient to uphold the conviction of the appellant for the offence punishable under Sections 367 and 393 IPC.”

At the same time, since the appellant did not show the gun or open fire, despite the fact that he had weapon of offence in his hand, it was held that he was rightly acquitted of the offences punishable under Sections 186, 353 and 307 IPC.

In such view of the matter, the Court found no reason to interfere with the judgment of the trial court. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed. [Sher Mohd. v. State (NCT of Delhi), Crl. A. No. 1175 of 2017, decided on 20-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Meghalaya High Court: A Bench of Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, C.J. and H.S. Thangkhiew, J. set aside the conviction and sentence inflicted upon the appellant for an offence of “kidnapping abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc.”, punishable under Section 366 IPC.

As per the prosecution, on the day of the incident, the prosecutrix boarded the appellant’s auto rickshaw for her home. It was alleged that the appellant deliberately avoided to stop the autorickshaw at the destination (home of the prosecutrix). This prompted the prosecutrix to jump out of the autorickshaw, as a result whereof she was injured and became unconscious. The appellant was booked for an offence under Section 366  and was convicted by the trial court. Aggrieved thereby, he filed the present appeal.

The High Court noted that the star witness — the prosecutrix —  did not support the prosecution case of kidnapping. As per the Court, the case was registered on the basis of imaginationIt was further noted that the appellant did not know the home of the prosecutrix or the point where he had to stop and as stated by him, there was noise of trucks and maybe due to that, he was unable to hear the voice of prosecutrix. Referring to the ingredients under Section 366, it was observed: “There is not an iota of evidence to suggest that the prosecutrix was in any manner compelled to marry or likely to be compelled to intercourse so as to constitute offence punishable under Section 366 intention directly or indirectly shall be gatherable from the evidence.”

Furthermore, an important question is whether the accused knew where the house of the prosecutrix was situated nor it is stated in any manner that she had asked the driver to stop and he refused. It is nowhere emerging from the evidence that the auto rickshaw driver while driving the auto rickshaw … had deviated from the main road..”

Holding that the prosecutrix got apprehensive of her own and there was nothing on part of the appellant which could constitute offence under Section 366 IPC, the Court observed: “Learned trial court appears to have been swayed by the rise of cases of sexual harassment against women and minor children …Any offence against women and minor children is totally unacceptable but in the name of the same, an innocent person cannot be convicted or sentenced. Any person who dares or tries to commit such offence cannot be shown any leniency but at the same time without any basis, a person cannot be convicted and sentenced.”

In such view of the matter, the appeal was allowed and set at liberty. [Jerman Syngkli v. State of Meghalaya, Crl. A. No. 1 of 2019, Order dated 01-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Bench of Atul Sreedharan, J. hearing a habeas corpus writ filed by the mother of a girl who had married against her parent’s wishes, found that the allegations and statements of mother were completely false and directed that the corpus-daughter was free to live with her husband without interference from anyone.

The instant petition was filed praying for corpus of petitioner’s daughter – Ms Suraiya Khan – who was alleged to be abducted by one Mr Noor Hasan (respondent 5 herein). The petitioner further stated that her daughter was mentally retarded and of unsound mind.

Police recovered the corpus and produced her before this Court, on which date she stated that she had entered into nikah with respondent 5 Abrarul Hasan Mansoori alias Noor Hasan. She further stated that she was living with him as his wife and had no problems. The corpus raised suspicions that her parents and family members could create problems for her and her husband and thus sought police protection for both of them.

The Court noted that no medical report of the missing corpus, filed by the petitioner, even remotely reflected her to be mentally retarded or of unsound mind. After speaking to the corpus and noting her statements as mentioned above, this Court held that the allegations as to her mental health were completely false. It was observed that the corpus appeared to be of sound mind and health and she had answered the questions put forth to her by this Court very clearly.

In view of the above, the petition was disposed of holding that the corpus Suraiya and her husband Noor Hasan were free to lead their own lives wherever they wanted to, and it was directed that they shall not be disturbed by petitioner or anyone from their family in this regard.[Jaitun Nisha v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 2019 SCC OnLine MP 675, Order dated 08-04-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

National Human Rights Commission issues notice on 08-04-2019 to Maharashtra DGP and Mumbai Police Commissioner over the reported abduction, rape, and murder of a 9-year old girl.

NHRC, India has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that a nine year old girl, who had gone missing on 04-04-2019 from the Nehru Nagar slum area of Juhu Mumbai was found murdered on the 06-04-2019. Her body was recovered from a septic tank of her locality. Reportedly, preliminary medical reports have confirmed that she was raped and murdered. According to the media report, a similar had happened in the J.J. Marg area about one and a half years ago.

The Commission has issued notices to the Director General of Police, Maharashtra and the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks. The Commission also expects to have a report giving details of the mechanism adopted by the police authorities to address the issue more effectively.

It has observed that it seems the area lacks proper patrolling and monitoring by the police authorities. The culprit in the instant case, has a criminal background as he was reportedly arrested by the police in the year 2013. The local police officials are expected be vigilant about suspicious activities of these anti-social elements so that such heinous crimes could be averted. The Right to Life and Dignity of the innocent victim has been grossly violated.

According to the media report, carried on the 07-04-2019, the mother of the victim has stated that the girl had gone to get a packet of tea when she disappeared. A missing complaint was lodged with the details about the location and uniform she was wearing. The police authorities have arrested the suspect with whom the girl was last seen by some people. The alleged offender was also arrested in a criminal case, in the year 2013. The news report also states that a similar incident had taken place in J.J. Marg area about one and a half years ago when a 6 year old girl was killed and after investigation, the accused has been convicted by the Court.


[Dated: 08-04-2019]

NHRC

Tribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

Special Fast Track Court, Dwarka: In yet another horrendous tale of gang rape, infamously known as the “Dhaula Kuan gang rape case” wherein a BPO employee was abducted and gang raped by five men, all five accused persons were convicted for rape, abduction and criminal intimidation. Giving a detailed judgment, the Court held that the scrutiny of the evidence lead by the parties clearly demonstrates that the prosecution has succeeded in proving all the charges set against them. It was said that though the witnesses were subjected to extensive cross examination, nothing contrary could be noted therein. Their deposition being in sync corroborated with each others versions, hence leading to the conclusion that the victim was abducted in a Pick Up vehicle by these five persons and was gang raped by them.

In the instant case a girl who was working with a BPO was returning home from work along with her friend when she was abducted at gun point by five men on the intervening night of 23-11-2010 and 24-11-2010. She was molested by one of the accused at gun point, inside the moving vehicle on its way towards Dhaula Kuan, and was again raped by all five accused at Mongolpuri where the vehicle stopped at a secluded spot. They then dumped her near industrial area, Mangolpuri and fled away. It is pertinent to mention here that the accused persons took the defence that they had been falsely implicated and that they were not the assailants who had abducted and raped the victim. Moreover, three out of five accused did not take part in the Test Identification Parade (TIP) and took a plea of alibi.

Rejecting their defence and convicting all five men on charges of abduction, criminal intimidation and rape, the Court held that the victim was with the accused persons for about an hour and had sufficient time to see their faces and note their features. It was evident that they deliberately did not take part in TIP to avoid being identified by her. Drawing an adverse inference against them for such conduct, it was said that the evidence on record establishes beyond doubt that the victim had identified two of the accused correctly during TIP which leads to the conclusion that those two accused along with their associates had abducted and gangraped the victim. It is also important to mention here that one of the accused has been acquitted of the charges u/S. 25 Arms Act. State v. Usman, SC No.22/13, decided on 14-10-2014

To read the full order, refer SCCOnLine