Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Abhay Manohar Sapre and Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ acquitted a man convicted for the offence of rape and said that the Session Court and the Patna High Court were not justified in convicting the appellant for an offence punishable under Section 376 IPC and sentenced him to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years.

Factual Background:

Prosecutrix alleged that the appellant, December 14, 1997, entered into her house when she was alone and threatened her by showing pistol and committed rape on her. The prosecution examined, prosecutrix’s husband and a neighbour, apart from examining the prosecutrix herself. Both the Courts below based their conclusions on the evidence of the aforementioned 3 witnesses.

Grounds for acquittal:

  • the complainant was not examined by the Doctor after the alleged incident.
  • in absence of any medical examination done, the prosecution did not examine any doctor in the trial in support of their case;
  • it was not disputed that similar type of complaints were being made in past by the complainant ag and such complaints were later found false;
  • it was also not disputed that there was enmity between the appellant and the husband of the prosecutrix, due to which their relations were not cordial;
  • it had also come in evidence that the prosecutrix was in habit of implicating all the persons by making wild allegations of such nature against those with whom she or/and her husband were having any kind of disputes;
  • there was no eye witness to the alleged incident and the one, who was cited as witness, was a chance witness on whose testimony, a charge of rape could not be established;
  • so far as the husband of the complainant, is concerned, he admitted that he was away and returned to village the next day morning of the incident.

Ruling:

Noticing that there was no evidence adduced by the prosecution to prove the commission of the offence of rape by the appellant on the prosecutrix and the evidence adduced was not sufficient to prove the case of rape against the appellant, Court set the accused free.

[Ganga Prasad Mahto v. State of Bihar, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 417, decided on 26.03.2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: The Division Bench of Sangita Dhingra Sehgal and Siddharth Mridul, JJ. dismissed a petition against trial court’s order acquitting the accused of offences punishable under Sections 363, 366, 376 and 506 IPC along with Section 5(1) and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The accused was alleged to have forcefully made sexual relation with the prosecutrix. An FIR was filed under the above-said sections and the matter was committed to trial. After appreciating the entire evidence, the trial court acquitted the accused.

Ravi Nayak, Additional Public Prosecutor for the State assailed the order arguing that it was based on conjectures and surmises. Per contra, Rajeev Mohan, Advocate for accused supported the impugned order.

After perusing testimony of the prosecutrix in detail along with other evidence, the High Court found that it was full of inconsistencies, concealment, improvements and exaggerations which cast a shadow of doubt on the prosecution case. Furthermore, the case was not at all supported by the medical evidence and FSL report. It was held that the prosecution failed to establish the charges against the accused. Reliance was placed on  Muralidhar v. State of Karnataka, (2014) 5 SCC 730 for the proposition that the Appellate Court may interfere in order of acquittal only when there are compelling reasons to do so. However, the present was not one of such cases. Therefore, the appeal filed by the State was dismissed. [State (NCT of Delhi) v. Manish, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 13291, Order dated 07-12-2018]