Manohar S/O Narayan Chandiwale vs The State Of Maharashtra on 8 August, 2017

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY :
NAGPUR BENCH : NAGPUR.

Criminal Appeal No.85 of 2003

Manohar Narayan Chandiwale,
Aged 53 years, Occ.-Labour,
R/.o-Thar, Tah. Ashti, District Wardha. …. Appellant.

-Versus-

State of Maharashtra,
through its Police Station Officer Ashti,
District Wardha. …. Respondent.
————————————————————————————————–
Mr. Bastian, Counsel holding for Mr. M.B. Naidu, Counsel for appellant.
Mr. N.H. Joshi, Additional Public Prosecutor for respondent/State.
————————————————————————————————–
Coram : Mrs. Swapna Joshi, J.

th
Dated : 08
August, 2017.

ORAL JUDGMENT

The appeal has been preferred by the appellant against the

judgment and order dated 02-01-2003 delivered in Special Case

No.10 of 2000 by the learned Ad hoc Special Judge, Wardha, thereby

convicting the appellant for the offence punishable under Section 354 of

the Indian Penal Code and sentencing him to suffer rigorous imprisonment

for one year and to pay a fine of Rs. 2000/-.

2] Heard Mr. Bastian, the learned Counsel holding for Mr. M.B. Naidu,

learned Counsel for the appellant and Mr. N.H. Joshi, the learned

Additional Public Prosecutor for the respondent-State. I have carefully

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gone through the record of the case and the impugned judgment and

order.

3] The prosecution case in brief is that :-

Complainant Ashabai Ghorpade, aged about 30 years, was

residing with her husband and three children at village Thar, Taluka Ashti,

District Wardha. She was doing agricultural labour work. On 12-01-2000,

at about 10.00 am, she was proceeding to the field of one Bajirao

Khandate in order to bring the fodder for her cattle. At that time, the

accused who was grazing she-buffalo in the said field, caught hold of her

and made her to fall down. He then mounted on her legs and lifted her

Saree. At that time, the complainant raised an alarm and slapped him

on nose. She then pushed him away. The accused sustained bleeding

injury to his nose. Thereafter, the complainant picked up stones and

pelted the same towards the accused. The complainant got scared and

came back to the house. The complainant disclosed the incident to her

mother-in-law Sulochana and brother Vinod. When the husband of the

complainant returned to home, she proceeded to the Police Station and

lodged the complainant against the accused. The offence was

registered on the basis of the said complaint. The investigation was

carried out. After completion of the investigation, the charge-sheet was

filed. After going through the case papers and the evidence led by the

prosecution, the learned Ad hoc Special Judge, Wardha convicted the

appellant as aforesaid.

4] In order to prove the guilt of the accused, the prosecution has

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examined in all six witnesses. So far as the testimony of (PW-1) Ashabai

is concerned, she has deposed before the Court that at about 10.00 am

when she was passing through the field of Bajirao Khandate the accused

who was grazing she-buffalo at that place, on seeing her alone, made

her to fall down and mounted on her body. While he was lifting her Saree,

she slapped her. Due to the said slap her finger ring hurt to his nose

and it started bleeding from his nose. She also pelted two stones towards

him. She raised an alarm but nobody came to help her out. The

complainant then lodged report against the accused. The complainant

further stated that the Police took charge of her finger ring. On careful

scrutiny of testimony of PW-1 it has noticed that her testimony is not

considered in cross examination. She has fairly stated that she did not

receive any injury when she fell down. In the cross examination she

admitted that adjacent to the field, where the incident occurred, there is

open space of Gram Panchayat and adjacent to it there is Boudhpura.

From the cross examination it was not at all elucidated, that any one was

present in the field when she raised an alarm. There is nothing on record

to doubt the testimony of PW-1. PW-1, stated that she narrated the

incident to her mother-in-law Sulochana and Shantabai (neighbour).

5] Now coming to the testimony of (PW-4) Sulochana. She has

stated that (PW-1) Ashabai informed her that accused has made her to

fall down while she had been to the field to bring grass. She further stated

that PW-1 informed her that she had beaten the accused by means of

hands. The testimony of PW-4 is not shaken in cross examination. The

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prosecution further examined (PW-5) Shantabai who is the neighbour of

the complainant Ashabai. She stated that Ashabai informed her that

she had been to the field to collect grass (fodder) and one grazer had

caught hold of her hand and he pulled her and sat over her legs. No

doubt, PW-5 has not named the person who had committed the act of

catching hold the hand of Ashabai. However, her testimony indicates

that PW-1 has disclosed the incident. So far as the testimony of (PW-3)

Prabhakar Ghorpade, the husband of complainant, is concerned, he

stated that he had gone out of village for 2/3 days. When he returned

back home, his wife informed him that she had been to the field to bring

grass, at that time the accused outraged her modesty. She also informed

that when she slapped the accused, he sustained injury to his nose by

means of her finger ring.

6] As far as the medical evidence is concerned, (PW-2) Dr. Duttatraya

Waghale, Medical Officer, Allipur has stated that, on 12-01-2000, he

examined the victim. He did not find injury on her person. He examined

the accused. He found abrasion on his nose. It was on the right side of

the nostril. It was irregular in shape having size 1 ¼ x 1 1/6 x 1 ½ inches.

He opined that the abrasion was caused within 14 hours. The medical

evidence corroborates the testimony of the victim.

7] On careful scrutiny of the testimony of prosecution witnesses, there

is nothing to doubt the testimony of the victim. Her testimony is not at all

shaken in the cross examination and in clear terms she stated that the

accused caught hold of her, made her to fall down and mounted on her

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person and while he was lifting her Saree she slapped him and due to the

said slap her finger ring hurt the nose of the accused, therefore, it started

bleeding from his nose. The testimony of the victim has been

corroborated by the medical evidence.

8] Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code is read as under :-

“354. Assault or criminal force to woman with intent
to outrage her modesty.-Whoever assaults or uses
criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or
knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her
modesty, [shall be punished with imprisonment of either
description for a term which shall not be less than one
year but which may extend to five years, and shall also
be liable to fine.]”

Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code is enacted to safeguard

public morality and decent behaviour.

9] In Ajahar Ali v. State of West Bengal, reported in

(2013) 10 SCC 31, it is held by the Hon’ble apex Court in paragraph 14 as

under :-

“14. The provisions of Section 354 IPC have been
enacted to safeguard public morality and decent
behaviour. Therefore, if any person uses criminal force
upon any woman with the intention or knowledge that
the woman’s modesty will be outraged, he is to be
punished.”

10] Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code creates a criminal liability of

the person assaulting or using criminal force to any woman, not only

intending but also knowing it to be likely that the result would be an

outrage of the modesty of a woman. This intention or knowledge is to be

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found from the factual matrix especially the evidence of that woman.

11] In the present case, it has been proved from the testimony of the

victim that the accused had used criminal force on her with intent to

outrage her modesty and therefore it is held that the prosecution has

proved the offence of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The learned

trial Judge has rightly convicted the accused for the said offence. I do not

find any illegality or perversity in the judgment passed by the trial Court.

Hence, the appeal is liable to be dismissed. Hence, the following order:-

O r d e r

(a) Criminal Appeal No.85 of 2003 is dismissed.

(b) The judgment and order dated 02-01-2003 delivered

by learned Ad hoc Special Judge, Wardha in Special

Case No.10 of 2000 stands confirmed.

(c) Appellant is on bail. His bail bond stands cancelled.

He be directed to surrender before the learned

Ad hoc Special Judge, Wardha to undergo the

remaining period of sentence. If he does not

surrender, the learned trial Court is directed to take

appropriate action in accordance with law.

(d) Muddemal property be dealt with as directed by Trial

Court after the appeal period is over.

JUDGE
Deshmukh

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