Rameshwar Shrawan Iwanathe (In … vs State Of Maharashtra Through … on 21 September, 2017

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
NAGPUR BENCH, NAGPUR

Criminal Appeal No.129 of 2016

Rameshwar Shrawan Iwanathe,
Aged 40 years,
Occupation – Labour,
R/o Kamthi (Khanapur), Tah. Arvi,
District Wardha. … Appellant
(In Jail)

Versus

State of Maharashtra,
through Police Station Officer,
Kharangna, Tah. Arvi,
District Wardha. … Respondent

Ms Sonali Saware, Advocate (Appointed) for Appellant.
Shri Nitin Rode, Additional Public Prosecutor for Respondent.

Coram : R.K. Deshpande Manish Pitale, JJ.

Date of Reserving the Judgment : 18th September, 2017

Date of Pronouncing the Judgment:21st September, 2017

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Judgment (Per R.K. Deshpande, J.) :

1. The appellant-accused was charged for the offence

punishable under Section 376(2)(f)(n) of the Indian Penal Code

(IPC) read with Sections 5(1)(n) and 6 of the Protection of

Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act). The

accused was also charged for the offence punishable under

Section 506 of IPC. In Special (Child) Case No.25 of 2014, the

learned Special Judge under POCSO Act, at Wardha, has

convicted the accused for all the aforesaid offences and

sentenced him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for life and to pay

a fine of Rs.10,000/-, in default, to suffer further rigorous

imprisonment for a period of six months, for the offence under

Sections 5(1)(n) and 6 of POCSO Act. The accused is also

sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for two years and to

pay a fine of Rs.2,000/-, in default, to suffer further rigorous

imprisonment for a period of two months, for the offence under

Section 506 of IPC. It is recommended that the District Legal

Services Authority, Wardha, to pay the compensation to the

victim under Section 357-A of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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2. The case of the prosecution in brief is as under :

A minor daughter Ku. Kavita, under the age of 18 years,

is the victim of rape at the instance of her father, the accused.

The mother of the victim died when she was one year old, and

since then her father brought her up. In the year 2011, she was

educating in 8th Standard and one day during night hours after

taking meals when the victim was sleeping, her father came at

about 10 O’ Clock in the night and started outraging her

modesty. She resisted and requested her father from doing it.

However, the father forcibly ravished her. Since then this was

the regular feature adopted by the father by using force

till 8-11-2013, when she went to reside in the house of her aunt

PW 2 Sumitra Uike, a real sister of the accused. It was noticed

by PW 2 that the victim was pregnant, and on enquiry, the victim

narrated the incident and told that she has conceived it from her

father, who has threatened her not to disclose the incident to

anybody. Thereafter the husband of PW 2 dropped the victim to

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her house at about 8 p.m. The accused after an hour and half

took the victim in the field of one Raju Bramhane and left her in

the hut where there was complete darkness. At about 11.30 to

12 O’ Clock in the night, the police persons came there and took

her to the Police Station. The victim lodged the report on

9-11-2013, on the basis of which, the offences came to be

registered vide Crime No.11 of 2013 at Police Station

Kharangna.

3. During the investigation, the doctor collected the blood

samples of the victim as well as the accused in a sealed

condition, which was forwarded to the Chemical Analyzer. In

January 2014, the victim gave birth to a child, whose blood

sample was also collected and sent it to the Chemical Analyzer in

a sealed condition. PW 6 Vaishali Mahajan, working as Assistant

Chemical Analyzer with Forensic Science Laboratory, gave her

opinion in the reports at Exhibits 42 and 43, concluding that the

accused and the victim are the biological parents of the child.

Victim Ku. Kavita entered the witness-box and was examined as

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PW 1; her aunt Sunita Uike was examined as PW 2; one

neighbourer Sindhubai Bawane was examined as PW 3; Raju

Bramhane, in whose field the victim was left over by the accused,

was examined as PW 5; Dr. Indrajit Khandekar, who examined

the victim and submitted his reports about the pregnancy of the

victim at Exhibit 37 and 38, was examined as PW 4;

API Vaishali Totewar, who narrated the proceedings followed in

the investigation, was examined as PW 7; and one Dharmapal

Kamble, who was acting as a panch, was examined as PW 8.

4. The learned Judge of the Special Court records the

finding that the prosecution has proved that in the year 2011,

the accused committed rape on the victim and thereafter

repeatedly and frequently committed the same till 8-11-2013 and

has thereby committed the offence punishable under

Section 376(2)(f)(n) of IPC read with Sections 5(1)(n) and 6 of

POCSO Act. The Special Court also records the finding that the

prosecution has proved that during the same period, time and

place, the accused had committed the criminal intimidation by

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putting her daughter (victim) in fear and threats of life and has

thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 506 of

IPC.

5. We have heard Ms Sonali Saware, the learned counsel

appointed to represent the appellant-accused; and Shri Nitin

Rode, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor for the

respondent-State.

6. PW 1 Ku. Kavita is the prosecutrix, and her date of birth

is 6-3-1997. Her mother died when she was aged about two

years. She states that her father brought her up in early days

and thereafter her paternal aunt PW 2 Sumitra Uike brought her

up. PW 1 is resident of Kamthi. At the time of incident in the

year 2011, she was studying in 8th Standard. She is the

informant of the incident, and the crime was registered on

8-11-2013 at 21.30 hours against the accused, who is her real

father. She has entered the witness-box as PW 1 and stated that

since the year 2011, the accused has been ravishing her to satisfy

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his sexual desire. The accused started outraging her modesty

since 2011, and in spite of her resistance, the accused had been

forcibly committing the act of sexual intercourse, as a result of

which she became pregnant. She states that she had told about

the incident to Sindhu Aji. When the prosecutrix went to the

house of her paternal aunt PW 2 Sau. Sumitra Uike at

Kharangana (sister of the accused), she asked her upon seeing

the physical appearance, as to who committed the sin. At that

time the prosecutrix narrated the story. The paternal aunt told

this fact to her paternal uncle, as a result of which there was a

quarrel between both of them. The paternal uncle took her

along with him and dropped at her house at about 8 p.m. on

8-11-2013. After about half an hour, the accused came and took

the prosecutrix with him and left her in the field of one Raju

Bramhane at about 9 p.m. with an assurance that he would be

back with a quilt. The prosecutrix stayed in the hut where there

was complete darkness. At about 11.30 to 12 ‘O Clock in the

night, the police came and took her to the police station. The

offence was accordingly registered on 9-11-2013, upon her oral

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complaint at Exhibit 25.

7. PW 2 Sau. Sumitra, the paternal aunt (real sister of the

accused) of the prosecutrix is the resident of Kharangana and has

also entered the witness-box and she corroborates the story

putforth by the prosecutrix. She states that in June 2013, she

had gone to the house of victim after dropping her son in the

School at Pulgaon. At that time, PW 1 told her that she does not

want to stay with the accused and wanted to accompany her

and, therefore, she was taken to Kharangana. At that time, PW 2

found the victim pregnant and made inquiries with her. The

victim told her that she had conceived from the accused. The

accused used to consume liquor and established physical

relations with her and if it is disclosed, threatened her. The

victim lived with her for about four and half months. Except

stating that whenever she went to the house of the accused, the

victim did not make any complaint, there is nothing in the

cross-examination to shatter her version in the

examination-in-chief.

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8. PW 3 Sindhubai Bawane, the neighbourer, who states

that the victim was in 10th Standard. On one day, she was

sitting on a rock and crying. When she made an enquiry with

her, the victim told that her father used to remove her clothes

and forcibly establish physical relation with her and if she

shouted, he used to gag her mouth. This witness states that the

victim told her that her father had threatened her that if she says

something, he would kill her. This witness also corroborates the

theory putforth by the paternal aunt of the prosecutrix.

9. PW 5 is Raju Brahmane, who kept the accused as

Watchman in his field during night hours. He states that on

8-11-2013, he returned from his field at about 3.30 p.m. The

victim was brought to Kamthi by the husband of PW 2, and at

that time, the accused was not in the house. He saw that the

stomach of the victim had bulged and when he made enquiry,

the victim did not say anything. The husband of PW 2 went

away. PW 5 further states in his examination-in-chief as under :

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“… The accused returned to his house between 7.30 to
8.00 pm. The accused asked the victim from whom she
had conceived. The accused took the victim along with
him to my field. He returned at about 9.30 pm. He was
in inebriated condition. The accused then told me that the
victim had defamed him therefore he would kill her and
himself. Therefore I had a phone call to PS. Kharangana
but the call could not be connected therefore I telephoned
the control room at Kharangana. After some time the
police came to our village. There were some lady police
officer also. Then we went to my field. We saw that the
victim was sleeping alone. As it was dark the torch light
was turned on. The lady police officers took the custody of
the victim. The victim was taken to the police station
Kharangana where she disclosed that when she was in 8th
standard the accused committed forceful intercourse with
her and thereafter he use to commit such regularly.”

This witness has also not shattered in the cross-examination.

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10. Considering the evidence of all the witnesses, the

learned Judge of the Sessions Court has held that the

prosecution has established that since the year 2011, the accused

had forcible sexual intercourse with the victim and thereafter he

used to regularly ravish her and also threatened her with the

consequences if she discloses about the incident to anybody. The

Court holds that though the victim had not given the exact date

when she was ravished, this will not affect the story of the

prosecution and of the incident narrated by the victim.

11. The Sessions Court takes into consideration the defence

raised by the accused that in the case of rape, the victim would

suffer inflammation or redness or bleeding from her private part

and there is such no evidence on record which raises a suspicion.

After referring to the medical evidence, it is held that the

absence of inflammation or redness or bleeding from the private

part of the victim is of no consequence.

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12. The Court thereafter refers to the evidence of

PW 4 Dr. Khandekar, who medically examined the victim, and on

external examination, he noted that the victim was pregnant.

On internal examination, he found that the hymen was ruptured

on multiple sides and possibility of sexual assault could not be

ruled out. He opined that the victim was pregnant by 27 to 28

weeks as on 9-11-2013. The forensic medical reports of the

victim at Exhibits 37 and 38 were proved. The forensic medical

report of the accused at Exhibit 39 also proved that no

abnormality was detected, hampering the capacity of the accused

to perform the sexual intercourse.

13. The Sessions Court also deals with the delay caused in

lodging the report and it is held that the same would not be fatal

to the case of the prosecution. It holds that the delay puts the

Court on guard to search for and consider if any explanation has

been offered for the delay. In para 33 of the judgment, the

Sessions Court holds that the accused has been ravishing the

victim from the year 2011 till 9-11-2013, i.e. the date of lodging

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the report and, therefore, it cannot be said that there was any

delay. The reliance is placed upon the evidence of PW 5 Raju,

with whom the accused was employed as Chowkidar. The Court

also considers the threats given by the accused to the victim.

14. Relying upon the evidence of PW 6 Vaishali Mahajan,

who submitted the parentage test results at Exhibit 43, it is held

that accused Rameshwar and victim Kavita are concluded to be

the biological parents of the baby of Kavita. It is urged by

Ms Sonali Saware, the learned counsel appointed for the

appellant-accused that there is no evidence on record to show

that the blood sample of the accused was collected for DNA test.

Exhibits 46 and 48 are the letters issued to the Medical Officer

for collection of blood samples of the victim and the accused.

Exhibit 47 is the invoice challan under which the samples were

received for DNA test by the Regional Forensic Science

Laboratory through Police Constable Dilip, Buckle No.1134,

examined as PW 12. PW 7 Vaishali, the Investigation Officer,

states in her cross-examination that “The blood samples of the

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accused and the victim were collected in my presence”. She

further states that “It is true to say that in the present case the

blood samples of accused and the victim is taken by the

concerned nurse”.

15. In a recent decision of the Apex Court in the case of

Mukesh and another v. State (NCT of Delhi) and others, reported

in (2017) 6 SCC 1, it is held in para 228 as under

(by Hon’ble Shri Justice Dipak Misra, J.) :

“228. From the aforesaid authorities, it is quite clear
that DNA report deserves to be accepted unless it is
absolutely dented and for non-acceptance of the same, it is
to be established that there had been no quality control or
quality assurance. If the sampling is proper and if there is
no evidence as to tampering of samples, the DNA test
report is to be accepted.”

Hon’ble Smt. Justice R. Banumathi, J., who wrote the

concurring judgment, has held in para 461 as under :

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“461. As discussed earlier, identification by DNA genetic
fingerprint is almost hundred per cent precise and
accurate. The DNA profile generated from the
bloodstained clothes of the accused and other articles are
found consistent with the DNA profile of the victim and
DNA profile of PW 1; this is a strong piece of evidence
against the accused. In his evidence, PW 45 Dr. B.K.
Mohapatra has stated that once DNA profile is generated
and found consistent with another DNA profile, the
accuracy is hundred per cent and we find no reason to
doubt his evidence. As pointed out by the courts below,
the counsel for the defence did not raise any substantive
ground to rebut the findings of DNA analysis and the
findings through the examination of PW 45. The DNA
report and the findings thereon, being scientifically
accurate clearly establish the link involving the accused
persons in the incident.”

In view of the aforesaid law laid down by the Apex

Court and after rejecting the challenge to the blood sample of the

accused, there is hardly any scope for us to accept the contention

raised and we reject the same.

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16. For the reasons stated above, we do not find any fault

with the view taken by the learned Special Judge under POCSO

Act holding the accused guilty of the offence punishable under

Section 376(2)(f)(n) of IPC read with Section 5(1)(n) of POCSO

Act and also for the offence punishable under Section 506 of IPC.

The findings are based upon the appreciation of evidence and we

do not find any reason to take a different view of the matter

except to maintain the conviction recorded by the learned

Special Judge under POCSO Act.

17. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed.

18. The fees of the learned counsel appointed for the

appellant are quantified at Rs.5,000/-

[Rupees Five Thousand].

(Manish Pitale, J.) (R.K. Deshpande, J.)

Lanjewar, PS

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