HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN AT
S.B. Criminal Appeal No. 1066 / 2016
Arun Sahani S/o Shri Ramvilas, by caste Mallah, R/o Sukhi, P.S.
Khajoli, District Madhvan (Bihar).
(Presently lodged in Central Jail, Bikaner).
The State of Rajasthan.
For Appellant(s) : Mr.PS Chauhan.
For Respondent(s) : Mr.LR Upadhyay, PP.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SANDEEP MEHTA
The instant jail appeal has been preferred by the appellant
Arun Sahani who was tried by the learned Additional Sessions
Judge (Fast Track), Anoopgarh in Sessions Case No.22/2008 and
by judgment dated 18.4.2009 and was convicted and sentenced
S.376 IPC 10 years’ RI fine of Rs.500/- in default
to further undergo 1 year’s SI.
S.366 IPC 10 years’ RI fine of Rs.500/- in default
to further undergo 1 year’s SI.
S.341 IPC 1 month’s SI.
All the sentences were directed to run concurrently.
The accused is an indigent person and thus this appeal
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against his conviction received through the jail after significant
delay of 2648 days. Considering the fact that the appeal was
preferred by the indigent convict from jail, the delay was
condoned and the appeal has been admitted. Shri P.S. Chouhan
advocate was appointed as Amicus curiae under the free legal aid
scheme to represent the accused in this appeal.
Amicus curiae Shri P.S. Chouhan moved an application for
suspension of sentence on behalf of the appellant but urged that
as the appellant has remained in jail for more than 9 years, the
appeal itself may be finally heard. Accordingly, arguments of
amicus curiae as well as learned Public Prosecutor were heard for
final disposal of the appeal itself.
Facts in brief are that the complainant Chotu Ram husband
of the prosecutrix Smt.S lodged a report at P.S. Rajiyasar on
28.4.2008 alleging inter alia that he was working at his field and
his wife was on her way towards the field, bringing food for him.
The accused appellant way laid the lady, forcibly dragged her
behind the sand dunes where he subjected her to forcible sexual
intercourse. On the basis of this report, an FIR No.80/2008 Ex.P/2
came to be registered at P.S. Rajiyasar for the offences under
Sections 341, 366 and 376 IPC and investigation commenced.
After completing investigation, the appellant herein was charge-
sheeted for the above offences. The trial Court framed charges
against the appellant. He pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. The
prosecution examined as many as 12 witnesses in support of its
case. The accused, upon being questioned under Section 313
(3 of 5)
Cr.P.C. denied the prosecution allegations and claimed that he had
been falsely implicated because of a money dispute with the
prosecutrix. The trial Court proceeded to discard the defence
theory ; accepted the testimony of the prosecution witnesses and
convicted and sentenced the appellant as above. Hence, this
Shri P.S. Chouhan, learned amicus curiae vehemently urged
that the entire case as set up by the prosecutrix Smt.S PW1 in her
statement is false and fabricated. The allegation of her having
been subjected to rape was not corroborated by medical evidence.
Testimony of the so-called eye witnesses is unworthy of credence.
Their presence at the scene of occurrence is perse unbelievable.
He thus vehemently urged that the appellant’s conviction as
recorded by the trial Court should be quashed and set aside and
he deserves to be acquitted of the charges. In the alternative, he
pleaded that the appellant has remained in custody for a period
well in excess of 8 years. The prosecutrix was more than 50 years
of age on the date of occurrence and as such, he urged that
reducing the sentences awarded to the appellant by the trial Court
to the period already undergone by him would serve the ends of
Per contra, learned P.P. vehemently opposed the submissions
advanced by the appellant’s counsel. He contended that the FIR
was lodged within hours of the incident. The story as set up in the
FIR and statements of the prosecution witnesses is absolutely
natural and credible. The prosecutrix had no occasion or motive to
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falsely implicate the appellant for the ghastly crime of rape. He
thus urged that neither does the impugned judgment warrant
interference nor has the appellant’s counsel been able to point out
any circumstance which entitles the appellant to leniency on the
aspect of sentence. He thus submitted that the appeal should be
dismissed in entirety.
I have given my thoughtful consideration to the arguments
advanced at the Bar and have gone through the impugned
judgment as well as the original record.
Ex-facie I am satisfied that the prosecutrix had no occasion
or motive to falsely implicate the appellant for the grave offence of
rape. By launching the prosecution, she faced a risk of putting her
own reputation in the society at stake. The plea put forth by the
appellant in defence that some amount towards labour charges
was due to be paid to him by the prosecutrix and that he was
falsely implicated because of the said money dispute is perse
farfetched and unbelievable. Neither the amount, nor time nor the
purpose for which the appellant worked with the prosecutrix has
been specified, either in the suggestions given to the prosecution
witnesses or in the statement of the accused recorded under
Section 313 Cr.P.C. Thus, I am not inclined to interfere in the
conviction of the appellant recorded by the trial Court for the
offences under Sections 376, 366 and 341 IPC as the impugned
judgment ex-facie does not suffer from any shortcoming either
factual or legal so as to interfere therein on the aspect of the
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Now coming to the aspect of the sentences awarded by the
trial Court. The appellant reportedly does not have any criminal
antecedents. The age of the prosecutrix was about 53 years at the
time of the offence. No injuries were suffered by her during her
alleged ravishment by the appellant. Thus evidently, the appellant
did not indulge in any vicious physical violence with the
prosecutrix. The incident purely appears to be perpetrated
because of youthful lust. In this background, I am of the opinion
that the ends of justice would be served by reducing the
sentences awarded to the appellant for the offences under
Sections 376 and 366 IPC from 10 years R.I. as awarded by the
trial Court to the period already undergone by him (which is more
than 9 years as per the custody certificate).
The appeal thus succeeds in part. While affirming conviction
of the appellant as recorded by the trial Court for the offences
under Sections 376, 366 and 341 IPC by the judgment dated
18.4.2009, the sentence of 10 years RI each awarded to him by
the trial Court for the offences under Sections 376 and 366 IPC is
reduced to the period already undergone by him on both counts.
The sentence of fine is maintained. In default of payment of fine,
the appellant shall undergo one month’s additional SI.
Record be returned forthwith.