Nand Lal vs State Of Punjab And Anr on 22 February, 2018

CRA-S-533-SB-2004 -1-

In the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh

Date of Decision: 22.02.2018

Nand Lal …..Appellant


State of Punjab and another ……Respondent


Present: Mr. S.K. Arora, Advocate
for the appellant.

Mr. Rahul Rathore, DAG, Punjab.



The appellant has been convicted under Section 452 and

Section 354 IPC and has been sentenced to undergo RI for 2 years along

with a fine of Rs.500/- under Section 452 IPC and to rigorous imprisonment

for 1 ½ years along with a fine of Rs.500/- under Section 354 IPC both the

sentence were to run concurrently. The Additional Sessions Judge had tried

and convicted the appellant in a complaint case.

Following facts emerge from the record:-

A complaint was filed in the Court on 25.05.2001. The

allegations made by the complainant were that the accused was her

husband’s friend. Six months earlier he had got himself photographed with

her in connivance with a photographer while attending a function. She did

not come to know of it then but the photograph was used to blackmail her

and he wanted to develop illicit relations.

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Narrating the incident, which occurred on 18.05.2001, the

complainant had stated that she was home about 1-1.30 p.m. and her

husband has gone to the fields for labour work. The accused entered her

house armed with a air gun. On seeing her alone, he started grappling with

her, lifted her and threw her on a cot and raped her without her consent

when she raised alarm she was gagged and her dupatta was stuffed in her

mouth. She had stated that the string of salwar was broken and her shirt was

torn. She was abused and he claimed that he would keep her as his wife and

also threatened to kill her if the incident were narrated to anyone. It was

further disclosed that while the accused was raping her, her mother-in-law

and her devar-Het Ram and some villagers came and on seeing them, the

accused fled away. Her husband returned in the evening and the incident

was narrated to him. The matter was reported to the police on the same day.

They also sent a telegram to the Senior Police Officer and to the Chief

Justice of the High Court. It was claimed that the police failed to take action

on the complaint and therefore the complaint was filed in the Court of Sub

Divisional Magistrate, Fazilka.

Preliminary evidence was recorded and the accused was


Charge was framed under Sections 376/452 and 506 IPC. The

prosecution examined Birma, her Devar, her mother-in-law and Charan

Singh. The accused in his 313 statement denied the incriminating evidence

and stated that he used to run a Karyana shop and the prosecutrix had been

purchasing goods from him and she owed money and she did not want to

pay that amount and therefore she had filed the false complaint.

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The trial Court believed the statement of the prosecutrix so far

as the charges under Sections 354 and 452 IPC were concerned but rejected

the statement of the victim with respect to the charges under Section 376

IPC. It found her version to be improbable and the details are given in Para

12 and 13 of the judgment.

I have heard both the sides.

Learned counsel for the appellant has submitted that the story

put forward by the complainant is concocted and it is improbable that there

was no one in the street and could a man enter the house in broad day light

and commit rape, when dever and mother-in-law live in the same house

though there is a partition wall just 6 feet high. It was urged that the mother-

in-law turned hostile as she did not support the prosecution version and she

had not seen the accused committing rape. It was urged that the other two

persons had only seen a person running in the street and the statement of the

complainant had been disbelieved with respect to rape. It was urged that

there are contradiction in the statement of witnesses and there is no

explanation as to why they had not gone to the hospital or to the police the

same day. It was urged that Het Ram (PW-3) had stated that they had gone

to the police station at about 4.00 pm and the police had registered the case

and had arrested the accused and he remained in custody for 10 days but the

complainant could not show that any complaint of rape had been given to

the police nor its copy was produced and the complaint had been filed on

25.05.2001. It was urged that the entire statement is falsehood. Referring to

the statement of Charan Singh, he urges that there was a Dharamshala in

front of the complainant’s house and people usually sit there during the day

and if the complainant was crying for help, there would have been some

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persons who would have chased and caught hold of the accused. It was

urged that the trial Court had disbelieved the story of rape and it should

have rejected the entire statements as the evidence was neither convincing

nor believable and full of improbabilities.

The State counsel supported the judgment of the trial Court and

had urged that the statement of the victim was rightly accepted and no

woman would make a false complaint and no evidence was led by the

accused to show that he was running a Karyana shop.

The complaint mentions that the accused had managed to get

himself photographed with her about 6 months ago with the help of a

photographer. The complainant had disclosed that he was wanting to be

intimate with her and entered her house around 1 p.m. In the Court the

complainant made a different statement. She stated that the photograph had

been taken about 5/10 days prior to the occurrence. She had stated that she

did not make any complaint to the police that he was using the photographs

nor she had approached any member Panchayat. She stated that her husband

had approached a member Panchayat who had requested the accused to

return the photographs but he refused. The police did not recover any


The complainant in her cross-examination had accepted the fact

that the accused was running a karyana shop. She had stated that the

accused was married and had 3 children. She had stated that her eldest child

was 8 years old. She had deposed that her Uncle Arjun lives on one side of

her house while her devar and mother-in-law live in the house on the other

side with a partition wall in between. She had stated that Jogi – Uncle of the

accused, has a Karyana Shop in front of their house and people usually visit

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that shop to make purchases. She stated that she did not know whether the

accused was carrying a toy gun or a real gun. She stated that the accused

called out her husband’s name from outside and when she disclosed that he

was not in, that he entered the house.

The trial Court has disbelieved the testimony of the

complainant so far the as the allegations of rape are concerned, it noted that

there was no medical evidence nor the matter was promptly reported to the

police. The complainant failed to even go to the hospital for her medical.

The complainant failed to produce the copy of the complaint given to the

police. She was mainly relying upon telegrams given to the Senior Officers

but only the postal receipt is available. The complaint filed in the Court is

typed and was filed through a lawyer. The complainant had access to the

legal recourse and had approached the Court within 8 days. What is

surprising is as to why a written complaint could not be given to the police

and why no medical was done? The trial Court had rightly rejected the

statement of the complainant with respect to the allegations of rape.

On going through the statements of Charan Singh and Het Ram

it becomes clear that the house of the complainant is in a busy area. The

neighbouring houses are occupied by her own family members. The 8 year

old son of the complainant was present in the house, he was not confined.

He did not even run out nor the relatives staying close saw or heard

anything. It makes the version improbable. No one had caught the accused

running way though the witnesses claim that they heard the shrieks and the

cries of the complainant. The witnesses had made a false statement when

they had stated that the police had registered the FIR and the accused had

been detained for 10-12 days. The prosecution could not produce any

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evidence in this regard.

According to the complainant her mother-in-law was the first

person who reached there. Her statement makes an interesting reading. She

stated that she was sitting in her house when she heard some noise. She

stated that accused grappled with her daughter-in-law and when she

reached the house of the daughter-in-law she did not see the accused as he

had already run away and she did not see anything else. That is the only

statement made by her. She did not see any torn clothes. The complainant

came out immediately and she was wearing clothes. The trial Court had

doubted that version because if the string of the Salwar had been broken,

she could not have come out of the house immediately wearing the same set

of clothes.

The story put forward by the complainant and her witnesses is

not convincing nor probable. The complainant and her husband is said to

have contacted a member Panchayat with respect to the photographs. There

was no reason why they did not contact the Member Panchayat and seek

help when police was not cooperating. There are serious contradictions in

the statements of the witnesses with respect to the time when they had gone

to report the matter to the police. It is easy to make allegations but is

difficult to prove. The trial Court should have rejected the entire statement

in entirety when it found that the allegations of rape were false. The

complainant had a reason to make a complaint. The evidence led by the

accused appears to be more probable. The complainant had admitted that the

accused was running a karyana shop. Probably she owed some amount and

was not paying which led to a dispute.

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The appeal is allowed. The conviction and sentence passed by

the trial Court are set aside and the accused is acquitted.

February 22, 2018

Whether speaking/reasoned : Yes/No
Whether reportable : Yes/No

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