HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH, BILASPUR
Criminal Appeal No.709 of 2001
Chamra alias Lakhiram S/o. Neelkanth, age 24 years, R/o. Village
Khamargaon Police Station Nagarnar District Bastar (CG)
The State of Chhattisgarh
For Appellants : Shri RN Jha, Advocate
For respondent/State : Shri Ankit Singhal, Panel Lawyer
Hon’ble Shri Justice Ram Prasanna Sharma
Order On Board
1. Challenge in this appeal is to the judgment of conviction
and order of sentence dated 09.9.2001 passed by Special Judge
under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989 (for short ‘the Act’), Bastar at Jagdalpur in
Session Case No.278/2000 wherein the trial Court convicted the
appellant under Section 3(1)(xi) of the Act and sentenced him to
undergo Rigorous imprisonment for two years and to pay fine of
Rs.1500/- and for offence under Section 354 IPC sentenced him
to undergo RI for two years and to pay fine of Rs.1500/- and
under Section 323 IPC sentenced him to undergo RI for six
months with default stipulations.
2. As per the prosecution case, prosecutrix is Bhatra by caste
and is a member of Scheduled Tribe while accused is not a
member of Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe and he is Mahra
by caste. Prosecutrix had gone to the house of her brother on the
date of incident, i.e. 22.9.99 and when she was returning around
6.30 pm with one Sukhmati, accused/appellant met her on road,
caught hold her and when she resisted, the accused/appellant
assaulted her by stick.
3. The matter was reported to Tribal Welfare Department,
Police Station Jagdalpur and the same was registered as Ex-P/1.
The injured was sent to medical examination, certain articles were
seized, statement of the witnesses under Section 161 of the CrPC
and recorded and charge sheet was filed against the appellant.
The trial Court framed charges under Sections as mentioned
above in which the appellant plead innocent thereafter the trial
was conducted, after examination of the prosecution witnesses
statement of the accused/appellant under Section 313 of the
CrPC was recorded. After hearing the parties, the trial Court
convicted and sentenced the appellant as aforementioned.
4. Learned counsel for the appellants submits as under :-
1) that there is no certificate regarding caste of the prosecutrix
and therefore, case under Special Act is not made out.
2) Statements of the prosecution witnesses are contradictory
and the same is not sufficient to establish the guilt against the
3) that the accused/appellant was in custody during trial from
18.11.99 to 03.12.99 and again from 04.5.2001 to 08.5.2001. He
has already paid the fine imposed by the trial Court and therefore,
he may be sentenced for the period already undergone by him.
5. On the other hand, learned counsel for the State submits
that the judgment of the trial Court is strictly in accordance with
law and the same is not liable to be interferred with invoking the
jurisdiction of the appeal.
6. Heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the
material on record.
7. Prosecutrix (PW-1) has deposed that on the date of incident
she had gone to the house of her brother and when she was
returning at about 6.30 pm, the accused/appellant met her on the
way, caught hold her hands and when she resisted, the accused
assaulted her by stick. Version of this witness is supported by
Sukmati (PW-2) and Balram (PW-3) and again it is supported by
the evidence of Dr. Vijay Thakur (PW-4) who noticed the injury on
the head of the prosecutrix on her examination and the same
was caused by hard and blunt object.
8. The accused/appellant has not explained as to why he
caught hold the hands of the prosecutrix who is a lady, hence, it
can be inferred that such criminal force was used with intention to
outrage her modesty or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby
outrage her modesty. The act of the accused appellant is a
criminal act punishable under Section 354 of the IPC . Again he
has assaulted the prosecutrix and she sustained simple injury for
which injury, case of the appellant does not fall under any of the
exception of the IPC and he caused the same with a knowledge
that thereby the prosecutrix will suffer pain. The act of the
accused appellant is voluntary in nature and he is guilty for
causing voluntary simple injury to the proseucutrix and the act of
the accused falls under section 323 of the IPC for which the trial
Court convicted him under Sections 354 and 323 IPC and the
same is not liable to be inferferred with and the same is hereby
9. So far as the offence under Section 3(1)(xi) of the Act is
concerned, there is nothing on record that the prosecutrix belongs
to Scheduled Tribe. No one was examined before the trial court
to prove her caste. The incident happened only because she was
a woman and not because she was a woman of certain special
category as mentioned in the Special category. From the
evidence, charge under Section 3(1)(xi) of the Act is not
substantiated and conviction of the appellant for the said offence
is not sustainable, hence, he is acquitted of the charges under
Section 3(1)(xi) of the Act.
10. The accused appellant remained in custody for 21 days
during trial and the incident is of the year of 1999. After the lapse
of more than 18 years and considering other circumstances, the
period already undergone would be sufficient for the offence
committed by the appellant. The appellant is sentenced for the
period already undergone by him, while the fine imposed by the
trial Court will remain intact. With this modification of the
sentence, the appeal stand dismissed.
(Ram Prasanna Sharma)