HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH, BILASPUR
CRA No. 71 of 2010
Judgement reserved on 24-9-2018
Judgement delivered on 29-10-2018
• Ashok Verma aged about 22 years s/o. Gopilal Verma, r/o.
Nayadhaba, Thana Lalbag, District Rajnandgaon (CG).
• State of Chhattisgarh through Police Station Lalbag, District
For Appellant : Mr. Parag Kotecha, Advocate.
For Respondent/State : Mr. Ramakant Pandey, P.L.
(SB: Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ram Prasanna Sharma)
1) This appeal is preferred against the judgment of conviction and
order of sentence dated 5-1-2010 passed by Special Judge
(Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities )
Act, 1989 (for short, “the Act, 1989”), Rajnandgaon District
Rajnandgaon in Special Case No. 93 of 2008, wherein the said Court
convicted the accused/appellant under Sections 456 and 354 of the
IPC and sentenced him to undergo RI for six months and to pay fine
of Rs.100/- on each count, with default stipulations.
2) As per prosecution case, on 15-9-2008 at about 12.00 pm the
appellant entered into the house of prosecutrix (PW/1) and outraged
her modesty and injured her. The matter was reported and
investigated. After completion of trial, the trial Court convicted and
sentenced the accused/appellant as mentioned above.
3) Learned counsel for the appellant submits as under:
I) There is serious contradiction in the statement of
the prosecution witnesses, therefore, benefit of
doubt ought to have been extended to the
ii) As per evidence of prosecutrix, the appellant slept
with her daughter and it is out of imagination that
she will not resist or raise alarm during the course
Iii) Though prosecutrix deposed that she sustained
injury but the Doctor who examined the
prosecutrix did not find any injury on the body of
the prosecutrix, therefore, version of prosecution
is not dependable.
iv) The trial Court came to wrong conclusion which is
liable to be reversed.
4) Per contra, learned State counsel supporting the impugned
judgment has submitted that the judgment of the trial Court is strictly
in accordance with the law and well founded and there is no illegality
or infirmity in it warranting any interference by this Court invoking the
jurisdiction of appeal.
5) I have heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the
record of the court below in which impugned judgment has been
6) In the present case prosecutrix is PW/1. Date of incident is 15-9-
2008 and the report was lodged on the next day i.e., on 16-9-2008 at
Police Station Adimjati Kalyan Vibhag in which name of the appellant
and his act are clearly mentioned.
7) To substantiate the charge, prosecution examined as many as
seven witnesses. To nullify the charge, defence side examined one
defence witness namely Purushottam Sahu (DW/1).
8) Prosecutrix PW/1 has supported the entire prosecution story and
as per version of this witness, she was sleeping at about 12.00 pm in
the night in her house where appellant entered into her house. When
she came out and tried to cry for help, appellant caught hold her and
dragged towards kitchen garden and pushed down in the said garden
and thereafter he caught her breast. When she tried to cry for help, he
shut her mouth. Version of this witness is subjected to searching cross
examination but nothing could be elicited in favour of defence. There is
no material contradiction or omission in the statement of this witness
and there is nothing on record to show that she had any grudge against
the appellant to falsely rope him in the charge. Version of this witness is
supported by version of PW/2 Tuleshwari Bai who saw that the
appellant caught her mother. PW/4 Ramdas supported the version of
this witness and as per version of this witness he saw the appellant
near the house of the prosecutrix where the prosecutrix informed him
that the appellant outraged her modesty. All these witnesses have been
subjected to searching cross examination but they are unshaken and
there is nothing on record to discard their testimonies.
9) One Purushottam Sahu was cited as DW/1. As per version of
this witness, prosecutrix was demanding money from the appellant, but
version of this witness is not sufficient to discard testimony of all the
prosecution witnesses, this witness has also established the presence
of the appellant on the spot, therefore, version of the prosecution side is
not under-stake by the evidence of this witness. There is no material
contradiction or omission on the part of the prosecution witnesses
regarding the fact of the case and ingredient of the offence. Minor
contradictions which do not go to the root of the case are insignificant
and same is liable to be ignored. Therefore, the argument advanced on
behalf of the appellant on account of contradictions and omissions is
10) Now, the point for consideration is whether the act of the
accused/appellant falls within the mischief under Section 354 of the IPC.
As per section 354 of the IPC- 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.
The essential ingredients of offence under
Section 354, IPC are;-
(a) That the assault must be on a woman.
(b) That the accused must have used criminal
force on her.
(c) That the criminal force must have been used
on the woman intending thereby to outrage her
11) In State of Punjab v Major Singh (AIR 1967 SC 63) a question
arose whether a minor female could be said to be possessed of
modesty which could be outraged. In answering the above question it
has been held by Their lordships that the essence of a woman’s
modesty is her sex and from her very birth she possesses the
modesty which is the attribute of her sex. From the test for
ascertaining whether modesty has been outraged is whether the
action of the offender is such as could be perceived as one which is
capable of shocking the sense of decency of a woman. Same view
was reiterated in Rupan Deol Bajaj (Mrs) and Anr. v. Kanwar Pal
Singh Gill Anr. 1995(6) SCC 194.
12) In the present case, evidence against the present appellant is
clinching in nature. Not only the prosecutrix, but her daughter and
other persons have also found the appellant on the spot. From the
evidence of the prosecutrix, it is established that the accused
knowingly outraged modesty of the prosecutrix by using criminal force
on her and the prosecutrix is firm in reporting the matter to the people
of locality and firm in lodging the FIR in Police Station on the next day
and looking to the statements of number of witnesses cited by the
prosecution, it is clear that criminal force is used by the appellant
against the prosecutrix and same amounts to outrage her modesty.
Criminal force is defined under Section 350 of IPC.
“Section 350 of the IPC read as under:-
Whoever intentionally uses force to any person,
without that person’s consent, in order to the
committing of any offence, or intending by the
use of such force to cause, or knowing it to be
likely that by the use of such force he will cause
injury, fear or annoyance to the person to whom
the force is used, is said to use criminal force to
13) Looking to the evidence adduced by the prosecution it is
established that the accused/appellant knowingly outraged the
modesty of the prosecutrix by using criminal force upon her and the
same is offence under Section 354 of the IPC for which the trial Court
convicted the accused/appellant which is not liable to be interfered
with by this Court and the conviction of the appellant under Section
354 of the IPC is hereby affirmed. Again, lurking house-trespass by
night is an offence which is punishable under Section 456 of IPC.
Conviction of the appellant under Section 456 of IPC is also hereby
14) Now the point for consideration is what sentence may be
awarded to the accused/appellant proportionate to the offence,
without considering its effect on the social order, the imposition of
sentence will be futile exercise. When the offence is involving moral
turpitude or moral delinquency which has great impact on social
order, and public interest, the same requires exemplary treatment.
Any liberal attitude by imposing meager sentence on account of lapse
of time in respect of such offences will be result-wise counter
productive in the long run and against societal interest. The trial Court
awarded sentence of six months that cannot be termed as harsh,
disproportionate or unreasonable and the same is not liable to be
interfered with by this Court.
15) Accordingly, the appeal being devoid of merit is liable to be and
is hereby dismissed. The appellant is reported to be on bail. His bail
bonds shall stand canceled. The trial Court will prepare supersession
warrant and issue warrant of arrest against the appellant. After his
arrest, he be sent to concerned jail to serve out the remaining part of
the jail sentence. The trial Court shall submit the compliance report
before this court on 31-1-2019.
(Ram Prasanna Sharma)