SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Banoth Ravi, Warangal Dt., vs State Of Telangana, Rep Pp., on 10 March, 2020

THE HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE RAGHVENDRA SINGH CHAUHAN

AND
THE HONOURABLE SRI JUSTICE A. ABHISHEK REDDY

CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 741 OF 2015

JUDGMENT: { Per the Hon’ble the Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan }

Having been convicted for offence under Section

376(2)(i) IPC, and sentenced to life imprisonment, having been

convicted for offence under Section 5(1) read with Section 6 of

the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (‘POCSO

Act’, for short), and sentenced with life imprisonment, and

directed to pay a fine of Rs.50,000/- under the POCSO Act,

and to further suffer simple imprisonment for three months

in default thereof, and having been convicted for offence

under Section 366-A IPC and punished with a sentence of

three years rigorous imprisonment, to pay a fine of

Rs.1,000/-, and also to suffer simple imprisonment of one

month in default thereof, by judgment dated 01.07.2015 on

the file of the Special Judge for trial of cases under Protection

of Children From Sexual Offences Act-Cum-I Additional

Sessions Judge at Warangal, the accused, Banoth Ravi, has

approached this Court.

Briefly, the facts of the case are that on 18.10.2014

Ms. X (name withheld as she is the prosecutrix in the present

case) (P.W.1) lodged a complaint with the Sub-Inspector,

Maripeda Police Station wherein she claimed that she had

studied from Class-I to Class-V at the Government School in

Thanamcherla village. Subsequently, she left the school, and
2

was staying at home. She was eking out her livelihood by

doing manual work. A person, by name Banoth Ravi, aged 30

years, caste: Lambada, a farmer by profession, has been

chasing her, telling her that he has fallen in love with her,

and wanted to marry her. “I ignored his words. Three days

ago, around 4:00 ‘O’ Clock in the evening, Banoth Ravi,

induced me and took me from my house to his maternal grand-

mother’s house at Bachodu Thanda in Bachod village, in

Thirumalayapalem Mandal of Khammam District, stating that

he would marry me and forcibly participated in intercourse

with me many times. On 18.10.2014 in the morning,

I narrowly escaped from the clutches of Banothu Ravi and

reached home and conveyed to my parents about the

happenings. I am filing this grievance petition before your

authority accompanying my parents to this police station.”

On the basis of the said complaint, the police chalked

out a formal FIR, namely FIR No. 221 of 2014 for the offences

under Sections 366, 376(2)(i) of IPC, and under Section 5 (2)

read with Section 6 of the POCSO Act; the investigation

commenced. During the course of investigation, the appellant

was arrested by the police. He was put up for trial.

In order to substantiate its case, the prosecution

examined fourteen witnesses, and submitted fourteen

documents. On the other hand, the appellant submitted

neither oral or documentary evidence in defence. After

appreciating the evidence, the learned Trial Court convicted
3

and sentenced the appellant as aforementioned. Hence, this

appeal by the appellant before this Court.

Mr. P. Shashi Kiran, the learned counsel for the

appellant, has raised the following contentions:-

Firstly, the prosecutrix (P.W. 1) herself is not a

trustworthy witness. For, in the FIR (Ex. P. 9), and in her

statement recorded under Section 161 of Cr.P.C., she

nowhere states that the appellant and his father kidnapped

her from her house. In the FIR (Ex. P. 9), she nowhere

mentioned that the appellant was accompanied by his father.

But, she merely claims that three days ago, at 4:00 ‘O’ clock,

in the evening, the appellant induced her, and took her from

her home. Yet, in her testimony, she claims that it is at night

that the accused came along with his father, put a towel on

her nose, due to which, she lost consciousness. From her

house, the appellant took her to Bachod Thanda/Village and

took her to the house of his maternal grandmother.

Therefore, there are two different versions, with regard to the

time when the appellant took her from her house. Hence, it is

a glaring contradiction in her testimony.

Secondly, although the prosecutrix (P.W. 1) claims that

she was forced by the appellant to have intercourse for three

days, although she claims that he had bitten her all over the

body, but neither the Preliminary Report (Ex. P. 12), nor the

Final Opinion (Ex. P. 13) indicate that she was subjected to

any sexual intercourse. According to the Preliminary Report
4

(Ex. P. 12), there were no external injuries except for

excoriation over inner part of thigh, and that there was no

indication that the hymen had been ruptured. Even

according to the Final Opinion (Ex. P. 13), “there was nothing

indicative to show that there was a sexual intercourse in the

recent past”. Therefore, the Medical Report belies the

testimony of the prosecutrix (P.W. 1).

Lastly, although the clothes of the prosecutrix, the

vaginal swab of the prosecutrix were sent to the F.S.L. for its

report, but according to the F.S.L. Report (Ex. P. 14), neither

semen, nor spermatozoa was detected on any of these

articles. This clearly proves that there was no sexual

intercourse between the appellant and the prosecutrix.

Therefore, the prosecution has miserably failed to establish

its case for offences under Section 376(2)(i) of IPC, and under

Section 5(1) read with Section 6 of the POCSO Act. Therefore,

the appellant deserves to be acquitted of the said offences.

On the other hand, Ms. J. Sridevi, the learned

Additional Public Prosecutor, contended that a complaint is

not meant to be encyclopedic in its content. As long as the

gist of the prosecution is revealed in the complaint, the

complainant cannot be faulted.

Secondly, whether the appellant’s father was involved in

the kidnapping or not, is immaterial. For, from day one, the

investigation was against the appellant, and the charge-sheet

was filed by the police only against the appellant. Therefore,
5

it is a minor contradiction in her testimony which would not

destabilize the substratum of the case of the prosecution.

Thirdly, for the offence under Section 376 IPC, it is not

essential that there should be complete penetration, or

ejaculation; even the slightest penetration is sufficient to

convict a person for offence under Section 376 IPC, and

under Section 5(1) read with Section 6 of the POCSO Act.

Moreover, the testimony of the prosecutrix that she had bite

marks, or injuries on other parts of her body is established by

her medical record. For, even in the Preliminary Report (Ex.

P. 12), it is clearly indicated that she had injuries on her

inner thigh. Furthermore, even in the Final Opinion (Ex. P.

13), it is clearly indicated that her hymen was ruptured.

Therefore, even if neither the semen, nor the spermatozoa was

discovered in her clothes, or in the vaginal swab of the

prosecutrix, even then, it would not dilute the veracity of the

prosecutrix’s testimony.

Lastly, the appellant has taken the defense of a total

denial. He has nowhere pleaded that he has been falsely

implicated in the present case by the prosecutrix. Therefore,

just the testimony of prosecutrix is sufficient to convict the

appellant for the aforementioned offences. Hence, the learned

Additional Public Prosecutor has supported the impugned

judgment.

Heard the learned counsel for the parties, perused the

impugned judgment, and examined the record.
6

In her testimony, the prosecutrix (P.W. 1) clearly states

in her examination-in-chief that “I know the accused, who is

also a resident of my village. About six months back, at about

5:00 p.m., while I was returning from Coolie works to the

Thanda, the accused met me on the way and began stating

that he was loving me and wants to marry me. But I did not

care for his words. Again after three days, the accused came

to me and informed that he was loving me and wants to marry

me, for which I grew wild and slapped him with my chappal.

The accused threatened me with dire consequences during the

said night. On that day, while I was sleeping in front of my

house, the accused came to me and kept towel against my

nose due to which I lost consciousness. The accused had

applied some power (sic) to the said Towel. Thereafter, the

accused took me to Bachoda Village and took me to the house

of his maternal grandmother where the accused “nannu

Aagam Chesindu and Pandukunnadu” (He ruptured me and

slept) continuously for three days. The accused had also bite

(sic) me all over my body and also inflicted injuries with nails.

When I cried after regaining consciousness, he threatened to

kill me over a point of knife. The accused had also took (sic)

my photographs through his cell phone, when I slept. I came

out of the hosue on the pretext of attending calls of nature and

escaped from there and went to my parent’s house at 10:00

a.m. I narrated the entire incident to my parents. Thereafter, I

along with my parents went to P.S., Maripeda and presented a
7

complaint. Ex.P.-1 is the complaint presented by me. A lady

police constable examined me and recorded my statement. The

police also sent me to the Government Hospital at Warangal.”

In her cross-examination, she tells the Court that the house

of the accused is situated two houses away from her house.

Although certain contradictions have been pointed out in her

testimony, after comparing it with her complaint and with her

statement recorded under Section 161 of Cr.P.C., these

contradictions are minor in nature. Therefore, they do not

dislodge the veracity of her testimony.

Although the learned counsel for the appellant has

pleaded that there is a contradiction with regard to the time

when the prosecutrix was taken from her house, even the

said contradiction is not a major one, but is a minor one.

For, in order to appreciate the testimony of the prosecutrix, it

is essential to consider her age, and the impact of the

traumatic experience of having been ravished by a man.

Therefore, even if there were some contradiction between the

time mentioned in the FIR, and the time mentioned in her

examination-in-chief, such a contradiction does not dislodge

the major premise of the prosecution case that it is the

appellant who had committed rape on the prosecutrix.

It is, indeed, a settled principle of law that for the

commission of an offence under Section 376 IPC, or under

Section 5(1) read with Section 6 of POCSO Act, there need not

be a complete penetration; even a minor penetration into the
8

vagina of a prosecutrix would be sufficient to constitute the

offence under Section 376 IPC, and under Section 5(1) read

with Section 6 of the POCSO Act.

Moreover, the testimony of the prosecutrix is further

corroborated by the fact that according to the Preliminary

Report (Ex. P. 12), the prosecutrix had suffered injuries on

her inner thighs. According to the Final Opinion (Ex. P. 13),

her hymen was found to be ruptured. Therefore, her

testimony is certainly supported by the medical evidence.

Hence, the contention raised by the learned counsel that

there is a clear cut contradiction between the oral testimony

of the prosecutrix (P.W. 1), and the documentary medical

evidence, is clearly untenable.

Neither for the offence under Section 376 IPC, nor for an

offence under Section 5 read with Section 6 of the POCSO

Act, is it essential that there should be ejaculation by the

culprit. Therefore, even if the F.S.L. Report (Ex. P. 14) clearly

indicates that neither any spermatozoa, nor any semen is

detected on the clothes of the prosecutrix, or in her vaginal

swab, yet the said finding does not dilute the case of the

prosecution.

Although the learned counsel for the appellant has

vehemently contended that the prosecutrix has foisted a false

case upon the appellant inter alia on the ground that there is

some land dispute between her father and the appellant, the
9

said suggestion has been denied by the prosecutrix in her

cross-examination.

Moreover, considering the adverse impact of an

allegation of rape would have on the reputation of the

prosecutrix, neither the prosecutrix, nor her parents would

force her to make such an allegation against a total stranger,

or against the appellant himself. In the case of Rajinder v.

State of H.P1, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has clearly opined

as under:

In the context of Indian culture, a woman–victim of sexual
aggression–would rather suffer silently than to falsely implicate
somebody. Any statement of rape is an extremely humiliating
experience for a woman and until she is a victim of sex crime, she
would not blame anyone but the real culprit. While appreciating
the evidence of the prosecutrix, the courts must always keep in
mind that no self-respecting woman would put her honour at stake
by falsely alleging commission of rape on her and therefore,
ordinarily a look for corroboration of her testimony is unnecessary
and uncalled for. But for high improbability in the prosecution
case, the conviction in the case of sex crime may be based on the
sole testimony of the prosecutrix. It has been rightly said that
corroborative evidence is not an imperative component of judicial
credence in every case of rape nor the absence of injuries on the
private parts of the victim can be construed as evidence of consent.

In the present case, the victim was aged fourteen years

old, when she claimed that it is the appellant, and only the

appellant, who had intercourse with her. Considering the fact

that the prosecutrix is a minor, obviously, the question of

consent does not even arise. Therefore, the contentions

raised by the learned counsel for the appellant are

unacceptable.

In the alternative, the learned counsel for the appellant

has pleaded that even if this Court were of the opinion that

1
(2009) 16 SCC 69
10

the offences under Section 376(2)(i) IPC, and under Section

5(1) read with Section 6 of the POCSO Act were made out

against the appellant, even then, the sentence should be

reduced from life imprisonment to ten years. The learned

counsel submits that before the maximum punishment of life

imprisonment can be inflicted by the learned Trial Court, the

case must fall within the “rarest of the rare case”. Whereas,

the present case does not fall within the said category. But

for the fact that it is alleged that the appellant had physical

relationship with the prosecutrix, there are no aggravating

circumstances which would warrant the imposition of life

imprisonment upon the appellant. Therefore, at least, the

sentence should be reduced in the present case.

On the other hand, the learned Additional Public

Prosecutor has argued that in the cases of crime against

women in general, and crime against children in particular,

should be dealt with harshly by the Courts. For, such crimes

tend to shock the conscious of the society. Therefore, she has

vehemently contended that the sentence should not be

reduced by this Court.

While sentencing an offender, the Court is required to

do a balancing act between the interests of the society on the

one hand, and the rights of the accused on the other hand.

While it is true that the Courts are the conscience keeper of

the society, it is equally true that the Courts are the

upholders of the rights of an offender. Moreover, the Courts
11

have to be keenly aware of the fact that the punishment must

commensurate with the nature of the offence alleged to be

committed by an offender. Therefore, the Court has to

examine whether in the peculiar facts and circumstances of a

case, the offender deserves to be punished with a gravest

form of punishment, or with the lightest form of punishment?

Before an offender can be subjected to the harshest

punishment, the case should fall within the category of being

the “rarest of the rare case”. For, the harshest punishment

cannot be inflicted as a knee-jerk reaction to an incident.

In the present case, it has been proven by the

prosecution that the prosecutrix was violated by the accused.

However, the medical evidence does not indicate that she has

been violated with a great force, or under aggravated

circumstances. Even after the alleged act, the appellant has

not maltreated the prosecutrix. Hence, the case certainly

does not fall within the category of being the “rarest of the

rare case”. Therefore, to sentence the appellant with life

imprisonment would be rather unjust.

But, keeping in mind that the life of a child has been

traumatized, the appellant certainly deserves to be punished

by the Court.

Therefore, while upholding the conviction of the

appellant, both for offences under Section 376(2)(i) IPC, and

for offence under Section 5(1) read with Section 6 of the

POCSO Act, this Court reduces the sentences from life
12

imprisonment to rigorous imprisonment for ten years, under

both the counts. The sentence of fine amount imposed is not

interfered with. Since the appellant is already in jail, he shall

continue to serve the sentence as modified by this Court. The

period already undergone by the appellant shall be given set

off. However, it is clarified that during the remaining part of

the sentence, he shall not be granted the benefit of parole by

the jail authorities, or by the court. He is, in fact, required to

serve the remaining part of the sentence till the sentence is

totally completed. His conviction for offence under Section

366-A IPC is also upheld by this Court.

Thus, the appeal is partly allowed as indicated above.

Miscellaneous petitions, if any, pending shall stand

dismissed.

__
(RAGHVENDRA SINGH CHAUHAN, CJ)

__
(A. ABHISHEK REDDY, J)
10th March, 2020
Tsr
13

THE HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE RAGHVENDRA SINGH CHAUHAN
AND

THE HONOURABLE SRI JUSTICE A. ABHISHEK REDDY

CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 741 OF 2015
(Per Hon’ble the Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan)

-03-2020
Tsr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Not found ...? HOW TO WIN 498a, DV, DIVORCE; Search in Above link
MyNation Times Magzine


All Law documents and Judgment copies
Laws and Bare Acts of India
Landmark SC/HC Judgements
Rules and Regulations of India.

STUDY REPORTS

Copyright © 2021 SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation
×

Free Legal Help, Just WhatsApp Away

MyNation HELP line

We are Not Lawyers, but No Lawyer will give you Advice like We do

Please read Group Rules – CLICK HERE, If You agree then Please Register CLICK HERE and after registration  JOIN WELCOME GROUP HERE

We handle Women Centric biased laws like False Sectioin 498A IPC, Domestic Violence(DV ACT), Divorce, Maintenance, Alimony, Child Custody, HMA 24, 125 CrPc, 307, 312, 313, 323, 354, 376, 377, 406, 420, 497, 506, 509; TEP, RTI and many more…

MyNation FoundationMyNation FoundationMyNation Foundation