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Bikram Singh vs State Of Punjab on 4 August, 2018

CRA-S-578-SB-2014 (OM) -1-

IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA AT
CHANDIGARH

CRA-S-578-SB-2014 (OM)
Date of decision : 04.08.2018

Bikram Singh

…Appellant

Versus

State of Punjab

…Respondent

CORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ANIL KSHETARPAL

Present: Mr. Lokesh Sharma, Advocate
for the appellant (Legal Aid Counsel)

Ms. Anju Arora, Addl. A.G. Punjab.

****

ANIL KSHETARPAL, J. (ORAL)

The appellant was convicted under Section 363 of the Indian

Penal Code for enticing away a minor girl aged about 17 years and one

month.

Although, the prosecution presented a charge under Sections

363, 366-A and 376 of the Indian Penal Code, however, the learned trial

Court after examining the evidence and after noticing that the prosecutrix

had been repeatedly changing her stand, acquitted the appellant under

Sections 366-A and 376 of IPC. However, convicted the appellant only

under Section 363 IPC.

The facts as noticed by the trial Court are extracted as under:-

“2. Brief fact of the prosecution case are that the present
FIR was registered on the complaint of one Madan Singh

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with the allegations that the complainant had one son and
two daughters. His younger daughter i.e. prosecutrix (Name
with-held) was aged about 17 years and her date of birth
was 26.3.1994 and she was minor on 8.5.2011 (date when
the statement of complainant was recorded by police). On
5.5.2011 at about 9.00 pm, he along with his family had
gone to sleep after taking meal. At about 11.00 pm, when he
and his wife woke up, they found that their daughter
prosecutrix was not on her bed. He, his family members and
relations tried to locate her but did not get any clue. On
their enquiry, it came to their knowledge that Bikram Singh
alias Vicky son of Rabbi Singh of their village had enticed
away prosecutrix, on the pretext of marrying her. Earlier
also said Bikram Singh had been chasing the prosecutrix.
Due to prestige of their family, they themselves searched for
the prosecutrix but they could not search her. With these
allegations, FIR No.52 dated 8.5.2011 under Sections 363
and 366 IPC was registered against accused Bikram Singh.
Subsequently, prosecutrix was found with accused Bikram
Singh on 13.5.2011 at bus-stand, Nabha and her statement
under Section 161 Cr.P.C. was recorded. On the basis of her
statement offence punishable under Section 376 IPC was
added to the list of offences.”

Learned trial Court after appreciating the evidence recorded as

under:-

“25. I have considered this argument advanced by learned
counsel for accused and find merit in the same. On all the
three occasions, prosecutrix had given a different account I
of things which had happened to her. In her statement to the
police under Section 161 Cr.P.C., she had stated that she
had acquaintance with accused Bikram Singh for the last
about one year and he had been asking her to get married to

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him, thereby she was enticed by him and she met him on the
Phirni of the Village on 5.5.2011. He asked her to run away
from the house to solemnize Court marriage and on his
asking, she herself went near his house at about 10.00 pm
and from there he took her to his room where he had sex
with her. Thereafter he took her to Nabha-Malerkotla road
on the pretext of marrying her and thereafter they went to
Gobindgarh via Rothi Bridge where she was kept in a room
by accused Bikram Singh. On the other hand, in her
statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. recorded by Mrs.
Manjinder Kaur, learned Judicial Magistrate Ist Class,
Nabha on 14.5.2011, she had stated that she was known to
accused for the last 1 ½ years. She used to call her on phone
and he used to take her to his house. She used to go to his
house during night and used to come back after an hour or
two hour. About one month back accused Bikram Singh had
called her to his house where he had sex with her for the
first time. Parents of Bikram were interested in getting him
married to some other girl but he disclosed these facts to
her and asked her that he wanted to marry her. Thereafter
she went with him on 5.5.2011 and they stayed in a room at
Gobindgarh, where they had sexual relations. She had
further stated that she had sexual relations with accused
Bikram with her own free will and Bikram Singh had never
forced her to enter into sexual relations with him. However,
during her statement in the court and her further cross-

examination, she had stated that said statement was given
by her due to fear of accused Bikram Singh but it cannot be
believed that she had given that statement due to force in the
presence of Magistrate particularly in view of certificate
issued by learned Magistrate in this regard. Moreover, it is
not the case of prosecution that accused Bikram Singh was
also present in the Court on 14.5.2011 when her statement

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was recorded by the Magistrate.

26. Further more, in her statement in the Court, she again
completely changed her version and stated that she had no
acquaintance with accused Bikram Singh but for the last
about one year prior to occurrence accused Bikram Singh
had been extending threats to her that he would kill her
brother and father in case she did not accompany him and
marry him. On 5.5.2011, accused came to her house and
asked her to accompany him for getting married and also
extended threats that in case she did not accompany him he
would kill her brother and father. There upon she was taken
to the house of accused where he committed rape upon her
against her wish. Thereafter they went to Malerkotla road
on foot from where they went to Gobindgarh via Rothi
Bridge. In Gobindgarh, accused kept her in a room and had
sex with her without her consent and against her will.
Ultimately, accused Bikram Singh was arrested on
13.5.2011 from bus-stand, Nabha and she was recovered
from his possession.”

Learned counsel for the appellant has pointed out that the

appellant was young man of 22 years and as per the findings arrived at by

the trial Court which has not been challenged, prosecutrix and the appellant

were known to each other. It has also come in evidence that both had run

away from the house to solemnize the Court marriage. The prosecutrix

remained with the appellant for 9 days. The appellant is stated to have

undergone more than 1 year and 6 months of actual sentence.

Learned State Counsel has produced a old custody certificate

dated 09.05.2014 which supports the arguments of the learned counsel for

the appellant. The appellant was ordered to be released on bail vide order

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dated 09.05.2014.

Keeping in view the age of the appellant and the findings

arrived at by the learned trial Court which has not been challenged, this

Court is of the considered view that the appellant has already suffered

sufficiently for the offence committed by him. He has been convicted only

on account of fact that the girl was below 18 years.

Keeping in view the totality of the facts and particularly

noticing that the appellant is already on bail for more than 4 years, no useful

purpose would be served in sending the appellant back to jail. Hence, while

upholding the judgment of conviction and the sentence, the sentence

awarded is reduced to already undergone.

The bail bonds submitted by the appellant shall stands

discharged.

In view of the above, the present appeal stands allowed.

All the pending miscellaneous applications, if any, are disposed

of, in view of the abovesaid judgment.

04.08.2018 (ANIL KSHETARPAL)
Pawan JUDGE

Whether speaking/reasoned:- Yes/No

Whether reportable:- Yes/No

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