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Kavita Chandrakant Lakhani vs The State Of Maharashtra on 24 April, 2018

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 459 OF 2016

Kavita Chandrakant Lakhani …. Appellant(s)

Versus

State of Maharashtra Anr. …. Respondent(s)

JUDGMENT

R.K. Agrawal, J.

1) This appeal is directed against the judgment and order

dated 06.05.2013 passed by learned single Judge of the High

Court of Judicature at Bombay in Criminal Writ Petition No.

3766 of 2012 whereby the High Court dismissed the petition

filed by Kavita Chandrakant Lakhani-the appellant herein

against the order dated 04.07.2007 passed by learned Judge,

Sessions Court at Greater Bombay in Criminal Revision Appln.

No. 1261 of 2007 filed by Respondent No. 2 herein against the

committal order dated 03.10.2006 passed by the Additional
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
ASHA SUNDRIYAL

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, 40th Court, Gurgaum, Mumbai
Date: 2018.04.25
17:36:15 IST
Reason:

in C.C. No. 215/PW/2005 wherein learned Additional Chief

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Metropolitan Magistrate rejected the application filed by

Respondent No. 2 herein for discharge under Section 363 of

the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short ‘the IPC’). It may be

mentioned here that learned Judge, Sessions Court, vide order

dated 04.07.2007 had discharged the Respondent No. 2 not

only in respect of offence under Section 366 of the IPC but also

under Sections 363 and 506 (ii) of the IPC.

2) Brief facts:

(a) A First Information Report (FIR) bearing No. 247 of 2003

PS Gamdevi, District Mumbai dated 12.09.2003 was got

registered by the appellant herein against Respondent No. 2

herein stating that on the fateful night of 06.09.2003,

Respondent No. 2 and the appellant were in a birthday party

along with their friends. After finishing the party, Respondent

No. 2, on the pretext of dropping the appellant to the venue for

dinner, with whom she was in relationship earlier, drove her to

his home in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai. After reaching there,

when the appellant refused to come out of the car, Respondent

No. 2 forcibly lifted her up and took her to his house and put

her on bed. Respondent No. 2 removed all her clothes and

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starting beating her using his waist belt and touching her

inappropriately on her private parts in order to outrage her

modesty.

(b) A charge sheet in the case was filed on 30.03.2004 before

the Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, 40 th

Court, Girgaon, Mumbai under Sections 363, 342, 324, 354,

323 and 506 (Part II) of the IPC. A Discharge Application was

preferred by the Respondent No. 2 stating that no offence is

made out under Section 363 of the IPC. Learned ACMM, vide

order dated 03.10.2006, rejected the discharge application and

committed the case to the Court of Sessions which got

registered as Sessions Case No. 858 of 2006.

(c) Being aggrieved by the order dated 03.10.2006,

Respondent No. 2 preferred a Revision Application being No.

1261 of 2006 before the Court of Sessions. Respondent No. 2

also filed a Misc. Appln. being No. 244 of 2007 in Sessions

Case No. 858 of 2006 for discharge under Section 366 of the

IPC and for remanding the matter back to the lower Court.

Learned Asst. Sessions Judge, Greater Mumbai, by order

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dated 10.04.2007, rejected the Misc. Application being No. 244

of 2007 filed by the Respondent No. 2.

(d) Aggrieved by the order dated 03.10.2006 and

10.04.2007, Respondent No. 2 preferred a Criminal

Application being No. 1340 of 2007 before the High Court. On

25.04.2007, when the said application came up for hearing

before a learned single Judge of the High Court, Respondent

No. 2 withdrew the same with a request that the trial of the

case should not be proceeded with till the disposal of the

Revision Application before the Sessions Court. Learned

single Judge of the High Court, vide order dated 25.04.2007,

stayed the proceedings till the disposal of the said revision

application.

(e) Vide order dated 04.07.2007, learned Additional Sessions

Judge, set aside the order dated 03.10.2006 while allowing the

revision application filed by Respondent No. 2. The learned

Judge discharged Respondent No. 2 not only in respect of

offence under Section 366 of the IPC but also under Sections

363 and 506(ii) of the IPC. On 13.06.2012, charges were

framed against Respondent No. 2 under Sections 342, 324,

4
323 and 354 of the IPC. Aggrieved by the order dated

04.07.2007, the appellant preferred a Criminal Writ Petition

being No. 3766 of 2012 before the High Court. Learned single

Judge of the High Court, vide order dated 06.05.2013,

dismissed the writ petition filed by the appellant.

(f) Aggrieved by the judgment dated 06.05.2013, the

appellant has preferred this appeal before this Court.

3) Heard Mr. Siddharth Luthra, learned senior counsel for

the Appellant and Mr. Mahesh Jethmalani, learned senior

counsel for Respondent No. 2 and Mr. Nishant R.

Katneshwarkar, learned counsel for the respondent-State.

Point(s) for consideration:-

4) The only point for consideration before this Court is

whether in the present facts and circumstances of the case,

the appellant has made out a case for inclusion of Section 366

of the IPC in the charges framed or not?

5) We have heard the arguments advanced by both the

sides and perused the records.

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Rival contentions:-

6) Learned senior counsel for the appellant contended that

the incident took place on 06/07.09.2003 and FIR got

registered on 12.09.2003 on the complaint made by the

appellant. Further, the appellant gave a supplementary

statement on 16.02.2004 and if the complaint and the

supplementary statement is taken in its true perspective, no

case has been made out for the discharge of Respondent No. 2

in respect of the alleged offences under Sections 366, 363 and

506(ii) of the IPC.

7) In support of his contention, learned senior counsel for

the appellant has relied upon Cref Finance Ltd. vs. Shree

Shanthi Homes (P) Ltd. and Another (2005) 7 SCC 467. He,

therefore, contended that the impugned order as also the order

of the Sessions Court discharging Respondent No. 2 be set

aside by this Court.

8) Learned senior counsel for Respondent No. 2, however,

submitted that there is no whisper in the complaint on the

basis of which FIR was registered on 12.09.2003 regarding

commission of offences under Sections 366, 363 and 506(ii) of

6
the IPC and the supplementary statement given by the

appellant after about 5 (five) months is only an afterthought

just to implicate Respondent No. 2 under other Sections also

and, therefore, it cannot be relied upon.

9) Learned senior counsel for Respondent No. 2 referred to a

decision of this Court in Dharam Pal and Others vs. State

of Haryana and Another (2014) 3 SCC 306 and submitted

that the order passed by the High Court and the Sessions

Court not call for any interference.

Discussion:-

10) In the above backdrop, it is pertinent to mention here the

ingredients of Section 366 of the IPC which are as under:-

“366 “Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to
compel her marriage, etc.—Whoever kidnaps or abducts
any woman with intent that she may be compelled, or
knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled, to marry
any person against her will, or in order that she may be
forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be
likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse,
shall be punished with imprisonment of either description
for a term which may extent do ten years, and shall also be
liable to fine; and whoever, by means of criminal
intimidation as defined in this Code or of abuse of authority
or any other method of compulsion, induces any woman to
go from any place with intent that she may be, or knowing
that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit
intercourse with another person shall be punishable as
aforesaid.”

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In order to constitute the offence of ‘abduction’ a person must

be carried off illegally by force or deception, that is, to compel

a person by force or deceitful means to induce to go from one

place to another. The intention of the accused is the basis and

the gravamen of an offence under this Section. The volition,

the intention and the conduct of the accused determine the

offence; they can only bear upon the intent with which the

accused kidnapped or abducted the woman, and the intent of

the accused is the vital question for determination in each

case. Once the necessary intent of the accused is established,

the offence is complete, whether or not the accused succeeded

in effecting his purpose, and whether or not the woman

consented to the marriage or the illicit intercourse.

11) Apart from this, to constitute an offence under Section

366 IPC, it is necessary for the prosecution to prove that the

accused induced the complainant woman or compelled by

force to go from any place, that such inducement was by

deceitful means, that such abduction took place with the

intent that the complainant may be seduced to illicit

intercourse and/or that the accused knew it to be likely that

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the complainant may be seduced to illicit intercourse as a

result of her abduction. Mere abduction does not bring an

accused under the ambit of this penal section. So far as

charge under Section 366 IPC is concerned, mere finding that

a woman was abducted is not enough, it must further be

proved that the accused abducted the woman with the intent

that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she

will be compelled to marry any person or in order that she may

be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse or knowing it to be

likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse.

Unless the prosecution proves that the abduction is for the

purposes mentioned in Section 366 IPC, the Court cannot hold

the accused guilty and punish him under Section 366 IPC.

12) We are of the considered opinion that the essence of all

the applications and orders filed before the courts below is

same. There is no point in considering that in all the courts

below, the other applications filed by Respondent No. 2 were

not brought to the notice of the court at this stage. In this

view of the matter, it would be appropriate if we would confine

9
our discussion to the applicability of Section 366 of the IPC in

the present facts and circumstances of the case.

13) In the case at hand, the appellant herein and Respondent

No. 2 were in a relationship. On 06.09.2003, the appellant

herein and Respondent No. 2 attended a birthday party of one

of their friends. As per the allegations in the complaint, in the

early hours of 07.09.2003, when all the friends proceeded

towards the venue for dinner, Respondent No. 2 herein, in

order to drop her to the venue, took her to his house at Cuffe

Parade, Mumbai and asked her to get down from the car.

When she refused for the same, Respondent No. 2 forcibly

pulled her out of the car and lifted her up and took her to his

house and put her on his bed. After this, Respondent No. 2

herein started saying “I love you and why are you not marrying

me” and started beating her with his hands and belt. He also

hit her head across the wall. As a result, she sustained

injuries on her person. At around 2 a.m., when the father of

Respondent No. 2 returned home, he took the appellant herein

to her home. On 12.09.2003, FIR was got registered under

various Sections of the IPC. One week thereafter, i.e. on

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19.09.2003, a further statement was given by the appellant,

after explaining the facts to her mother wherein the appellant

has made out a case of being molested. Her explanation that it

was not stated earlier due to embarrassment does not inspire

confidence as FIR was lodged five days’ after the incident and,

therefore, she lodged the same with due deliberation. Again,

why within one week thereafter she thought of mentioning

about the molestation and did not feel embarrassed now?

There is no explanation for that. The act of pulling out the

appellant herein from the car of Respondent No. 2 was

witnessed by the watchman. In this view of the matter, it is

apparently clear that the allegation is confined to aspect of

Respondent No. 2 herein forcibly taking her to his house.

However, the allegations of removing her clothes and touching

her inappropriately or molestation was added afterwards.

This Court has time and again held that mere abduction does

not bring an accused under the ambit of Section 366 IPC. It

must be proved that the accused abducted the woman with

the intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be

likely that she will be compelled to marry any person or in

11
order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse

or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to

illicit intercourse. It is evident on record that Respondent No.

2 and the appellant herein were in a relationship which was

known to their families also. The primary allegations are that

Respondent No. 2 took her forcibly to his house. But it was not

with intent to seduce her to illicit intercourse. Actually, as per

the prosecutrix, Respondent No. 2 first expressed his love for

her and afterwards he started beating her with waist belt and

using his hands which fact is evident on record. The

statement of being molested at the hands of Respondent No. 2

was not given at once and was given later. The very same acts

of Respondent No. 2 do not show his intent to abduct her in

order to marry her against her will or to force her or seduce

her to illicit intercourse.

14) Even if it is proved that Respondent No. 2 forcibly took

her to his house, but the later version that his intention was to

marry her or to force or seduce her to illicit intercourse is

clearly an afterthought. At the highest, the case can be put

that both of them were in a relationship and due to sudden

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outbreak of emotions or due to sense of insecurity on the part

of Respondent No. 2, the above act was done. Further, the

decisions relied upon by learned senior counsel for the parties

have no application to the facts of the present case.

15) In view of the foregoing discussion, we are of the opinion

that the charge under Section 366 of the IPC is not

maintainable and the High Court was right in upholding so.

We are in agreement with the order passed by the High Court.

However, since the matter is pending since 2003 and is still at

the stage of charge framing, we deem it appropriate to direct

the trial Court to conclude the trial within 6 (months) from the

date of passing of this judgment. It is also made clear that the

observations recorded in this judgment are for the purpose of

applicability of Section 366 of the IPC only and trial Court

shall decide the matter on merits. The appeal is dismissed.

……………….………………………J.

(A.K. SIKRI)

…….…………………………………J.

.

(R.K. AGRAWAL)
NEW DELHI;

APRIL 24, 2018.

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