SC and HC Judgments Online at MyNation

Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Sahebrao Devidas Guddhe And 3 … vs State Of Maharashtra,Thr.Its … on 23 August, 2018

CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 1 Judgment

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY,
NAGPUR BENCH, NAGPUR.
CRIMINAL APPEAL No. 431/2002
1. Sahebrao Devidas Guddhe,
aged 35 years.
2. Manohar s/o Wamanrao Thakare,
aged about 41 years.
3. Kisan Motiram Vighe,
aged about 47 years.
4. Balya @ Ramesh Bhimrao Bhende,
aged about 30 years.
All resident of Dongar Yawali,
Tahsil Morshi District : Amravati. APPELLANTS

…..VERSUS…..
The State of Maharashtra,
through its S.O. Morshi, District : Amravati. RESPONDENT

Shri Sumit Joshi, Advocate holding for Shri A.S. Mardikar, Senior Advocate for
the appellants.
Shri Shyam Bissa, Additional Public Prosecutor for the respondent.

CORAM : A.S. CHANDURKAR, J.
DATE ON WHICH ARGUMENTS WERE HEARD : 4 TH AUGUST, 2018.
DATE ON WHICH JUDGMENT IS PRONOUNCED : 23 RD AUGUST,2018.

JUDGMENT

This appeal under Section 374 of the Code of Criminal

Procedure, 1973 is at the instance of the appellants-accused, who have

been convicted for having committed the offence punishable under

Section 376(2)(g) of the Indian Penal Code (for short, ‘the Penal Code’).

The appellants have been sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for

ten years and to pay fine of Rupees Two Thousand each, in default to

suffer further rigorous imprisonment for a period of three months.

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::

CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 2 Judgment

2. The case of the prosecution is that the prosecutrix-‘R’ was

married with one Gulab and she had a son and a daughter from that

marriage. As her husband had contracted a second marriage, ‘R’ was

residing with her father and brother in the field of one Sukhdeo Raut.

She was working in that field and was acquainted with persons of village

Dongar Yawali. The accused were hailing from the same village and ‘R’

was also acquainted with them. According to the prosecution, on

04.05.1996, at about 9.00 p.m., when ‘R’ was going from the field to the

house of Sukhdeo Raut, she observed that accused no.3-Kisan Vighe was

driving an autorickshaw in which accused no.1-Sahebrao Gudadhe,

accused no.2-Manohar Thakare and accused no.4-Balya @ Ramesh

Bhende were sitting. On being asked by the accused as to where she was

going, ‘R’ replied that she was going to the house of Sukhdeo Raut.

Accused no.1 thereafter got down from the autorickshaw and by

pressing her mouth put her in the autorickshaw. The other accused

held her and hence ‘R’ was not able to rescue herself. She was taken to an

agricultural field under a mango tree. Accused no.1 removed her saree

and spread it on the ground after which accused no.4 caught her one

hand while accused no.3 caught her other hand. Thereafter, all the

accused committed rape on her. ‘R’ could not free herself because of the

force used by the accused. She was threatened that if she disclosed the

incident, she would be killed. ‘R’ thereafter put on her saree and blouse

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::
CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 3 Judgment

and the accused left her near the village. In the same condition, she went

to the house of Sukhdeo Raut and disclosed the incident to him. Sukhdeo

Raut asked her to stay at his house and told her to submit the report on

the next day. Accordingly, she approached the concerned Police Station

on 05.05.1996 and lodged the report at about 1.40 p.m. The crime was

accordingly registered and necessary investigation was undertaken.

Further, accused nos.1 to 3 were arrested on 05.05.1996 and were

referred for medical examination. On 09.05.1996, accused no.4 was

arrested and he was referred for medical examination. After completing

the investigation, charge-sheet came to be filed. The accused did not

plead guilty and were accordingly tried. At the conclusion of the trial, the

accused came to be convicted in the manner stated hereinabove by the

judgment dated 29.07.2002. The accused were however acquitted of

having committed offence punishable under Section 506 read with

Section 34 of the Penal Code and under Section 3(1)(xii) of the

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act,

1989. Being aggrieved, the accused have challenged their conviction.

3. Shri Sumit Joshi, learned counsel for the appellants,

submitted that the evidence on record was not sufficient to prove the

case of the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. There were various

inconsistencies in the evidence of the prosecution. The field where the

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::
CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 4 Judgment

prosecutrix was staying was owned by Sukhdeo Raut who was on

inimical terms with the accused and therefore, at his instance, they

had been implicated. It was submitted that the medical report of ‘R’

did not indicate any injuries on her private parts and therefore, the

story of the prosecution that the act of rape was committed by all the

accused was not probable. There was also a delay in lodging the

report inasmuch as, the alleged incident occurred at 9.00 p.m. on

04.05.1996 while the report was lodged at about 1.40 p.m. on

05.05.1996. The seizure of the saree has not been duly proved nor was

it identified by the prosecutrix. The report of the Chemical Analyzer

also did not contain any material that would connect the accused

with the crime in question. Though it was the case of the prosecution

that ‘R’ was taken in the autorickshaw and had passed through the

village, ‘R’ did not shout for any help which rendered the case of the

prosecution doubtful. The version of the prosecutrix did not inspire

confidence and when that version is considered along with the evidence

on record, it could not be said that a case for conviction of the appellants

had been made out. The learned counsel placed reliance on the decisions

in Banti alias Balvinder Singh Versus State of Madhya Pradesh [1992

Cr.L.J. 715] and Sampad alias Srustidhar Mallick another Versus State

[2001 Cr.L.J. 793].

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::

CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 5 Judgment

4. Shri Shyam Bissa, learned Additional Public Prosecutor for the

State, supported the judgment of the trial Court. According to him, there

was no reason for the prosecutrix to falsely implicate the accused

considering the nature of allegations. Mere absence of injuries on her

private parts would not make the case of the prosecution doubtful

especially when according to the Medical Officer, the prosecutrix being

married was habituated to sexual intercourse. The report of the Chemical

Analyzer clearly indicates the involvement of the accused inasmuch as,

the samples of the semen collected by the prosecution matched the semen

stains found on the saree of the prosecutrix. It was thus submitted that

the trial Court rightly convicted the accused in the light of the evidence

on record.

5. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length and

with their assistance I have perused the records of the case. The

prosecutrix-‘R’ has been examined at Exhibit 29. She deposed about the

manner in which the accused had forcibly taken her from the field where

she was working to the place where the alleged act was committed. She

has stated that all the accused committed sexual intercourse without her

consent. She has stated that after the incident, she put on her saree and

was left by the accused near Dongar Yawali after which they went away.

She has further deposed that she had narrated the incident to Sukhdeo

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::
CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 6 Judgment

Raut who had told her that the report should be lodged on the next day.

In her cross-examination, she has denied the suggestion that the accused

used to come to the field of Sukhdeo Raut for daily work. In her cross-

examination, it was suggested to her that there was darkness in the

autorickshaw and that there were orange gardens on both sides of the

spot where she was restrained. It is then suggested to her that the field

where she was taken by the accused was ploughed and that the accused

had forcibly pulled her towards the spot. She admitted that she did not

have any injuries on her person except pains in her private parts. She had

denied the suggestion that on the day of the incident, there was a quarrel

between the accused persons and Sukhdeo and that the report was

submitted at his behest. She denied the suggestion that she had lodged

the report along with Sukhdeo.

6. The prosecution has examined Sukhdeo Raut as PW4 at

Exhibit 41. He has stated that ‘R’ was working at his field and that she

had come to his house around midnight on the said date. On enquiry

with her, she disclosed the incident to him. He has deposed that he asked

the prosecutrix to stay at his house and submit the report on the next day.

On the next morning, ‘R’ went to the field. In his cross-examination, this

witness has denied various suggestions put forth by the defence. He has

denied the suggestion that there was quarrel with the accused on the

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::
CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 7 Judgment

morning of the incident. He has also denied that ‘R’ had gone with him

on his motorcycle to submit the report.

7. The other witnesses examined are with regard to the seizures

effected by the prosecution. The Investigating Officer has been examined

as PW6 at Exhibit 46. He has denied that there was any overwriting in

the report prepared by him. The report of the Chemical Analyzer is at

Exhibit 50. In their statements recorded under Section 313 of the Code,

the accused have simply denied the questions as put to them.

8. Insofar as the occurrence of the incident of rape is concerned,

the same can be gathered from the deposition of PW1-‘R’. She has

deposed in clear terms that the accused committed sexual intercourse

without her consent. In the cross-examination, it has in fact been

suggested to her that the accused had forcibly pulled her towards the spot

of the incident which she admitted to be true. She was medically

examined and the report of the Medical Officer indicates that there were

no external injuries on her body or on her private parts. There was pain

on the right thigh with abrasions thereon. It was opined that as the

prosecutrix was habituated to sexual intercourse, no definite opinion

could be given. Absence of injuries on the prosecutrix by itself would not

be sufficient to disbelieve the case of the prosecution as observed in Ram

Singh Versus State of Himachal Pradesh, [(2010) 2 SCC 445].

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::

CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 8 Judgment

It is well settled that the deposition of the prosecutrix has to

be considered as a deposition of an injured witness and same has to be

viewed on that basis. Unless there are compelling reasons, it would not

be necessary to look for corroboration. The present is not found to be a

case requiring such corroboration.

In the light of the evidence of ‘R’ along with the suggestions

given by the accused of they forcibly pulling her towards the spot, the

finding recorded by the trial Court that the offence of rape under Section

376(2)(g) of the Penal Code had been committed, deserves to be upheld.

The presumption under Section 114A of the Evidence Act, 1872 would

thus come into play.

9. The conduct of the prosecutrix of immediately informing

PW4-Sukhdeo Raut about the incident and he directing the prosecutrix to

lodge the report on the next day has not been very seriously challenged in

the cross-examination. The First Information Report indicates that the

place of occurrence is at a distance of about thirteen kilometers from the

Police Station. The occurrence is at about 9.00 p.m. on 04.05.1996 and

the report has been lodged on the next day at about 1.40 p.m.

Considering the distance between the place of occurrence, the house of

Sukhdeo Raut and the Police Station, it cannot be said that there is a

delay in lodging the report by the prosecutrix which would render the

case doubtful.

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::

CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 9 Judgment

10. The version of the prosecutrix as to the involvement of the

accused in the incident and she being subjected to rape at their instance

is corroborated by the report of the Chemical Analyzer. The report

at Exhibit 50 indicates that the saree that was seized from the

prosecutrix had semen stains. The Blood Group of the prosecutrix is ‘O’.

The said report indicates that the semen stains on the said saree were of

the Blood Groups ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘O’. The Blood Group of accused no.1 is ‘O’,

that of accused no.3 is ‘A’ and the Blood Group of accused nos.2 and 4 is

‘B’. It is thus obvious that the saree that was found having semen stains of

Blood Groups ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘O’ has a definite nexus with the Blood Groups of

the accused persons. It is pertinent to note that this circumstance was put

to all the accused persons in their examination under Section 313 of the

Code and except denial, there is no explanation whatsoever offered by

them. This is a strong independent circumstance which strengthens the

case of the prosecution.

11. Though it has been urged on behalf of the accused that the

saree in question was seized on 05.05.1996 and it was sent for Chemical

Analysis on 10.05.1996, that by itself would not be a circumstance in

favour of the accused. Seizure of the saree has been undertaken by PW5

at Exhibit 42 and except for suggestions with regard to the time of the

seizure, there is nothing much in deposition of that witness that would

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::
CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 10 Judgment

doubt the case of the prosecution. Similarly, according to the accused,

they were implicated at the instance of Sukhdeo Raut as they had a

dispute with him on the day of the incident. Except suggestions in the

cross-examination which have also been denied, there is no other material

to substantiate that contention. In the light of the fact that the accused

were four in number and one of them had pressed the mouth of the

prosecutrix as deposed by her, it was not possible for her to attract the

attention of other villagers. The prosecutrix has also stated that she was

acquainted with the accused as they were residing in the same village.

Thus, their identity also stands established.

12. In the light of aforesaid material on record, it is found that

the trial Court has appreciated the same in the proper perspective. The

omissions sought to be highlighted by the defence have been considered

and found to be minor in nature. The presumption that arises under

provisions of Section 114-A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 has not been

dislodged by the accused. Thus, on re-appreciating the entire evidence on

record, I do not find any reason to hold that the prosecution has not

proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. In the facts of the present case,

the decisions relied upon by the learned counsel for the appellants do not

support his contentions. I do not find any reason to interfere with the

conviction of the appellants.

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::

CRIMINAL APEAL 431/02 11 Judgment

13. Accordingly, the Criminal Appeal stands dismissed. The

judgment dated 29.07.2002 in Sessions Case No.98 of 1997 stands

confirmed. The appellants who are on bail, are granted time of eight

weeks to surrender and serve the sentence imposed on them.

JUDGE

APTE

::: Uploaded on – 23/08/2018 25/08/2018 01:45:24 :::

Leave a Reply

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

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