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Sochen Kumar @ Sachin Kumar Yadav vs The State Of Bihar on 27 March, 2018

Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT PATNA

Criminal Appeal (SJ) No.404 of 2015
Arising Out of PS.Case No. -24 Year- 2012 Thana -DHAM DAHA District- PURNIA

Sochen Kumar @ Sachin Kumar Yadav, S/o Sri Sadanand Yadav, resident of
Village- Nandgram, P.S.- Dhamdaha, District- Purnia.

…. …. Appellant/s
Versus
The State of Bihar

…. …. Respondent/s

Appearance :

For the Appellant/s : Mr. Praveen Kumar Agrawal- Advocate
Mr. Santosh Kumar Singh-Advocate
For the Respondent/s : Mr. Sujit Kumar Singh-A.P.P.

CORAM: HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ADITYA KUMAR TRIVEDI
ORAL JUDGMENT
Date: 27-03-2018

Appellant Sochen Kumar @ Sachin Kumar Yadav has

been convicted for an offence punishable under Section 366A of the

I.P.C. and sentenced to undergo R.I. for seven years as well as to pay

fine appertaining to Rs.5,000/- and in default thereof, to undergo R.I.

for one year, under Section 376 of the I.P.C. and sentenced to undergo

R.I. for ten years as well as to pay fine appertaining to Rs.10,000/-

and in default thereof, to undergo R.I. for two years, additionally, with

a further direction to run the sentences concurrently vide judgment of

conviction dated 21.05.2015 and order of sentence dated 23.05.2015

passed by the 2nd Additional Sessions Judge, Purnia in Sessions Trial

No.907 of 2012/ 27 of 2014.

2. PW-5, Damodar Prasad Yadav, filed written report
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 2

on 13.04.2012 disclosing therein that his youngest minor daughter

(name withheld) has gone to appear in Intermediate Science

Examination on 05.04.2012 at High School Dhamdaha, but could not

return. Firstly, he thought that after examination, she might has gone

to relative and so, did not take it seriously. But, as she has not

returned, he became anxious in tracing her out and during course

thereof, he came to know that his co-villager Sochen Kumar in

association with his friend Dablu Singh @ Prabhat Singh kidnapped

his daughter, whereupon he rushed to the place of Sadanand Yadav

and his wife (parents of Sochen) and enquired whereupon, they

scolded, abused and further, directed to leave.

3. After registration of Dhamdaha P. S. Case No.24 of

2012, investigation commenced and during course thereof, victim was

recovered having in company of appellant/ accused from Delhi, her

medical examination was done, her statement under Section 164 of

the Cr.P.C. was recorded, other witnesses were also examined and

after completing the same, chargesheet was filed facilitating the trial

which concluded in a manner, subject matter of instant appeal.

4. Defence case, as is evident from mode of cross-

examination as well as statement recorded under Section 313 of the

Cr.P.C. is that of complete denial. Furthermore, it has also been

pleaded that victim was a consenting party, which she was able to
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 3

accord being above the 16 years of age and that being so, neither it

happens to be a case of kidnapping nor rape. However, neither ocular

nor documentary evidence has been adduced in defence.

5. In order to substantiate its case, prosecution had

examined altogether ten PWs, who are PW-1, Kulanand Yadav, PW-

2, Dr. Jalaj Kumar Yadav @ Dr. Jalaj Kumar, PW-3, Suchita Devi,

PW-4, Dr. Skindha Priyadarshni, PW-5, Damodar Prasad Yadav, PW-

6, Mohan Lal Yadav, PW-7, Surendra Prasad Yadav, PW-8, the

victim herself, PW-9, Lalan Paswan and PW-10, Saroj Kumar. Side

by side, had also exhibited as Exhbit-1, medical report, Exhibit-2,

written report, Exhibit-3, statement recorded under Section 164 of the

Cr.P.C., Exhibit-4, formal F.I.R. As stated above, neither ocular nor

documentary evidence has been adduced on behalf of defence.

6. The learned counsel for the appellant while assailing

judgment of conviction and sentence impugned has submitted that no

offence under Section 366A of the I.P.C. nor under Section 376 of the

I.P.C. is made out. It has further been urged that occurrence happens

to be dated 05.04.2012 that means to say, before amendment having

effected in the Year 2013 and so, as per Clause-VIth of Section 375 of

the I.P.C., the age of valid consent at the end of the alleged victim was

that of 16 years. From the statement recorded under Section 164 of the

Cr.P.C. (Exhibit-3), it is apparent that victim herself had disclosed her
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 4

date of birth as 25.02.1996, which PW-1 during course of cross-

examination had also re-iterated. The alleged occurrence is of the

dated 05.04.2012, so, certainly victim had already crossed the barrier

of 16 years and so, was competent enough to accord consent.

Furthermore, it has also been submitted that though victim (PW-8)

had alleged that while she was under custody of appellant, was raped,

but her conduct suggests that she was a consenting party and whatever

been deposed by her appears to be under the influence of her guardian

and that being so, the finding of the learned lower Court identifying

the appellant to be guilty under Section 376 of the I.P.C. is not at all

found maintainable.

7. In same vein, learned counsel for the appellant has

submitted that no offence under Section 366A of the I.P.C. is made

out in the background of the fact that law requires that kidnapping

should be for the purpose of getting the victim indulged in a sexual

activity with other than the kidnapper. In this particular case,

appellant himself has been arrayed as a kidnapper and so, the

subsequent activity could not justify the finding having been recorded

by the learned lower Court. Then, it has been submitted that in terms

of Section 375 of the I.P.C. where age of 16 years has been found

valid in order to recognize consent in the aforesaid background, if the

conduct of the victim is found inclining towards the accused, then in
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 5

that circumstance, question of kidnapping would not arise. That being

so, appellant neither could be held guilty for offence punishable under

Section 366A of the I.P.C. nor under Section 363 of the I.P.C. Last

but not the least, it has been submitted that the appellant remained

under custody for more than four years. In the aforesaid background,

lenient view be taken considering the conduct of the victim.

8. On the other hand, learned Additional Public

Prosecutor while supporting the finding recorded by the learned lower

Court has refuted the submission having been advanced on behalf of

learned counsel for the appellant and submitted that once victim had

declined to accept suggestion having at the end of the appellant that

she was a consenting party, then in that circumstance, appreciation of

evidence should be in the aforesaid background. After going through

the evidence, it is evident that victim was taken away by the appellant

in deceptive manner and then, was raped against her will, consent and

so, appellant has rightly been convicted and sentenced for.

9. It is needless to say as being settled at rest by catena

of decision that the evidence of victim lies on upper pedestal and

unless and until, there happens to be cogent reason to discredit her

testimony, it should be accepted. While observing so, the prevailing

Indian social fabric whereunder chastity of a woman is found more

valuable than the soul, is carry scar, humiliation, stigma, having her
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 6

own prestige as well as prestige of her family at stake coupled with

the disgraceful treatment of the victim of rape in the society are some

of the circumstance, which has been taken into consideration while

observing and that happens to be reason behind that so far rape cases

are concerned, delay in institution of the case has not been considered,

hazardous to the prosecution unless and until circumstances so speak

and in likewise manner, the evidence of the victim, unless and until

appears to be suffering from inherent improbability, should not be

treated in same manner while dealing with the evidence of the other

witnesses. More recently in State of Himachal Pradesh vs. Sanjay

Kumar alias Sunny reported in 2017 CRI.L.J. 1443, it has been

held:-

“31. After thorough analysis of all relevant and attendant

factors, we are of the opinion that none of the grounds, on

which the High Court has cleared the respondent, has any

merit. By now it is well settled that the testimony of a victim

in cases of sexual offences is vital and unless there are

compelling reasons which necessitate looking for

corroboration of a statement, the courts should find no

difficulty to act on the testimony of the victim of a sexual

assault alone to convict the accused. No doubt, her

testimony has to inspire confidence. Seeking corroboration

to a statement before relying upon the same as a rule, in

such cases, would literally amount to adding insult to
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 7

injury. The deposition of the prosecutrix has, thus, to be

taken as a whole. Needless to reiterate that the victim of

rape is not an accomplice and her evidence can be acted

upon without corroboration. She stands at a higher

pedestal than an injured witness does. If the court finds it

difficult to accept her version, it may seek corroboration

from some evidence which lends assurance to her version.

To insist on corroboration, except in the rarest of rare

cases, is to equate one who is a victim of the lust of another

with an accomplice to a crime and thereby insult

womanhood. It would be adding insult to injury to tell a

woman that her claim of rape will not be believed unless it

is corroborated in material particulars, as in the case of an

accomplice to a crime. Why should the evidence of the girl

or the woman who complains of rape or sexual molestation

be viewed with the aid of spectacles fitted with lenses

tinged with doubt, disbelief or suspicion? The plea about

lack of corroboration has no substance {See Bhupinder

Sharma v. State of Himachal Pradesh (2003) 8 SCC 551}.

Notwithstanding this legal position, in the instant case, we

even find enough corroborative material as well, which is

discussed hereinabove.”

10. In the aforesaid background, now evidences are to

be seen. PW-4 is the doctor, who had examined the victim on

01.05.2012 and found hymen old ruptured and on the basis thereof,
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 8

she had not ruled out indulgence of victim under sexual activity/

raped. Moreover, from the medical report (Exhibit-1), it is apparent

that on interrogation, victim had herself disclosed the last date of

intercourse as 27.04.2012.

11. One more thing which comes out from the aforesaid

Exhibit-1 in consonance with the evidence of PW-4 is that in spite of

being Gynaecologist, PW-4 had estimated age of the victim in

between 14 to 17 years, but not above 17 years and on that very score,

though there happens to be no cross-examination, but the finding

recorded by the PW-4 in absence of constitution of the Medical Board

consist of Radiologist, Orthopaedist, General Physician including

Gynaecologist put question mark over the aforesaid finding as being a

Gynaecologist, she would not have possessed an expertise on that

very score. However, after cross-examination of PW-1, who under

Para-10 of his cross-examination had disclosed the date of birth of

victim to be 25.02.1996, as per certificate and during cross-

examination of PWs, it is apparent that prosecution had not

controverted the same that means to say, on the date of alleged

occurrence, victim was more than 16 years of age.

12. Now, coming to ocular evidence, it is evident that

out of PW-1, PW-2, PW-3, PW-5, PW-6, PW-10, none are an eye

witness to the alleged occurrence. What they have deposed happen to
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 9

be on the basis of information having gathered by them during course

of searching of the victim as well as after recovery of the victim as she

disclosed the event, which she confronted during the intervening

period.

13. Now, the case hinges on the sole testimony of PW-

8, the victim. She during her examination-in-chief had stated that on

the alleged date, she had gone to Dhamdaha High School to appear in

Intermediate Examination. After examination, when she came out,

Sachin Kumar met in midst of way, who directed her to accompany,

failing which, also threatened to kill. She was not inclined to join his

company, but on her threatening that he will kill her, followed. Then

thereafter, he offered roasted eatable and forced her to eat. After

eating, she became unconscious. When she regained sense, she found

locked in a room. Later on, she came to know that she was at Purnia

and that room belonged to Dablu Singh. On 6th April, she was taken to

Purnia Station, boarded in a train and then, took her to Delhi where

she was kept at the place of Bablu Singh, brother of Dablu Singh. 3-4

days, she was confined in that room, then thereafter she was shifted to

another place. He used to assault. During intermediary period, she was

raped. On 28.04.2012, police came and rescued her along with Sachin

Kumar, took her to police station and then to Dhamdaha Police

Station. Then thereafter, she was taken to Purnia Sadar Hospital
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 10

where she was medically examined, statement was also recorded

before the Magistrate (exhibited), identified the accused. During

cross-examination at Para-2, she had stated that their first meeting was

on 25.02.2012, on which date, he had offered ‘Litti’ after eating the

same, she became nervous and then, she was taken to a Banana field

by Sachin, who committed rape on her. In Para-4, she had stated that

he committed rape twice or thrice. She is unable to disclose the owner

of the Banana field, but same was by the side of the road. In Para-8,

she had stated that in between 25.02.2012 to 04.04.2012, she had

occasion to see Sachin face to face, but being in company of friends,

got no opportunity to meet. She had not disclosed with regard to the

occurrence, which she faced at an earlier occasion to her friends. In

Para-10, she had further stated that they were not on mobile. In Para-

12, she had stated that centre of examination as well as Bus Stand

both lies in the market itself. After coming out from examination

centre, she met with Sachin. She is not remembering the name of his

shop. At that very time, Sachin was alone. The place was lonely. It

was Animal Husbandry Hospital. In Para-13, she had disclosed the

way to her village from the examination centre. She had also

disclosed that shortest route happens to be through the Animal

Husbandry Hospital. In Para-14, she had stated that she was going

alone as she had left her friend. She had denied the suggestion that
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 11

Sachin had informed her that he will be alone on that road since

before, so she on her own, came to him. In Para-15, she had stated

that remembering the incident having been committed at his end

previously, she became confused whether to ignore, to run away, or to

raise alarm. In Para-16, she had further stated that Sachin had

disclosed that he will not indulge in such kind of activity. She had

further stated that even re-collecting the incidence of accepting ‘Litti’

by her, even then, she had accepted roasted eatable. In Para-17, she

had stated that after two hours, she regained sense. At that very time,

she was at Purnia while she was going to Purnia Station, father of

Sachin, maternal uncle of Sachin, Dablu Singh and 3-4 unknown

persons accompanied them. Purnia Railway Station is a Junction.

Large numbers of passengers were there. Whether police was there or

not, she is not remembering as she was nervous. She again disclosed

that she is unable to say how many hour after regaining sense, she

became nervous. In Para-18, she had stated that they have gone

through Simanchal Express. It was a sleeper coach. All seats were

full. She is not remembering whether Ticket Collector, police

personnel were present or not. She had not raised alarm as she was

nervous. In Para-19, she had stated that she was nervous, therefore,

she happens to be unable to disclose at which station, they got down.

How she had gone therefrom, is not remembering. In Para-20, she had
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 12

stated that during course of her statement before the police, she had

stated that at the time of boarding and de-boarding, she was not

conscious. In Para-21, she had stated that she had not married with

Sachin. She had further stated that at the time when police recovered

her, no vermilion was over her head. She remained with Sachin for

10-15 days at Delhi. She remained unconscious. She is not

remembering when she remained conscious and when she remained

unconscious. She is unable to disclose whether food was provided by

Sachin and at how many days. She had said that after seeing face of

Sachin, she recollected that he had committed rape on her. In Para-22,

she had stated that the place where she was residing at Delhi, was

densely populated. She was unable to disclose furthermore as she was

kept confined in a room. Whether she remained alone in the room

along with Sachin, she was not remembering. Bathroom was attached.

There was no cooking utensils, food was taken from outside. In Para-

23, she had stated that Sachin brought food. Usually, she did not take

the same, but sometimes Sachin forced her to eat. Whether she took

food daily, she is not remembering. In Para-24, she had stated that 4-5

Thana lies in between way Dhamdaha to Purnia. As she was nervous,

so, she had not raised alarm. Then had denied the suggestion that she

was very much affectionate with Sachin and on account thereof, she

was adamant to marriage with him, which was resisted by her family
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 13

members and in the aforesaid background, she took Sachin, gone to

Delhi did marriage and then, began to lead happy marital life.

Subsequently, having been pressurized at the end of her family

members, she had deposed in such manner.

14. PW-9 is the I.O., who had deposed that after

registration of the case, he was entrusted with the investigation and

accordingly, proceeded there with. Recorded statement of the

witnesses, seen the place of occurrence, during course of

investigation, he was confidentially informed that victim is residing at

Quarter No.378, J. J. Indira Camp, Sriniwaspuri, whereupon after

taking permission from superior official proceeded to Delhi, met with

Officer-in-Charge of Sriniwaspuri P.S., a raiding party was

constituted, raid was conducted and victim along with Sachindra

Kumar were apprehended. Then thereafter, on the basis of the transit

warrant, they returned back. Victim was medically examined, she was

examined under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C. and then thereafter,

completing the investigation, submitted chargesheet. During cross-

examination at Para-3, he had stated that it was a room 6′ x 10′

having no attached bathroom, kitchen. Cloth of boy as well as girl was

there. In Para-4, he had stated that when they reached at the room,

door was opened. Accused was coming out from the room while girl

was sitting. She was in Samiz and Salwar. At Para-7, he had stated
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 14

that when they reached, they have not found vermilion over her head.

There was no bridal dress. He had not inquired with regard to

presence of Sari, Saya and blouse. At Para-12, she had stated that after

seeing them, the girl began to weep. They have not inquired why she

was weeping. In Para-17, he had disclosed that victim was residing at

upper floor of the house.

15. Amendment under different Sections of the Penal

Code, Evidence Act including other laws, was made effective from

the date of publishing in the Gazette of India i.e. 02.04.2013 and that

being so, it was effective there from being prospective in nature. The

date of occurrence of present case happens to be dated 05.04.2012 and

that being so, it was before the aforesaid amendment. At the relevant

time, the definition of rape was in following way Section 375 of the

I.P.C.:-

“1[375. Rape.–A man is said to commit “rape” who,

except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual

intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling

under any of the six following descriptions:–

(First) — Against her will.

(Secondly) –Without her consent.

(Thirdly) — With her consent, when her consent has been

obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is

interested in fear of death or of hurt.

Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 15

(Fourthly) –With her consent, when the man knows that he

is not her husband, and that her consent is given because

she believes that he is another man to whom she is or

believes herself to be lawfully married.

(Fifthly) — With her consent, when, at the time of giving

such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or

intoxication or the administration by him personally or

through another of any stupefying or unwholesome

substance, she is unable to understand the nature and

consequences of that to which she gives consent.

(Sixthly) — With or without her consent, when she is under

sixteen years of age. Explanation.–Penetration is

sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to

the offence of rape.

(Exception) –Sexual intercourse by a man with his own

wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not

rape.]”

16. From the evidence available on the record, it is

crystal clear that victim was not knowing since before that today raid

is going to be conducted and she along with appellant were to be

apprehended. This has got significance in the background of the fact

that on each and every occasion while she was cross-examined over

crucial point to explore whether she was a consenting party or not, she

used to say that she was unconscious or nervous, so was unable to say.
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 16

That means to say, on the alleged date on which, police conducted

raid without pre-information, she should have been continuing with

the aforesaid situation, but neither she on her (PW-8) nor the I.O.

(PW-9) had stated that at that very time, she was nervous or semi-

conscious or unconscious. In the aforesaid background, her assertion

that she was unconscious or semi-conscious or nervous during the

intermediary period, appears to be reliable. That being so, her conduct

has to be seen whether she was consenting party or not? She

proceeded without any resistance nor tried in order to raise alarm to

rescue herself, even while boarding train, getting down at Delhi,

remaining at Delhi, whereupon would be found to be a consenting

party while enjoying the company of the appellant Sachin.

17. In Tameezuddin @ Tannu vs. State (N.C.T. of

Delhi) reported in (2009) 15 SCC 566, it has been held:-

“9. It is true that in a case of rape the evidence of the prosecutrix

must be given predominant consideration, but to hold that this

evidence has to be accepted even if the story is improbable and

belies logic, would be doing violence to the very principles which

govern the appreciation of evidence in a criminal matter. We are

of the opinion that story is indeed improbable.”

18. Consequent thereupon, the judgment of conviction

and sentence recorded by the learned lower Court is set aside. Appeal
Patna High Court CR. APP (SJ) No.404 of 2015 dt.27-03-2018 17

is allowed. Appellant is on bail, hence is discharged from its liability.

(Aditya Kumar Trivedi, J)
Vikash/-

AFR/NAFR A.F.R.
CAV DATE N.A.
Uploading Date 29.03.2018
Transmission 29.03.2018
Date

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