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State (Govt Of Nct) vs Sujeet on 24 April, 2019

#1

INTHEHIGHCOURTOFDELHIATNEWDELHI

Judgmentdeliveredon:24thApril,2019

CRL.L.P.683/2018CRL.M.A.34712/2018(Delay)
STATE(GOVTOFNCT)…..Petitioner

versus

SUJEET…..Respondent
Advocateswhoappearedinthiscase:
ForthePetitioner:Mr.RaviNayak,APPforStatewithSIMonika
(InvestigatingOfficer),SIRaviKumar,PS-Karawal
Nagar.

FortheRespondent:Mr.ChetanLokur,Adv.withrespondentinperson.

CORAM:
HON’BLEMR.JUSTICESIDDHARTHMRIDUL
HON’BLEMS.JUSTICEANUMALHOTRA
JUDGMENT

SIDDHARTHMRIDUL,J(OPENCOURT)

CRL.M.A.34712/2018(Condonationofdelay)

1.ThepresentapplicationunderSection5oftheLimitationAct,1963,
readwithSection482oftheCodeofCriminalProcedure,1973,filedon
behalfoftheapplicant/State,seekscondonationofdelayof47daysinfiling
theaccompanyingappeal.

2.Issuenotice.

3.Mr.ChetanLokurlearnedcounselacceptsnoticeonbehalfofthe
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.1of12
non-applicants/respondentsandfairlydoesnotopposetheapplication.

4.Forthereasonsstatedintheapplication,whicharedulysupportedby
anaffidavitandintheinterestofjustice,thesameisallowed.Thedelayof
47daysinfilingtheaccompanyingappealiscondoned.

5.Theapplicationisdisposedofaccordingly.
CRL.L.P.683/2018

1.ThepresentCRL.L.P.683/2018underSection378(3)SectionoftheCodeof
CriminalProcedureseeksleaveofthisCourttoimpugnbywayofanappeal
thejudgmentandorderdated25.05.2018passedbythelearnedJudge,
SpecialCourt(POCSOAct),KarkardoomaCourts,wherebythesolitary
respondentwasacquittedofallchargesframedagainsthim,onthefinding
that,theprosecutionhadfailedtoproveitscasebeyondreasonabledoubt.

2.Brieflyencapsulated,theallegationsagainsttherespondentwerethat
on21.01.2016,theprosecutrixPW-4agedabout16yearsand06monthsis
allegedtohaveleftherresidentialhouseat12:15amwithoutinforming
anyone.Itwasfundamentallythecaseoftheprosecutionthattherespondent
hadkidnapped,wrongfullyconfinedtheprosecutrixatdifferentlocations
andrapedher.Thesumandsubstanceofthetestimonyoftheprosecutrix
beforethetrialCourtwasthattherespondenttelephonedheratabout11-
11:30pmonthatday,onhermother’smobilephone,andaskedhertoopen
thegateoftheirresidentialdwelling.Itwasfurtherasseveratedthatuponthe
prosecutrixvoluntarilyopeningthemaingateoftheresidentialdwelling,the
respondentmadehersmellsomething,consequentuponwhich,shewas
renderedunconscious.Itwasfurtherdeposedonbehalfoftheprosecutrix
thatshecametohersensesonlydayslateronthe24.01.2016whenshe
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.2of12
foundherselfatarailwaystationnearBareillyinUttarPradesh.The
testimonyoftheprosecutrixgoesontostatethattherespondentbroughther
inacardrivenbyanunidentifiedpersontoafactoryinGhaziabadon
28.01.2016.Itisstatedbytheprosecutrixthatherfatherhadalready
providedhisnumbertotheownerofthesubjectfactory,whoinformedthe
formeruponmeetingwiththeprosecutrixatthesaidplace.

3.ThetrialCourtbywayofitsdetailedjudgmentessentiallydetermined
twocardinalissuesthataroseinthefactsandcircumstancesofthecase.

4.Havingconsideredtheevidenceavailableontherecord,thefirst
questiondeterminedbythetrialCourtwasinrelationtotheageofthe
prosecutrixonthedateofthecommissionoftheoffence.

5.Inthisbehalf,thetrialCourtfoundasfollows:-

“28.Inordertoprovetheageofvictim,theprosecution
hasexaminedPW8KrishanPalKashyap,Managerfrom
BharatModelPublicSchool,TundaNagar,Johripur,
Delhi.Hehadbroughttheadmissionrecordinrespectof
victim.Thecopyofadmissionformofvictimwas
Ex.PW8/A.Victimwasadmittedinclass1stintheir
schoolon10.04.2006videentryno.808.Copyof
admissionregisterwasEx.PW8/B.Hedeposedthatas
pertherecords,thedateofbirthofvictimwas
22.07.1999.Atthetimeofadmissionofvictim,herfather
hadgivenanundertaking,whichwasEX.PW8/C.

29.Duringhiscrossexamination,headmittedthatatthe
timeofadmissionofvictim,nocertificateissuedbyMCD
oranyothergovernmentauthoritywasobtainedin
respectofvictimandthedateofbirthgivenbyherfather
wastakentobecorrect.Noindependentinquiry
regardingherdateofbirthwasconductedbytheir
school.

CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.3of12

30.Therefore,fromthetestimonyofthiswitness,itis
apparentthattheonlybasisofrecordingtheageofvictim
wastheundertakinggivenbyherfatherwhereinhehad
statedherdateofbirthtobe22.07.1999.Boththemother
andfatherofvictimwereexaminedbeforethecourt.

31.ThefatherofvictimappearedasPW5andduring
hiscrossexamination,hedeposedthathedidnot
possessanybirthcertificateorhoroscopeofvictim.He
admittedthatatthetimeofadmissionofvictim,hegot
heragerecordedintheschoolbyapproximation.He
deniedthatatthetimewhenvictimwentmissing,she
wasmorethan18yearsofage.

32.MotherofvictimappearedasPW10andduringher
crossexamination,sheadmittedthatshewasnothaving
anyMCDcertificateorcertificateissuedbyany
authorityregardingtheageofvictim.Shealsoadmitted
thatshehadmentionedtheageofvictimasper
approximationandasperherknowledge.Shethen
statedthatherapproximationregardingtheageof
victimwascorrect.Shedeniedthatatthetimeof
registrationofFIR,victimwasmorethan18yearsof
age.

33.Therefore,inthepresentcase,atthetimeof
admissionofvictiminschool,heragewasrecordedon
thebasisofanundertakinggivenbyherfather.The
fatherandmotherofvictimhavedeposedthattheywere
notsureabouttheageofvictimandfatherofvictimhad
admittedthatatthetimeofheradmission,hehadgiven
heragebyapproximation.

34.Inexactlysimilarfacts,theHon’bleDelhiHigh
CourtinthejudgmentofSectionStatev.Rajpal@Raj(supra)
hasheldasunder;

CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.4of12

7.Onthequestionofageoftheprosecutrix,we
findthattheissueishighlydebatableandnot
establishedbeyonddoubt.Prosecutrixinher
courtdepositionhasgivenherdateofbirthas
10thOctober1996.Thesaiddateofbirthwas
recordedintheschoolrecordsproducedby
RameshChander(PW13).Butbeforewereferto
thestatementofPW-13,wewouldliketocite
RavinderSingh(PW-7),whohadstatedthatthe
prosecutrixhadtakenadmissioninIIndclassin
theB.SConventSchoolatShivRamPark,
Nangloiintheyear2004.Afterstudyingfortwo-
threeyears,sheleftandtookadmissionina
Governmentschool.Incrossexamination,PW-7
acceptedthatatthetimeofadmissionparentsof
theprosecutrixdidnotprovideanydocumentary
evidenceorproofofdateofbirth.Healso
acceptedascorrectthatintheschoolrecords
thedateofbirthwasnotmentioned.Thismeans
thatdateofbirthoftheprosecutrixwasnot
recordedormentionedintherecordsofB.S.
ConventSchoolwheretheprosecutrixwas
admittedforstudiesforthefirsttimeintheyear
2004.

8.RameshChander(PW-113),RecordKeeper,
hadproducedtherecordsmaintainedinthe
GovernmentGirlsSeniorSecondarySchool,JJ
Colony,Nangloi.Thisincludedadmission
register(ExhibitPW-13/A),admissionform
(ExhibitPW-13/B)andtheaffidavitfurnishedby
thefatheroftheprosecutrix(ExhibitPW-13/C).
Thesaidaffidavitrecordsandmentionsthedate
ofbirthoftheprosecutrixas10thOctober,1996.
Itisapparentthatonlyonthebasisofthesaid
affidavitthedateofbirthwasrecordedas10th
October,1996intheschoolrecords.Kiran(PW-

3),motheroftheprosecutrixinherexamination
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.5of12
inchiefhadstatedthatshedidnotrememberthe
dateofbirthofherdaughter,i.e.,the
prosecutrix.Inhercrossexamination,she
acceptedthatshehadanotherdaughterAnshu,
whohadgotmarriedfiveyearsbackandhada
child.She,however,claimedthatAnshuwas
marriedattheageoffifteenyears.Shealso
deposedthatAnshuhadexpiredrecentlyfrom
jaundice.RamPal(PW-4),thefatherinhis
crossexaminationacceptedascorrectthathe
didnothaveanydocumentaryproofastothe
dateofbirthoftheprosecutrixandhadalsonot
furnishedanydocumentaryproofatthetimeof
admission.Thesefactscreatedoubtaboutthe
ageoftheprosecutrix.Noossificationtestwas
conductedinthepresentcase.

35.Therefore,itisverymuchclearthattheHon’ble
DelhiHighCourthasheldthatwhereatthetimeof
heradmission,theageofvictimhasbeenrecordedby
approximation,theschoolrecordwouldnotbea
conclusiveproofofherageandlikeinthatcase,in
thiscasealso,noossificationtestwasconducted.

36.Itisalsotobenoticedthatvictim,duringhercross
examination,hadstatedthatitmightbepossiblethatat
thetimewhenshewentwithaccused,shewasmore
than18years.”

6.Inviewofthefindingsextractedhereinabove,thetrialCourt
answeredthisquestionbyobservingthattheprosecutionhadfailedto
establishthattheageoftheprosecutrixatthetimeofthealleged
commissionoftheoffencewaslessthan18years.Consequently,thetrial
Courthasreturnedafindingthattheaccusedcouldnothavebeencharged
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.6of12
undertheprovisionsoftheProtectionofChildrenfromSexualOffences,
Act2012.

7.ThesecondandequallygermaneissuedeterminedbythetrialCourt
wasquathechargeofkidnappingframedagainsttherespondent.Inthis
behalf,thetrialCourtexpresseditsopinionpredicatedontheevidence
producedbytheprosecutionandthetestimonyinteraliaoftheprosecutrix
inthefollowingwords:-

“39.Comingonthechargeofkidnapping.Victim
deposedthaton21.01.2016atabout11/11.30p.m.
accusedmadeaphonecallathermother’sphone,which
waskeptnearher.Sheattendedthecallandaccused
askedhertomeethim.Heaskedhertoopenthegateof
herhouse.Sheopenedthegateofherhouse,hemade
hersmellsomethingandshebecameunconsciousand
thenaccusedtookheraway.Whenshecametoher
senseson24.01.2016,shefoundherselfatarailway
stationnearBareilly,U.P.Thereafter,accusedhad
broughtherinacar,drivenbysomeperson,toafactory
atGhaziabad.Sheagaindeposedthatshewasbrought
toGhaziabadon28.01.2016andshedidnotremember
wheresheremainedwithaccusedintheintervening
period.

40.Duringhercrossexamination,sheadmittedthat
sometimessheusedtotalktoaccusedonphone.She
alsoadmittedthatshedevelopedfriendshipwith
accusedandhadnotrevealedthisfacttoherparents.
Shefurtherdeposedthaton21.01.2016,itwasnotpre
decidedthataccusedwouldcallheratnight.Thatnight,
shehadkeptthemobilephoneofhermotherwithher.

Theyusedtosleeponthegroundfloor.Therewasonly
oneentrygateintheroomwheretheyusedtosleepand
thenasmallgalleryandthenthemaingate.Therewas
anentrytotheshopfromherhousewhichwaslocked
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.7of12
frominsideduringthenight.Thekeyofthelockusedto
bekeptbyhermotherbeneathherpillow.Onthatnight,
shestealthilytookoutthekeyandopenedthegate
withoutdisclosinganythingtoherparents.Shefurther
deposedthatonecouldgetaTSRfromjustneartheir
housebutduringnight,itwasdifficulttofindaTSR.She
admittedthattherailwaystationwasacrowdedplace.
On21.01.2016,itwaswinternightandshewaswearing
asweaterandshawl.Therewerepeoplearoundthe
railwaystationwheresheregainedhersenses.She
neverraisedanyalarmthereorsoughtanyhelpfrom
anypublicperson.Theystayedattherailwaystationfor
fourdaysandtheytookfoodattherailwaystation.

41.Therefore,victiminherexaminationinchiefhad
statedthataccusedhadmadeatelephonecalltoher,
askedhertoopenthegateandsheopenedthegateof
herhouseandimmediatelythereafter,accusedmadeher
smellsomethingwhereuponshebecameunconscious.
However,herfirststatement,whichwasrecorded,after
herrecovery,wasexhibitedduringhercross
examinationbyId.Addl.PPasEx.PW4/PA.Inthat
statement,shestatedthatshediscreetlycameoutofher
houseandthensheandaccusedeloped.Thereafter,
accusedtookherbytraintodifferentplacesanditis
thenshestatedthataccusedhadmadehersmell
somethingandthenshelosthersenses.Therefore,there
isacontradictionbetweentheinitialstatementofvictim
andherexaminationinchiefbeforethecourt.Asperthe
examinationinchief,immediatelyonhercomingoutof
herhouse,accusedmadehersmellsomethingandshe
becameunconsciouswhereasasperEx.PW4/PA,which
wasrecordedu/s161SectionCr.P.C,shestatedthatafter
comingoutofherhouse,sheandaccusedeloped(hum
bhaggaye).Thefactofvoluntarinessisalsoreflected
fromthatpartofthetestimonywhereshestatesthat
accusedusedtotalktoheronhermother’sphoneand
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.8of12
onthatnight,shehadkeptthephonewithher.Although
shehaddeniedthatitwaspredecidedthataccused
wouldcallherbutherconductofkeepingthephoneof
hermotherwithherpointsotherwise.Hervoluntariness
isfurtherreflectedfromthefactthatshestealthilytook
thekeyfromunderneaththepillowofhermotherand
wentoutofthehousewithoutdisclosinganythingto
anyone.Therefore,ontheonehand,itisestablishedthat
victimhadgonevoluntarilywithaccusedandonthe
otherhand,accusedadministeringanystupefying
substancetovictimimmediatelyonhercomingoutof
herhouse,standsincontradictionwithherinitial
statementandalsoincontradictiontoherstatementu/s
164SectionCr.P.Cwheretheallegationsofadministeringsome
stupefyingsubstanceandbeingabductedthereafter,are
completelymissing.Onthecontrary,victimhadstated
thatsheusedtotalktoaccusedandaccusedranaway
withher(Sujitmujhekahinbhagakarlegaya).
Therefore,Ifindthattheprosecutionhasfailedtoprove
thataccusedhadabductedthevictimafter
administeringsomestupefyingsubstanceandonthe
contrary,thedefencehassuccessfullyraiseda
probabilitythatvictimhadvoluntarilyelopedwith
accused.”

8.Aperusalofthefindingselaboratedhereinaboveclearlyand
unequivocallyleadustotheconclusionthattheprosecutrixleftwiththe
respondent,ofherownfreewill.Ourviewisfortifiedbythefollowing
circumstances:-

a.thatsheopenedthegateoftheresidentialdwelling
voluntarily
b.thatsheadmittedtohavebeenbefriendedbythe
respondentpriortothedateofthecommissionofthe
offence.

c.thattheprosecutrixadmittedthatonthefatefulnight,
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.9of12
shestealthilytookoutthekeyoftheresidential
dwellingandhavingopenedthegate,leftwiththe
respondentwithoutdisclosinganythingtoherparents.
d.thattheprosecutrixadmittedlystayedwiththe
respondentforfournightsatarailwaystationwhich
fromherowntestimony,wasadmittedlyacrowded
place.

9.Theprosecutrixalsocategoricallytestifiedthatatnostageduringher
allegedlyforcedstaywiththerespondent,hadsheeverraisedanalarm.

10.ThelastissuethatcameupforconsiderationbeforethetrialCourt
wasthechargeunderSection376IPC.Inthisregard,theprosecutrixdidnot
specificallydeposeabouttherespondenthavingcommittedrapeonher.Her
testimonyclearlyreflectsthatshestatedthatshedidnotknowifthe
respondentdidanythingwithherforthefirstfourdayswhenhetookheras
shewasunconsciousbutforthenextfourdayswhenshewasinhersenses,
therespondentdidnotdoanythingwithher.

11.Inthisbehalf,itcouldalsobegermanetoobservethatthetrialCourt
cametoaconclusionthatthefactthattherespondenthadsexualintercourse
withtheprosecutrixhasnotbeenspecificallystatedbyherbutshestated
thatwhensheregainedherconsciousness,shewasfeelingpaininher
privateparts.Inthisbehalf,itwascorrectlyobservedbythetrialCourtthat
thescientificevidenceintheformoftheFSLreportEx.PW16/1clearly
reflectsthattherespondenthadsexualintercoursewiththeprosecutrix,
therefore,beggingthequestionastowhetherthesamewastantamountto
rapeorwasconsensualintercourse.Inthisbehalf,thevictimhaddeposed
thatshehadbeenconsciousforfourdaysduringherallegedlyillegal
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.10of12
custodybytherespondentfrom28.01.2016buttherespondentdidnothave
sexualintercoursewithherduringthattime.Theprosecutrix,however,
testifiedthatduringtheprecedingfourdayssubsequentuponherabduction
shewasunconsciousanddidnotrememberwhethershehadbeenrapedby
therespondent.

12.Inthisregard,thetrialCourtcametothefollowingfindings:-

“47.However,asdiscussedabove,theallegationsof
victimthatshewasadministeredsomestupefying
substanceandsheremainedunconsciousareundera
cloudofdoubt.Itisnotclearwhenandhowaccusedhad
administeredanystupefyingsubstancetovictimbecause
asperthevictim,duringherexaminationinchief,
immediatelyoncomingoutofthehouse,shewasmadeto
smellsomethingandthenshelostherconsciousness.
However,asperherinitialstatementEx.PW4/PA,she
wenttodifferentplaceswithaccusedinatrainandinthe
train,accusedadministeredsomestupefyingsubstanceto
her.However,shealsoadmittedthatduringtheperiod,
theywerejourneyinginthetrain,theygotdowntohave
foodandtherefore,duringthatperiod,shecouldnothave
beenunconscious.Shealsoadmittedthattheyremainedat
theplatformandduringtheperiodtheywereatplatform,
theyconsumedfoodandalsoadmittedthatshedidnot
raisealarmanddidnotseekanyhelpfromanyone.
Therefore,ithasnotbeenprovedbeyondallreasonable
doubtsthatvictimremainedunconsciousforabout04
days.

48.Theconductofvictiminstayingwithaccused,allowing
theaccusedtoputvermiliononherheadasasymbolofa
marriageandelopingwithaccusedofherownwill,all
pointtowardsthevoluntarinessofvictim.

49.Iaccordinglyfindthatthepossibilityofsexual
CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.11of12
intercoursewithvictim’sconsentcannotberuledoutand
therefore,theprosecutionhasfailedtoprovebeyondall
reasonabledoubtsthataccusedhadsexualintercourse
withvictimagainstherwillorconsent.”

13.Aplainreadingoftheabovefindings,withwhichweagree,leaveno
mannerofdoubtthattheprosecutionhasbeenunabletoestablishthefactum
ofthesexualintercoursebetweentheprosecutrixandtherespondent,and
furthertheconductoftheprosecutrixunwaveringlypointtowards
voluntarinessonthepartoftheformer,intheentireaffair.

14.Evenotherwise,aperusaloftheevidenceonrecordleadsustoone
unescapableconclusion,thattheprosecutionhasfailedtoprovebeyond
reasonabledoubt,thecommissionoftheoffencebytherespondentagainst
theprosecutrixagainstherwillorwithoutherconsent.

15.Inviewoftheaforegoingdiscussion,weareoftheconsideredview
thattheimpugnedjudgmentdoesnotcallforanyinterference.The
applicationforgrantofleavetoappeal,beingdevoidofmeritsinthefacts
andcircumstancesofthecase,isaccordinglydismissed.

SIDDHARTHMRIDUL,J

ANUMALHOTRA,J
APRIL24,2019
vm

CRL.L.P.683/2018pageno.12of12

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