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'Absence Of Injury On Prosecutrix Implies Her Consent For Sex' : P&H HC Upholds Acquittal In Rape Case [Read Judgment]

Akshita Saxena
21 Oct 2019 11:33 AM GMT
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Stating that absence of injury on the person of the prosecutrix would lead to an inference that she was a consenting party to sexual intercourse, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday refused to grant Leave to Appeal against the judgment of acquittal in a rape case.

"Medical Expert…has stated that there was chances of recent sexual intercourse with the prosecutrix…the doctor did not find any injury on the person of the prosecutrix, from which, it can be inferred that she was a consenting party to the sexual intercourse. There is no corroborative evidence to the testimony of the prosecutrix that she was victim of rape…in these circumstances, we inclined to extend the benefit of doubt to the respondents," the division bench of Justices Jaswant Singh and Lalit Batra said.

Interestingly, the Supreme Court has on previous occasions held that bodily injuries on victim are not necessary to prove the offence of Rape. In Krishanv. State of Haryana (Crl Appl No. 1342/2012) a two Judge Bench of Supreme Court comprising of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice N.V. Ramana observed that the charge of rape will sustain even if there is no injuries on the body of the victim.

The application was filed by the Chandigarh Administration seeking Leave to Appeal from the judgment of acquittal passed by the Additional Sessions Judge-cum-Judge Special Court, Chandigarh, whereby the Respondent-accused persons had been acquitted for the offences under Sections 363, 366, 120-B, 376-D, 342 of IPC.

It was the prosecution's case that the Respondent-accused persons namely, Amit, Suraj, Kannu and Vikas had abducted the Complainant's daughter at knife point from a Jagran. It was also alleged that they confined her in a jhuggi for two days and gang raped her.

The allegations were refuted by the defence which claimed that the prosecutrix was romantically involved with one of the accused, Amit and that they had been falsely implicated by her parents, in order to "teach them a lesson".

The trial court had discharged the Respondent-accused persons stating that the evidence produced by the Prosecution was weak and that the case could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Upholding the above order, the high court also pointed out various irregularities in the prosecution's case.

"We are of the view that the prosecutrix in this case was neither kidnapped nor abducted. The story of the prosecution put forward in the trial court looks to be highly improbable. The defence version is probable," the court said.

The court expressed its skepticism as to the prosecutrix's abduction from a crowded occasion such as a Jagran. It said,

"It is not established by the prosecution that how from assembly/crowd of 'Jagran', the accused could manage to abduct her. It is not the case of prosecution that 'Jagran' was concluded at around 11/12 P.M. As such, the prosecutrix was supposed to sit in the gathering of 'Jagran' till its conclusion. It is not cleared by the prosecutrix how she came in the company of the accused and how the accused branded a knife on her in order to abduct her."

Further stating that, if the prosecutrix had actually been taken away without consent and had been illegally confined, she must have, like any prudent person, raised an alarm.

"If the prosecutrix was wrongly confined at the house of accused…for about two days, she should be the first person to raise hue and cry. It is not the case of prosecution that prosecutrix was given any intoxicant, by virtue of which, she lost her senses for two days and was not in a position to raise noise. Therefore, in the absence of any intoxication, the prosecutrix was able to raise hue and cry in case she kept confined forcibly in the house of Shanti for two days."

In these circumstances, the court held that there was no infirmity in the trial court's decision and refused to allow the application for Leave to Appeal.

The Chandigarh Adminsitration was represented by APP Ashima Mor and the Respondents by Advocate Sanjeev K. Arora.

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