15 April 2022 12:12 PM GMT
The Calcutta High Court has recently set aside the conviction for the offence of rape under Section 376 of the IPC after observing that since no marks of injury had been found on the body or private parts of the victim, the allegation of 'forcible rape' is not sustainable. Justice Bibek Chaudhuri noted that the victim had been examined by the concerned Medical officer after 12 days of...
The Calcutta High Court has recently set aside the conviction for the offence of rape under Section 376 of the IPC after observing that since no marks of injury had been found on the body or private parts of the victim, the allegation of 'forcible rape' is not sustainable.
Justice Bibek Chaudhuri noted that the victim had been examined by the concerned Medical officer after 12 days of the occurrence of the incident.
Noting that no marks of violence had been found on the body of the victim, the Court remarked,
"The prosecutrix was examined by the Medical Officer after 12 days of occurrence. She did not find any marks of violence in her private part or any portion of her body. Had it been a case of forcible rape where the prosecutrix tried her best to resist the accused, there is every possibility of having some kind of injury on different parts of her body. The medical officer did not find any injury in any part of the body of the prosecutrix."
Opining further that it would be 'highly risky' to sustain the conviction of the accused in the absence of medical evidence, the Court underscored,
"..the evidence of the prosecutrix is not supported by the medical evidence and in such a case it would be highly risky to sustain conviction of the accused. For the reasons stated above, this Court is of the view that the accused is entitled to get benefit of doubt."
The Court also took note of the fact that the during the investigation, the concerned investigating officer had seized some pieces of white bangles from the alleged place of occurrence which the victim had subsequently identified to be her own bangles.
The victim had deposed that on January 3, 2012 at about 1.30 pm while she was taking bath, the accused had embraced her forcibly and dragged her inside the bush and committed rape upon her. However, during the proceedings, the counsel for the accused had contended that if the accused had dragged the victim inside the bush as alleged, she must have sustained some injuries on her legs and lower part of the body which was however not the case.
The Court also noted that the victim had made a statement before the concerned Magistrate on January 7, 2012 that the accused had taken her inside the jungle on his lap and thus she was not dragged by the accused.
Reliance was also placed on the Supreme Court decision in Rai Sandeep @ Deepu v. State of NCT of Delhi wherein the Apex Court had held that only when the evidence of the prosecutrix is found to be of "sterling quality", court can rely on her sole testimony to convict the accused.
The Court further underscored that time and again the Supreme Court has echoed a caution that the considering the gravity of the offence, the evidence of the prosecutrix is to be considered with great care and circumspection.
Case Title: Sambhu Das v. The State of West Bengal & Anr
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Cal) 123
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