2 Sep 2022 10:35 AM GMT
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday upheld the life sentence awarded to a man who had raped his own 12-year-old niece in the year 2008. Noting that the accused was the real uncle of the victim, the Court remarked thus:"The factual matrix of this appeal is unfortunately related to a sordid and obnoxious incident, where the appellant, who is the real uncle of the victim, raped his...
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday upheld the life sentence awarded to a man who had raped his own 12-year-old niece in the year 2008. Noting that the accused was the real uncle of the victim, the Court remarked thus:
"The factual matrix of this appeal is unfortunately related to a sordid and obnoxious incident, where the appellant, who is the real uncle of the victim, raped his niece, a girl child of the tender age of 12 years. The result was that the sacred relationship of uncle and niece was besmirched. Such offenders are a menace to the civilised society and have to be dealt with strictly as per law. It is an act, which is not only a blow to her supreme honour and offends her self-esteem and dignity, it degrades and humiliates the victim and where the victim is a helpless child or a minor, it leaves behind a traumatic experience. Such crime is not only a crime against a minor innocent child, rather it is a crime against the entire society."
With this, the bench of Justice Sureshwar Thakur and Justice N. S. Shekhawat dismissed an appeal filed by the accused (Chaman Lal Chimnu) against the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Kurukshetra.
The facts in brief
On August 19, 2008, when the complainant (father of the victim) and his wife (mother of the victim) had gone to Kurukshetra for taking the medicines, the victim's uncle Chaman Lal @ Chimnu (appellant/accused) had entered their house and after turning out her younger brothers and sisters, he had forcibly taken the 'victim' inside the room, after catching her from her arms.
The accused committed rape upon her and thereafter, he went away and threatened that he would kill the victim, in case she reported the matter to anybody. On the next day, when the complainant and his wife saw his daughter lying silently and fearfully on the cot, they enquired from her gently, on which she started weeping and told about the incident.
The matter was reported to the police and the victim's statement was recorded and the accused was arrested. Thereafter, the police found sufficient incriminating evidence against the appellant/accused and presented the final report under Section 173 of the CrPC.
The accused opted not to lead evidence in his defence during the course of the trial. Vide the impugned judgment and order passed by the court of Additional Sessions Judge, Kurukshetra, the appellant was held guilty under Sections 376, 452, and 506 IPC and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Against his conviction, the accused moved to the High Court.
The Court didn't find any substance in the argument of the accused that he had been implicated in the case over some ancestral property dispute. The Court also found that the 'victim' had narrated the entire incident in her testimony and her testimony inspired confidence.
The Court also opined that it was inconceivable that a girl of 12 years of age would invent on her own a false story of sexual assault/rape upon her by her own real uncle and that it was unthinkable that the parents would tutor their minor daughter to concoct such a story in order to wreak vengeance on some one
"They would not do so for the simple reason that it would bring down their own social status in the society apart from ruining future prospects of their own child. They would also be expected to be conscious of the traumatic effect on the psychology of the child and the disastrous consequences likely to ensue when she grows up. We, therefore, refuse to countenance the suggestions made by the learned defence counsel that the appellant had been falsely roped at the instance of the father of the victim," the Court remarked.
Consequently, rejecting the evidence of PW-10 Ashok Kumar and PW-11 the 'victim' on the basis of minor discrepancies, which are bound to creep in the testimonies of truthful witnesses, the Court found no substance in the arguments raised by the counsel for the appellant and thus, the present appeal was dismissed, being devoid of any merit.
Case title - Chaman Lal Chimnu v. State of Haryana [CRA-D-700-DB-2010]
Citation:2022 LiveLaw (PH) 242
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