The Pradhan of the Panchayat is a public representative, if the parties are very poor or illiterate or even assuming that the mother did not want to lodge any complaint we are clearly of the view that the Pradhan being the head of the village should have herself lodged the complaint …… We are clearly of the view that public representatives who do not refer such complaints to the police have no business to remain on their posts, the bench said.
Upholding the conviction of a person who was accused of raping his own nine year old daughter, the Tripura High Court made some pertinent observations about public authorities who do not forward the complaints, public make to them, to the police. First bench of the High Court comprising of Chief Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice U. B. Saha apparently said that if the victims are very poor or illiterate, the concerned public authorities, should themselves lodge the complaint.
The court said that, it is shocking that even the Pradhan of the Panchayat before whom such a serious allegation was made, did not herself make a complaint to the police. “The victim in this case was a nine year old girl and obviously this girl could not have herself lodged the complaint. We are clearly of the view that the Pradhan who was informed about the ….. should have informed the police about the same immediately. This is a very serious issue. And we are clearly of the view that public representatives who do not refer such complaints to the police have no business to remain on their posts”, the bench said.
The main issue in this appeal against the conviction recorded by the Trial court, wherein the accused was convictedunder Section 376(2)(f) of the IPC and sentenced him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 10(ten) years and fine, was whether the statement of the victim-child should be relied upon or not?
The court, after perusing the records of chief examination and cross examination of the child-victim, said “The child has given very clear answers. She appears to be intelligent. Even in cross-examination she has clearly stated what she knows and what she does not know. ….The statement of this child has a ring of truth to it and we cannot brush aside “
The court further said that the statement of the victim read with the statements of other witnesses leave no manner of doubt that this victim was subjected to the most horrible of crimes imaginable. It is indeed almost unimaginable that a human being can fall to such depths of depravity, the court said.
Read the Judgment here.