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Rape conviction of 19 Year Old boy set aside as there was a possibility of false Implication: Bombay High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 16 May 2019 3:00pm

Rape conviction of 19 Year Old boy set aside as there was a possibility of false Implication: Bombay High Court

 

The Bombay High Court recently set aside conviction of a 19-year-old in a rape case. The accused was given benefit of doubt and summarized that the only testimony of the victim cannot be relied upon because there were talks of marriage between the victim and the accused. There was a lack of any strong evidence.

The criminal appeal was filed by Sunil Shelke from Thane district, which was submitted in Thane jail. Justice Revati Mohite Dere was hearing the appeal and Shelke was convicted under Section 376 and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment by the Sessions Court in Thane.

According to the prosecution, on March 10, 2009, on the festival of Holi, the victim was celebrating outside, 3 accused including the appellant took her to a nearby river, which had approx 10 min of walking distance and the appellant raped her on the spot.Thereafter, the appellant held her and the next morning she removed the appellant's hand and returned home, after he fell asleep.

According to the victim, her relatives were looking for her the whole night and after her return, she told about the incident to her parents. After which there was some kind of settlement took place between the parties in writing. She contended that as the appellant has refused to marry her, led her to file a complaint against the appellant for offences punishable under Sections 366A, 376(2)(g), 341, 504, 506 r/w 34 etc., of the Indian Penal Code.

After the investigation, the appellant and the other two co-accused were arrested. It was submitted that prosecution had miserably failed to prove that the victim was a minor, below 16 years at the time of the incident tat took place. It was further submitted that the medical injuries does not corroborate the allegations of rape; that the Settlement Deed does not show that the appellant raped her, it only shows that they were together through the night. Court stated that on the basis of these evidence, conviction of the appellant cannot be held and that the victim's testimony exhibit that she was not able to state her date of birth, and had earlier stated that in 2009 she was approx 15 years age. Dr.Gavanda, the medical expert who examined the victim shows that she has developed permanent teeth and second molar was prsent and that Molar teeth comes up at the age of 16 to 18 and he also admitted in his cross-examination that the girl can be somewhere 17 ½ years at the time of the incident.

Court observed that Head Master of victim's school where she studied for 3 years showed that he had made an entry stating the victim's date of birth as July 28, 1994. After examining all the evidence on record, Court stated that "In the facts, having regard to the evidence on record, what was stated by the prosecutrix as rape, may not have the same connotation of 'rape' as defined in Section 375 of the I.P.C. And Dr.Anil Gavanda, the Medical Officer who examined the prosecutrix, in the column of 'History of alleged rape/kidnapping given by victim in her own words' has mentioned "Not specified".  And under the column of 'Injuries on her private parts/breasts' it is stated as "Not Detected". As far as the settlement is concerned, there is nothing in this document, which indicates that the appellant had raped the victim. All that the said document suggests is that the victim was with the appellant during the said night, which the appellant accepted and paid a fine of Rs.1,051/-. Therefore, there is nothing in the Settlement Deed to even remotely suggests, that the appellant had raped the prosecutrix. Justice Dere summarized that the chances of the appellant being falsely implicated for rape, cannot be excluded, as the marriage did not took place. Therefore, the conviction was set aside and appeal was allowed.

Tagged: rape   falseimplication   bombayhighcourt   Justice Dere   section376  
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