The statement of the prosecutrix, if found to be worthy of credence and reliable, requires no corroboration: Madhya Pradesh High Court

The sole testimony of the victim is absolutely trustworthy and unblemished and her evidence is of sterling quality. After careful examination of all the material/evidence available on record, it is found that the appellant abducted the prosecurtix, and committed sexual intercourse with her forcefully: This was said in the case of Santosh @ Chumman vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh [Cr.A.No.158/2015] by Justice Rajendra Kumar Srivastava in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh.

The facts of the case date back to 03.01.2015 when trial judge convicted the appellant under 366 (A) and 376(1) of IP and awarded sentences for 10 years’ R.I. in each offence with fine of Rs.2,000/- and 3,000/- respectively. Assailing the judgment of the trial Court, an appeal under Section 374(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code was filed by the appellant.

The appellant contended that the prosecutrix was in relationship with the appellant and she had voluntary sexual intercourse with him. The prosecutrix wandered with the appellant at many places but she did not raise any alarm which shows her consent. Secondly, it was contended that the family members of the prosecutrix were demanding Rs.2,00,000/- from the appellant and due to non- providing of the same, this false case has been registered against him. Thirdly, it was contended that there is no direct evidence against the present appellant and therefore, benefit of doubt ought to have been given to the appellant.

On the other hand, the respondent-State opposes the submissions of appellant’s counsel submitting that the offences committed by the appellant/accused are heinous in nature and therefore, the trial Court has rightly convicted him. He contended that it is well established from the statement of the prosecutrix and prosecution witness that forceful intercourse was done with the prosecutrix. Secondly, it was contended that the FSL report also indicates presence of semen in the articles seized from the prosecutrix as well as appellant/accused.

The Court referred to the case of Raj Sandeep v. State (NCT of Delhi) [(2012) 8 SCC 21] wherein it was said that “witness can be called as a “sterling witness” whose version can be accepted by the court without any corroboration. To be more precise, the version of the said witness on the core spectrum of the crime should remain intact while all other attendant materials, namely, oral, documentary and material objects should match the said version in material particulars in order to enable the court trying the offence to rely on the core version to sieve the other supporting materials for holding the offender guilty of the charge alleged”

On evaluating the deposition of the victim on the touchstone of the law laid down by the Court in the above decision, the Court opined that “The statement of prosecurtix is duly corroborated by the medical report of prosecurtix as well as statements of the prosecution witness. The defence witness made some aspersion on the character of the prosecurtix and also made allegation of demanding rupees 2 lakh by the prosecurtix for turning hostile, but that wouldn’t be enough to presume that statement of the prosecutrix is not reliable and that it has been done by the prosecutrix unless the same is proved by some cogent evidence”. Hence, the appeal is disposed off.

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