Intention and Preparation to commit rape amounts to an attempt to commit rape: Jharkhand High Court dismisses the Appeal

There is always an intention to commit a crime, preparation to commit, and the last attempt to commit the crime. If the third stage that is attempt is successful, then the crime is complete. In case, the attempt fails the crime is not complete but the law punishes the person attempting the act which is punishable under section 511 of the Indian Penal Code. A single-judge bench consisting of Justice Anubha Rawat Chaudhary while adjudicating the matter in Mathura Thakur vs. The State of Jharkhand [Crl. A. No.166/1994] dealt with the issue.

The facts of the case are that the Appellant is aggrieved by the impugned Judgment by which the Appellant was convicted for the offense under Section 376/511 of the Indian Penal Code and sentenced to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment for 7 years and to pay a fine of Rs.5,000/- and in default in payment of fine, to undergo Rigorous Imprisonment for a further period of 1 month. Under IPC Section 376 states that: (1) whoever, except in the cases provided for by sub-section (2), commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the woman raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which case, he shall be punished with the imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or both.

Petitioner’s Counsel advanced the argument at the time of the incident the far began (mother of the victims) was sleeping inside the room. The court finds that there is evidence on record that it was Holi on the day the incident took place and the petitioner had come to their house in the night calling the victim father’s name and was informed by the mother that he was not present in the House and shut the door of the House.  It has also been proved that the petitioner forcibly removed the clothes of the victim girls and when they protested, he gave threats to their lives. However, while raising the alarm, her mother came out of the house and saw the petitioner adjusting his underwear and fleeing away. When the mother chased the petitioner, he entered his house and closed the door from the inside. On raising alarm by the mother, other neighbors came there to whom the mother narrated about the occurrence and when her husband returned from the market, she narrated the entire occurrence to him also.

Further, the Court finds that the sequence of the occurrence along with the evidence available on the records of the case establishes that beyond any reasonable doubt that the petitioner was determined to commit rape upon the victims, made full preparation for the same by sleeping beside the minors on the same cot.

Upon considering the aforesaid facts, the court dismissed the appeal and stated that “There being no perversity or illegality in the impugned judgments of conviction and sentence, no interference is called for. Considering the nature of offense and the way it has been committed, any lenient view in the matter of sentence will defeat the ends of justice as substantial justice has been done by the impugned judgments”.

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