Appeal preferred by Accused denied on the grounds of lack of substance: Chhattisgarh High Court

Statements of Complainant were not duly rebutted during cross-examination by the Appellant and controverted. The only claim of the Accused was the ingredients of the accused crime was not proved. A single-judge bench comprising Justice Arvind Singh Chandel adjudicating the matter of Dhansai Satnami v. State of Chhattisgarh (Criminal Appeal No.308 of 2017) dealt with whether to allow the present appeal of the accused or not.

In the present case, an appeal is preferred against the judgement passed by Dist. Court where the appellant was convicted u/s 370(3) of the IPC and was sentenced for Rigorous Imprisonment for 10 yrs and fine Rs.500

A written complaint was made by Vijay Kumar Ratre before the Police station of Baradwar alleging that the accused and the co-accused took him and other persons to Uttar Pradesh for manufacturing bricks and providing them with remuneration and other facilities It was told to them that they will get Rs. 475 for manufacturing per thousand bricks as well as they will get residence, medical facilities, kerosene and wood for cooking needs, all free. By giving them such inducement, they were taken to Uttar Pradesh. But they did not get any such facilities or wages as was assured to them by the Appellant and the co-accused. Then, he (Complainant) and other labours did not agree to continue to work there and requested the Appellant and the other co-accused to send them back. But, the Appellant and the other co-accused did not help them in any way. On this, he (Complainant), leaving his family and other labours there, returned home and made the written complaint.

It was submitted by the Appellants that without there being any clinching and sufficient evidence on record, the Trial Court has convicted the Appellant and co-accused. The ingredients of Section-370(3) IPC has not to be proved by the Complainant. There is no evidence on record to show that there was any control of the Appellant over the Complainant or other labours. Therefore, the conviction of the Appellant is not sustainable. The work which was told to be done was only got done and the Complainant and other labours returned only because of not getting certain facilities.

The Respondents submitted that the Complainant and other witnesses have duly supported the entire case of the prosecution and their statements are not duly rebutted in cross-examination. Therefore, the Trial Court has rightly convicted the Appellant.

The court held that “it is clear that all the witnesses remained firm in stating that the present Appellant had come to their village and induced them that they will get wages of Rs.475 for construction of per thousand bricks and will also get different free facilities and because of such inducement only they consented to go to the bricks factory. It is also established that thereafter the Appellant had taken the Complainant and other labours to Saibaba Bricks Factory, Uttar Pradesh. It is also established that the Complainant and other labours were not getting the assured wages and facilities there and, therefore, when the Complainant and other labours requested the Appellant to send them back, he did not help them. Thus, it is clearly established that the Appellant fraudulently exploited the Complainant and other labours by giving them certain inducement for the above-mentioned purpose. Hence, under Section 370(3) of the Indian Penal Code, the offence is duly proved against the Appellant.”

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