Challenging the impugned judgment for the offense committed under the Section 376 of Indian Penal Code: Cuttack High Court

The settled principle of law that an accused can be convicted for an offence of rape based on the sole testimony of the prosecutrix if it is found to be natural, trustworthy, and corroborated by the medical evidence and other circumstantial evidence held by Hon’ble Mr. Justice S. K. Sahoo in the matters of Madhusudan Naik v. the State of Orissa. [JCRLA No. 74 of 2016].

The case arises from the fact that the victim went to excrete at the same time appellant from the backside, caught hold of the victim, and forcibly committed sexual intercourse. On hearing the shout of the victim, other persons grazing cattle nearby came to rescue the victim by the meantime the appellant flew away from the spot. On the same day victim lodged F.I.R under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code registered against the appellant.

Upon the investigation, the appellant was arrested on the send request for medical examination of the appellant as well as the victim. Collected the record of Seized Vaginal Swab and pubic hair of the victim and blood sample, pubic hair, his nail clippings, semen from the appellant during the medical examination. Investigated the spot of the intercourse took place and prepared the spot map. On completion of the investigation, the charge sheet was charged against the appellant under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. 

During the trial, the prosecution examined thirteen witnesses and several material objects. The Trail court relied on the evidence and found guilty of the offence under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code. The defence plea of the appellant is “denial and stated that due to the previous enmity falsely implicated in this case”.

The learned counsel advocate appointed as an advocate for the appellant contended that “Evidence of victim is full of contradictions and independent witness are not supporting the prosecution case, therefore, it would not be proper to accept the evidence of the victim and convict the appellant for the commission of an offence under Section 376 of Indian Penal Code”. The learned additional government advocate appearing for the state stated, “no infirmity in the impugned judgment whereas the appeal should be dismissed”.

While the court deals with the case of rape, the court must deal with utmost sensitivity by examining the broader probabilities and should not be swayed by minor contradictions and discrepancies in appreciation of the evidence of the victim should be treated as an unsustainable character. The evidence of a victim of a sex offence is entitled to great weight absence of corroboration. No self-respecting woman will put her honour at stake by falsely alleging the commission of rape on her. A victim of a sex crime would not blame anyone but the real culprit.  

The Hon’ble court held “Appellant is guilty of the offence and sentenced to undergo Rigorous imprisonment for seven years and to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/- “. No illegality or infirmity in the impugned judgment and order of conviction of the appellant under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code passed by the Trial court. The nature and gravity of the accusation and how the crime is committed in the victim and the punishment imposed on the appellant by the Trial court cannot be excessive under any circumstance. Therefore, the order passed by the Trial court is Upheld. 

Click here to read the judgment.

Judgement Reviewed by – Kaviya S

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