Life sentence reaffirmed for rape accused: Bombay High Court

The Bombay high court rejected the plea of a 27-year-old who was accused of raping a 3-year-old girl. This judgement was passed by the division bench of Justice S Shinde and Justice MS Karnik in the matter of Sudam Ramnath Shelke versus The State of Maharashtra [Criminal Appeal No. – 803 of 2016]. The appellant challenged the judgement of the Additional Session Judge, Nashik for the offence punishable under section 376 (2) (f) of the Indian Penal Code and sentencing him to suffer rigorous imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs. 30,000/-. Life sentence reaffirmed for rape accused and after gone through the order of the Trial Court, High Court was in respectful agreement with the well-considered order passed by the Trial Court.

Facts related to this case is: The victim was raped by the accused while she lived with her late grandmother when she was about three years and eight months old. The victim was found crying and with several injuries, while the incident took place and later confirming to her mother that it was mobile wala babu (accused) who took her in the field and committed the offence.

The Court observed that “Learned Counsel for the accused made an attempt to contend that no reliance should be placed on DNA analysis as CA Kalina had received stain cuttings and not the entire clothes and therefore there is the possibility of tampering. DNA report however shows that stain cuttings of frock, stain cuttings of full pant, stain cuttings of underwear, stain cuttings of full pant were received. The numbers mentioned in DNA profile were also matching.”

Also “The Court witness – Dr Shrikant Hemant Lade has produced on record the letter received from CA Nashik wherein it is specifically mentioned that stain cuttings were forwarded for DNA analysis. DNA report shows that bloodstains found on the underwear of the accused are of the victim girl. The complainant’s version is thus corroborated by the medical and other evidence.”

The Court stated that the tender age of the victim does not allow her to narrate the incident which took place but the circumstances and evidence are enough to prove the faults of the accused. The Court proceeded to state that “the entire evidence which is in the nature of direct evidence is corroborated by medical evidence. Though the accused has submitted that he is implicated falsely, there is nothing on record to show that there was enmity between the family of the accused and the family of the victim girl. During cross-examination, no reason came forward to show that there was the reason for the grandmother of the victim girl or her family members to implicate the accused falsely.”

The Court dismissed the petition by saying that “So far as the question of punishment is concerned, we are of the same view as the trial Court that having regard to the fact that the accused is 27 years of age, a resident of the same village who betrayed the trust of the victim & became a violator deserves no leniency. We, therefore, do not find any infirmity in the order passed by the trial Court, consequently, Appeal is dismissed.”

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Judgement reviewed by-Sarita Kumari

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