Non examination of investigating officers and witnesses can cause prejudice to the parties of the case – Delhi High Court.
In certain cases it is hard to determine the commission of offence under section 375 of IPC mainly when the conviction is to be awarded only basing the statement of the complainant, such a matter was dealt in the case of RAM BAX VS THE STATE OF NCT DELHI (CRL.A. 226/2007) by the judgement given by single bench consisting HON’BLE JUSTICE CHANDRA DHARI SINGH.
Complainant used to reside along with the Appellant, her mother and younger step brother. It is alleged that on 14th July 2004, Complainant was called by the Appellant inside the room. The Appellant/Accused asked the Complainant to massage his head as he was having some pain in his head. When the Complainant entered inside the room, she saw the Appellant standing naked.It is alleged that the Appellant committed rape on her.
When Complainant tried to raise alarm, the Appellant gagged her mouth. It is further alleged that thereafter the Appellant continued to commit rape on her .On 6th September, Accused again committed rape upon the Complainant. The Complainant filed a complaint with the Police on the same day and later the accused is convicted with 8 years of rigorous imprisonment hence this appeal is filed opposing the said Conviction.
The learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the neighbors and others persons who allegedly warned accused to keep his behavior good towards Complainant were also not examined. It is further submitted that the credibility of the prosecution’s story further diminished, when it is observed that none of the persons, which were mentioned by the Complainant in her statement under Section 164 of CrPC, were examined. It is also submitted that the complainant has categorically stated in her statement under Section 164 of CrPC and before the Trial Court that she informed about the incident.
The counsel for the respondent contended that testimony of the Complainant herself was sufficient to prove the guilt of the Accused. It held that the sexual assault had been proved and the prosecution had established its case beyond reasonable doubt that the Accused committed rape on the Complainant during her stay with him. It also held that conviction in the case of offence punishable under Section 376 of CrPC can be based on the sole testimony of the Complainant.
The hon’ble Delhi High Court opined that “the instant case is required to be decided in the light of the aforesaid settled legal propositions. This Court is of the view that the given facts and circumstances make it crystal clear that if the evidence of the complainant is read and considered in totality of the circumstances along with other evidence on record, in which the offence is alleged to have been committed, her deposition does not inspire confidence. In such a fact situation, the appellant becomes entitled to the benefit of doubt. In view of the above, the present appeal succeeded and is allowed. The impugned judgment dated 18th July, 2006 and order on sentence dated 20th July 2006 passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, New Delhi, wherein the Appellant/Accused was convicted for the offence punishable under 376 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 is set aside.”
Judgement reviewed by Pratikshya Pattnaik