FIR is simply initial information provided to set the law in motion and courts need not scrutinize shortcomings in the FIR while upholding a conviction under the POCSO Act was upheld by the High Court at Calcutta through a division bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE JOYMALYA BAGCHI and HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE BIVAS PATTANAYAK in the case of Md. Israil v. The State of West Bengal (CRA 37 of 2021).
Brief facts of the case are that appeal from a 14-year-old teenager from a conviction for trespassing, criminal intimidation and aggravated sexual assault. The accused was called “dadu” by the victim. The girl finally got pregnant. The trial court sentenced the accused to life imprisonment.
The counsel for the appellant argued against conviction, citing shortcomings and inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony, delay in delivery of the FIR, lack of DNA testing, and injuries.
The counsel for the state contended that The victim girl’s evidence is quite consistent with the fact that she was the sole perpetrator of the appellant’s crime on the victim girl. He presented this fairly in his written complaint or statement. The inability to conduct DNA testing does not make the prosecution case completely wrong in light of the victim’s conclusive evidence.
The Calcutta High Court held that if the victim’s testimony was vital and found credible, it could constitute the basis for a conviction in its own right. The conviction was upheld, but the sentence was commuted to 14 years rigorous imprisonment. Although the court admitted the crimes of rape and sexual assault, it caused the victims to suffer bodily and mental wounds that they had to bear throughout their lives, and stated that the sentence given to the accused should be reconsidered.The sentence was reduced to 14 years of rigorous imprisonment. The remainder of the court’s decision was left unchanged.
Judgement reviewed by- Bhaswati Goldar