Unequivocal confession leads to dismissal of appeal in a Rape case with minor: Meghalaya High Court

The material against the appellant, based on the deposition of the witnesses, were summarised and put to the appellant for his response in course of the exercise conducted by the trial court under Section 313 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure, 1973.These were upheld by the High Court of Meghalaya through Division bench of Sanjib Banerjee, and W. Diengdoh in the case of Witnar T. Sangma @ Rambong Vs. State of Meghalaya (Crl.A.No.13 of 2019)

The crux of the case is the 14-year-old victim while returning from school between 3 pm and 4 pm on April 27, 2017, was accosted by the present appellant and another person who forcibly took her to the nearby jungle and raped her one after another. The two left the victim bleeding and threatened the victim not to narrate the incident to any person. The victim identified the appellant in Court. The other person involved was discovered to be a juvenile and the matter pertaining to such other person was referred to the Juvenile Justice Board. The victim was medically examined shortly after the complaint was lodged, and, in course of the examination, it was found that she had redness in the labia minora and her hymen was torn. Her “inner frock” was seized by the investigating officer and the medical examiner, who examined the victim, testified later in Court that it was his opinion that the victim had been violated and sexually assaulted.

The appellant’s statements at the Section 313 of the Code of the Criminal Procedure, 1973 stage, amount to this: “that neither the appellant nor the other person involved with him had any motive of committing rape on the victim or bore any grudge against the victim or her family but upon seeing the victim trudging back alone after school, they were overcome with carnal desire and committed the offence.

The appellant admitted to the fact that the victim was bleeding at the time that the appellant raped her and the juvenile offender committed rape thereafter. The appellant also admitted that the appellant and the juvenile offender had threatened the victim and had asked her not to disclose the incident to any person.

The learned Division bench of Sanjib Banerjee, CJ. and W. Diengdoh, accordingly dismissed and observed that there was no merit in the appeal, and it was established and proved beyond reasonable doubt in course of the trial that it was the appellant who committed the offence. accordingly dismissed. And stated, “Considering the entirety of the matter and the fact that the appellant had unequivocally confessed to having committed the offence, there was little room for the trial court to doubt the victim’s version or to pass a different sentence than has been by the judgment of conviction and the order of punishment.

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Judgement reviewed by Himanshu Ranjan

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