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Rape convict’s life sentence reduced to 10 years jail: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court said that though the appellant took advantage of the mental condition or disability of the victim, she was aware of the consequences of her actions and yet accompanied him, under the learned bench of Justices A.S. GADKARI & MILIND N. JADHAV, JJ.in the case of Anil Ramesh Kolhe vs State of Maharashtra(CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 816 OF 2017)

FACTS OF THE CASE

The victim lived in Aatkarpada, Village Kalambhe, Taluka Shahapur, District Thane, with the first informant and her family.  Victim was not married because she had mental retardation. At the Kamakhya Sonography Center in Shahapur, the victim underwent sonography, and it was discovered that she was pregnant. When questioned by family members about how she got pregnant, the victim gave no information. So, worried citizens went to the Shahapur Police Station and filed a complaint against an alleged unknown person.

Investigating Officer obtained Call Detail Records (CDR) of the mobile number disclosed by victim which revealed that the number belonged to one Dharma Mohankar. Investigating Officer recorded statement of Dharma Mohankar and another person Pandhari Ganpat Kambale and learnt that the mobile number belonged to Appellant who resided in Kasara. Appellant was traced by police and brought to the police station. In the police station, victim identified the Appellant. Appellant was arrested and thereafter showed his willingness to disclose the spot of incident.

The victim subsequently gave birth to a male child.

OBSERVATION OF THE COURT:

Th court stated that “Perusal of the evidence of the victim clearly suggests that the victim was aware about her proximity and the consequences of her proximity with Appellant. The entire deposition of the victim including her cross-examination further suggests that being aware of the consequences of having physical relations with the Appellant, the victim continued the same and as per her testimony, atleast on five occasions she went alongwith the Appellant to the secluded spot of incident. This clearly shows that though on the one hand the victim is suffering from mild mental retardation, but on the other hand the victim was in a position to know the consequences of her acts and despite that went alongwith the Appellant. Therefore, we are of the considered opinion that the sentence imposed by the trial court on the Appellant sentencing the Appellant for life imprisonment for the remainder of his life is harsh and not determinative of the offence in the facts and circumstances of the present case”

The life sentence of a man convicted for rape of a woman with mild mental retardation was reduced to 10 years jail by the Bombay High Court on the ground that the woman was in a position to know the consequences of having physical relations with the man and despite that went with him to the crime spot.

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Judgement reviewed by – Sudarshana Jha

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