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NO OUTER AGE LIMIT DETERMINED BY “OSSIFICATION TEST” – ODISHA HIGH COURT

The Odisha High Court passed a judgment on 5th July 2022. In the case of Gobardhan Gadaba @ Gadava v. State of Odisha ( CRLREV No. 247 of 2007). The Orissa High Court has held that there is no law that two years mandatorily be added to the outer limit of age as determined by ossification test’. While rejecting an argument to that effect, a Single Judge Bench of Justice Sashikanta Mishra.

FACTS

The petitioner accused herein was convicted for the offence under Sections 363/376, IPC by the IPC by the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Asst. Sessions Judge, Jeypore by a judgment passed on 03.02.2006. The said judgment of conviction and sentence was confirmed by the Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court), Jeypore through a judgment dated 21.11.2006. Challenging such judgment of conviction and sentence and the order of its confirmation in appeal, the petitioner approached the High Court in the present revision.

JUDGMENT

The Court reiterated that the law requires iit to deal with cases of rape with utmost sensitivity by examining the broader probabilities of a case and not to get swayed away by minor or insignificant discrepancies in the statement of the prosecution which are not of a fatal nature. Reference was made to the decision of the Apex Court in State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh. The Court further observed With regard to the argument that the victim’s version is difficult to believe as the vehicle in question was at a distance of 200 meters from her house and there were other houses in between and yet the victim did not raise any shout, the Court noted that it was brought out in cross-examination that while dragging her, the accused was throttling her. Further, no question was put to the victim at the time of trial as to whether she had raised any shout. Therefore, the Court held, even assuming that the victim was throttled by the accused while being dragged to the vehicle, no question having been put by the defense as to if she had raised any shout in protest, the contention raised before the High Court at this belated stage cannot be accepted. But the Court rejected such contention by holding that there is no law which mandates that in each and every case two years have to be added to the outer age limit determined by the ossification test. Rather, it deemed it proper to accept the higher range of the age determined by the ossification report which, in the instant matter, was 16 years.

JUDGMENT REVIEWD BY KUNMUN DAS

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