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Accused Called Himself Police Official To Make Minor Girl Believe in Him for the Wrong Intentions

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Case excerpt

The accused namely, Haradhan Dutta is found guilty under section 363 & 366(A) of the Indian penal Code. Further, he made an appeal against the judgment and order of conviction on 27-09-2016 and 28-09-2016 proceeded by Learned Session Judge Bichar Bhawa, Calcutta in session trial no. 2(4)2013 and 05 of 2013 respectively. 

Facts of the Case

The 14-year-old victim girl namely Rangila Khatoon was a native of Howrah, West Bengal. She lived with her grandmother. Her parents and family were living in Lucknow. Her family’s financial condition was not stable. She used to visit her family 2-3 times. She left her studies and worked as a maid for washing utensils in the house. For attending the Eid festival with her family, she left the village on 6-8-12 early in the morning rather than the train was to depart in the night. At the station, the accused Mr. Dutta approached her and asked for some basic details. She refused at first, but when the man called himself a police officer then she believed and accompanied him. He took her to the opposite side of the station in a boat and then used an autorickshaw to reach a narrow lane where many girls were dressed in short clothes. The victim was afraid but the accused made sure to trust him, but the girl knew that place was not safe. She screamed and then the police arrived and arrested him. The charge sheet made by the investigating authority was against the appellant under sections 363 and 366(a) of the IPC. Thereafter the matter was taken to ACMM, Calcutta with 12 witnesses and 10 documents.

Arguments by Appellant

Learned Advocate for the Appellant submitted that none of the charges were applicable in respect of the evidence provided by the prosecution. Further, he submitted that the girl came to the Howrah Station with the intention of catching a train. But as the train was going to leave later in the night, she waited at the station. Then, the man called himself a police officer and approached with some basic questions, and told her to accompany him to his friend’s place. This shows that there was no action that would be called force or inducement to the victim. Furthermore, he stated that the evidence provided by the prosecution witness(PW) hardly proves that the victim was taken to a brothel. Argued more, he stated that the place where the incident happened raises a question of doubt on these witnesses’ statements namely, [PW2] Babli Bhattacharya, [PW3] Sumita Das, [PW7] Tarun Mukherjee introduced themselves as Members of Durbar Mahila Samanay Committee. Learned Counsel also submitted that there is no proper evidence that from where the victim was recovered as the prosecution witnesses aren’t telling the whole truth. Further, he submitted that none of the evidence is reliable which comes under section 363 and 366(a) of the IPC.

Arguments by Respondent

Learned Advocate for the State challenged the points stated by the Appellant. He stated that there is much content on record from the statements given by [PW-1] Rangila Khatoon and [PW-4] Nurbanu. According to PW-1 and PW-4, the victim was under 18 and convened by the accused intentionally. According to the statements given by PW1, PW2, PW3, PW5, and PW7, the Appellant had taken her to a building in a narrow lane, and then coming out of it, the members of the Durbar Mahila Samanay Committee intercepted him. Further, he stated that the case should not come to its final decision by only considering that the victim was a minor who was just allured by the accused without force.

Court’s Observation

As the High Court observed that the victim was induced by the appellant without any force, that shouldn’t become the main point of this case. It was just an overwhelming thing that when the accused called himself a police official, the minor girl believed him on the basis of trust and excitement. It was further examined that the case should be more focused on the testimonies given by the Prosecution witnesses rather than minor contradictions.

Court’s Decision

The accused Haradhan Dutta is sentenced to imprisonment for five 5 years and to pay a fine of Rs.10,000/- for the offense under Section 363 of IPC and also sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven 7 years and to pay a fine of Rs.10,000/- for the offense under Section 366(a) of IPC.

Case: Haradhan Dutta vs State of West Bengal & Anr.

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