Allahabad High Court Partially Allows Appeal of the Accused, Upholds Conviction of Minor’s Rape

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The case in hand is Imshad v State of Uttar Pradesh. Herein, the Allahabad High Court Partially Allows Appeal of the Accused and upholds Conviction of Minor’s Rape.

Facts of the Case

On 16th January 2005, the rape of Informant’s daughter had taken place at around 4 PM. Shiv Dhara, the mother of the victim is the informant in this case. An unknown individual had taken her daughter to the first floor of a vacant house. He had lured her by stating that she would give her ₹20.

The Investigating Officer inspected the place of occurrence the next day, on 17th January 2005. The cops collected the required samples and evidence. In addition to this, they prepared recovery memos in the presence of witnesses, Dharmendra Kori and Satya Prakash. Subsequently, the victim underwent a medical examination, at the government hospital in Aligarh.

The Trial Court held the Appellant guilty. The Court stated that the victim and her mother fully supported the prosecution in this case. The Trial Court held that the accused committed a heinous crime. To this end, the Court awarded him a life sentence. 

Arguments by the Appellant

Advocates MPS Chauhan & Anil Kumar were the counsels for the appellant. The Appellant made the following arguments to prove the innocence of the party. Firstly, due to large scale media coverage, he was falsely implicated. Secondly, Identification Parade was not conducted in the first place. The perpetrator was an unknown person. Yet, the party lodged an FIR against the appellant.

Thirdly, there was no proof that the accused recognized the victim in the hospital. Recognition of the accused in Court is not substantive evidence. Furthermore, the first informant filed the FIR only after 17 hours of the occurrence of the event. The Prosecution has not explained the reasons for this delay.

Additionally, there was no evidence to prove the offence under Section 3 (2)(V) of SC/ST Act against the accused-appellant. Lastly, the Appellant pointed out that he was in jail since 6th February 2008, for more than 12 years. In case the conviction is upheld, the Court should reduce the sentence, keeping in mind the period that the appellant had already undergone.

Arguments by the State

Counsel for the respondent argued that no evidence indicated that the false implication of the appellant was due to large scale media coverage.  The conviction could be based even on the solitary evidence of the prosecutrix. In the trial stage, her testimony inspired the confidence of the Court. Also, the statement of the victim was fully backed by medical evidence. 

Examination of the first Investigating Officer was not necessary as the testimony was clear. The appellant recognized the victim before the Trial Court. She also recognised him during the medical examination in the hospital. Thus, it is safe to rely on this identification.

As the filing of an FIR in such cases is still taboo, the delay can be justified. As the first informant had an ailing husband, she was to deal with this crime against her daughter alone.

The accused was a resident of a nearby mohalla, where the family of the victim resides.  It is probable that he knew that the victim belonged to a Scheduled Caste. 

The appellant committed the heinous crime of committing rape on an 8-year-old girl. The respondent prayed that the Court should not take a lenient view on the quantum of sentence.

Held

The occurrence took place at 4 P.M. on 16th January 2005. According to the prosecution, the victim told her mother about the occurrence on the same night. Her mother lodged the FIR the next day at 9:40 A.M. The Court made note of this delay. It ruled that the delay was justified. 

Additionally, it emphasized the ages of both the victim and the accused, on the date of the incident. The victim was seven, while the Accused was eighteen/nineteen. The Court ruled that the accused had already served ten years in prison. Hence, it did not warrant a life sentence.

In relation to the charges under the SC/ST Act, the Court noted that this charge cannot be upheld. The Court elaborated this by stating that there was no proof to this end. Therefore, no case was filed against the accused under Section 3(2)(V) of the SC/ST Act. 

The accused has been in jail since 6th February 2008, for more than 12 years. As a result, the Court altered his sentence under Section 376 and ordered for his release. 


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