The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Tripura High Court Mr. Akhil Kureshi ordered a re-investigation in a kidnapping and Immoral Trafficking Case which took place on 19.12.2009. The accused filed an appeal challenging the judgment of the Additional Sessions Court, Unakoti legal district, Tripura.
The issue before the court
A widowed girl was residing with her parents at Halhali in Agartala. Once she had gone to the office of SDM, Kamalpur where she met the accused Narayan Badiyakar who introduced himself as Babul Deb. He helped her obtaining a Permanent Resident Certificate. Once again, he helped her out and at that; he brought up the topic of a job offer at Fishery office at Agartala. He visited her a couple of days later and persuades her mother to let go with him to Agartala. On 19.12.2009, she left her village to go to Agartala by boarding a jeep at the market of village Halhali. Since the girl did not return as promised, her family members started searching for her. On 25.12.2009, her brother filed a missing person’s report. The family members during their search came to know that the girl was kept in confinement in a brothel at Silchar, Guwahati, Assam. The family members along with police went there and rescued the victim girl on 30.12.2009. According to her, during the journey, some liquid was sprayed on her face, which caused great discomfort and she became unconscious. After she gained her consciousness, she found herself in confinement. The appeal was filed by the accused to challenge the judgment dated 25.06.2018 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Unakoti Judicial District, Kamalpur in Sessions Trial No. 40 of 2012.
Sessions court judgment
The accused convicted for offences punishable under Sec. 365 of IPC (Kidnapping or Abducting) and Sec. 366 of IPC (Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage) and under Sec 5(1) and 6(1) of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. For offences under section 365 of IPC, the accused was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 3 years. For offences under section 366 of IPC, the accused was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 5 years. For an offence under section 5(1) of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 the accused was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 3 years and for one under the Sec. 6(1) of the said Act rigorous imprisonment of 7 years. All sentenced are to run concurrently. A separated charge was also framed for having committed offences under section 420 of IPC on the premise that he had collected 3,000 Rupees from families of job aspirants of the said area.
Findings of High Court
HC heard the depose of the victim girl and her family members, informers, police officers and some other persons from whom the accused have collected money for jobs and he deluded.
The victim girl and her family delayed in filing the first information with the police. The prosecution stated that she was ill for two weeks that makes delay. However the FIR was lodged on 27.05.2010, that is nearly 5 months later.
Another aspect was the Silchar police was present at the time when the girl retrieved from the brothel at Silchar. Nothing prevented the family members from lodging a complaint immediately.
It is strange that even the police did not take cognizance of such a serious incident by registering FIR, straightway. Brother of victim girl had stated that about 10 days after the girl returned home, police from the local police station had visited their house even at that time FIR could have been filed.
Victim girl stated that inside the jeep, the accused sprayed a liquid which rendered her unconscious. There were about 10 or 15 passengers in the jeep. She claimed that he has sprayed in the presence of all of them. When in broad daylight if the victim was being taken in an unconscious state, several other people would have witnessed the incident and questioned the accused about the same. She has clearly made a false claim and exaggerated the circumstances under which she was found at Silchar.
A proper and better investigation could have been more useful. There are several false claims in prosecution witness. Impugned judgement and sentence are set aside. The accused was acquitted and shall be released, if not required in any other criminal case.
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