Judge says "….no women would take recourse to such type of incident to falsely implicate anyone by putting her character at stake…." …our question, Honourable Judge Madam, haven’t you heard of FALSE RAPE cases at all ?? what happens to the "own character at stake" logic then ??
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
APPELLATE CRIMINAL JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL REVISION APPLICATION NO. 229 OF 2012
Ashok Somnath Ghodke…Petitioner/Applicant
1. The State of Maharashtra
2. Anita Satish Ghodke…Respondents
Mr. Manoj Gadkari for Petitioner/Applicant
Mrs. A.A. Mane, APP for the State
CORAM : MRS. ROSHAN DALVI, J.
Date of Reserving the Judgment : 9 th May, 2013
Date of Pronouncing the Judgment: 10 th June, 2013
1. The petitioner/applicant (applicant) is the brotherinlaw of respondent No.2. The respondent No.2 had filed a complaint against her husband, his mother and the applicant herein under Sections 498A, 506 r.w Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as also under Section 354 of the IPC against the applicant. All the accused have been acquitted of the charge under Sections 498A and 506 r.w Section 34 of the IPC. The petitioner has been convicted of the charge under Section 354 of the IPC.
2. The order of the learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Court No.3, Pune dated 24 th February, 2009 in that behalf has been challenged by the applicant herein before the Additional Sessions Court, Pune. The Additional Sessions Judge, Pune has dismissed his appeal and confirmed the order of conviction and sentence on 16 th June, 2012 which has been challenged in this revision application.
3. The case of outraging the modesty of respondent No.2 who is the sisterinlaw of the applicant herein has to be seen essentially only from her evidence as the incident transpired within the confines of the the kitchen in the house of respondent No.2, though another witness has been examined in that behalf also.
4. The incident transpired at 1.00 a.m on 21 st October, 2007 when respondent No.2 was sleeping with her minor child in the kitchen. Her husband was out of the house. She felt that some one had put a hand on her person. She wokeup, she saw that it was her brotherinlaw, the applicant herein. He was not having his clothes on his person. He was in her bed. When she started shouting he pressed her mouth. He was sitting on her body. Somehow she rescued herself. She called her motherinlaw. Rather than helping her, her motherinlaw told her that her husband was going to leave her and she should assume that her brotherinlaw was her husband. There was strained relations between the complainant and her family members. Her husband was having an affair with another lady. He used to come once in a week to the house. Only her fatherinlaw was a good person. Hence her motherinlaw did not come to her assistance. She tried to run away outside the house when her brotherinlaw and motherinlaw caught her and her motherinlaw poured kerosene on her and both of them beat her. Somehow she ran away from there and went to the house of her sister to narrate the incident.
5. This is the substance of the complaint. Such evidence can be given only by the victim herself. There is no other to see, depose or corroborate such evidence. There have been certain divorce proceedings between the complainant and her husband. The complainant was living in the same house with her child. The family members would naturally not help her if such an incident transpired. She has been cross examined at length. However no descrepancies are pointed out in her evidence. No other can depose on her behalf. It was contended that there was no independent witness. There would be none under such circumstances. Only her little son was present with her. The incident happened after midnight. Hence the neighbours would be asleep. She was not allowed to shout when she tried to shout because the applicant herein closed her mouth. He would overpower her. The learned Magistrate has rightly observed that multiplication of witnesses is unnecessary and such evidence needs no corroboration of any sort. He has further correctly observed that no women would take recourse to such type of incident to falsely implicate anyone by putting her character at stake. In fact in this case the complaint was also under Section 498A and 406 of the IPC. That has been prosecuted and in fact the accused have been acquitted of that charge. Their acquittal of that charge has nothing to do with the proof of the charge against the applicant herein only under Section 354 of the IPC.
6. In fact, the proof of the charge of outraging modesty by the brother inlaw of respondent No.2 in view of the strained relations with her husband, and the act of the motherinlaw of respondent No.2 in not helping respondent No.2 when she shouted for help but in fact asking her to surrender to her other son shows the mental cruelty also.
7. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has reappreciated the entire evidence correctly and similarly. The appreciation of evidence by both the Courts in the concurrent findings is correct.
8. It is contended that the lodging of the FIR is delayed. The incident took place at 1.00 a.m. The complaint was lodged at 22.30 hours on the same day. There is some discrepancy sought to be shown in the distance between the house of the complainant and the police station. The distance alleged is not proved. The complainant had to rush to her sister. Her family members were called. Thereafter they would lodge the complaint. The gravamen of the charge was the harassment by all the accused. The complainant would have to consider lodging one criminal complaint on a single day with regard to the various acts of cruelty and harassment against her husband and her motherinlaw and the specific case against her brotherinlaw alone. The learned Sessions Judge in the impugned order has correctly observed that she would have certainly thought many times before she lodged the complaint. It is settled law that complaints by women for offences against women are not mandatorily required to be filed within hours.
9. It is also argued that there is no incriminating circumstances shown. Spot panchanama is not prepared. The Investigating Officer in his evidence has explained why that was so. That was because the complainant had gone to the house of her parents.
10. The evidence of the complainant fully shows the offence made out by the applicant herein. Both the Courts have correctly appreciated that evidence. The conviction and the sentence are correct and deserves no interference.
11. The criminal revision application is dismissed.
12. The applicant shall surrender before the relevant Magistrate within 6 weeks, failing which the relevant Investigating Officer shall take him in custody and report to Court.
(MRS. ROSHAN DALVI, J.)