“Challenges and Controversies in a Criminal Case: Delayed FIR Registration, Judicial Review, and the Prosecutrix’s Plight” (Transcription No. 37)

                   He contacted the relatives of the accused for return of his sister. He did not lodge the report immediately as the honour of the family was involved. It was only after few days that when his sister did not return and there was no help from the relatives of the accused that he made the complaint on 28th September, 1989 to the Superintendent of Police, who marked the complaint to the Circle Officer and the FIR was registered on 30th September, 1989. The delay in registration of the FIR is, thus, reasonably explained. The High Court was in grave error in concluding that there was no reasonable and plausible explanation for the belated FIR and that it was lodged after consultation and due deliberation and that creates doubt about the case. The High Court was not at all justified in taking a different view or conclusion from the trial court. The judgment of the High Court is vitiated by non-consideration of the material evidence and relevant factors eloquently emerging from the prosecution evidence. The High Court in a sketchy manner reversed the judgment of the trial court without discussing the deposition of the witnesses as well as all relevant points which were considered and touched upon by the trial court. The High Court has dealt with the matter with casual approach. The judgment of the High Court is not only cryptic and perfunctory, but it has also not taken into consideration the crucial evidence on record. On flimsy grounds, the accused convicted of a serious crime of kidnapping and rape has been acquitted. There is no application of mind to the evidence of the prosecutrix at all. There is no proper consideration of the evidence by the High Court. The prosecution case in brief is this: On September 19, 1989 the prosecutrix (name withheld) had gone to relieve herself in the evening. Ram Kali (A-3) followed her on the way. While she was returning and reached near the plot of one Vijai Bahadur, Chhotey Lal (A-1) and Ramdas (A-2) came from behind; A-1 caught hold of her and when she raised alarm, A- I showed fire-arm to her and gagged her mouth. A-1 along with A-2 and A-3 brought the prosecutrix upto the road. There, A-3 parted company with A-1 and A-2. A-1 and A-2 then took the prosecutrix to Village Sahora On the night of September 19, 1989, the prosecutrix was kept in the house of Girish and Saroj Pandit in Village Sahora. On the next day i.e., September 20, 1989, in the wee hours, A-1 and A-2 took the prosecutrix in a bus to Shahajahanpur where she was kept in a rented room for few days. During their stay in Shahajahanpur, A-1 allegedly committed forcible intercourse with the prosecutrix. Whenever prosecutrix asked for return to her house, A-1 would gag her mouth and threaten her. In the meanwhile, Rampal – brother of the prosecutrix – made a complaint to the Superintendent of Police, Hardoi on September 28; 1989 that A-1, A-2 and A-3 have kidnapped her sister prosecutrix on September 19, 1989. Based on this complaint, the First Information Report (FIR) was registered on September 30, 1989. The prosecutrix was recovered by the police on October 13, 1989 from Shahabad – Pihani Road near Jalalpur culvert. On that day itself, the prosecutrix was sent for medical examination to the Women Hospital, Hardoi where she was examined by Dr. Shakuntala Reddy. Ram Manohar Misra to whom the investigation of this case was entrusted then took steps for determination of the age of the prosecutrix as advised by the doctor and sent her for X-Ray examination. On October 17th, 1989, the prosecutrix was produced before the Judicial Magistrate I, Hardoi, where her statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. was recorded by the Judicial Magistrate. A-1 was arrested on December 2nd, 1989. On completion of investigation, A-1 was charge sheeted for the offences punishable under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC); A-2 was charge-sheeted under Sections 363, 366 and 368, IPC and A-3 under Sections 363 and 366, IPC. The prosecution in support of its case examined five witnesses, namely, complainant Rampal (PW-1), – prosecutrix (PW-2), Investigating Officer – Ram Manohar Mishra (PW-3), Subhash Chandra Mishra – Head Constable (PW-4) and Dr. Shakuntala Reddy. (800)

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