In the case of Nagesh vs. The State of Karnataka (Criminal Appeal no. 397/2015), a bench comprising of Justice B. Veerappa J. and Justice E.S. Indiresh observed that now the time warrants that the Court should act as guardian to protect Dharma and protect the safety of the women as contemplated under Article 21of the Constitution of India, and deal with the violators including rapists sternly and with iron hands.
The victim was a resident of Mangalore. On 14.07.2013, the accused called her as grandmother- grandmother, from the back door of her house. On opening the door, the accused trespassed holding a knife and threatened her not to shout; otherwise, he would kill her. The accused dragged her forcibly into the bedroom, removed her clothes and committed sexual intercourse against her will. After that, he robbed cash of Rs. 5500/- as well as jewellery of worth Rs. 51000/-. The next day accused was arrested by the police. Cash and jewellery were seized from the possession of the accused. The Sessions Court convicted the accused and sentenced him to rigorous life imprisonment. Feeling Aggrieved, the accused challenged the Order of Session Judge before the Karnataka High Court.
ARGUMENTS ON BEHALF OF THE ACCUSED:
- The accused argued that the Session Court had not given due credibility to the record of a medical examination relating to the accused as well as the victim.
The victim had not raised her voice when the accused trespassed into her house. He further said that her son was residing in the adjoining house, and there was no impediment or resistance to raise her voice by the victim.
- Therefore, no sexual assault had taken place.
- The Judgment and order of Session Judge were based on the statement of an interested witness, i.e. relatives of the victim.
ARGUMENTS BY THE STATE:
- The prosecution had established his case beyond a reasonable doubt, the forceful trespass, Rape, robbery and threat by the accused based on the oral and documentary evidence on records.
- Despite making a statement under section 313 of CR.PC, the accused forgot to whisper about his voluntary statement date 15.07.2013 made for police where he accepted his act of forceful trespass, Rape, robbery and threat of life with a knife to the victim.
- Medical evidence proved the case of Rape, robbery and threat to the life of the victim beyond a reasonable doubt. The statement of the victim who was a 69 years old woman should be considered as gospel truth as no woman at that age would lie.
OBSERVATIONS OF THE HIGH COURT:
The High Court upheld the Judgment of Sessions Court and observed that a woman’s body is not a man’s playing thing, and he cannot take advantage of it to satisfy his lust. The society will not tolerate such things.
The Court observed that Rape is violative of victims fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Therefore the Courts should deal with such cases sternly and severely. It is a serious blow to her supreme honour and offends her self esteem and dignity as well.
It is further observed that “Now time warrants that the Court should act as a Guardian and protect Dharma in order to protect the safety of women, as contemplated under Article 21 of Constitution of India and deal with violators including rapist sternly and severely with iron hands. The Court should act as Lord Krishna of Mahabharat to protect Dharma.