In the Latest Judgments of High Court, Hon’ble Justice Narayan Singh Dhanik of the High Court of Uttarakhand passed his judgement in the case of Akash Kumar alias Bhindi vs the State of Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand High Court observed that prosecution has to prove the charges beyond all reasonable doubt
Brief facts of the case Akash Kumar alias Bhindi vs the State of Uttarakhand are as follows:
The complainant stated that on 13.03.2017 at approximately 06:00 PM, the accused tried to rape and sexually assault two and a half-year-old daughter of the complainant. The complainant stated that when he was not able to locate his daughter on the date of the alleged crime, he and his friend Subhash Kumar started searching for her. As per the complainant’s statement, he found his daughter with the accused while the accused was trying to attempt to rape her. The complainant caught hold of the accused and took him to the police station.
The accused was produced before the Court and was convicted under section 376/511 IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act and was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for ten years.
The accused moved the High Court of Uttarakhand.
Proceedings before the High Court
The counsel for the appellant-accused raised the following contentions before the Hon’ble Judge:-
- The counsel submitted that the prosecution had conclusively failed to prove the case against the accused.
- He further submitted that the victim has not named the accused in her testimony, nor has she identified him.
- It was also stated that the companion who was with the complainant during his search was not examined in the Court.
- It was further submitted that the facts that have come up during the cross-examination were contradictory.
- The counsel argued that a prosecution witness( the mother of the victim) had turned hostile during the cross-examination and she also did not corroborate the story of the complainant.
The contention raised by the State( Respondent)
The Additional Government Advocate who appeared on behalf of the state submitted that the trial court had convicted the accused on the bases of sufficient and credible evidence. He further submitted that during cross-examination the accused had made contradictory statements.
The Reasoning of the Court
The Court observed that during cross-examination, the complainant had substantially altered the statement that he gave in his FIR. In his complaint, the accused had stated that he had caught the accused red-handed whereas during cross he stated that neither did he catch the accused nor did he witness the alleged crime. The complainant during cross-examination admitted that he was told by a person ‘Pramod’ that the crime was committed by the accused. He further stated that the alleged victim was found in the lap of her mother and appeared unharmed.
Further the High Court also noted the fact that during questioning, the victim stated that the accused did not harm and also admitted that she did not recognise the accused. In her statement, also, the victim did not name the accused.
The Court also observed that the mother who is a witness in this did not back the story of the complainant and had turned hostile.
Even in the medical report of the victim, it was stated that urethral meatus & vestibule, labia majora and labia minora of the victim were found normal and no tear or swelling in the private parts was found. Hymen perineum of the victim was also found intact.
The Doctor who examined the victim and was a witness, in this case, admitted that she opined that it was a case of rape because she noticed a little redness near the outer hymen and there were dried bloodstains nears her private parts.
The Decision of the Court
The Court opined that even though the Doctor believed that there was an attempt to rape the victim it was not enough to connect the accused to the crime and there was no credible evidence to back the claim.
Hon’ble Judge observed that the prosecution was not able to prove their case satisfactorily. The Hon’ble Judge further stated that in a criminal trial, the Court could not convict a person based on morality, but the conviction should be based on admissible and credible evidence.
In light of all the arguments that were before him, the Hon’ble Judge quashed the order passed by the trial court, and the appeal was allowed.
Title : Akash Kumar alias Bhindi vs the State of Uttarakhand
Case No.:Criminal Jail Appeal No. 41/2018
Date of Order: 28.9.2020
Quorum :Hon’ble Justice Narayan Singh Dhanik,
Advocates: Mr. Raman Kumar Sah, Amicus Curiae, for the appellant. Ms. Manisha Rana Singh, AGA, for the State