Criminal Appeal No. 2358 of 2010. Case: Munna Vs State of M.P.. Supreme Court (India)

Case NumberCriminal Appeal No. 2358 of 2010
CounselFor Appellant: C.D. Singh, Sakshi Kakkar and Pragati Neekhra, Advs. and For Respondents: Mishra Saurabh, Vanshaja Shukla and Ankit Kr. Lal, Advs.
JudgesV. Gopala Gowda and A.K. Goel, JJ.
IssueEvidence Act - Sections 59, 114, 114A, 118, 133; Indian Penal Code (IPC) - Sections 376, 450
Judgement DateSeptember 16, 2014
CourtSupreme Court (India)


A.K. Goel, J.

1. This appeal has been preferred against the conviction and sentence of the Appellant for offences Under Sections 450 and 376 of the Indian Penal Code (Indian Penal Code) for which the Appellant stands sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years under both heads but the sentences are to run concurrently, apart from being sentenced to pay fine.

2. Case of the prosecution as per FIR is that on 19th April, 1993, when the prosecutrix (PW 1) was sleeping in her house at 1.00 A.M., the Appellant along with co-accused Sahab Singh @ Mutta entered the house of the prosecutrix and both of them committed rape on the prosecutrix and then fled away. They were carrying knife which was shown to the prosecutrix to threaten her if she raised alarm. The prosecutrix narrated the incident to her husband and lodged First Information Report at the Police Station on the next day. After investigation both the accused were sent up for trial. The prosecutrix did not support the version against co-accused Sahab Singh @ Mutta. Accordingly, he was acquitted by the trial Court. Relying upon her version supported by her husband Balkishan (PW 2) and Kotwar of the village Manaklal (PW 3), the trial Court convicted and sentenced the Appellant which has been confirmed by the High Court.

3. We have heard learned Counsel for the parties.

4. Learned Counsel for the Appellant has pointed out that there are major discrepancies in the version of the prosecution which create doubt about the veracity of the prosecution case against the Appellant. The discrepancies pointed out are as follows:

(i) Though initially, two persons were named and it was alleged that both threatened the prosecutrix with a knife, version at the trial was different and only the Appellant has been named.

(ii) The prosecutrix gave affidavit dated 23rd April, 1993 three days after the lodging of the FIR, disowning the version and exonerating the Appellant. The said affidavit was duly acted upon by the trial Court, as the prosecutrix appeared in Court and supported the contents of the affidavit, for granting the accused anticipatory bail vide Order dated 29th April, 1993. The order of anticipatory bail reads as under:

Affidavit of the complainant perused. According to which Village Patel Shiv Kumar had put pressure upon the complainant and got a false report registered. Additional Public Prosecutor has not objected the bail application.

Bail of accused Mutta is already granted on this ground hence this accused is also being granted benefit of bail and it is ordered that if in this case applicant is arrested then he should be released on bail bond of Rs. 5,000/- and surety.

(iii) PW 3 has admitted that husband of the prosecutrix had enmity with the Appellant. The medical report inter alia read as follows:

....No signs of injury anywhere.......... One cream color petticoat on which there no stains of looking like Semenal stains present...

(iv) The statement of the prosecutrix has also contradictions, as at one place she states that she had seen the accused only when he was escaping and not before, while at the other place she gave a different statement. Similarly her husband PW 2 has contradicted the prosecutrix about the presence of the accused when PW 2 arrived. According to PW 2, accused was still at the house and ran away only when he opened the door while according to prosecutrix the accused had ran away before arrival of her husband.

5. We find that the above discrepancies are supported by the record.

6. We are conscious that testimony of the prosecutrix is almost at par with an injured witness and can be acted upon without corroboration as held in various decisions of this Court. Reference may be made to some of the leading judgments.

In Bharwada Bhoginbhai Hirjibhai v. State of Gujarat. (1983) 3 SCC 217, this Court held as under:


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