Offence of rape is established once court believes in version of prosecutrix: Supreme Court

In such a case, the police's failure to send seized articles pertaining to the case to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) would not have any significance, the Court held.
Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court recently held that once a court believes the version of the prosecutrix in a rape case, it is sufficient to establish the offence under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) [Somai v. State of MP (now Chhattisgarh)].

While upholding the conviction of a rape accused, the Bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka observed that in such a case, the police's failure to send seized articles pertaining to the case to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) would not have any significance.

"Once the Court believes the version of prosecutrix, that is sufficient to establish the offence punishable under Section 376 of IPC. The failure of the police to send the seized articles to the FSL ceases to have any significance in such a case," the order stated.

The appellant had moved the Supreme Court challenging judgments of the sessions court as well as the High Court which convicted him for rape and house-trespass under the IPC.

Counsel for the appellant argued that the evidence on record showed that the sexual act between the parties was consensual.

The clothes and undergarments of the prosecutrix as well as the accused, which were seized by the police, were not sent for analysis to the FSL, he contended.

Further, he claimed that there were significant contradictions and omissions in the deposition of the prosecutrix.

However, the Court noted that,

"Perusal of the line of cross examination of the prosecutrix adopted by the appellant-accused shows that the case was of denial. Not even a suggestion has been given to the prosecutrix that there was a consent by the prosecutrix."

It also found that the evidence of the prosecutrix is consistent with the statements made in the First Information Report (FIR).

Moreover, the contradictions in the statements are of insignificant nature, and do not affect the case of the prosecution, the Court added.

Thus, the Court concluded that there was absolutely nothing on record to discredit the version of the prosecutrix.

"The Trial Court has gone into the issue of contradictions and omissions in the evidence of the prosecutrix and has believed her testimony for the reasons recorded. Even the High Court has believed the testimony of the prosecutrix. After having carefully perused the evidence of the prosecutrix, we find no reason to take a different view," the Bench said while dismissing the appeal.

The appellant was represented by Advocates Abhishek Pandey, Mahesh Pandey, Siddharth Pandey, Shweta Mulchandani and Satish Pandey.

The State was represented by Additional Advocate General for Chhattisgarh Prachi Mishra and Advocates Dipesh Singhal and Gautam Narayan.

[Read Order]

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