Darbara Singh

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Section(s) 376(2)(g) and 366 of Indian Penal Code, = The trial Court itself has expressed its anguish as to how the accused had purposely delayed and dragged the examination of the prosecutrix and finally succeeded in their nefarious objective when the father of the prosecutrix died and the prosecutrix resiled on the last date of her cross-examination. The appellants belonged to a well-to-do family, while the prosecutrix came from poorest state of the society. Thus, a sudden change in their attitude is understandable A witness is a responsible citizen. It is his duty to support the case of the prosecution and should depose what he knows about the case. In the instant case, it is shocking that the mother of the prosecutrix had turned hostile and she repeatedly told the court that there had been some talks of compromise. In a case where an offence of this nature had been committed, we fail to understand as to how there can be a compromise between the parties. The conduct of the mother herself is reprehensible. 8. It is a settled legal proposition that statement of a hostile witness can also be examined to the extent that it supports the case of the prosecution.= Unfortunately, the trial court went against the spirit of law, while dealing with such a sensitive case of rape of a student by her teachers, by recording the statement of prosecutrix on five different dates. Thus, a reasonable inference can be drawn that defence had an opportunity to win her mother. The said proviso has been added by amendment vide Act 5 of 2009 w.e.f. 31.12.2009, but even otherwise, it was the duty of the trial court not to adjourn the proceedings for such a long period giving an opportunity to the accused to persuade or force, by any means, the prosecutrix and her mother to turn hostile. ; As there was a fiduciary relationship between the accused and the prosecutrix being in their custody and they were trustee, it became a case where fence itself eats the crop and in such a case the provisions of Section 114-A of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Evidence Act’) (which came into effect from 25.12.1983) are attracted. Undoubtedly it is a case which provides for a presumption against any consent in a case of rape even if the prosecutrix girl is major, however, every presumption is rebuttable, and no attempt had ever been made by any of the appellants or other accused to rebut the said presumption. : The evidence of a victim of sexual assault stands almost on a part with the evidence of an injured witness and to an extent is ever more reliable. Just as a witness who has sustained some injury in the occurrence, which is not found to be self-inflicted, is considered to be a good witness in the sense that he is least likely to shield the real culprit, the evidence of a victim of a sexual offence is entitled to great weight, absence of corroboration notwithstanding….” ; So far as the conviction is concerned, as it was case of gang rape by teachers of their student, the punishment of 10 years rigorous imprisonment imposed by the trial court is shocking, considering the relationship between the parties. It was a fit case where life imprisonment could have been awarded to all the accused persons. Unfortunately, Smt. Jasbir Kaur had been acquitted by the High Court, and State of Punjab did not prefer any appeal against the same. One of the accused, Ranjit Singh, had approached this court and his special leave petition has been dismissed. Thus, in such circumstances, we are not in a position even to issue notice for enhancement of the punishment to the accused. ;Seeking adjournments for postponing the examination of witnesses without any reason, amounts to dereliction of duty on the part of the advocate as it tantamounts to harassment and hardship to the witnesses. Tactics of filibuster, if adopted by an advocate is also a professional misconduct.

Page 1 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO(s). 878-879 OF 2011 MOHAN LAL & ANR Appellants VERSUS STATE OF PUNJAB Respondent WITH CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 884 of 2011 O R D E R 1. These appeals have been preferred against the impugned judgment and order dated 3.12.2010 passed … Continue reading

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