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MohinderSingh

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Sections 366, 376, 363, 506 and 342 of the Indian Penal Code (for short the IPC) whether the High Court erred in not taking into account the statement and testimony of H.L. that the respondent had raped her on several occasions and thereby acquitting him. In our opinion, the High Court committed an error of law in not considering the evidence put forward by the prosecutrix (who was less than 16 years when she was raped) and ignoring the settled position in law that if the sole testimony of the prosecutrix is credible, a conviction can Crl. Appeal No.352 of 2006 be based thereon without the need for any further corroboration. A reading of the judgment and order of the High Court indicates that it has not discussed the statement of H.L. under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C. before the Magistrate nor her testimony before the Trial Judge. On going through her statement recorded by the Magistrate, we find that it is rather detailed and the least that was expected of the High Court was to consider that statement. If it was found to be not credible, the High Court was entitled to reject it and also her testimony before the Trial Judge. But, to Crl. Appeal No.352 of 2006 completely ignore what the prosecutrix had said, merely on the basis of a handful of letters which she had written (even though she had explained the circumstances in which she had written those letters) is a rather unsatisfactory way of dealing with the entire case. 31. Normally, we would have gone through the entire evidence on record and decided whether the acquittal of Basti Ram should be sustained or not. However, in the absence of any discussion or analysis of the evidence by the High Court in first appeal, we are of the opinion that a right of appeal available to Basti Ram would be taken away if we were to consider the case on its merits without the opinion of the High Court. Additionally, for a proper appreciation of the case, it is necessary for us to have the views of the High Court on record. This is important since the High Court has reversed a finding of conviction given by the Trial Judge. 32. Under the circumstances, the more appropriate course of action would be to set aside the impugned Crl. Appeal No.352 of 2006 judgment and order passed by the High Court and remand the matter for reconsideration on merits after taking into account the entire evidence on record, including the statement and testimony of H.L. as well as the law on the subject. We do so accordingly. 33. Since the allegation of rape is of the year 1989- 1990, we request the High Court to accord high priority to the disposal of the case. 34. Appeal is disposed of.

Page 1 REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 352 OF 2006 State of Haryana …..Appellant Versus Basti Ram …..Respondent J U D G M E N T Madan B. Lokur, J. 1. The question for our consideration is whether the High Court erred in not taking into account the … Continue reading

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