Trial court had sentenced accused to seven years imprisonment

The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction of a youth in a sexual assault case, mainly on the basis of the victim’s statement. The prosecutrix was a few months less than 18 years at the time of commission of the crime.

The trial court had sentenced the accused, Bhagwan Dass alias Kallu, to seven years of imprisonment.

He had sought acquittal in the case arguing that he had married the prosecutrix and had sex with her with consent. However, the High Court rejected it, saying that it had no meaning as the prosecutrix was a minor.

Counsel for the accused also drew the attention of the Court to the acquittal of the accused on the charge of giving allegedly intoxicated sweets to the prosecutrix who had fallen unconscious after eating it. When he had been acquitted of the charge on the basis of which the other charges, kidnapping and sexual assault, were built on, how could he be convicted for the two offences, counsel for the accused asked.

But the Court dismissed it, saying that since his acquittal of this specific charge was not under challenge before it, this argument had no relevance.

The arguments of there being no injury mark on the prosecutrix and her parents tutoring her before recording of her evidence under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code before the Magistrate were also dismissed by the Court.

The allegations against accused Kallu was that he had allegedly made the prosecutrix unconscious by offering her sweets allegedly laced with some intoxicants, then took her to a rented house where he sexually assaulted her for about three weeks in the Kotla Mubarakpur area in South Delhi in 2007.

The prosecutrix had freed herself from the custody of the accused with the assistance of a boy who had opened the door of her room, which was latched from outside. Thereafter, she contacted her father over phone from a booth. Her father along with his brother reached the place and rescued her.

Upholding the conviction, Justice Mukta Gupta said: “In view of the testimony of the prosecutrix and their being no material on record to show that she was a consenting party, I do not find any infirmity in the judgment of the learned trial Court convicting the appellant for offences under Section 376/363 of the IPC.’’

The Court listed the matter on May 8 for a hearing on a plea for enhancement of Kallu’s sentence. Justice Gupta asked the Tihar Central Jail Superintendent to produce the convict on that date.

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