Supreme Court SC finds rape not consensual, upholds conviction

SC finds rape not consensual, upholds conviction

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New Delhi, Apr 8 (ILNS) The Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of rape accused, rejecting his contention that the act was consensual.

The division bench of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Indira Banerjee, while hearing a Criminal Appeal filed by Lelu Alias Lain Kumar, on Tuesday observed that there is nothing on record that can even remotely suggest that the act was consensual. 

The case pertains to an accused, who was convicted by the First Additional Sessions Judge, Mahasamund, Chhattisgarh, under Section 376 (1) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Rape) and was awarded seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5000. The amount if not paid, the accused will undergo further rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year, the court directed.

The accused approached the High Court but his appeal was dismissed. The court appointed Advocate Talha Abdul Rahman as Amicus Curiae in the matter, who after talking to both the parties, made the following submissions:

a) The evidence on record shows that the age of the prosecutrix on the date of the incident was not below 16 years of age, as projected by the prosecution.

b) The medical evidence on record in the form of MLC Report Exhibit as well as the testimony of Asha Mishra did not suggest any injuries on the private parts of the prosecutrix.

c) The eye-witness account on the record through the depositions of the prosecutrix, as well as the other eye-witnesses, clearly shows that the act in question was purely consensual.

The Court noted that the prosecuterix had clearly stated that the accused had raped her and she could not raise alarm as her mouth was shut. 

“The statement of the prosecutrix was fully supported by the prosecution witness, who stated that they had found the prosecutrix in the unconscious state soon after the incident was committed. In the circumstances, there is nothing on record that can even remotely suggest that the act was consensual. In the face of clear statements of the prosecutrix and the other witnesses on record, the Courts below were justified in convicting the appellant of the offence in question”, the Court observed.

“We, therefore, dismiss the appeal and as the conviction and substantive sentence are concerned, the conviction will be seven years of imprisonment. However, we modify the default sentence and reduce it from one year to three months,” said the Court. ILNS/SNG/RJ

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