High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Inderjeet & another v. State of Haryana - CRR-1637-2005  RD-P&H 4284 (18 July 2006)
Inderjeet & another Versus State of Haryana Present: Mr.TPS Mann, Advocate
for the petitioners.
Mr.Sunil Katyal, DAG Haryana.
Both the petitioners were booked in a case FIR No.340 dated 12.5.1997, under Sections 354, 506/120-B of the Indian Penal Code, registered at Police Station City Bahadurgarh. They were accordingly charged. Learned trial Court vide impugned judgment dated 3.10.2002 convicted them for the aforesaid offence. They were sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year and to pay a fine of Rs.1,000/- each for the offence punishable under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code and in default of payment of fine to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for three months. Both the petitioners were further sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a period of one year and to pay a fine of Rs.500/- each, in default thereof to further undergo rigorous imprisonment for three months for the offence under Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code. Both the sentences were, however, ordered to run concurrently. Aggrieved by the judgment of conviction and sentence, an appeal was preferred by them. Vide impugned judgment of learned Additional Sessions Judge, Jhajjar dated 27.8.2005, their conviction and the sentence is upheld. Hence, this revision petition.
The instant case was registered on the statement of prosecutrix Sonali Oberoi. She alleged that her husband was doing the business of Import and Export at Delhi and as a Model she was working with Kamal Crl.Revision No.1637 of 2005 2
Chopra, (petitioner No.2) who is a Serial Director. On 12.5.1997 at about 9.00 A.M. she along with her mother Balwinder Kaur was present in her house where Kamal Chopra and his friend Inderjeet (petitioner No.1) came in a Car to show her the location. She accompanied them and was brought in a Hotel known as 'Gajraj Hotel, Bahadurgarh'. Petitioner Inderjeet made her to fall on the bed. He also put off her gold finger rings. An attempt was made by him to remove her clothes forcibly and said that her gold rings would not be returned unless she puts off her clothes. Kamal Chopra, in the meantime, had gone to fetch Ice Cream. When she shouted, Inderjeet gave a threat to kill her and said that her parents would also be kidnapped.
On an alarm being raised by her, the waiters of the Hotel came and door was opened and then she came out of the room. Ultimately, the case was registered.
The learned trial Court has believed the statement of Sonali Oberoi, who stepped into the witness box as PW2 and convicted both the petitioners. Finding no fault with the case of the prosecution, their conviction now stands confirmed by the appellate Court.
I have heard Mr.TPS Mann, learned counsel for the petitioners and Mr.Sunil Katyal, learned DAG Haryana. With their assistance, I have gone through the entire record very minutely.
At the very outset, Mr.Mann contends that the statement of Sonali Oberoi (PW2) does not get any support from the employee of Gajraj Hotel. The prosecution agency had recorded the statement of Ravinder Kumar Saini (PW1), but he did not support the case of the prosecution and in the absence of any independent corroboration to the version of the prosecutrix, the conviction of the petitioners is not sustainable.
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Mr.Mann then submits that even the statement of the prosecutrix suffers from many infirmities and, therefore, it should not be accepted for the purposes of maintaining the conviction. Dwelling upon his arguments, learned counsel then submits that the prosecutrix had all the reasons to falsely implicate the petitioners for certain ulterior motives as there appears to be some money dispute and if the story as put forth by her is tested on the touch-stone of human probabilities, it appears to be improbable and unnatural. Certain material discrepancies have crept in her statement and the same cannot be brushed aside by terming them as minor in nature. He has read out the entire statement (substantive) of the prosecutrix.
It is then submitted by Mr.Mann that the Investigating Officer had also not been examined by the prosecution, as a result thereof valuable right of the petitioners to cross-examine him is lost. For this reason also, the case of the prosecution is on slippery footing.
Mainly on the aforesaid submissions, Mr.Mann prays for acquittal of both the petitioners.
In the alternative, Mr.Mann contends that in case the conviction suffered by the petitioners is maintained, then in that eventuality, keeping in view the fact that both the petitioners are neither previous convict nor there is anything against their antecedents and character, a lenient view be taken with regard to reduction in the quantum of sentence. Strengthening his arguments in this regard, learned counsel submits that no special reasons have been given by the learned lower Court while declining the benefit of probation to the petitioners. Otherwise also, they have by now undergone substantial period of their substantive sentence as they were taken in Crl.Revision No.1637 of 2005 4
custody on 27.8.2005 itself when their appeal was dismissed by the lower appellate Court. This period comes out to be six months and a few odd days. The petitioners are married persons; whole of the family, which includes certain minor children, is dependent upon them and all these factors are mitigating circumstances calling for a lenient tilt towards them with regard to quantum of sentence. Mr.Mann states that while reducing the substantive sentence, the prosecutrix can also be compensated by directing the petitioners to pay a reasonable amount to her.
In support of his contentions, learned counsel has relied upon the following judgments:
1. Kanwar Pal Singh Gill Versus State (Admn. U.T. Chandigarh) 2005 (3) RCR (Criminal) 772;
2. Mann Singh Versus State of Haryana, 2003 (1) RCR (Criminal) 144;
3. Ashok @ Pappu Versus State of M.P., 2005 Crl.L.J.2301;
4. Bijender Versus State of Haryana, 1996(1) RCR (Criminal) 192; and
5. Pargat Singh Versus the State of Punjab, 1985 (1) RCR (Criminal) 411. Controverting the submissions advanced by Mr.Mann, learned State counsel states that both the Courts below have properly appreciated the entire evidence on record and came to a categorical finding that the offence against the petitioners is proved to the hilt. Since there is no basic infirmity in the case of the prosecution, the conviction already recorded does not deserve to be disturbed. With regard to quantum of sentence, learned State counsel submits that the case of the petitioners does not call from any lenient tilt as both the petitioners have conspired with each other and then one of them (petitioner Inderjeet ) tried to outrage the modesty of the prosecutrix taking an undue advantage of the situation.
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While exercising its revisional jurisdiction, this Court has to see as to whether there is manifest error on the point of law or glaring defect in the procedure which has resulted in flagrant miscarriage of justice. If it is not so, then the revisional Court is expected to be slow in disturbing the finding of the Courts below which had an opportunity to scan and re-scan the evidence very minutely. In my considered view, the learned trial Court while convicting the petitioners, has discussed each and every aspect of the evidence. The judgment reflects that the learned trial Court has scrutinized the evidence of the prosecutrix with all care and caution and then came to the conclusion that the occurrence had, in fact, taken place in the manner as stated by the prosecutrix, even if her statement was not getting corroboration from independent source and placed reliance on the solitary statement of the prosecutrix. The learned trial Court in this regard has relied upon the judgment of the Hon'ble Apex Court rendered in State of Orissa Versus Thakara Besra and another, 2002 (3) Judicial Reports (Criminal) Supreme Court, 23.
A perusal of the impugned judgment of learned lower appellate Court also indicates that the entire evidence has been re-scanned very carefully and then it returned a categorical finding that the statement of the prosecutrix (complainant) is a reliable piece of evidence for the purpose of maintaining the conviction. I do not find any reason to disturb the finding of the Courts below. Consequently, the conviction as recorded by the trial Court and thereafter maintained by the lower appellate Court is upheld.
Even with regard to reduction in substantive sentence, in my considered view, the petitioners do not deserve any concessional tilt. In a latest judgment rendered by the Hon'ble Apex Court in State of Karnataka Crl.Revision No.1637 of 2005 6
Versus Puttaraja, (SC), 2004 (1) R.C.R. (Criminal) 113 their lordships have held that the offences against women have great impact and serious repercussions on social order and any liberal attitude by imposing meagre sentence or taking too sympathetic view merely on account of lapse of time or some period of incarceration will be result-wise counter productive in the long run. The societal interest needs to be cared for and strengthened by the required string of deterrence in-built in the sentencing system. May be that the aforesaid judgment relates to a case of rape punishable under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, but the ratio is that the cases against women are to be dealt with a string of deterrence in awarding sentence.
Mr.Mann has made an attempt to project certain mitigating circumstances in favour of the petitioners stating that they have already suffered substantial period of substantive sentence and are married persons upon whom the families are totally dependent. But in my considered view, the same cannot be said to be the mitigating circumstances in the light of the factual back-drop of the instant case, reason being that they have acted in a beastly manner with a member of their team who had to do the acting in the Serial. In other words, the prosecutrix stood in a fiduciary relation to the petitioners. On the particular pretext, the prosecutrix was taken out of her house and then taking an undue advantage of the situation, her gold rings were removed. On her protest, she was threatened with dire consequences by one of the petitioners (Inderjit) and then physical force was shown to her by touching her person with an intention to outrage her modesty. The dominant designs of both the petitioners was to play tricks with the prosecutrix in a sophisticated manner.
Even if the petitioners have already undergone a substantial Crl.Revision No.1637 of 2005 7
period of substantive sentence, as stated by Mr.Mann, their conduct is not only repugnant to the social order but is revolting to judicial conscience as well. It is bad, sad and deplorable. They are to be cursed thrice. They are not true to themselves or to their families or to the circle of their friends and associates. Compensating the prosecutrix in the terms of money, would be an insult to her. The judgments cited by Mr.Mann with regard to reduction in the quantum of sentence are entirely distinguishable on facts. In my firm view, the petitioners do not deserve little least sympathy from this Court with regard to reduction in the quantum of sentence. Consequently, the said prayer is also declined.
The net result is that while confirming the conviction of both the petitioners, the sentence imposed upon them is also affirmed. The instant revision petition, thus, fails on all the counts and is hereby dismissed.
( VIRENDER SINGH )
March 10, 2006 JUDGE
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