The Allahabad High Court has expressed displeasure over the conduct of the State in not appealing against the lenient sentencing given to a convict who had mutilated the private parts of a minor girl in the year 1988.

"It is a very sorry state of affairs that the State has not preferred any appeal against the leniency observed by the learned Trial Court in sentencing the appellant to such a short term. The lethargy of the public prosecutor is highly deplorable.", the Bench of Justice Krishan Pahal observed.

In this case, the Trial Court had convicted the accused in the year 1992 under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sentenced him to three years of imprisonment. He was also convicted under Section 354 IPC and sentenced to two years of imprisonment. Both sentences were to run separately.

It was prosecution's case that the four-year-old girl was found in a blood-soaked condition from the field and it was informed that some unknown person had assaulted her private parts by a blade.

The Investigating Officer recorded the statement of the witnesses, prepared site plan, took in possession the blood stained blade and other materials, and arrested the appellant-accused.

On appreciation of evidence available before Trial Court and after hearing parties, the Sessions Judge convicted and sentenced accused- appellant.

Aggrieved the accused-appellant approached High Court.

Amicus Curiae Aarushi Khare, appeared for the accused whereas AGA Vinod Kumar Singh Parmar appeared for the State.

The Court while considering the statement of the prosecution witnesses held that the appellant has committed the aforesaid heinous offence with the victim of tender age.

The Court observed that "The learned Trial Court has rightly taken recourse of Section 222 of Cr.P.C. wherein the allegations of commission of rape by the appellant with the victim were not found. Although the internal examination report of the victim supports it. However, the evidence regarding the commission of offence punishable under Section 354 IPC was established by the statement of the victim PW-2 and, therefore, on this count, learned Trial Court has rightly convicted the appellant u/s 354 IPC, although, the charge was framed u/s 376/511 IPC."

On the contention that certain discrepancies were found in the statements of the prosecution witnesses, the Court held that "…it is but natural that minor discrepancies and contradictions may appear in the statement of witnesses. It is a settled law that in the evidence of untutored witnesses such contradictions are bound to creep in. The witnesses have not been examined in Court immediately after the offence. They have been examined after about two years of the occurrence and some trivial and minor contradictions are natural to come up in their statements as they are not bound to possess a photographic memory."

The Court observed that the offence committed by the appellant by mutilating the private part of the minor girl cannot be termed as an act of a person of normal virtues.

The Court expressed that the accused-appellant deserved harsh punishment for the diabolic offence committed by him which depicted his depraved mental status.

The Court dismissed the appeal filed by the accused-appellant while upholding the Judgment and Order passed by the Trial Court.

Cause Title- Ishrat v. State

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