The Chhattisgarh High Court has observed that in case of any hesitation to place reliance on the testimony of a prosecutrix, the courts should lend assurance on the fact that there is a lack of strong motive to falsely implicate the Accused.

The Court also observed that if a prosecutrix is an adult and of full understanding, the court is entitled to base a conviction on her evidence unless the same is proved to be untrustworthy.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Sachin Singh Rajput observed, “If for some reason the Court is hesitant to place implicit reliance on the testimony of the prosecutrix it may look for evidence which may lend assurance to her testimony short of corroboration required in the case of an accomplice. The nature of evidence required to lend assurance to the testimony of the prosecutrix must necessarily depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. But if a prosecutrix is an adult and of full understanding the Court is entitled to base a conviction on her evidence unless the same is own to be infirm and not trustworthy. If the totality of the circumstances appearing on the record of the case discloses that the prosecutrix does not have a strong motive to falsely involve the person charged, the Court should ordinarily have no hesitation in accepting her evidence.”

Advocate Vivek Tripathi appeared for the Appellant while Panel Lawyer Sakib Ahmad appeared for the Respondent.

In the present case, an Appeal arose out of the judgment of conviction and order of sentence passed by a Sessions Court against the Appellant herein, convicting him under Sections 363 and 366A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 5(l)(6) of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. The victim was forcibly taken by the Convict, he thereafter raped her twice and left her near a school the next day.

The Court held, “A prosecutrix of a sex-offence cannot be put on par with an accomplice. She is in fact a victim of the crime. The Evidence Act nowhere says that her evidence cannot be accepted unless it is corroborated in material particulars. She is undoubtedly a competent witness under Section 118 and her evidence must receive the same weight as is attached to an injured in cases of physical violence. The same degree of care and caution must attach in the evaluation of her evidence as in the case of an injured complainant or witness and no more. What is necessary is that the Court must be conscious of the fact that it is dealing with the evidence of a person who is interested in the outcome of the charge levelled by her. If the Court keeps this in mind and feels satisfied that it can act on the evidence of the prosecutrix.”

The Court concluded that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the case beyond all reasonable doubt against the convict and the Sessions Court rightly convicted him.

The Court, therefore, dismissed the appeal.

Cause Title: Deepak Marwal@Kallu v. State of Chattisgarh. (Neutral Citation: 2024:CGHC:13402-DB)


Appellant: Advocate Vivek Tripathi

Respondent: Panel Lawyer Sakib Ahmad

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