The Chhattisgarh High Court upheld the conviction of man who was convicted for repeatedly raping his 11-year-old minor daughter.

The Court was deciding an appeal filed by the father aged 40 years, against the judgment of the Additional Sessions Judge.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Arvind Kumar Verma remarked, “In the present case it is to be noted that the accused who was ravished his minor daughter who was aged about 11 years on numerous occasions for three years which demonstrates the mental state or mindset of the accused. The accused instead of showing fatherly love, affection and protection to the child against the evils of the society, rather made her the victim of lust. It is a case where trust has been betrayed and social values are impaired. Therefore, the accused as such does not deserve any sympathy and/or any leniency.”

Advocate Mamta Jaiswal appeared on behalf of the appellant/convict while Government Advocate Sangharsh Pandey appeared on behalf of the respondent/State.

In this case, a woman (complainant) had lodged an FIR who worked as a maid in the appellant’s house. She alleged that the victim resided with her father/appellant and his wife had died. The appellant used to consume liquor and ravish her minor daughter by touching her private part and also sexually exploited her even after repeated protests. One day he was persuading his daughter for the heinous crime and she was trying to run away from there but he caught her tightly which was even seen by the people of the nearby vicinity. Thereafter, the appellant left the victim and went to consume liquor.

The victim came out in fear and then the women of the neighbourhood including the complainant asked her to inform whether her father was committing ‘maar peeth’ with her. On the same day, again the appellant tried to ravish her and then she narrated about the incident to the complainant and other women that her father was doing the diabolical act which was not committed once, rather repeatedly since three years. Hence, the case was registered against the appellant and he was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for life under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 5 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act).

The High Court in view of the above facts observed, “Reverting to the instant case, the victim was consistent in her statement and has asserted that her father-appellant on several occasions sexually exploited her even after her repeated protests. The statement of the prosecutrix has been consistent from the beginning to the end, from the initial statement to the oral testimony, without creating any doubt qua the prosecution’s case.”

The Court said that there was no doubt that being in a position of authority and trust, the accused being the father of the victim, sexually exploited his minor daughter aged about 11 years.

“The oral testimonies of the prosecution witnesses (PWs-1,2,3,4,8 and 9 i.e. victim and the neighbours) on the culpability of the convict got credence unerringly pointing to his guilt. On appreciating the evidence on record and coming to the conclusion that the guilt of the appellant under Sections 324 IPC and Sections 5(L)(M)(N)/6 of the POCSO has been conclusively proved”, it further noted.

The Court held that the prosecution has established the guilt of the appellant beyond reasonable doubt as there is no contravention in the position of law and there can be no quarrel with the proposition that when the testimony of the prosecutrix is creditworthy, trustworthy, unimpeached, and inspires confidence; the conviction of the appellant can be sustained based solely on it.

“Considering the evidence of the victim, who had to bear the brunt of the depravity POCSO Act is a Special Act where the legislature has made stringent provisions to protect the interests of victims who are minors. … The prosecution presented compelling evidence to establish beyond doubt the culpability of the accused, leaving no room for ambiguity regarding his guilt. Consequently, the sentence awarded to the appellant by the Learned Trial Court also does not warrant any interference”, it added.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the conviction of the appellant.

Cause Title- Lalchand Rohra v. State of Chhattisgarh (Neutral Citation: 2024:CGHC:12528-DB)

Click here to read/download the Judgment