The Supreme Court in a rape case has observed that once the Court believes the version of the survivor, the failure of the Police to send the seized articles to a Forensic Laboratory ceases to have any significance.

The Bench of Justice SK Kaul and Justice Abhay S. Oka observed, "Once the Court believes the version of prosecutrix, that is sufficient to establish the offence punishable under Section 376 of IPC. The failure of the police to send the seized articles to the FSL ceases to have any significance in such a case."

In this case, the Appellant-Accused approached the Apex Court assailing the impugned judgment of the High Court by which he was convicted for the offences punishable under Sections 376 and 450 of IPC.

AOR Satish Pandey appeared for the Appellant while AAG Prachi Mishra appeared for the State before the Court.

The Counsel for the Appellant had contended before the Court that it was a consensual act as could be seen from the evidence on record. It was also argued that there were significant contradictions and omissions in the deposition of the prosecutrix.

Furthermore, it was contended that the clothes and undergarments of the prosecutrix as well as the accused which were seized by the police were not sent for analysis to FSL.

The Court noted, "After having perused the deposition of the prosecutrix and after considering the omissions and contradiction sought to be brought on record, we find that the evidence of prosecutrix is consistent with the statements made in the First Information Report. Moreover, the contradictions sought to be brought on record in the evidence of the prosecutrix are of insignificant nature which do not affect the substratum of the case of the prosecution."

The Court perused the line of cross-examination of the prosecutrix adopted by the Appellant-Accused and held that it was a case of denial, and thus observed –

"Not even a suggestion has been given to the prosecutrix that there was a consent by the prosecutrix. The evidence on record also shows that the prosecutrix suffered two injuries below the nostril. The pieces of broken bangles were found at the place of the incident."

Further, it was held, "We are of the view that there is absolutely nothing to discredit the version of the prosecutrix. The Trial Court has gone into the issue of contradictions and omissions in the evidence of the prosecutrix and has believed her testimony for the reasons recorded. Even the High Court has believed the testimony of the prosecutrix. After having carefully perused the evidence of the prosecutrix, we find no reason to take a different view."

Thus, the Court concurred with the view taken by the High Court and trial Court that the guilt of the accused was proved beyond a reasonable doubt and dismissed the appeal.

Cause Title – Somai v. State of M.P. (Now Chattisgarh)

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