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Appreciation of evidence – rape victim.

S. Ramakrishna vs. The State Rep. By The Public Prosecutor, High Court of A.P. Hyderabad – Criminal Appeal No.1636 of 2008,S.L.P (Crl.) No.5781 of 2007 – 20th October, 2008.

Facts of the case: The appellant faced trial for offences punishable under Sections 376, 323, 342 and 506, IPC. The Trial Court directed acquittal of the appellant in respect of offence punishable under Section 323, IPC but convicted in respect of other offences as noted above.

The Hon’ble Andhra Pradesh High Court upholding the conviction of the appellant for the offences punishable under Sections 376 and 342 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (for short ‘IPC’), while acquitting the appellant of the charges in terms of Section 506, IPC. Hence this SLP.

Points which were decided as follows:

Under section 118 Evidence Act – Prosecutrix is a competent witness:

Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that a prosecutrix of a sex offence cannot be put on a par with an accomplice. She is in fact a victim of the crime. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (in short “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.

Section 228-A IPC – disclosing the identity of victim of certain offences punishable:

We do not propose to mention name of the victim. Section 228-A, IPC makes disclosure of identity of victim of certain offences punishable. Printing or publishing name of any matter which may make known the identity of any person against whom an offence under Sections 376, 376-A, 376-B, 376-C or 376-D is alleged or found to have been committed can be punished. True it is, the restriction does not relate to printing or publication of judgment by High Court or Supreme Court. But keeping in view the social object of preventing social victimisation or ostracism of the victim of a sexual offence for which Section 228-A has been enacted, it would be appropriate that in the judgments, be it of this Court. High Court or lower Court, the name of the victim should not be indicated, we have chosen to describe her as ‘victim’ in the judgment. The above position was highlighted in State of Karnataka Vs. Puttaraja – 2004 (1) SCC 475.



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