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COMPROMISE IN RAPE CASES IS NOT ACCEPTED : SC

STATE OF MP V. MANDANLAL

Criminal appeal no. 231 of 2015  – On 1st JULY 2015,

The order was passed by the Supreme Court under the division bench comprising of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Prafulla C. Pant that, in rape cases, there can be no compromise made legally.

A 7-year-old girl was raped by the accused. An FIR was filed against the accused and the Trial Court found the accused guilty. The appeal was made by the accused in the High Court, it was held that there was a compromise entered by both the parties so the judgment of the Trial Court was converted. Now the present appeal was made by the State of Madhya Pradesh in the Supreme Court.

The learned counsel on behalf of the State made a contention that the High Court has made the judgment in a brief manner and therefore it needs to be removed and the court did not keep about the jurisdiction of the Appellate Court in knowledge.

He further said that Rape is a non-bailable offence and there I no compromise left to the parties because there is every chance that the petitioner may be compelled to go for the compromise.

The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent, Ms. Asha Jain Madan contended that the prosecution has failed to prove that the evidence on record is the offence under Section 376(2)(f) to be read with Section 511 of the IPC so the judgment given by the Trial Court is absolutely faultless.

“She would contend with immense vehemence that when the prosecutrix was a seven-year-old girl and the ingredients of the offence had not been established the conversion of the offence to one under Section 354 IPC by the High Court cannot be found fault with.”

The compromise made by both the parties is made as an affidavit and it is duly signed by the victim so there is no ground for completion that can be made by the respondents.

The SC has referred to the case Amar Singh v. Balwinder Singh and others, opposed to the judgment of the HC. The Trial Court has passed the order only based on the evidence and the testimony of the eyewitness, unpredictably the High Court did not consider any of the evidence and ignored the same.

The exercise of the jurisdiction of the Appellate Court is answered by citing the case K.Anbazhaghan v. State of Karnataka.

“The appellate court has a duty to make a complete and comprehensive appreciation of all vital features of the case. The evidence brought on record in entirety has to be scrutinized with care and caution. It is the duty of the Judge to see that justice is appropriately administered, for that is the paramount consideration of a Judge”

The HC has not done the above said duty properly, the evidence which was produced in the Trial Court was not referred properly and so the Supreme Court has willingly kept aside the judgment of the High Court.

The High Court was majorly influenced by the compromise made by both the parties, it was answered by the SC that the said offence the respondent accused was not compoundable, so the compromise was not found legal. The aid statement was supported by the case Shimbhu and another V. State of Haryana.

“Further, a compromise entered into between the parties cannot be construed as a leading factor based on which lesser punishment can be awarded. Rape is a non-compoundable offence and it is an offence against the society and is not a matter to be left for the parties to compromise and settle. The accused may use all his influence to pressurize her for a compromise. So, in the interest of justice and to avoid unnecessary pressure/harassment to the victim, it would not be safe in considering the compromise arrived at [pic]between the parties in rape cases to be a ground for the Court to exercise the discretionary power under the proviso of Section 376(2) IPC.”

The crime committed is against the body of the women and it is about the life breath of a person, her dignity and reputation. No one is allowed to get those effects away from her. When there is a compromise in regarding the above said offences is something done against the honour of women. So any kind of liberal approach or mediation which is conducted in these offences is completely against legality.

The court added that the accused to re-arrested, it should be remanded back to the HC, ordered that the same should be conducted by the concerned police officer. The appeal made by the State was conducted as a fresh one and the appeal was allowed.

“Placing reliance on Shimbhu (supra), we also say that the judgments in Baldev Singh (supra) and Ravindra (supra) have to be confined to the facts of the said cases and are not to be regarded as binding precedents. We have already opined that matter has to be remitted to the High Court for a reappraisal of the evidence and for a fresh decision and, therefore, we have not referred to the evidence of any of the witnesses. The consequence of such remand is that the order of the High Court stands lancinated and as the respondent was in custody at the time of the pronouncement of the judgment by the trial Court, he shall be taken into custody forthwith by the concerned Superintendent of Police and thereafter the appeal before the High Court be heard afresh. A copy of judgment be sent to the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Bench at Gwalior. The appeal stands allowed to the extent indicated herein above.”

View/ Download the Judgment: STATE OF MP V. MANDANLAL

–  Manusri Ramakrishna

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