Criminal Appeal No. 616 of 1985.

Decided On: 16.01.1996

Appellants: State of Punjab Vs. Respondent: Gurmit Singh and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
Dr. A.S. Anand and Saiyed Saghir Ahmad


1. This appeal Under Section 14 of the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1984 is directed against the judgment and order of Additional Judge, Special Court, Ludhiana dated 1.6.1985 by which the respondents were acquitted of the charge of abduction and rape. For what follows, the judgment impugned in this appeal, presents a rather disquietening and a disturbing feature. It demonstrates lack of sensitivity on the part of the court by casting unjustified stigmas on a prosecutrix aged below 16 years in a rape case, by overlooking human psychology and behavioral probabilities. An intrinsically wrong approach while appreciating the testimonial potency of the evidence of the prosecutrix has resulted in miscarriage of justice. First a brief reference to the prosecution case :

2. The prosecutrix (name withheld by us), a young girl below 16 years of age, was studying in the 10th class at the relevant time in Government High School, Pakhowal. The matriculation examinations were going on at the material time. The examination center of the prosecutrix was located in the Boys High School, Pakhowal. On 30th March, 1984 at about 12.30. p.m. after taking her test in Geography, the prosecutrix was going to the house of her maternal uncle, Darshan Singh, and when she had covered a distance of about 100 karmas from the school a blue ambassador car being driven by a sikh youth aged 20/25 years came from behind. In that car Gurmit Singh, Jagjit Singh @ Bawa and Ranjit Singh accused were sitting. The car stopped near her. Ranjit Singh accused came out of the car and caught hold of the prosecutrix from her arm and pushed her inside the car. Accused Jagjit Singh @ Bawa put his hand on the mouth of the 'prosecutrix while Gurmit Singh accused threatened the prosecutrix, that in case she raised an alarm she would be done to death. All the three accused respondents herein drove her to the tubewell of Ranjit Singh accused. She was taken to the 'kotha' of the A Tubewell. The driver of the car after leaving the prosecutrix and the three accused persons there went away with the car. In the said kotha Gurmit Singh compelled the prosecutrix to take liquor, misrepresenting to her that it was juice. Her refusal did not have any effect and she reluctantly consumed liquor. Gurmit Singh then got removed her salwar and also opened her shirt. She was made to lie on a cot in the kotha while his companions guarded the kotha from outside. Gurmit Singh committed rape upon her. She raised rule as she was suffering pain but Gurmit Singh threatened to kill her if she persisted in raising alarm. Due to that threat, she kept quiet. After Gurmit Singh had committed rape upon her, the other two accused, who were earlier guarding the kotha from outside, came in one by one, and committed rape upon her. Jagjit Singh alias Bawa committed rape on her after Gurmit Singh and thereafter Ranjit Singh committed rape on her. Each one of the accused committed sexual intercourse with the prosecutrix forcibly and against her will. They all subjected her to sexual intercourse once again during the night against her will. Next morning at about 6.00 a.m., the same car arrived at the tubewell kotha of Ranjit Singh and the three accused made her to sit in th........