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M.P. Ponnamma and anr. Vs. the State of Karnataka - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in1978CriLJ1241
AppellantM.P. Ponnamma and anr.
RespondentThe State of Karnataka
Excerpt:
.....satisfied that a-1 was taking his daughter to secure her a job, he permitted p. d-1 and d-2 -which clearly indicate that she was happy at madras. but, on the other hand, she informed her parents that she was happy and earning at madras. it may be pointed out that injustice may equally be done where persons, in fact guilty, are improperly acquitted as well as where innocent persons are convicted......number of persons. on the basis of the said complaint, a case was registered against all the six accused persons under section 366, i.p.c.3. after rejecting major part of the evidence as untrustworthy, the learned judge has relied on the. evidence of p. w. 1 and to some extent on the evidence of u. rani (p. w. 6). p. w. 1 was moving freely with a number of persons. she was visiting hotels and other places of recreation and at no point of time she made any complaint to the police or any one. she wrote two letters addressed to her parents - exts. d-1 and d-2 - which clearly indicate that she was happy at madras. in a case of this nature, she has to be materially corroborated regarding the allegations made by her in court against the accused. it is not possible to assess this sort of.....
Judgment:

C. Honniah, J.

1. These two appeals arise from the judgment of the Sessions Judge, Coorg, Mercara, dated 10th of March 1977, by which he convicted A-1 to A-4 under Section 366 of the I.P.C. A-1 and A-4 have filed these two appeals; A-2 and A-3 have not filed any appeal and they are undergoing the sentence.

2. The facts are these:

On 16-12-1974 Ponnamma (P. W. 1) aged about 20 years a resident of Boikeri village near Mercara, met A-1 (Ponnamma) at the bus stand in Mercara. While they were talking A-1 came to know that P. W. 1 was in search of a job. A-1 mentioned to P. W. 1 that she would get her a job in a factory in Bangalore. P. W. 1 requested A-1 to meet her near the bus stand the next day. So saying she went away. On the next day P. W. 1 came to the bus stand along with her father and met A-1. The father of P. W. 1 on being satisfied that A-1 was taking his daughter to secure her a job, he permitted P. W. 1 to go along with A-1. A-1 and P. W. 1 went to Virajpet and there they met M. Subbaiah alias Katti (A-2) said to be the brother of A-1. A-6 (P. M. Vittala) was then in the company of A-2, A-1 informed P. W. 1 that A2 would secure her a job at Bangalore and having said so, left P. W. 1 in the company of A-2 and A-6 and went away. A-2 and A-6 took P. W. 1 to Bangalore, where they met A-3 (Mallengada Somaiah alias Raja). Then A-3 took P. W. 1 to Madras promising to get her a job there. At Madras P. W. 1 was taken to the house of A-4 (P. K. Raj an) where A-4 induced her to practice prostitution. She was in Madras for about 45 days during which period, at the instance of A-4, she went with a number of persons to give them company in hotels and other places. Thereafter, P. W. 1 persuaded A-3 to take her back to her place. Accordingly, A-3 brought P. W. 1 to Bangalore, where she stayed in the house of Laxmamma (A-5) for some days. Ultimately, she went back to her native place in the month of March 1975. Few days later, at the instance of her uncle, she filed a complaint (Ext. P-1) in the Police Station of Virajpet on 8-3-1975 alleging that she was abducted by A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-6 from Mercara to Madras and there A-4 forced her to have illicit intercourse with number of persons. On the basis of the said complaint, a case was registered against all the six accused persons under Section 366, I.P.C.

3. After rejecting major part of the evidence as untrustworthy, the learned Judge has relied on the. evidence of P. W. 1 and to some extent on the evidence of U. Rani (P. W. 6). P. W. 1 was moving freely with a number of persons. She was visiting hotels and other places of recreation and at no point of time she made any complaint to the police or any one. She wrote two letters addressed to her parents - Exts. D-1 and D-2 - which clearly indicate that she was happy at Madras. In a case of this nature, she has to be materially corroborated regarding the allegations made by her in Court against the accused. It is not possible to assess this sort of evidence at its true worth unless there is some corroboration. The nature of the corroboration should necessarily vary according to the particular circumstances of the offence charged. It would be dangerous to attempt to formulate the kind of evidence which would be regarded as corroboration, except to say that corroborative evidence is evidence which shows or tends to show that the story of the girl that the accused committed the crime is true, not merely that the crime has been committed, but that it has been committed by the accused. The corroboration need not be direct evidence that the accused committed the crime, it is sufficient if it is merely circumstantial evidence of his connection with the crime. In other words, it must be evidence which implicates the accused, that is, which confirms in some material particular not only the evidence that the crime has been committed, but also that the accused committed it.

4. P. W. 1 has made several divergent statements. At no point of time when she was away from the house she made any complaint. But, on the other hand, she informed her parents that she was happy and earning at Madras. In order to accept her statement that she was compelled, threatened or otherwise induced to go with a number of persons for illicit intercourse, there should, in my opinion, be corroboration of some material particular from some independent source and her bare statement cannot be considered sufficient to sustain the conviction. In this case there is no corroboration confirming the story of P. W. 1 and therefore it is dangerous to base a conviction on her testimony.

5. In the result, I allow the appeals; set aside the convictions and sentences passed against A-1 and A-4 and acquit them, I direct that A-4 be set at liberty forthwith.

6. In the course of the judgment, I have mentioned that A-2 and A-3 have not appealed. But, in the view that I have taken in this judgment, I think, this Court must intervene in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction without any appeal by A-2 and A-3. This Court has power under Section 401, Cr. P.C. in a proper case to deal with the cases of accused persons not appealing against their conviction while deciding the appeals preferred by other accused. Section 401 does not in any way affect the jurisdiction vested in this Court to deal with the cases of non-appealing accused.

7. This view finds support in Sunilakhya v. H.M. Jadwet : AIR1968Cal266 . Therein it was pointed out (at p. 743 of Cri LJ):.Even if a party does not apply to this Court in revision but the said case be brought before the Court by some other party, nothing would stand in the way of this Court to exercise its revisional or inherent powers to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice. There is no form of injustice that the long arms of the Court cannot reach the inherent power of the Court is ex debito justitiae to dispense real and substantial justice for the administration of which alone Courts exist....

8. The revisional jurisdiction of the High Court is very extensive. There is no form of judicial injustice which this Court, if need be, cannot reach. It would be unfortunate if it were otherwise. This is a case in which the accused were wrongly convicted. It may be pointed out that injustice may equally be done where persons, in fact guilty, are improperly acquitted as well as where innocent persons are convicted. Therefore, this is eminently a fit case in which I should interfere by exercising my revisional powers to set aside the conviction and sentence passed against A-2 and A-3 though they have not appealed.

9. Accordingly, I set aside the conviction and sentence passed against A-2 and A-3 and acquit them. I direct that they be set at liberty forthwith.


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