S.D. Khare. J.
1. This is a Government Appeal directed against an order of acquittal passed by the learned AdditionalSessions Judge. Kanpur on 30th April, 1963.
2. Chaudhry Laiq Singh, his wife Sm. Ram Maya, his driver Kishun Chand and his three relations, namely, Gajendrapal Singh, Bimal Kumar and Tej Bahadur, we committed to the Court of Session, Kanpur, to stand their trial for having committed offences punishable under Sections 365/364 read with Section 149 I.P.C. All of them except Gajendrapal Singh (respondent) were further charged under Sections 147, 357/149 and 325/149 I.P.C. There was also an alternative charge against them for offences punishable under the aforesaid sections read with Section 34 I.P.C. All the respondents except Gajendrapal Singh were further charged under Section 342/34 I.P.C. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has acquitted all the respondents of all the offences with which they were charged.
3. The person in respect of whom all the offences mentioned in the charge were alleged to have been committed is Sashikala (P. W. 1), aged about 24 or 25 years at the time of the trial. She is a relation of Chaudhry Laiq Singh (respondent). Her father's sister's daughter is married to Suraj Kumar, a younger brother of Laiq Singh. According to that relationship Shashikala was Laiq Singh's younger brother's wife's cousin in other words a sister-in-law. There was also another relationship between Laiq Singh (respondent) and Shashikala (P. W. 1). Laiq Singh's elder brother Nihal Singh was married to the elder sister of Shashikala's brother's wife. The father of Shashikala was a resident of village Jori, district Hazari Bagh, Bihar. Shashikala's mother belonged to village Harganpur, which is at a distance of about five miles from Shikohabad in district Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh. She had inherited some landed property from her parents.
After the death of her husband she started living in Shikohabad to look after her property in village Harganpur. She lived at Shikohabad. Chaudhry Laiq Singh, who belonged to her own community and was a rich and influential member of that community, helped her in the management of her property. The brother of Shashikala lived in village Jori to look after his property in the village. In the year 1954 Bhupendra Singh, the brother of Shashikala, took the help of Laiq Singh in getting the family property partitioned by means of arbitration. Laiq Singh (appellant) was, therefore, related and known to the mother and the brother of Km, Shashikala from before the year 1955.
4. The prosecution case briefly stated is that the father of Shashikala had during his lifetime got his daughter admitted in a school called Kanya Gurukul situate in Sasni in the district of Aligarh. Uttar Pradesh. In the month of January, 1955, she along with her mother had gone to village Jori to attend the Gauna ceremony of herelder brother Bhupendra Singh. Chaudhry Laiq Singh sent a letter to Bhupendra Singh informing him that the latter could send Shashikala to his place along with common relation and from there he would arrange to send her to her school at Sasni, Aligarh. Bhupendra Singh and his mother could have no objection to this proposal, and therefore, Shashikala was sent to Shikohabad to be sent from there by Lain Singh to Sasni. Aligarh.
After Shashikala had reached the place of Laiq Singh both of them left for Hathras the next day, but instead of taking Shashikala to her school at Sasni, Laiq Singh respondent took her to Delhi and stayed with her in the Regal Hotel for two days and two nights from 10 p.m. on January, 27, 1955 to 9p.m. on January 29, 1955, During this period Laiq Singh developed illicit intimacy with Shashikala. She was thereafter taken to the school at Sasni to continue her studies. On 18th February, 1955, Laiq Singh again took Shashikala to Brindaban and stayed with her in Agra Hotel, Mathura on 18th and 19th February, 1955, and also from 22nd February to 24th February, 1955. The result of the illicit intimacy between Chaudhry Laiq Singh and Shashikala was that she became pregnant. Laiq Singh had to arrange for an abortion. With the establishment of illicit intimacy between Laiq Singh and Shashikala correspondence was frequently exchanged between the two and all the expenses of Shashikala were initially borne by Laiq Singh. He was her local guardian and used to take her out and keep her at any place he liked.
During the year 1955 to 1960 Shashikala became pregnant twice but on each occasion abortion was arranged by Laiq Singh (respondent). Shashikala was told that Laiq Singh would marry her after she had passed her B. A. examination. Unfortunately Shashikala became pregnant again in the year 1960 before she could pass her B. A. examination. Laiq Singh again desired that she should agree to abortion but this time Shashikala was not agreeable. She acquainted her mother regarding her condition and she after having rebuked her, advised Shashikala to get married to Chaudhry Laiq Singh. On 22nd September, 1960, a male child was born to Shashikala in a house in mohalla Krishna Nagar, in the city of Lucknow, where Shashikala had been sent to live with Jaideo Singh M.L.A. and other members of his family.
After Jaideo Singh and his family left that house Shashikala continued to live there till the month of February, 1961, with one Khandekar, a Maharashtrian gentleman who, according to Shashikala was a man of Chaudhry Laiq Singh and had been deputed by him to look after her comforts. Shashikala sensed some danger to her child and left Lucknow and shifted to village Gaini Dundwara in the district of Etah to live with her cousin Brijendra Singh. Early in the monthof July, 1961, Brijendra Singh took Km. Shashikala to Gaya to meet her brother Bhupendra Singh The latter, on coming to know everything from Shashikala, advised her to go back to Lucknow and make efforts to get herself married to Chaudhry Laiq Singh. He also advised her to join some service at Lucknow to enable her to earn a livelihood. Shashikala with her child thereafter proceeded to Lucknow and stayed in M.L.As.' Quarter No. 123, Darul Shafa. Lucknow with Laiq Singh. At that time Sm. Ram Maya, respondent, wife of Laiq Singh was also there. Shashikala insisted that Chaudhry Laiq Singh must marry her otherwise she would create a scene.
Both Laiq Singh and his wife Sm. Ram Maya left Quarter No. 123, Darul Shafa, two days after the arrival of Shashikala On 21st July, 1961. Shashikala ioined service in Durga Gita Vidyalay. Lucknow. She also took a house on rent in mohalla Babuganj close to her school, and moved some of her things there but she continued to live in M.L.As.' Quarter No. 123. Darul Shafa, Lucknow A day or two later Gaiendrapal Singh (respondent), who was then posted as Second Officer at police station Titawi, district Muzzafernagar, but had taken leave, arrived at Lucknow and stayed in the same M.L.As' quarter. Gaiendrapal Singh was Sm. Ram Maya's sister's son. He promised to help Shashikala in settling her matters with Laiq Singh On 25th July, 1961, he took Shashikala and her child to Sudarshan Pictures to show her a cinema film. At about 9.30 p.m., after the show was over, both Gaiendrapal Singh (respondent) and Shashikala came out of the Cinema Hall The jeep of Chaudhry Laiq Singh was there outside the cinema house but there was no one on it except the driver who agreed to take them to Darul Shafa after talking to someone at Krishna Nagar.
The jeep was stopped at a lonely place outside mohalla Krishnanagar. Gaiendrapal Singh (respondent) got down from the jeep and immediately thereafter all the remaining respondents, namely Chaudhrv Laiq Singh, Sm Ram Mava. Bimal Kumar and Tej Bahadur boarded that jeep Kishun Chand (respondent) drove that jeep on Lucknow-Kanpur road towards Kanpur On being asked by Shashikala. Laid Singh told her that she was being removed from that place because certain people were after her life. Shashikala got suspicious and asked the driver and others to stop the jeep Thereupon three of the respondents, namely, Laiq Singh Bimal Kumar and Tej Bahadur, who were occupying the rear portion of the jeep made Shashikala lie down on the floor of the jeep and kept her Dressed there after gagging her mouth. According to the prosecution case Tej Bahadur (Respondent) was responsible for gagging Shashikala with a part of her own dhoti, while Bimal Kumar was holding her hands, and Laiq Singh her feet. Curtains had already been fixed in that jeepand Laiq Singh told Shashikala that in case she would try to raise an alarm she would be killed.
According to the prosecution case Shashikala was taken in that very state upto village Roshnai, a place at a distance of about 26 miles from Kanpur. There the jeep was stopped by a police party headed by Sri Ram Chandra Banotha, Dy. S.P at about 3 a. m. en 26th July, 1961. It so happened that a dacoity had been comitted within police circle Sacheri during the night between 19th and 20th July, 1961, and the police of that circle, headed by Sri Ram Chandra Banotha (P W 2), decided to check all vehicles passing on the main road near village Roshnai during the night between the 25th and 26th July, 1961 The work of checking the vehicles was started from 9 p. m. and it was to continue till the next morning, The jeep of the respondents with curtains drawn, was seen coming from Kanpur side and proceeding towards Kalpi. The Dy S. P. signalled the jeep to stop but it was not immediately stopped. However, some constables headed by a Sub-Inspector were also stationed 50 yards away on the Kalpi side and when they signalled the jeep to stop the driver stopped it.
Sri S. C Vidvarthi, S.I.P.S. Sacheri and Sri Ram Chandra Banotha. Dy. S. P at once rushed towards the jeep to check the vehicle. The Sub-Inspector raised the curtain and threw torch-light inside the jeep and then it was noticed by the police party and also the witnesses of the public who were there from 9 p.m. to witness all the checkings that Shashikala was lying on the floor of the jeep witb her mouth gagged with a portion of her own dhoti and the three respondents, namely Laiq Singh Bimal Kumar and Tej Bahadur were pressing her down. The respondents at once released their hold as soon as they saw light beine flashed inside the jeep Shashikala became free and she at once cried out that she was being taken away to be killed and that she must be saved. Sm Ram Maya, who was sitting near the driver holding the baby of Shashikala in her arms, at once cried out that she (Shashikala) was telling a lie and that she was not of sound mind She also told the police party that Shashikala was her niece and she herself was a sister of Sri Ram Swarup Yada v. a Deputy Minister.Chaudhry Laiq Singh (respondent), who was at the time an M L.A. also revealed his identity Shashikala, however, repeated her complaint and the Dy S.P asked her to give her report in writing Thereupon she wrote out a report (Ex. Ka 231 and handed it over to Sri S. C. Vidvarthi, who directed that a case be registered against the respondents The search of all the respondents and also of the jeep was taken and recovery memos prepared The entire party was travelling without adequate luggage and there was no article whatsoever belonging to Shashikala inside that jeep. Shashikala hadreceived some injuries inside her mouth bf cause she had been gagged with a portion of her own dhoti. The dhoti had also become stained with blood. The injuries of Shashikala were noted and the blood stained dhoti was duly sealed in the presence of the witnesses. The respondents who had been arrested at the spot were sent to jail the very same day at 10 a.m. The dhoti was sent to the Chemical Examiner and Serologist and was found to be stained with human blood.
5. The prosecution examined 24 witnesses in support of its case. Shashikala (P. W. 1) revealed the entire prosecution story, Sri Ram Chandra Banotha (P. W. 2), Sri S. C. Vidyarathi (P. W. 20) S.O.P.S. Sacheri, Sri Govind Ram S. I. (P. W. 22) then Second Officer P. S. Bidhnu but called on 21st July, 1961, for patrol duties at P. S Sacheri and two witnesses of the public, namely Fateh Singh Bhartiya (P. W 5) and Srikant Pandey (P. W. 8) were examined to prove the circumstances in which the jeep had been stopped and checked and the condition in which Km. Shashikala was found at that time. Most of the other prosecution witnesses were examined in order to corroborate the statement made by Km. Shashikala on various points.
6. All the accused persons had pleaded not guilty. Chaudhry Laiq Singh (respondent), while explaining the circumstances appearing against him stated on 11th March, 1963, before the Sessions Court that he was 99 years old. That was definitely an attempt en his part to over-state his age. Laiq Singh had given out his age to be 55 years only when he was examined before the Committing Magistrate on 18th May, 1962. In less than a year he could not have attained the age of 59 years. There appears to be no reason why the earlier statement made by Laiq Singh about his age should not be accepted. Laiq Singh must, therefore, have been about 48 years of age in the year 1955.
7. Laiq Singh did not dispute his relationship with the five co-accused. He also did not dispute that in the month of January, 1955, he had sent a letter to Bhupendra Singh, the brother of Shashikala to send her to Laiq Singh's place at Shikohabad to be sent from