K.C. Chunder, J.
1. This Rule was obtained by a complainant in a criminal case who alleged an offence under Sections 354/448, I. P. C. against three persons who are the opposite parties before me. The Magistrate believed her story, the Sessions Judge has acquitted these three persons. The learned Sessions Judge was under the erroneous impression that anything said by the complainant at or about the time of the occurrence, that is, what formed the part of 'res gestae', was not corroborative evidence. This is a very serious mistaken view of the law which has coloured his decision of this case and for which the decision cannot stand. He obviously did not notice that Lort-Williams J. in requiring corroboration in cases of sexual offence was not dealing with cases under Section 354, I. P. C. Moreover, Lort-Williams J. never required that some other eye-witnesses must actually see the whole occurrence going on. Corroborative evidence may be of any kind which will make the evidence given by the prosecutrix to have the ring of probable truth. Moreover, it may be pointed out that the correctness of Lort-Williams J. as regards corroborative evidence being required has been doubted and a contrary opinion has been held by learned Judges of this Court. In any case, a substantial body of evidence was given in corroboration whatever might have been the value of it. The learned Judge did not understand that this was corroborative evidence and he therefore proceeded to say that the conviction could not be based upon the uncorroborative testimony of the prosecutrix.
2. The second mistake that the learned Judge made was in considering that it was immaterial in this case to decide whether the prosecutrix had actually conceived or not. Briefly, the case for the prosecution was that on 7-12-1950, the accused persons actuated by a moral mission viz. to prevent vice in family or social life, trespassed into the house where the petitioner Santa Bala Dassi lived to examine whether she had conceived. She was a young widow aged about 20 who had lost her husband about three years back and was living with her husband's brother who was a bachelor aged about 22. The prosecution story was that as on 7-12-1950 these accused persons did commit an offence, they promptly ran to the Court and on 8th December filed a petition alleging that the lady had conceived and was intending having miscarriage. The defence version on the other hand was that as they had filed a petition on 8th December, so on 11th December a petition was filed through the complainant alleging the occurrence on the 7th. On behalf of the complainant an explanation was given of the cause of delay. The best test would have been whether the lady had actually conceived or not. She produced a medical witness and it appears that she voluntarily submitted herself to an examination by the Assistant Surgeon. It does not appear that the medical evidence has been properly handled by the learned District Judge who himself has written that in the present case in his opinion it is not very material whether the complainant had conceived or not. Ifit was found that the complainant had not at all conceived, then there would not in reasonable probability be any ground for bringing a false case as a counter blast. In view of the order that I am going to pass, it is not desirable for me to enter into an elaborate examination of the discussion of the evidence in the learned Judge's judgment. The judgment has not commended itself to me and indeed it appears that he did not properly understand the learned Magistrate's point of view. As I have pointed out that substantial errors in law in handling the case have taken place, the learned Judge's judgment cannot stand. Though I am very reluctant to interfere with acquittals by way of Revision in the present case in the interest of justice the acquittal must be set aside and the appeal remanded to the Sessions Judge for re-hearing. The accused persons may be directed by him to appear again.
The Rule is accordingly made absolute, the order of acquittal is set aside and the appealremanded for re-hearing.