The Bombay High Court has confirmed a lower court order awarding 10-year rigorous imprisonment to a man for kidnapping a 13-year-old girl from Mumbai and raping her along with his accomplice here and also in Surat in 2008.
“As far as section 376 of IPC (rape) is concerned, the evidence of the prosecutrix (victim), by itself, is sufficient and needs no corroboration,” said Justice Revati Mohite-Dhere who dismissed the appeal filed by the convict, Sachin Mishra.
“The prosecutrix has categorically deposed the manner in which she was subjected to sexual assault at a hotel in Mumbai and later in Surat by the appellant. There is nothing in the evidence to show even remotely, that at any point of time, the prosecutrix had consented or had gone on her own accord or will,” the Judge said in her June 16 judgement.
“Even otherwise, the consent of the prosecutrix would be immaterial, considering the fact that she was a minor at the relevant time, as is evident from evidence that has come on record. Considering the evidence of the prosecutrix and the medical evidence, the appellant has rightly been convicted for the offence under section 376 of IPC,” the Judge observed.
Although Mishra was arrested, tried and convicted by a sessions court in Mumbai, the other accused, Karan, absconded after committing the crime and is still not traceable. Mishra is currently lodged in Nasik central prison.
The victim said she used to go to a hotel every day to buy bread for her family. On the day of the incident on July 27, 2008, when she was returning home, both the accused pushed her into the kitchen of the hotel (where they worked) and bolted the door from inside before gang raping her.
The victim was threatened not to make any noise or else she would be killed. Later, she was taken to Haji Ali Durgah and from there to Surat by train. In Surat, she stayed for some time in a house with Mishra while Karan ran away.
One day she called her father who came from Mumbai along with relatives to pick her up. Later, she lodged police complaint.
While Mishra was arrested and tried Karan still remains untraced.
Upholding the punishment, the court noted, “a perusal of the testimony of the prosecutrix shows that she is a truthful witness who was subjected to sexual assault and that the applicant had taken advantage of her young age and vulnerability”.