Facts of the Case
In the Matter of Minaben v. State of Gujarat, The victim filed a criminal appeal in opposition to the conviction of a defendant charged with violating Sections 376, 201, and 506(2) of the Penal Code, 1860. On February 23, 2020, the victim filed a First Information Report, saying that the accused had threatened and raped her. After 6-7 days, the victim a third-generation cousin filed the FIR. Police officials opened a Sessions Case and submitted a charge sheet against the accused, however, the Additional Sessions Judge found the accused not guilty.
Conclusion of the Court
Judges M. K. Thakker and Umesh A. Trivedi of the Gujrat High Court’s Division Bench rejected the appeal and affirmed the Additional Sessions Judge’s ruling.
The Court looked through the third-generation cousin’s deposition in which he claimed to have raped the woman with a knife. No knives were found or retrieved throughout the inquiry, the court determined. Contrary to the victim’s FIR’s 2:00 p.m. timeframe, the alleged offence occurred at 10 a.m. The victim’s account was deemed to be inconsistent by the court; her statement indicated that the rape occurred only once, however, the court ruled that it occurred twice within 15 minutes. The court held that there cannot be a discrepancy between the time of the offence in the deposition and the FIR filed by the informant herself if an offence is committed at a certain time.
The Court stated that it raises questions about the offence and the way it was committed when it was revealed during the cross-examination that there has been a dispute between the two families for years and that, despite efforts by village residents, the situation has not improved. Because of this, the Court found no flaw in the grounds given by the Judge for determining that the prosecution had failed to establish its case against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt after reviewing the evidence and witness testimony. As a result, the court rejected the appeal and declined to overturn the lower court’s decision.
CASE NAME – Minaben v. State of Gujarat, R/Criminal Appeal No. 2253 Of 2022