Bombay HC Pulls Up An Additional Sessions Judge For Using Slang/Foul Words ‘Disrespectful To Women’ In Rape Case

Bombay HC Pulls Up An Additional Sessions Judge For Using Slang/Foul Words 'Disrespectful To Women' In Rape Case

“The Trial Court has used slang language, words used by the Hon’ble Additional Sessions Judge are treated to be foul words and are utterly disrespectful to women” held by Hon’ble Bombay HC.

The Hon’ble Court also noted that though the Marathi version of the evidence of the prosecutrix specified certain Marathi words used by her, yet the Hon’ble Trial Court repetitively used unpleasant words, while recording the English version of her testimony.

The case before the Hon’ble Court was appeal led by the State challenging the judgment dated 14th August 2012, delivered by the Additional Sessions Judge, Kopargaon, in Sessions Case No.19 of 2010.

The accused was acquitted of the charge of having committed an offense punishable under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The prosecutrix complained that the accused, who is her cousin’s father-in-law had committed an offense punishable under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

At the very outset, the Hon’ble Court observed and recorded that it is ‘strong displeasure about the choice of a particular word’, which was repeatedly used by the Hon’ble Additional Sessions Judge.

While recording the evidence of the prosecutrix, and also in the body of the judgment. The Hon’ble Court, after taking into account the admissible evidence, concluded that the version of the prosecutrix of having suffered injuries due to the breaking of the bangles is found to be false given there being no medical evidence and no bangle pieces found at the spot of the crime.

The Court also observed that no injury or bump was found on her head, no semen stains were found on the clothes of the prosecutrix, and that no injuries were found on her thighs or legs.

The Court also noted that her story of having slapped the accused was not supported by medical evidence as there was no slap imprint on his face or abrasions.

The Court also opined that the “The Prosecutor was unable to convince it that though the prosecutrix does not have a single abrasion on her body and her entire narration of several injuries as noted above, have been proved to be false, we could still arrive at a conclusion that the accused and the accused alone, had committed the offense.”

Furthermore, taking into account the Hon’ble Apex Court’s in the recent ruling on 12th February 2021 in the case of State of Odisha vs. Banabihari Mohapatra and another [Special Leave Petition (Crl) No.1156/2021] that suspicion, however strong it may be, cannot be a substitute for substantive evidence. “Suspicion can never take place of proof and the court cannot base it’s the order of conviction based on suspicion“, remarked the Court.

Given the above, the appeal failed and was, therefore, dismissed.

Case – The State of Maharashtra v. Mahadu Dagdu Shinde 

Citation – [Criminal Appeal No.146 of 2014]