State of Haryana Vs Raja Ram

It is difficult to hold that Raja Ram was not guilty of taking or enacting the prosecutrix out of the keeping of her father’s lawful guardianship

Case name:State Of Haryana Vs Raja Ram
Case number:Criminal Appeal No. 214 of 1969
Court:Supreme Court of India
Bench:HONORABLE JUSTICE DUA HONORABLE JUSTICE I.D. SHELAT  HONORABLE JUSTICE J.M. CHANDRACHUD,
Decided on:27th OCTOBER 1972
Relevant Act/Sections:Section 361 of Indian Penal Code, Section 366 of Indian Penal Code

BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY:

  • Santoshi Rani, aged about 14 years, daughter of one Narian Dass, a resident of village Jor Majra in the district of Karnal was the victim of the offence. Jai Narian, a resident of village Muradgarh, close to village Jor Majra, once visited the house of Narian Dass for treating his ailing sons.
  • When the two boys were cured by Jai Narian, Narian Dass bagan to have a great faith in him and indeed started treating him as his Guru. Jai Narian started paying frequent visits to Narain Dass’s house and apparently began to cast an evil eye on Santoshi Rani.
  • He persuaded her to accompany him by inducing her to believe that though she was made to work in her parent’s house she was not even given proper food and clothes by her parents who were poor.
  • He promised to keep her like a queen having nice clothes to wear, good food to eat and also a servant at her disposal.
  • On one occasion Narian Das happened to see Jai Nariaan talking to Santoshi Rani and felt suspicious with the result that he requested Jai Narian not to visit his house any more. He also reprimanded his daughter to be away from Jai Narian. Having been prohibited from visiting Narian Dass’s house Jai Narian started sending messages to Santoshi Rani through Raja Ram respondent who is jheewar and has his house about 5 or 6 karams away from that of Narian Dass. As desired by Jai Narian, Raja Ram persuaded Santoshi Rani to go with him to the house of Jai Narian.
  • On April 4, 1968, Raja Ram contacted Santoshi Rani for the purpose of accompanying him to Jai Narian’s house. Raja Ram’s daughter Sona by name, who apparently was somewhat friendly with Santoshi Rani should come to the house of Raja Ram at midnight.
  • Santoshi Rani as desired, went to Raja Ram’s house on the night of April 4 and 5, 1968, when Raja Ram took her to Bhishamwala well. Jai Narian was present at the well at that time. Leaving Santoshi Rani there, Raja Ram went to bring Jai Narian, whom he brought after sometime, and handing over Santoshi Rani to Jai Narian , Raja Ram returned to his house.
  • On April 13,1968, S.H.O. Police Station Indri saw Jai Narian and Santoshi Rani coming from the side of Dera Waswa Ram. Jai Narian was taken into custody. Santoshi Rani had a jhola which contained one suit and a shawl and two chunis which were taken into possession. The salwar of Santoshi Rani appeared to have on it stains of semen.
  • The learned Second Additional Sessions Judge, Karnal, who tried them, convicted Jai Narain alias Bawa Under Section 378, IPC and sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for six years and fine of Rs. 500/- or in default to further rigorous imprisonment for six months.
  • Both the convicts appealed to the High Court of Punjab & Haryana. A learned single Judge of that Court dismissed the appeal of Jai Narain maintaining his conviction and sentence but acquitted the respondent Raja Ram of the charge Under Section 366. IPC It is against the order of the respondent’s acquittal that the State of Haryana has appealed to this Court.

ISSUE BEFORE THE COURT:

  • Whether Raja Ram could be held guilty of offence under Section 366, Indian Penal Code?
  • Whether the accused could be held guilty of offence under Section 361, Indian Penal Code?

RATIO OF THE COURT

  • The court held that in the present case evidence establishes beyond doubt:
  • That Jai Narian had tried to become intimate with the prosecutrix and to seduce her to go and ive with him and on objection habving been raised by her father who asked Jai Narian not to visit his house, Jai Narian started sending messages to the prosecutrix through Raja Ram, respondent;
  • That Raja Ram, respondent, had been asking the rposecutrix to be ready to accompany Jai Narian;
  • That at about 12 noon on April 4, Raja Ram went to see the prosecutrix at her house and asked her to visit his house when he would convey Jai Narian’s message to her;
  • That on the same day after sometime Sona was sent by her father to the house of the prosecutrix to fetch her to his house where the prosecutrix was informed that Jai Narian would come that night and would take the prosecutrix away and;
  • That Raja Ram accordingly asked the prosecutrix to visit his house at about midnight s that she may be entrusted to Jai Narian.
  • The Court after the consideration of all the evidences held that Raja Ram cannot escape conviction for the offence of kidnapping her from her father’s lawful guardianship. It was not at all necessary for Raja Ram to have himself gone to the the prosecutrix to bring her from there on the midnight in question. It was sufficient if he had earlier been soliciting or persuading her to leave her father’s house to go with him to Jai Narian. It is fully established on the record that he had been conveying messages from Jai Narian to prosecutrix and had himself been persuading her to accompany him to Jai Narian’s place where he would hand over to him.
  • On the facts it is difficult to hold that Raja Ram was not guilty of taking or enacting the prosecutrix out of the keeping of her father’s lawful guardianship. Raja Ram’s action was to proximate cause of the prosecutrix going out of the keeping of her father and indeed but for Raja Ram’s persuasive offer to take her to Jai Narian the prosecutrix would not have gone out of the keeping of her father who was her lawful guardian, as she actually did.
  • The fact that the prosecutrix was easily persuaded to go with Raja Ram would not prevent him from being guilty of the offence of kidnapping her. Her consent or willingness to accompany Raja Ram would be immaterial and it would be equally so even if the proposal to go with Raja Ram had been emanated from her.
  • There is no doubt a distinction between allowing and taking a minor to accompany a person but the present is not a case of prosecutrix herself leaving her father’s house without any inducement by Raja Ram who merely allowed her to accompany him.

DECISION HELD BY COURT:

  • The court held the decision that enabling it to set aside the verdict of the jury and examine the evidence for itself. In the present case the, acquittal by the High Court is clearly erroneous both on facts and in law and keeping in view the nature of the offence committed the court considered that there is clearly failure of justice justifying interference by this Court under Article 136 of the Indian Constitution.
  • The result is that the appeal is allowed and setting aside the order of the High Court acquitting Raja Ram, respondent, the court restored the order of the Second Additional Sessions Judge affirming both the conviction and sentence as imposed by the trial court. Raja Ram, respondent should surrender to his bail bond to serve out the sentence.

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