K. Prakash vs The State Of Karnataka on 19 March, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

K. Prakash vs The State Of Karnataka on 19 March, 2021

Author: R. Subhash Reddy

Bench: R. Subhash Reddy

  [email protected](Crl.)No.610 of 2021


                                                                          NON-REPORTABLE

                                           IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                          CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                                          CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.336 OF 2021
                                  (Arising out of S.L.P.(Crl.)No.610 of 2021)


                      K.Prakash & Anr.                                     ...Appellants


                                                       vs.

                      The State of Karnataka                               ...Respondent


                                               J U D G M E N T

R.Subhash Reddy,J.

1. Leave granted.

2. This appeal has been preferred, aggrieved by the

judgment and order dated 06.06.2019 passed by the High

Court of Karnataka, Dharwad Bench in Criminal Appeal

No.100201 of 2016. By the aforesaid order, the High

Court has confirmed conviction/sentence of the

appellants herein for offences under Sections 344 and

366, IPC.

3. The appellants herein, along with other accused,

were charge-sheeted in Crime No.115/2014 on the file of

Sub-Urban PS, Dharwad, for offences punishable under

Sections 143, 147, 120-B, 366, 344, 376, 506 read with
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
ASHWANI KUMAR
Date: 2021.03.19
Section 149, IPC and Section 6 of the Protection of
16:17:10 IST
Reason:

Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (for short

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[email protected](Crl.)No.610 of 2021

‘POCSO’ Act). The Sessions Court has convicted accused

no.1 for offences punishable under Sections 344, 366,

IPC and Section 6 of POCSO Act. So far as the

appellants are concerned, they were convicted for the

offences punishable under Sections 344, 366 read with

Section 34, IPC and were sentenced to undergo Simple

Imprisonment for one year for offence under Section 344,

IPC and a fine of Rs.2000/- and S.I. for two years for

the offence under Section 366, IPC and a fine of

Rs.5000/-. Aggrieved by the conviction recorded and

sentence imposed, they preferred appeal to High Court of

Karnataka, Dharwad Bench. Same is dismissed by the

impugned judgment dated 06.06.2019. Hence, this appeal

by accused nos.4 and 5.

4. PW-2 is the daughter of complainant PW-1, who

lodged a complaint on 08.05.2014 before the Police. In

the complaint, it is alleged that her daughter had gone

to bring chips and milk from a nearby shop but she did

not return home for about half an hour. Thereafter the

complainant searched for her and had come to know that

her daughter went in an Auto Rickshaw. According to the

complainant/PW-1, prior to the said incident, accused

No.1, who was residing near the house of the

complainant, was having love affair with PW-2- victim

girl and he was insisting to perform her marriage with

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[email protected](Crl.)No.610 of 2021

him. The complainant explained to him that she is not of

marriageable age and his request will be considered

after the victim attains the marriageable age.

Therefore, the complainant/PW-1, suspected the role of

accused No.1 and complaint was lodged before the police.

5. Pursuant to registration of crime, the

investigation was taken up. After investigation, it was

revealed that accused No.1, with the help of other

accused Nos. 2, 4, 5, 8 and 9, conspired together and

kidnapped the minor girl PW-2, in a car provided by the

appellants/accused Nos. 4 and 5. All of them were

prosecuted for offences, referred above.

6. To prove the offence alleged against the accused,

prosecution has examined, in all, 16 witnesses. The

mother of the victim girl is the complainant and she is

examined as PW-1; PW-2 is victim girl; PW-3 and PW-4 are

Medical Officers; PW-5 is the owner of house at

Vishwanathhalli, where victim girl and accused No.1 have

stayed for sometime; PW-6 is the driver of the car;

PW-7 to PW-13 are panch witnesses for different

panchanamas; PW-14 and 15 are Investigation Officers.

7. So far as the appellants are concerned, after

completion of trial, the Trial Court has come to a

conclusion that prosecution has proved the guilt of

accused nos. 4 and 5 only for offences punishable under

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[email protected](Crl.)No.610 of 2021

Sections 344 and 366 read with Section 34 of the IPC.

Accused No. 1 was, in addition, found guilty of offence

punishable under Section 6 of POCSO Act. All the accused

were convicted accordingly. The conviction recorded and

Sentence imposed on the above accused, is confirmed by

the High Court, by dismissing the criminal appeal filed

by them, by impugned judgment dated 06.06.2019.

8. As this Court has issued notice limited to the

quantum of Sentence only, it is not necessary to delve

in detail on the merits of the matter, so far as

conviction is concerned.

9. We have heard Sri Anand Sanjay M.Nuli, learned

counsel appearing for the appellants and Sri Shubhranshu

Padhi, learned counsel appearing for the respondent-

State of Karnataka.

10. It is contended by learned counsel appearing for

the appellants that the High Court has committed error

in confirming the judgment of conviction and Order of

Sentence, though the prosecution has miserably failed to

prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. It is submitted

that the appellants/accused Nos.4 and 5 are the tenants

of accused Nos. 6 and 7 and are no way connected with

the crime but have been falsely implicated at the

instance of PW-1 and PW-2. It is submitted that the only

allegation as against the appellants/accused Nos. 4 and

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[email protected](Crl.)No.610 of 2021

5 is that, they have helped accused No.1 in taking the

victim-PW-2 from the petrol pump near Nuggikeri to

Vishwanathhalli in a car, driven by PW-6. It is

submitted that there are various inconsistencies and

contradictions in the prosecution evidence and in spite

of the same, the Trial Court has erroneously convicted

the appellants and the same is confirmed by the High

Court. It is submitted that in any event, the Trial

Court has committed error in sentencing the

appellants/accused Nos. 4 and 5, to undergo S.I. for one

year for offence punishable under Section 344 of IPC and

S.I. for two years for offence punishable under Section

366 of IPC. Further, having regard to allegations made

against the appellants, the sentence imposed is

excessive and illegal. Further it is submitted that, as

they are having minor child and aged parents, there is

no one to take care of them. With the aforesaid pleas,

learned counsel has made a request to modify the

sentence.

11. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for

the State of Karnataka, has submitted that the

appellants are convicted for offence punishable under

Sections 344, 366 read with Section 34 of IPC and that

PW-2-minor girl was kidnapped at the instance of accused

No.1, as such there is no illegality in the conviction

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[email protected](Crl.)No.610 of 2021

recorded and Sentence imposed on the appellants. It is

submitted that, there are no grounds to interfere with

the impugned judgment.

12. Having heard the learned counsels on both sides, we

have perused the impugned judgment and other material

placed on record.

13. Though learned counsel for the appellants has

argued, questioning the conviction itself but we are

satisfied with the reasoning assigned by the High Court

for confirming the conviction recorded, as such we need

not elaborate further. Further, this Court has issued

notice, limited to the quantum of sentence only.

Learned counsel for the appellants made a request to

modify the sentence.

14. Many factors which may not be relevant to determine

the guilt, must be seen with a human approach, at the

stage of sentencing. While imposing the sentence, all

relevant factors are to be considered, keeping in mind

the facts and circumstances of each case. In the present

case, the main accusation was against accused no.1, who

is convicted for offences punishable under Sections 344,

366, IPC and Section 6 of POCSO Act and sentenced to

undergo imprisonment for a period of 10 years. Even in

the complaint, it was mentioned that accused no.1 was in

love with the victim girl PW-2. It is also the case of

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[email protected](Crl.)No.610 of 2021

the appellants that PW-1 was not a direct witness to the

incident and PW-2 has been tutored by PW-1. The alleged

incident is of the year 2014 and we are informed that

appellants have already served sentence of about three

months and paid fine amount. They specifically pleaded

that there is no one to take care of their minor son and

old age parents.

15. In view of the peculiar facts and circumstances of

the case, while confirming the conviction recorded and

fine imposed, we modify the sentence on the appellants

for the period already undergone. The appellants be

released forthwith unless otherwise their custody is

required in connection with any other case. This appeal

is partly allowed to the extent, indicated above.

………………..J.

[ASHOK BHUSHAN]

………………..J.

[R. SUBHASH REDDY]

New Delhi,
March 19, 2021.

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