Fast Track Court in Jammu convicts a suspended Sub Judge for rape, cheating

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BUNTY MAHAJAN

JAMMU, OCTOBER 21

Presiding Officer of the Fast Track Court Khalil Choudhary here on Thursday convicted a suspended sub judge, Rajesh Kumar Abrol, for rape and cheating a woman on pretext of providing her legal support.

He, however, fixed October 23 for hearing the matter regarding the quantum of sentence.

Observing that all the evidence on record unerringly point towards the guilt of the accused, the Presiding Officer said that “there is complete chain of events and facts to indicate that within all human probability the crime was committed by the accused and all the circumstances brought on record and established are consistent with the guilt of the accused and inconsistent with his innocence”.

Brief facts according to the prosecution, the complainant on January 12, 2018 made a written report at Janipur police station in Jammu accusing Abrol of cheating by marrying her when he already had a wife Neetu Bala. 

She said that she was contesting a case and in this regard she had met the accused through a lady namely Jyoti for legal support. The accused promised her legal support and in turn sought domestic support from her on a monthly salary of Rs 5,000. She started working in his house in order to provide better education to her daughter.

For seeking legal support, the accused got her marriage dissolved by getting divorce deed notarized, to which one of his PSO signed as witness. After sometime, her parents desisted her to work with the accused as they want to take her to parental home.

Pointing out that she hailed from Ramban district and she was, at present, staying at Toll Post Nagrota along with her minor daughter, the woman had said that she met the accused in connection with some litigation and the latter promised her legal support. After some time, the woman’s parents desisted her to work with Abrol as they wanted to take her to their home.

As and when the accused came to know that she is going to leave his home, he filled “Maang” with Babuti and told her not to leave as she was his wife now. He also told her that he was residing alone since last seven years and has parted with his wife, prosecution said.

“The accused planned to have “Saptapadi” with her and he solemnized marriage with her in his house at Roop Nagar in presence of PSO Ashok Jamwal, his friend Darshan Gupta and one Pandit belonging from Doda called by (Abrol).”

However, after an year of marriage with Abrol, the woman came to know that he has betrayed her as he, after getting divorce from his first wife Surbhi, was already married to one Neetu Bala.

The charges against Abrol were framed by the 3rd Additional Sessions Judge on June 9, 2018 for the offenses under section 420, 376 RPC. “It can be said that the prosecutrix has given her consent for sexual intercourse under the misconception of fact, so that the accused is required to be charged for the offences of rape, punishable under section 376 RPC,’’ the judge had observed.

“Persons of influence, keeping in view their reach, impact and authority they wield on the general public, or the specific class to which they belong, owe a duty and have to be more responsible they are expected to know and perceive the meaning of authority and law with experience and knowledge,’’ observed Presiding Officer of the Fast Track Court. “It is reasonable to hold that they would be careful in their lives, the reasonable man’s test would always take into consideration the maker,” he added.

It is settled legal position that once the statement of prosecutrix inspires confidence and is accepted by this court as such, conviction can be based only on the solitary evidence of the prosecutrix and no corroboration would be required unless there are compelling reasons which necessitate the court for corroboration of her statement,” Court observed, adding that the court must act with the sensitivity and appreciate the evidence in totality of the background of the criminal case and not in isolation and the court is required to adjudicate whether the accused committed offence of rape on the victim or not.

Pointing out that the case in essence hinges on the sole testimony of the victim, the Presiding Officer observed that after sifting and scanning the testimony of the victim for the purpose of ascertaining as to whether predominant consideration can be given to the same so as to form a base for conviction, the answer has to be in affirmative. 

“There is no requirement of looking for corroborations,’’ he observed, adding that “minor contradictions, which is a normal feature in such a type of case, ought to be overlooked too when the direct evidence of unimpeachable character inspiring confidence is available’’.

“On thoughtful consideration of testimony of the prosecutrix, in the context of law as refereed above it shall be safe to hold that her statement inspires confidence so as to be accepted even in absence of corroborations,” court observed.